Staying focused on fitness can be tough; distractions are everywhere. Some are fun; friends might invite you out for a round of drinks or the return of a favourite TV show might interfere with your exercise plans. Others cans be more damaging, self esteem issues can cloud your resolve and injuries can slow down your progress. Either way these distractions take our focus off the task at hand and if left unchecked can derail our fitness goals.
Along the fitness journey, comparing oneself to others and not having a solid fitness plan are only two of the numerous obstacles people face when they first begin exercising. A positive fitness mindset is the intangible X-factor that establishes a path to success and forces a person to push through discomfort regardless of circumstances. It will not only lead you to the destination more quickly but enable you to enjoy the journey along the way.
Here are three fail-proof methods to stay physically active and avoid getting discouraged when great results are right around the corner.
Do what you love
A motivational mindset is the key to consistency. Motivation will tell you to get out of bed for an early workout. Motivation will remind you why you started and why you should keep going. Motivation will tell you to do one more set, one more minute, and one more mile. In order to stay motivated, you’ve got to do something that inspires you. Don’t force yourself to jog every day if you hate jogging. Choose a few activities you genuinely enjoy that happen to challenge your muscles and make you sweat. Before you know it, your entire focus will become about how amazing you feel. Physical activity should be a great addition to a good nutritional lifestyle, not a burden.
Determination coupled with a solid action plan will get you almost anything in life. Just ask, Myriam ‘Mimi’ Capes, a Canadian professional bodybuilder who is currently ranked 3rd in the world by the IFBF. She can attest to understanding the true meaning of developing the right fitness mindset. When she performs at the Olympia, competing against the world’s best in the fitness division, she is a reflection of every decision she’s made up to that moment on stage. Like all successful athletes, Myriam isn’t a robot programmed to resist chocolate cheesecake, a glass of wine or an extra serving of ice cream, but even a triple chocolate cheesecake with strawberries on top doesn’t get in the way of her vision to win. "My desire to succeed is stronger than those temptations and this is the only way to reach my goal and make my dream come true," Myriam says. She continues to lend her advice to anyone feeling discouraged along the way. "First think about how you would feel giving up on this in a few years from now. Some days are harder than others, but it’s important to take a pause and look back to see how far you’ve come. Don’t forget that it's normal and human to take one step back sometimes but the most important thing is to keep moving forward!"
Have an action plan
A bulletproof mindset is earned and comes with knowing what you want and knowing how you will get there. Without a solid action plan, it’s easy to feel discouraged and give up prematurely if the results are few and far between. Setting strategic mini-goals, such as walking three to five kilometres per day, will build your confidence when you begin to see the fruits of your labour, and surrounding yourself with a good support system of like-minded people will help you along your journey to the top. The more results you see, the more you will want to continue, and so begins the iron-clad mindset that will forever change the way you approach your goals.