Becoming efficient at achieving our fitness goals is directly linked to our mindset as it allows us to give maximum every day. If the mind gives in, muscles follow. The question is how can we stay on the right track all the time? We have discussed earlier “the self-discipline” which is a great start but understanding what it takes to become self-disciplined, is what gets real results.
Getting a grip on mindset leads to better cognitive skills possession of individual to stay naturally focused when facing challenges. The cognitive skills must be developed and constantly trained in order to be recalled in hardships as it impacts our day-to-day productivity which is extremely important for achieving our fitness goals. Therefore, I prepared some “must share techniques.”
The main point is to overcome that “couch potato mindset” by becoming more mentally tough. This could go by visualizing the final results of the commitment that brings that desired feeling of accomplishment. Imagine every day how it feels like to succeed at what you aim for.
The other way around is to get hard on yourself by talking more reason into your actions like “get up” or “do this now,” otherwise our goals are becoming more remote. I found these two extremely useful especially in the start phase as without that visualization of success and being hard on myself I would never make even simple tasks (not skipping gym and meals) into routine. I said simple, because the current cognitive skills are of different caliber. I am thinking more of how can I make the whole process more enjoyable.
I both hate and love it. The reason is, I am still struggling with it. I never allow issues to go to that point to overwhelm me but on the other hand, it is hard to think rational thanks to my life that affected me profoundly. I learnt my lesson in life and I do not take anything for granted but it is calming to accept the fact it could always be worst.
Though, it makes my life more bearable by accepting the fact which is obviously rational, I am healthy, got nice-caring people around and there is more likely a future ahead of me if I stay driven and resilient. So, we should be more thankful for what we got. I use it very often when things do not go the way I expected and I start thinking positive.
If rationalizing is not working for me, I turn my attention to something that always work like doing good deeds, spending more time with positive and inspiring people or watching something from the childhood that brings those feelings of no worries at all. The point is not to completely lose your focus but think instead of something more enjoyable or perhaps something that gives you more strength to carry on with the process.
I find mental training extremely helpful I talk a lot to myself especially somewhere quiet where I can focus better. If there are any arising challenges, I use the above techniques to either stay focused through self-talk or turn to rationalization to get a good feeling about life or turn my attention to something positive and inspiring.
There is one more thing to keep in mind. To be more focused we must improve our cognitive skills to handle difficult situations through constant training (day-to-day tasks execution). To stay progressive we must always set a goal with exact time-frame and analyse our performance and then learn from it. Our cognitive skills progress hand in hand with our fitness accomplishments.
If planning, short-term goals that lead to long-term goals are considered the best in staying consistent. There were many things that made me stronger and focused during the process like revolving my thoughts around self-discipline and mental training but what really helped is the fact that I knew, I am not what I was a week ago. Even if, it meant I consumed one biscuit less 😀 So, if you think you are failing, then keep on failing but less. This gives you a better feeling about you and inspires you to constantly keep failing less until you reach that moment “now or never” and you do it!
The best example would be, when I tailored my mental thinking to more effective training so I started researching a lot which in long-term allowed me to train 3h then 2h and now 1h a week and still be progressive. I believe the key is to always set a short-term goal that must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound (SMART goals). You can progress only by planning and reflecting on it.
Hans Eberspächer, 2012. Mentales training. Das Handbuch für Trainer und Sportler. Copress, Germany.
Daniel J. Siegel, 2012. Mindsight. Die neue Wissenschaft der persönlichen Transformation. GGP Media GmbH, Pößneck.
Martin Meadows (2015). Daily Self-Discipline: Everyday Habits and Exercises to Build Self-Discipline and Achieve Your Goals. Meadows Publishing, Schaumburg
Mindtools (2017). SMART goals. How to make your goals achievable. (online) available at: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm