For many, exercise and eating healthy is not the problem. But no matter how religiously you stick to your diet and exercise, experts say, you’ll never make a permanent change to a healthier lifestyle without the right attitude. In the past, the way I have explained it to clients is a bit dualistic in that we have separated the mind and body. Our body does not tell us who we are but our mind does.
So if we continue to tell ourselves that we are Netflix watchers, or that fast food is an acceptable form of energy, or that we enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages every night then that is what we are going to do on a regular basis. If we aren’t quite ready to admit that out loud, our actions speak louder than our words. But if we are able to switch our thinking and say to ourselves that we are healthy, fit individuals, then this can help us dedicate much more of our time to these endeavors. By making this small change in thinking we have already invested a good portion of our thought processes towards a healthier lifestyle.
Here is a short list of tips on how to improve and keep the right mindset.
1. Love the process, love the pain.
Remember exercise isn’t just about loving the results. There will be a time period when results take much longer and stricter dedication. This is where many people begin to get burnt out. They hate the actual process because they are doing it for the wrong reasons. They only want to see the results and miss out on the process of the journey. If you think this way, lifting and eating will become boring and painful. This is a chance to be present and aware of your true potential – be patient, feel your body’s power and be thankful for the time we have with it. When you truly begin to push yourself, there will be pain and discomfort. Don’t shy away from this. Embrace the pain and view the process as a chance to slow down, an escape from the usual endless to-do lists. MAKE IT YOUR OWN!
2. Set a trigger.
A trigger is simply something that happens right before you perform a habit. For example; For many, getting into the car is a trigger to start the habit of smoking while driving. Having a trigger for exercise, especially when you’re first starting, can be incredibly helpful.
3. Change it up, try something new.
A lot of people become bored when they try to only run or only swim or do only a certain set of lifts. It’s better for your body (and more fun) to do a mixture of things. Jog one day. Rock climb one day. Do yoga the next. Play soccer the next. Dance wildly for 30 minutes the day after that. You get the idea. Diversify your environment too. Go to the gym, the park, the woods. Take a run with no set route. Try a new class in the gym you never thought you’d do.
4. Doing something always beats doing nothing.
People often don’t feel up to working out for an hour one day, so they don’t do anything at all. 60 minutes is not the magical number for a successful workout. Do something anything. Jog for five minutes. Do twenty push-ups. Just something.
5. Start small and don’t rush into it.
Too many people try to start exercising and become overly ambitious. They go through a heavy lifting regimen the first day, but its so hard and they’re so sore afterwards that they don’t want to do it ever again. Instead of doing this, start small. However small you think it is, it is still a macro change if you haven’t been doing anything.