I can do anything I set my mind to....

studio 70 yoga mind

Awaken the possibilities you hold within you and think about what your life might be like if you really believed you could do anything you set your mind to.

Alyson Morley writes about how she harnessed the ‘power to choose our response’ to meet her goal of weight loss and how you can learn the techniques for personal achievement with her More to Life (MTL)workshop on November 18th - book here.

“I can do anything I set my mind to” - this is what I wrote down when I acknowledged my success in losing weight back in August and I want to share what got me to that achievement.

Over the last decade or so my weight had crept up and my attempts to be more conscious of what I was eating, to develop better exercise habits and to make changes in my life had had limited and short-lived success. Despite the fact that for the last 15 years I have been involved with MTL, a personal development charity which teaches tools to shift our emotional state and attitude to events, I hadn’t managed to change mine. Although I knew about  what Viktor Frankl called the space between stimulus and response, where we have the “power to choose our response”; I kept choosing old patterns, old habits of anaesthetising myself.

Now, several months later, I have lost over 2.5 stone (37 pounds) and I’m intending to lose at least another 24 pounds by December. I feel more energetic, can easily walk 4 miles on a daily basis and even had to throw out clothes as they are now much too big.

So what changed? How did I create this result? I followed a strict calorie controlled diet, but finding a diet that works wasn’t the crucial part. Before I could begin to change my eating, I had to change my attitude - to myself, to food and its place in my life. I looked deeply at what I’d been telling myself about going on a diet and what it would mean.

When I told the truth and realised that my purpose in losing weight was to be fitter, to take more joy in my life and increase my chances of being around for a good while longer, it was easy to choose to look for a scientifically supported approach to losing weight quickly and to make a start. And we’re all toddlers at heart, so rapid results are a great motivator – seeing those numbers going down on the scales was as exciting as getting a gold star on a chart!

The ripples from my achievement continue to expand across my life. I recently returned from a week-long MTL advanced course in New Mexico, which I wouldn’t have thought of taking if I hadn’t had the experience of getting so focused and purposeful – it required me to ask for financial support, something I have shied away from in the past. But now I know I can succeed when I fully commit to something, I decided to ask and see what happened – and I was overwhelmed by the appreciation, acknowledgement and support I received.

So what are you believing about yourself that isn’t true? What demands do you make of yourself, driving yourself hard, with no kindness or space for rest, to prove yourself, unnecessarily? What accusations do you hurl at yourself in your mind, stopping you from trying new things, new approaches, new relationships? We put these ideas into our minds early and then cement them in place with each experience that seems to prove we were right to see ourselves so negatively.

There are ways to pull these negative beliefs into the open however, and to confront them as the lies they are. Would you like to approach the festive season without telling yourself that you can only enjoy the holidays if you’ve found perfect presents, cooked restaurant quality meals and made your own decorations out of greenery gathered from the countryside? Don’t waste your time cursing Good Housekeeping and Kirstie Allsopp – come along to Studio 70  on Sunday 18th November and discover how you can begin to set yourself free. Christmas with less guilt, less exhaustion and less comparison of yourself to others? Now that sounds like a holiday!

TeachersLaura Barton