When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, your mindset is the ultimate determinant of your success. As the famous saying goes, “whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.” At Envision Fitness, we know that where the mind goes, the body has no choice but to follow. Physical results only follow mental training, so when you get your mindset locked down, you’re well on your way to success. Curious about what you can do to stick with your program and get better results? Here are a few mental hacks to help you get your mind and body on track.
Goal Setting: The Mental Trick to Stay On Track
What’s the secret to achieving the body and superior health you’ve always wanted? Sorry to rain on your parade, but there’s no definitive secret—fitness relies on a variety of lifestyle factors. That said, perhaps the most important thing you can do to achieve success is this: set concrete goals for yourself.
Goal setting is a powerful tool in your fitness journey because it encourages the behavioral changes you know are necessary to reach your target. If your goal is to lose fat, get stronger, and tone up, you know you’ll need to change your behaviors around food and exercise to achieve that goal.
Where many people run into trouble, though, is in the type of goals they set. To successfully reach your target, it’s important to be practical. While we truly believe no goal is out of reach (eventually), we also know that setting lofty goals from the get-to can hinder your progress. It’s fantastic to have an ultimate, long-term goal, but in the meantime, setting realistic goals is key. So how can you do that? By setting SMART goals:
● Specific. Set a clear, well-defined goal rather than a general target.
● Measurable. Set precise, measurable amounts to track your success.
● Attainable. Be honest with yourself. Can you realistically accomplish your goal?
● Relevant. Set goals that align with the direction you want to move.
● Time-bound. Give yourself a concrete deadline for reaching your goal.
Progressive, short-term, attainable goals are far more manageable because they are within your realm of immediate accomplishment. When you set an attainable, short-term goal, and you successfully achieve that goal day after day, that gives you the confidence and gratification necessary to continue pushing forward. It builds momentum in your fitness journey and allows you to raise the bar in manageable increments.
Trade Your “All or Nothing” Attitude for a More Flexible Approach
When it comes to working out and improving your health, an “all or nothing” approach is bound to backfire, especially if you’re new to the game. No matter how diligent and consistent you are, something is bound to happen that will knock you off track—whether you stay there or hop back on the train is up to you.
Unfortunately, when it comes to working out, a super rigid mental attitude eventually ends in disappointment and feelings of inadequacy. Here’s a prime example that’s all too common with an all or nothing mental approach:
A client wants to exercise three times per week, so she joins group fitness classes and is finally making progress on her weight loss journey! Unfortunately, life gets in the way, and she accidentally shows up 10 minutes late to class. Worried she’ll be an unwelcome interruption, she decides to throw in the towel and retreat back home. Disappointed in herself for missing class, she spends the night curled up on the couch, self-soothing with her favorite new show.
Unfortunately, our client didn’t only give up on the class; she also gave up on her goal by failing to substitute another form of physical activity for the missed class. See how this mindset can sabotage your progress?
When you let go of the “all or nothing” approach and adopt a more flexible mindset around your daily exercise, you learn to substitute when necessary. In our client’s case, the goal of exercise was still possible. She could have gone for a walk, performed an at-home workout routine, or performed light cardio at the gym—but since she already “messed up,” she decided to throw in the towel for the day.
Life will happen, you will make mistakes, and you won’t always be thrilled with your progress (or yourself). That’s just the honest truth. But when you have a flexible mindset around your workouts, you don’t beat yourself up when you fall off track. Instead, you find ways to keep pushing forward toward your goals.
Dedication Vs. Motivation: Which is More Important?
Speaking of pushing forward toward your goals, dedication is key. If you’ve set a target, the only way you’ll reach it is through consistency and dedication; motivation is fleeting, but dedication is not.
Motivation is an emotional state, and like any emotional state, it will wax and wane. Motivation might propel you forward during the initial leg of your fitness journey, but when progress slows (and it always does), it’s very easy to feel discouraged. What keeps you going even when progress is slow? Dedication.
If you hope to reach your goal successfully, you must train your mind just as hard as you train your body. When you center your mindset around your commitment to your goal rather than your fleeting emotional state, you consistently perform the actions necessary to achieve that goal.
Mental Attention: The Catalyst for Results from Your Workouts
If you already have your mental attitude locked down, and you’re working out consistently, here’s a critical question: Are you training with intention?
When it comes to achieving your physique goals, the manner in which you train is just as important as the frequency of your workouts. Sure, you can go to the gym and haphazardly go through the motions, but how much progress will you see? For most people, the answer is not much. Why? Because you’re not tapping into the incredible power of your mind.
To really see results from your workouts, training with intention is key.
To train with intention, your mental focus must be zeroed in on the task at hand. Conscious, deliberate movement allows you to develop a strong mind-muscle connection that solidifies proper technique. You must know why you’re performing each movement, which muscles you’re targeting, and how your muscles respond to each repetition. Because you’re paying attention, you feel constant feedback from your body and can adjust your movements accordingly.
When you train with intention, you solidify your “why” behind each workout. You take ownership of your movements because you know exactly what you’re doing and what those actions are meant to achieve. When you train your mind to control your body, that’s when you’ll see the most profound results.
Envision Your Stronger, Healthier Future with Envision Fitness
At Envision Fitness, we’re dedicated to helping you change your life. Through one-on-one personal training, nutrition coaching, group fitness classes, and continual accountability, we give you all the support you need to become your healthiest you. If you live in or around the Hopkins, MN area and are ready to take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle, contact our team at 952-444-2791 today. Or, if you’re ready to get started, feel free to request your free consultation!