What Do I Want? Ask, Don’t Tell!


Do you ever tell yourself to do something like, “I am going to get up and exercise tomorrow morning!” and you really, really mean it and your intentions are so good, and boy!  oh boy! tomorrow is really going to be the start of a new life of exercise and then your alarm goes off and …you hit the snooze and go back to sleep?

And so the next night you say, “Tomorrow morning I am not going to be lazy!  I am going to do it.  I soooooooo mean it!  I am so getting up and exercising!” and tomorrow morning comes and your alarm goes off and …you hit the snooze and go back to sleep..AGAIN???

Ever wonder why that happens?

Do you remember the cartoon Charlie Brown where the teacher speaks in the classroom and all you hear is “Wah, Wah Wah”?

Or the FAR SIDE comics with the hilarious drawing of the dog and its owner saying, “Go get the ball SPOT, go on SPOT get it!” to the dog and all the dog hears is “blablahblahblah SPOT blahblahSPOTblah!!!

That’s kind of how your unconscious mind hears you when you tell it to do something that it is not used to doing.  It really doesn’t hear you because it is way too busy keeping things just the way they have been, exactly the same.


Employing a tool I call THINK OVERS is a way to activate your unconscious mind more effectively to make a change.

THINK OVERS are simply thinking through a challenging food or exercise situation in your imagination before you actually are in the situation—imagining the specifics of the outcome you want to create instead and asking your mind, “how do I create this new outcome I want instead of the old outcome that does not serve me?”

What this does is it  helps your conscious willpower mind and your unconscious habit mind to work together to create a new behavioral map ahead of time.  This is particularly helpful for situations where we find ourselves in Inner Rebel reaction mode—acting out unconsciously with behaviors that cause us to struggle with our weight–situations like parties or restaurants.  Even thinking though getting out of bed in the morning to exercise are great places to use THINK OVERS ahead of time.


Let’s look at the example:  “I am going to wake up tomorrow and exercise for an hour!”  When we say “I am going to exercise tomorrow!”  nothing at all happens in the unconscious neural pathways—nothing is engaged because what you are commanding is change and our unconscious resists change!

The Inner Rebel in your unconscious mind raises his or her head and says, “What?  I don’t think so!” and goes back to sleep.  There has been nothing to seduce the Inner Rebel to be on your team– to take the contrary action of hopping out of bed and getting physical instead of hitting the snooze button which is what usually happens.


Let’s look at using a THINK OVER in the same situation:

1.  As I head off to bed with the intention of waking up to exercise,  I start with a question—“How am I going to make exercise happen tomorrow morning?”

2.  Next, I visualize myself in bed in the morning—I imagine the alarm rings –and ask myself the question—“What am I going to do when the alarm rings?”  Answer:  “I will stop it and put my feet on the floor”.

3.  I visualize myself actually taking the actions that I want to occur. I put my feet on the floor, “What am I going to wear?”—I see myself getting my walking outfit on.

4.  Next I get more specific with myself, I want to know everything I expect to happen,“How long am I going to exercise for?”  Answer: “An hour”-What if my unconscious retorts, “An hour doesn’t feel doable” I can negotiate with my unconscious to make something that might not seem so overwhelming at first. Revised answer, “How about 45 minutes?” My unconscious agreement: “Okay, we can do that”

5.  Lastly, I market to myself how fabulous it is going to feel when my vision of exercise comes to life—I really want to focus on this as the feeling of excitement will really engage my unconscious to want to do this.”

6.  I visualize myself heading out of the house and listening to music and greeting the morning feeling good, vibrant and in tune with myself as I feet hit the pavement.

My THINK THROUGH is over and I am ready to go wake up tomorrow and really engage in some exercise.

THINK THROUGHS are very effective ways to  syndromes. Try one today. I mean, when are you going to try one today?

What will that look like when you try a think through today? You catch my drift.

So, next time you want to create a new behavior and haven’t been able to get compliance with yourself—ASK don’t TELL and engage a THINK THROUGH—you will feel the SHIFT right away.

Have a great month…I mean how will you have a great Shifted May?

Oxox Rita


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