Your body, as Anthony Robbins has said, “Is the only place you have to live so take good care of it.” But do you? Most of us don’t.
In fact, the first thing to be cut from the to-do list is usually exercise. Maybe it’s because you “don’t have the time”, or “it takes too much effort” or maybe you “just don’t like to exercise”.
Whatever your internal ‘devil’ tells you, I’m sure you agree this needs to change. Our bodies were designed to move. When they remain stagnant, we build up stress chemicals and, in turn, start to feel spacey, irritable, fatigued and even depressed. Not a good way to live.
So, how do you break through these mental barriers? How do you use the power of your mind for good rather than self-sabotage? Here are three simple steps:
1. Have a clear vision and a ‘why’
The famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any ‘how’.” This quote is so relevant to approaching any challenge in life, whether it’s a workout or new career.
A huge part of health and fitness success is about having a clear vision for your health and body and of course clear reasons to undertake the mission in the first place. If you have a ‘why’ that has some emotion attached, you will be able to overcome any of the immediate ‘pain’ or ‘inconvenience’ you might initially attach to the process of working out.
Having a vision and a ‘why’ will spark the motivation you need to have an incredible workout every time you put on your runners.
2. Practice self-awareness around your thoughts and beliefs
The “father of management”, Peter Drucker once said, “what gets measured, gets improved” and the same goes for your mindset. If you are unaware of the negative thought patterns and behaviours that are holding you back from your desired level of fitness, it’s almost impossible to change.
Your mind will always find reasons why you “can’t achieve” something and put limitations on your life. Your job is to be aware of these limiting beliefs as they arise and see them for what they really are; fiction!
So, what limiting thoughts and beliefs are getting in your way? Perhaps you feel you look too fat in workout clothes? Maybe you think you are so out of shape, you will never be able to turn things around? Maybe you don’t like to sweat, or maybe you tell yourself you’ll be judged and mocked when you hit the gym?
Once you’ve identified the reasons behind your lack of working out, you can use your mind to reverse these negative, non-productive thoughts and, ultimately, get out of your own way.
3. Incorporate positive reinforcement into your life (reward loop)
Let’s face it. We’re all motivated by pleasure and rewards. So, rather than beating yourself up for not going to the gym, find ways to hack your internal reward-center and self-motivate.
A great way to do this is to shift your focus to the positives of working out. Think about how much better you will feel, how you will lose weight and how you will have more energy and stamina. If you focus on these positives rather than thinking of exercise as punishment, and thinking about how hard and painful it’s going to be, you’ll soon find it very hard to skip a workout.
Once you build these “pleasure motivators” into your routine and start getting into healthy habits, your results will improve exponentially. Your increased motivation will lead to more purposeful workouts and better results, which, in turn, will lead to even more motivation.
You’ll have a never-ending “reward loop” that keeps you spiraling towards better results!
So remember, think positive, practice self-awareness and create a powerful vision and why for your body and health and every workout will be an experience worth having. Once you master your mindset around training the rest will fall into place. You’ll source better information, workout with more purpose and, ultimately get better and more sustainable results.
Have you turned your thinking around? Share with us in the comments below.
Written by Andy Anderson, CEO of Ultimate You!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com