A lifestyle change requires a serious shift in mindset. I was reminded of this after visiting with my friend Victoria in Littleton, Co a few weeks ago. She’s a fitness and lifestyle coach, and a damn good one if I do say so myself (please give her a follow on Facebook to find out for yourself.) This post was inspired by a very short conversation we had in relation to fitness and mindset.
Anyone can be given a basic diet or training plan, follow it, and see results. ANYONE. Adhering to the program, and staying super consistent is what yields results. But, if you’re mind isn’t ready to use the tools you’re given (no matter what those tools may be), no real change will occur. This is one of the many reasons why most diet and exercise routines fail.
Many of us, are held back by our thoughts. Our thoughts (whether or not they stay private or not) can rule our world. Working your mental muscles is just as important as the squats and burpees you do at the gym, boot camp, crossfit, etc. With out the proper mindset, you’ll give up faster, resort to excuse after excuse, and throw in the towel before you reach your actual goal. Real change starts from within, and until you become happy with who you are (flaws and all), you’ll wind up chasing after happiness (going from one exercise and diet plan to the next.)
Reaching your fitness, or even life goals, requires one thing: A behavior change.
Changing your behavior is ALL mental. If you’re not in the right head space, it’s easier to come up with any and all excuses as to why you’re not reaching your goals rather than commiting to a routine.
For any real change to occur, it’s important to identify what your “pain” is. When I first moved to Austin (almost 9 years ago), I remember the pain that got me started (again). I was working out in my apartment gym, and trying to run 20 minutes on the treadmill (which for much of my life was a walk in the park.) The pain I felt (joints hurting, out of breath, disappointed that I let myself go) inspired me to change. From there, I hired a trainer, and committed to getting myself back in shape. Sure, it was a long bumpy road to finding what type of exercise I enjoyed, and what type of nutrition plan worked for me. But, I figured it out eventually.
After identifying your pain, it’s important to find something you ENJOY. If you hate running, please don’t run. If you would rather go to the dentist over spin class, don’t take spin. Find a program that you LOVE, and stay consistent with it. The same goes for diet……if it kills you to cut out sugar or bread, don’t. You have to remind yourself that a program that is sustainable in the long run, and a program that brings you happiness, is the program you should be doing.
Once you find your pain and a routine that brings you joy, it’s important to practice daily affirmations and positivity. Practice self-love, and be careful with the words you use when talking to yourself. Remember, no one is perfect, so let go of unrealistic expectations. Focus on moving forward each day, and do your best to turn any negative situations into positive ones! There is GOOD in all… you just have to look for it. 🙂 Sure, adulting sucks sometimes, but whining and complaining about it won’t get you very far.
Dig deep for what keeps you motivated and on track, get into a routine that works well with your family and work life, and continually practice healthy habits to keep yourself moving forward. If negative thoughts arise, journal about them or talk about them in a constructive way.
For motivation, post your goals on your bathroom mirror and share them with those closest to you. Try starting your morning with self-reflection, or listen to your favorite motivational speaker to get you going.
Implement your new healthy habits into your daily life! Make grocergy shopping and meal prep something your family can do together, invite your co-workers to a workout instead of happy hour, or take your exercise routine outside for a change of scenery.
Practice patience, remind yourself you’re a force to be reckoned with, and just do your best in every situation. From work, to family, to the gym….. DO. YOUR. BEST. When you’re mentally ready to make the commitment to real long-lasting change, you’ll know in your heart and gut.