The Power of Belief in Achieving Your Goals


This past week, I was talking to a fellow coach about goal-setting, and in particular, the role of the mind and power of belief. We agreed that no matter the circumstance, if one didn'tbelieve that she could achieve her goals, it could present a major hurdle. 

In my health coaching practice, not only do I want to work on helping my clients create healthier habits in the realm of the physical (nutrition for example), but also help them to undergo more positive mindset shifts.

Studies have shown that even small changes in mindset can lead to big changes - mentally, emotionally, and physically. Changing our minds can both instigate and influence the changes we want to make in our lives, including those in our body! 

Take the placebo effect for example: the miraculous changes and cures that occur when patients simply take a sugar pill.

Another study I love to site was conducted by mindset researcher Alia Crum, who reinforces the concept of "what you focus on you attract," or "the effect you expect is the effect you get." 

In his study, Crum recruited housekeepers from seven different hotels across the U.S. to show how beliefs affect health and weight. Why housekeepers? Because housekeeping is physical work, which burns over 300 calories/hour (making it comparable to weight lifting, aerobics and a fast-paced walk). Sitting at a desk on the other hand, burns about 100 calories/hour. Of all the housekeepers in the study, 2/3 believed they were not exercising regularly, and 1/3 said they got no exercise at all. Their physical appearance and test results reflected this belief: they were overweight with high blood pressure. 

The housekeepers were then split in to two groups: one group received a mindset intervention that informed them that what they were doing on a daily basis was physically strenuous and should be considered exercise. The second group (control) received a lecture about the importance of exercise, but were not told their work qualified as such. 

4 weeks later: the first group as a whole had lost weight and body fat, had lower blood pressure and even showed increased job satisfaction (no other changes made). The housekeepers in the control group showed none of these improvements. 

Pretty fascinating! So ask yourself: what do you believe? About yourself and your health?

Sara McGlothlinComment