Positive Doing: How to Replace Bad Habits with Positive Activities Using the "Policing Your Thinking" Strategy

posted in: Mindset and Motivation | 0

henry fordIf you want to be successful long-term at achieving your specific life goals, then you must master your “self-talk” communication. Taking over your thought life and having your mind initiate positive activities is one of the first steps towards changing habits.

In Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle program, he writes:

“Bob Proctor, a master success coach and creator of the Goal Achiever program, suggests saying “NEXT” or “SWITCH” the instant you catch yourself in the middle of a negative thought or self-defeating question. Then, immediately replace it with a positive thought, affirmation, or an empowering question. Simply overwrite the old thought with a new one. Replace “I’ll try” with “I’ll do it.” Instead of “I should” say “I must.” Completely banish “I can’t” from your vocabulary. Soon you’ll find that your mind switches its “polarity” and the negative thoughts pop up less.”

I can attest that this technique absolutely works, but I think there’s a much more powerful insight hidden in this method. Imagine if you could not only reprogram your thoughts, but also your actions – turn bad habits into positive activities. Let’s say you catch yourself doing something that was either a) wasting your time, or b) not helping you work towards your goals – what if you instantly replaced that behavior with positive activities that ARE helping you?

I’ll tell you what would happen. You’d start achieving your goals one moment at a time, one day at a time, and one training cycle at a time! This is so easy to implement that I want you to get started RIGHT NOW.

Step 1 – The Garbage Worksheet

Take a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle of it, separating the sheet into two sections. One the left, I want you to make a list of all the things that unnecessarily take up your precious time. This can be your list of “Garbage Activities.” Your list will be unique, but some examples of things that you could include are:

1) watching TV
2) internet surfing
3) reading magazines
4) video or computer games
5) watching movies “just to pass the time”
6) regularly staying up too late
7) eating junk food
8) drinking alcohol – (gotta love smileys that cannot be overwritten!)
9) ordering poorly from a restaurant
10) working too much or too late, etc.

Obviously, this list could go on forever. The key is that you identify things that YOU do so that YOU know what to look out for. Write that list down, don’t just put it in your head. Writing has a way of cementing these thoughts into your memory so that they are “on your mind” in the future preparing you for when they happen next.

Step 2 – Garbage Replacement Activities

Now, on the right side, I want you to make a list of all the things that you know you should be doing, but are having trouble sticking with. These are the habits you want and need to build, the positive activities that you want to incorporate into your lifestyle. Some examples include:

1) strength training
2) metabolic conditioning
3) regular games and playing
4) cooking healthy and tasty meals
5) reading a book
6) trying new recipes
7) getting a little extra sleep
8) practicing some joint mobility, yoga or other “soft” style of exercise
9) pursuing social support and developing accountability
10) taking the dog for a walk, etc.

Finally, every time you catch yourself in the middle of a “garbage activity,” speak a cue word like “NEXT” or “SWITCH” or “GARBAGE!!!” and replace that activity accordingly. I think this is the fastest way to develop good habits and ditch bad ones.

To your health and success,

Fitness Professional

P.S. Tom Venuto’s program, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle has an entire chapter devoted to helping you set powerful, motivating goals, along with a sure-fire method for internalizing them and achieving them everday. For more information, check out the official site here:

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