Assorted fruitMaybe you’ve tried this before, said, “I’m not going to eat sugar anymore!” 

But then, its as if you see it everywhere, its the lollipop in the stroller. You see the ice cream cone walking down the street. Things you didn’t notice before are jumping up and grabbing your attention. 

Maybe you pass up the donuts at work, you forego the cookie at lunch, but after dinner, the ice cream calls to you from the freezer and you dive in with wild abandon. 

Part of why this statement doesn’t work has to do with our language. 

 I’m going to ask you not to do something. Can you agree not to do it? Don’t think of a yellow butterfly because as you do it will turn blue and fly right out the door. 

What did your mind do?It pictured the yellow butterfly.

There is a part of our mind that interprets our language using mental pictures and don’t doesn’t translate in mental pictures. It’s these mental pictures that speak directly to the unconscious mind and tunes our mind and attention. 

So, think of the phrase, I’m not going to eat sugar anymore. What do you picture in your mind when you say this phrase? That’s right – sugar! This phrase actually tunes your mind and attention to be on the lookout for sugar and to notice sugar. 

Now, think of the phrase, I’m going to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. What does your mind picture with that phrase? Fresh fruits and vegetables. 

So our language has the ability to tune our mind and attention. Make sure your language is focusing on what you DO want rather than on what you DONT want. 

It’s common to set a weight loss goal as “I want to lose 20 lbs.” How does this phrase focus your attention? What do you picture in your mind? You are probably noticing the 20 lbs. that you don’t want, you may feel heavy in your body. And have you ever been really excited about something you’ve lost? 

What if you say, I am achieving my ideal healthy weight. What does that phrase draw your attention to? You may feel lighter in your body, perhaps it feels more achievable, more reachable. 

So make sure that you are giving your mind clear directions about what you want to focus on. Your language is powerful.