There is only one thing that stands between getting fit and healthy and not getting fit and healthy: making up your mind.
After 15 years as a trainer and coach, I can assure you that I am not exaggerating the importance of your mindset. It’s the crucial foundation of every fitness-related accomplishment. Once you’ve decided—and I mean really decided—to make changes in your life, it will happen. The motivation comes from making that decision.
It’s a very personal choice to get healthier and fitter, and often coincides with some sort of an event. A significant birthday or milestone might kick-start the desire. Women’s magazines that publish successful weight-loss stories will often have a component to the stories where the women will see a photograph or video of themselves that shocks them into making changes. Parents might realize that they want to keep up with their young kids; conversely, parents might decide it’s time to do something for themselves after their children leave for college. Any reason and realization works, as long it comes from inside of you.
Once that comes, the energy and motivation follows to make those tough choices. Big changes in health and fitness habits require discipline and work. If you want to lose weight, you will need to change your dietary habits and increase your activity level. If you want to add muscle, you will need to commit to lifting weights regularly. If you want to get more flexible, you will need to stretch consistently. Change comes from leaving your comfort zone, and you’ve got to have a reason to push yourself outside of it.
When you are tired and don’t feel like exercising, that mindset is what will get you to the gym anyway. When you are starving and trying to decide what to order, remembering what you are working toward will allow you to make a healthier/lower-calorie choice. It will motivate you to decide to give up alcohol, sign up for that class where you don’t know anyone, invest in a trainer, gear up to take your run/walk in the pouring rain, and whatever else you have to do to see results. It is the only thing that will keep you dedicated to what you want to accomplish through the moments where you don’t feel like it (or do feel like it!) And once you start to see some positive changes, it becomes easier to stay on track.
If you can make up your mind, you can change your life.
Pritam Potts, owner of Advanced Athlete LLC, is a NSCA-certified trainer and strength coach with 12+ years of experience working with athletes and clients of all ages. Her specialty is in functional strength applications, developing core and overall strength and coordination specifically for the purpose of enhancing the body’s ability to function optimally and safely in athletic movement. Connect online at www.facebook.com/mrsathlete and www.twitter.com/mrsathlete.