You started off 2021 with grand aspirations, right? You were determined to lose 20 pounds, have more energy, and fit into your “skinny” jeans again. But now that February has arrived where do you stand with those goals? If you’re like the majority of us, your fitness and diet plans have already waned or totally died down. Why is that?
It’s NOT that you lack motivation or aren’t able to do it. The problem is a) resolutions aren’t habits and b) you aren’t taking the time to create the correct mindset for fitness. How can you truly create a fitness habit if you haven’t changed how you think about fitness?
Shifting how you think has been shown to help people cope with addiction, depression, anxiety and more. So, why wouldn’t it help you reach your fitness goals?
To develop a fitness mindset, there’s something you should first understand – whatever your physical health may be today is a result of thousands of habitual actions performed over time. Think about what your eating and exercise habits currently are, then think about how long you’ve been doing them that way. It wasn’t overnight, was it? Just like how getting out of shape didn’t happen overnight, neither will getting in shape.
That makes the first rule of a fitness mindset understanding that getting your physical health back on track is a journey, not a quick and easy fix. That means that even though you might think it’s a linear process – “I will do A three times a week for 30 minutes for a result of B” – journeys aren’t linear. You may skip a day of exercise (or more!) or you may have that second piece of cake and THAT’S OKAY. It doesn’t mean you lack the willpower to commit, it’s just how the process goes. If you tell yourself that a setback is failure, you’re telling yourself a story of how you can’t do it which makes it more unlikely you’ll do it in the future. By understanding that the process of change and habits means setbacks will happen and accepting that, you change the story you tell yourself and, thus, your mindset.
So, be kind to yourself as you set your new fitness goals and change the story you’re telling yourself!
What other things do you need to do to change your mindset?
Psychologist Carol Dweck came up with the terms fixed and growth mindset and both are essentially what they sound like. A fixed mindset means you believe things are predetermined, while a growth mindset means you believe there is room to improve.
When it comes to fitness, a fixed mindset puts you in a place where you believe things won’t improve. You believe your abilities are unchangeable (“there’s no way I’ll ever be able to run a mile!”); you avoid failure or obstacles where you don’t know what the outcome will be; obstacles are a sign to quit (“I missed my workout today because my child got sick, clearly I will never have the time to workout!”); and success is equal to what you’re born with and nothing else. The thing is fitness ISN’T fixed – whatever your current fitness level, it can be changed. But first, you need to change your mindset into one of growth. When you have a growth mindset, you believe you can improve your skills over time (though not overnight), that challenges and failure are opportunities to learn, and where you’re starting from doesn’t matter.
How can you ditch the fixed mindset and settle into a growth mindset?
Changing your mindset can change your life and it’s easier than you think. Take small steps and watch them add up into something big and amazing, then celebrate each success. You’ve earned it. Remember:
You can fill a gallon-sized bucket to overflowing using only one teaspoon of water at a time. Will it take a while? Yes. But you can absolutely achieve it.
Achieving your health and wellness goals is closer than you think. And if you need a helping hand or a little guidance on your journey, I’m here for you. You can set up a FREE consult with me anytime and together we’ll set your goals then achieve each and every one.