Foundations of Fitness: Why Mindset Matters

Mindset is the key to an amazing fitness journey. It can either make your journey or break your journey. It can mean the difference between an easy "last 5lb loss", or being sick and tired of being sick and tired of that last 5lbs. It's literally been the difference between a gold medal and missing qualifying for the finals in my event in track and field. 

This year, I wanted to have different sets of series for you to follow along while we are creating your "perfect for you" fitness journey. For this month, I wanted to give you some foundations, so I chose to divide the series into 5 parts:

  • Why Mindset Matters
  • Why Nutrition Matters
  • Why Warm-ups and Cool Downs Matter
  • Why Bodyweight Training Matters
  • Why Resistance Training Matters

But WHY does mindset matter? Well, not only am I totally all about getting your mind right so that you can get your meals and muscles right, I've hypothesized five reasons why I believe you get to have the right mindset to have attainable fitness goals.

  1. Positive mindset gives you drive and motivation. Have you ever tried to make a five course dinner for a special someone or a big family event, but you didn't even know where to begin in the kitchen? You needed to get your mind right in order to conquer such a feat. It's the same thing with fitness. You have to envision in your mind what you're going to look like because you are sticking to a consistent workout plan. 
  2. Positive mindset keeps you accountable. You can very easily slip into a no-go mindset as soon as the weather gets too cold or too hot. Or you get that one call from a friend that's supposed to only last 5 minutes, and turns into 2 hours. You set goals for a reason, you won't achieve them if you don't hold yourself accountable.
  3. Mindset focus helps you learn lessons. So you didn't hit your weight goal or your push up max for the week. What worked? What didn't work? What can you do next time that will allow you to hit those goals? Don't get down on yourself. Acknowledge yourself for what you DID accomplish, learn the lesson from those things you didn't, and keep it moving. 
  4. A focused mindset helps you learn a skill properly. Have no idea how to do a Bulgarian split squat? Do you KNOW what a Bulgarian split squat is? When you focus on your fitness program, you dedicate time for yourself to learn how to do what you are doing properly. So if you need to spend a few extra minutes to learn the exercise, do it, and you'll be saving yourself so much time in the future un-learning a poorly executed exercise that you find out you were never getting the full benefit from. 
  5. A positive mindset keeps you cognizant of your BIG WHY. Do you want to lose 20 lbs.? Do you want to be a size 4 or 6? Do you want to be able to walk 10 flights of stairs without losing your breath? Do you want to avoid being on heart medication? Whatever it is, your reason for starting a fitness journey has to be so big, that you can't help but stick to it. It gets to be something YOU created. It must be important to you first. You created your goals for a reason - your BIG WHY - be accountable to them by staying disciplined. PERIOD.

So, what are some things you can do to maintain a mindset fit for a bomb fitness journey? 

  1. Create a plan of action for your workout of the day (WOD). If you have no idea WHAT you're even going to do for your workout or how you're going to get it done, how can you possibly be ready for it? Even if you have a coach who is designing your workout, you get to know, at minimum, what areas of the body you're going to be focusing on for the day. Even if it's just "I have my workout tomorrow at 5am.", that is a plan of action you KNOW gets to happen. So get your mind right, and get ready!
  2. Hire a fitness coach. So you're not as savvy as you though when it came to creating your fitness program for your journey. Or maybe you thought if you really just got disciplined and made yourself get up each morning, you could knock out that workout. Sometimes, we need a little help from a coach who will be able design a plan for us, and then motivate and push us to perform at 100%. I know there are times I even get to rely on a coach because I may not push myself as hard when I am by myself. It's not about the money, either. Yes, a fitness coach is an investment. But what would you rather have, a slightly higher grocery and fitness coaching bill (yes, they go hand in hand), or a very high medical and pharmacy bill (because those can go hand in hand, too, IJS....). 
  3. Get an accountability buddy. Not just someone who will keep you company at your workout sessions, but someone who has similar goals as you in the fitness department. Maybe they are far away, and can only call or text and motivate you from afar. If they are someone who's opinion and character you love and respect, you will be motivated to keep your word. Heck, and if that doesn't work, create the most 'get hype' playlist that you can, and go for it! Who says an accountability buddy has to be someone tangible?

That's all for now, stay tuned for the next installation of Foundations of Fitness. We'll be talking about why nutrition matters. Because if you wanna look and feel good on the outside, you gotta start by looking and feeling good on the inside.

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