It's safe to say that our mentality affects everything we do in life, whether or not it's fitness related. It dictates our mood, motivation, how we interact with our friends and, of course, how we determine when it's time to take control of your wellness. Since we are so governed by our thoughts and experiences, when we are able to master these thoughts and control the way we react to environmental or extrinsic factors, we start to master our mindset.
Mindfulness provides clarity and an increase in focus that is essential for personal goal-setting and eventual success.
Before embarking on a new fitness program, take some time to think about whether you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset are characterized by innately avoiding challenges, the belief that talent is static, and give up easily when the going gets tough. People with growth mindset, on the other hand, realize that hard work breeds results, and recognize that setbacks and challenges are a part of learning and growth. In order to get the most out of any fitness program a growth mindset is paramount.
The thought of incorporating new habits can be overwhelming. The overwhelm becomes crippling until we end up taking no action at all. That inaction, in turn, adds to the frustration and starts a cycle of inaction, false starts, and mounting frustration.
HERE ARE 5 KEY WAYS TO DEVELOP MINDSET MASTERY
1 - WELCOME SILENT MOMENTS/MEDITATION/PRAYER INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE. Enjoy 10-15 minutes of guided meditation. Start your day with it. Sit in a quiet place, light candles, and give yourself this 10-15 minute gift.
2 – DO BREATHING COUNTS – 4-2-6 METHOD (PROMOTES RELAXATION)
Close your eyes. Inhale for 4 counts - hold breath for 2 counts - exhale for 6 counts. Repeat 10 times. Take your time through this method. Don’t rush. Connect with the exercise by focusing on the cleansing journey of your breath through your nostrils, lungs and body.
3 – WRITE DOWN YOUR HEALTH AND WELLNESS GOALS (BE SPECIFIC).
Don’t just think about the goal – write down the goal in a workbook, journal (or notes app on your phone) and include the reason for the goal.
What is your why? (Ex. My goal is to exercise 4 times per week, so I can_______________and ____________).
4 - VISUALIZATION.
As you become more comfortable with stillness, meditation, and breathing, add visualization to your routine. Visualization is simply creating a mental picture of your goals as a means of motivation. You are imagining the positive changes that will happen in your life as you work to achieve your goal. You are visualizing the steps you will take on this day to achieve these goals. You are visualizing success and achievement.
5 – WRITE DOWN YOUR GOAL-RELATED ACTION STEPS FOR THE DAY.
Not the week, month, year - just the day. Set your intentions. TIP: It is a best practice to set goals that are realistic for the time frame. Also, tasks/chores/errands are not goals. So don't add “pick up the dry cleaning” as a goal. These daily action steps should enhance your wellbeing, and can be repeated every day. For example, your goal can be to complete 20 minutes of cardio and drink 8 glasses of water, or prep your meal for the next couple days.
As you incorporate these habits into your day while mentally connecting to your biggest motivators, you will begin to appreciate the countless benefits of a healthful and active lifestyle. Begin by prioritizing your emotional well-being, and bask in appreciation of the connection between being mentally as well as physically strong.