The Mental Game of Fitness is one of your main keys of success, if not the most important. You can subscribe to every health and fitness magazine; follow every health and fitness expert; watch every kind of ‘Dr. OZ’-type show to get you motivated; have all your workouts and eating plans written for you; and even hire a personal trainer; but the main difference between being successful in your fitness goals and not, is the six inches between your ears.
This idea comes from my own personal experience. When I was training for fitness competitions, I was given ‘My Training Plan’ that when followed, would yield me the results I was looking for. The years when I had a determined mindset (‘I will follow this to the letter;’ ‘No compromise – I’ll do everything I’m told’), a positive attitude (‘I can do this;’ ‘I got this’), were the years my results showed. When I had an attitude of compromise (‘No one will know’), excuses and a negative attitude, my results didn’t show. Those were the years I was frustrated, because I knew even as I was following a plan (at least 90 percent of the time), I still wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. It all came down to my attitude. Your body will show what your mental state is because, you are what you think!
Three key mental areas that set people apart are having 1) a Determined Focus; 2) a Non-Compromising Approach, and 3) a Positive Attitude.
Determined Focus: Your focus comes from knowing what your reason is for your goal. It has to be so important to you that your desire to achieve it outweighs the many times when you won’t feel like doing the work. It’s got to pull you so much that when obstacles come up, you figure out a way around them. It needs to be specific and emotional. Dropping 10 pounds may seem like a good goal, but be more specific. For example, knowing when those pounds are gone, it’ll be easier to keep up with a new grandson when babysitting, is a bigger emotional pull to help keep you focused. Your goal has to redirect your focus and priorities.
Non-Compromising Attitude: This attitude does not let excuses get in the way and follows a plan of action. I could list off dozens of excuses that people use for not doing what they know they need to do. You can always determine how important a goal is to someone by the size of the excuse that stops them. If a cold stops you from working out, then you’re reason isn’t important enough. You should also have an action plan to follow and action steps to help you reach goals. Think of action steps as (for example) getting 10,000 steps in per day; working out 30 minutes; five times a week; or logging your food daily and keeping it under 1800 calories. These steps will more than likely result in a weight loss goal, than simply focusing on wanting to lose weight, but not being consistent with your plan.
Positive Attitude: Lastly, your whole mental game is wrapped up in your positive attitude. It’s your key self-motivator. It’s your internal voice that speaks louder when you think, ‘I don’t feel like it,’ ‘I don’t want to,’ ‘I can’t,’ or ‘It is too hard.’ The fact is you can do anything you want, if you want it badly enough. Keep a mental tally on your thought process; surround yourself with positive quotes, pictures and people; and when the first negative thought comes in your head meet it head on with a ‘Yes, I can do this.’