I saw a woman who told me she grew up in an alcoholic family and became an alcoholic herself. Eventually she did something “beneath her dignity” and was so disgusted she quit drinking the next day. A decade later, she was a three-pack-a-day smoker despite emphysema. One day she was smoking and fell asleep. The cigarette fell on her oxygen tube and her house burned down. She quit smoking the next day.

Now her health problems are complicating her recovering from a fall. It was clear to both of us that to have a quality of lifestyle that would let her walk easily, she needed to lose at least fifty pounds. “But I tried all my life to lose weight and have never been successful,” she lamented. She was feeling very hopeless.

Alcoholism, particularly when there is a strong family history, is a tough addiction to beat. In my opinion, smoking is even harder to beat than heroin or alcoholism. Hollywood glamorized smoking. Until recently you could smoke almost anywhere and smoking became associated with everything—to start the day, while working, to take a break, to socialize, after a meal, with coffee, with alcohol, after sex, etc. For heavy smokers few activities or events did not include a cigarette. Only recently has smoking been limited in the workplace and public accommodations.

So I talked with her about how she has already singled-handedly, beaten two of the most difficult additions. You could see a physical shift. “I have never thought of it that way. No one has ever put it that way,” she said. Instantly she was empowered and feeling hopeful. We then talked about the nitty gritty of what weight loss strategies would work for her.

The formula is 1-2-3:
1. Think of two or three of your biggest accomplishments in life. Think how if you can do that you can do anything.
2. Think of why you must make this change (leverage). Post the reasons where you will see them everyday.
3. Plan the details of how you will achieve the goal.

What do you want to do that seems impossible (or just doesn't seem to happen)?
Whether the challenge is a small one like getting yourself to exercise today, or a big one like losing fifty pounds, accessing your strengths gets you in a can-do state of mind.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Michael Brickey, The Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and Oprah-featured author. His works include: Defy Aging, 52 Baby Steps to grow young, and Reverse Aging (anti-aging hypnosis CDs). Visit www.NotAging.com for a free report on anti-aging secrets and a free newsletter with practical anti-aging tips.


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