Fitness Tip of the Day:
Be kind to yourself.
There are various reasons why people choose to start a fitness program and making regular exercise a priority in their lives. These reasons may include:
- To look better
- To feel better
- To have more energy
- To get stronger
- To build self-confidence
- To live a longer life
- To improve quality of life
The end goal provides purpose and motivation for the long journey ahead … which can be a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. On the good days, we tend to have a positive mindset. We feel great … we feel good about what we’ve accomplished … we see the glass as “half full” and we are ready to tackle the next day. Unfortunately, it’s hard to maintain a positive outlook for most people (because it doesn’t come naturally). On the really hard days, when things just don’t seem to be going well, it’s a major struggle to get motivated and inspired to stay on track.
It’s All About Mindset
Mindset is a “set of assumptions, methods, or notations held by one or more people or groups of people that is so established that it creates a powerful incentive within these people or groups to continue to adopt or accept prior behaviors, choices, or tools.” (Wikipedia)
Mindset can be either positive or negative, and once you are in one it is hard to shift. And … with the media and news continually highlighting more negative than positive stores, it is much easier to fall into a negative mindset than maintaining a positive one. A negative mindset will create the following thoughts as it relates to our commitment to fitness and exercise:
- “I can’t do this. This is just too hard.”
- “I’m too tired and other things are more of a priority right now.”
- “I am not getting results fast enough.”
- “I’m not losing weight. I’m not doing this right.”
I’m confident you’ve had at least one of these thoughts in the last week alone (I certainly have). It’s natural for these thoughts to creep into your mind. These are thoughts that are reactive and happen without any thought or analysis.
One thing to keep in mind is that happiness is a conscious choice … just as fear and disappointment can be as well.
Reframing Your Thoughts
Being able to change these negative reactive thoughts does not come naturally. It’s a skill that takes time to master and needs to be done consciously. It takes the following steps:
- Know that you are having a negative thought
- Figure out where that negative thought is coming from (i.e., experience, action, the people around you)
- What is the reality (or truth)
- Reframe the thought into a positive truth
- Say it to yourself three (3) times
Below is an example.
Negative thought: I am not seeing results. All of this hard work is not paying off.
Reality (or truth): I have lost 22 pounds since the program began, reduced my waist by four inches, and improved my quality of life significantly (better sleep, improved energy and vitality).
Reframed thought: I feel like I’m not seeing results. I am having a hard time justifying continuing to work hard to get results that I do not see. In reality, I have already lost 22 pounds, decreased my waist size by 4 inches and my life has improved significantly since I began four months ago.
Final Thoughts …
We have very little control over our environment and the actions of other people around us … even though these factors greatly affect our mindset (negative or positive). We will inevitably have negative experiences because of the actions of other people around us. It would be foolish to assume we can “expect” these people to create a positive environment and experience for us each and every day. What we CAN do is make an effort to remain positive and truthful with ourselves and make the choice to by happy.
The power of a positive outlook is up to you … the choice is up to you.