Achieving your desired weight involves adopting new habits that will help you meet your goal. We often do things repeatedly, trying our best to create a new habit, only to see our efforts fall by the wayside. That’s because picking up a new habit takes more than mere repetition.

You must first decide which habit you wish to start. Is it a new plan to exercise every day? Perhaps it’s to walk a minimum of one mile several times a week. It’s important to start yourself on the path to fitness and health with reasonable goals. You wouldn’t expect to exercise for a week and then run a marathon, would you? Remember that these goals are lifestyle choices that you want to incorporate long term, not in one-shot attempts. You must build your endurance over time. Start small, and once the habit becomes part of your daily life, increase the intensity or length.

Once you’ve decided on the first habit you want to start, follow these steps to facilitate your quest to meet your weight and health goals.

Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Explore the motivations for this new habit. Is it to reduce your weight, get in shape, be healthier or all of the above? Picture yourself attaining the goal that this motivation brings to mind. Visualize yourself thinner, more energetic and more able to physically do what you dream. Make this visualization as detailed as possible, and allow yourself to feel what it’s like to attain it. This gets you emotionally involved with your motivation for this particular habit.

To enhance this visualization, write it down. This helps to solidify it in your mind and also imprints it onto your subconscious using a different sense. Ask yourself again why this new habit would be beneficial to you, making as extensive a list as possible. Unless you really want this for yourself, it’s likely that eventually you’ll stop before it truly becomes a habit.

Write down what would happen in your life if you did have your new habit already in place. Would you be walking five miles a day? Would you have reduced your weight substantially? How would your life be different? What would you be able to do that you’re currently unable to do?

Choose several steps you can take each day that will assist you in creating this new habit. Set your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier. Have a healthy lunch prepared the night before. Take the dog on your walk for companionship; the dog will benefit, too. Stock your fridge with healthy snacks. Plan your meals in advance.

Write down a date when you’ll start this new habit and how often you’ll do it. Be very specific. State exactly what you’ll do each week. Being specific implies a commitment to your goal.

Make a commitment to start. Think about what’s at stake and focus again on the list of how it will feel, and the benefits you’ll receive when you incorporate this habit into your life. Make the commitment to begin-and follow through!

Thank yourself for participating. It’s okay to be grateful to yourself, and this is a wonderful affirmation. Hearing the words “thank you” relaxes the muscles and deepens the resolve.

Notice without judgment-when you don’t follow through. Ask yourself why, but be careful not to beat yourself up over a lapse. You must be willing to ask some hard questions of yourself and change your thoughts when you disappoint yourself. The results you get are a product of your thinking.

Use affirmations. Record some and play them each morning while you exercise. This is a great way to start the day on a positive and upbeat note while encouraging yourself to commit to your new habit.

Journal your progress. Journaling is a way to keep track of how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished. The more specific you are with your journaling, the better reference tool this will become.

To be at your ideal weight, you must make the decision to do what’s necessary to move in the direction of your goal. To help you master the mind body connection for permanent weight loss, I invite you to get my free MindBodyFXLifestyle book preview and Consumer Awareness Guide at: