Five Mindset Hacks to Super-Charge Your Fitness
Aug 29, 2022
If you’re working on creating healthier habits or losing weight, get your mind in the game first. If your thoughts circle around all of the reasons you can’t make a change, then you won’t make a change. Instead of mastering new habits, you’ll sabotage your efforts ending up in a pool of frustration and self-doubt.
Here are 5 simple thoughts to turbo-charge your efforts and have you smashing your goals.
- Set short-term goals. Regardless of how you got to where you are today, believe that today is a new day and that you CAN make a change. One way I like to do this is to focus on the short-term. For example, “This meal or snack will be full of healthy items.” If you stay focused on THIS meal or snack, you can make a healthy choice right now and not worry about what’s happening next. As you string together each “now” choice, days and weeks can go by in which you’re making a healthy choice right now.
- Re-frame. As I mentioned in #1, believing in yourself is crucial. If you’ve tried to lose weight or get healthier before, believing in yourself is hard. Changing how you think about yourself and your success is challenging. Here’s how to change it. Re-frame your thoughts. When you hear that little voice inside your head saying, “I don’t know why you think this will work. You’ve failed every time you’ve tried this before,” take a breath. Recognize the thought (this running dialogue often plays all day long and we don’t even notice it). Change the thought to something positive. For example, “I’ve done this before AND I’ve learned a little bit each time. Past failures just mean I wasn’t ready and still had lessons to learn. I’m ready to do this. I AM doing this.” Then take an action on whatever “this” is.
- Super-fuel vs. Starvation. If you’re working on weight loss or nutrition, your brain naturally goes into panic mode because you’re probably focused on all of the foods you won’t be eating. Our brains and bodies don’t like starvation…it’s an evolutionary thing. Instead, focus on super-fueling your body. Healthy foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans) are naturally low in fat and calories while being packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber. Pack your day with these food items and you’ll never worry about starving. When making meals and snacks, ask yourself, “what else can I add to this that will make it even more nutritious?”
- All movement is good movement. If you’re super-busy and super-stressed, adding an hour at the gym to your day is unlikely to happen. Instead, look for ways to get movement into your day all day long. This can be as simple as standing up and sitting down at your desk for one minute at the top of every hour you’re at work. Walk in place while you’re reading a memo. Take the stairs. Find a way to move your body for 1–5 full minutes every hour you are awake and you can get in the equivalent of an hour at the gym.
- Celebrate EVERY win! Celebration is highly under-rated. Our brains are wired for pleasure. Celebration is pleasure. Did you drink an extra glass of water today? Give yourself a gold star (literally, get some sticker and put them on a calendar). Did you take the stairs instead of the elevator…do a happy dance! Chose a healthy meal or snack instead of your norm? High-five yourself. Each one of these celebrations helps us associate better health with positive emotions. We love feeling good. You’ll create an upward spiral of health and wellness when you give yourself credit for all of the steps you’re taking.
Have fun! Look at changing your body as an adventure. Remain curious and find friends to support you.