ShFit Talk #20 - Fitness Mindset & Motivation
We hear all this talk about mindset. Mindset, mindset mindset. But what is mindset, how does it affect you and your fitness journey and how can you develop/change your mindset? Mindset, is defined as the established set of attitudes held by someone. Basically it is your frame of mind. All your thoughts and beliefs balled up into one to shape the amazing you. It influences how you think, how you feel and what you do...or don’t do. Your mindset plays a huge role in all aspects of your life so it is important for us to care for it, water it, and help it develop and grow into what we want!
Unlike so many other things in our life, our mindset is not fixed. A fixed mindset is an unhappy mindset. It isn’t like your intelligence or skin colour, but instead your mindset is something that you can develop, change and grow. Like with school or learning a new skill, hard work, dedication and practice can change the way your brain thinks about things.
When you take that dedication into the gym or honestly into any area of your life, that positive mental attitude will help you “level up”. But it is not something that you decide to change and then *snap* it happens over night, although that would be pretty damn nice. It takes time.
You have to ask yourself stuff like:
“What do I want to achieve?”
“What are my goals?”
“How can I get the best out of this situation?”
Once you know what you want, you have to step out of the comfort zone box that is so safe that you have been living in and start to look at things differently. That means change, and change can be scary. Change can mean failure. Let's take the exercise as our example, because….well we are a fitness company and I assume we are all here for fitness relatedness stuff. LOL
First ask yourself WHY? Why do you want to start exercising? Then set goals for yourself. You have to set real achievable goals. Not like “I want to lose 30 lbs in a month goal”, but realistic, measurable ones. Like lose maybe “I wanna lose 4-6 lbs in a month”.
Then get inspired. It always helps to surround yourself with inspiration and motivation. Be it following people on social media, listening to fitness podcasts, reading fitness magazines, writing motivation messages on your mirror, finding a workout buddy, whatever it is that you need to help inspire you. Personally, I like to chat with my friends about what our workout plans for the day are, or what we are currently working on fitness wise. Hearing what they are doing helps inspire me to get up off the couch, turn off whatever addictive trash I am watching on TV and go get my lift on! When it comes to BJJ, I follow SO many different BJJ accounts on social media. I LOVE to look at different techniques and moves. Admiring those black belts so smooth and fancy, PLUS seeing my friends get promoted just makes me so happy. I on the other hand try to avoid all promotion ceremonies, lol I don’t think I have actually attended one in….oooh over 18 months (my goal is to stay a purple belt forever, I love purple and don’t want to have to wear a different colour belt….simple as that lol). But I love seeing them post pictures with their latest strip or new belt!
Anywho I got distracted there talking about my passion and speaking of passion…..
Then find something you actually enjoy doing. If you hate running, don’t pick running as your exercise! There are literally so so so so so many different sports and activities out there when it comes to fitness, find something that you can get passionate about! If it is freaking cheese rolling, or wife carrying or underwater hockey, who gives a monkey's butt as long as you are getting active and doing it! *side note* if you have never seen wife-carrying you are seriously missing out, it sounds freaking insanely awesome.….stop what you are doing and go google it right now. Don’t worry I will wait. I literally spent like 10 minutes just looking at all the different carrying styles and the wicked cool obstacles! WILD
Then comes the hardest part, because nothing worth it is ever easy. The hardest part is to commit. Commit to yourself, commit to something, be it to a number of days or hours or whatever and hold yourself accountable, because at the end of the day, no one can do it for you, although that would be nice.
It does take a while to just develop the habit, just like it takes time to break a habit like smoking or biting your nails. Maybe you don’t know how to even start. Not like you can just walk into the gym on day ONE and deadlift 250 lbs like a boss...not yet at least. PLUS walking into a freaking packed gym at 6:30 on a Monday can be sooooo freakin' overwhelming. I am a personal trainer for crying out loud and I still get overwhelmed sometimes. Sometimes you are worried that everyone is just watching you, judging you and then texting their friend as they take video of you falling off a BOSU ball and sending it to their friends. But you know what, they aren’t. They are there to get their workout on. And if they are judging you, well poopoo to them that is just rude AF and you are awesome and don’t let them mess with your goals!
It’s OK to be nervous and overwhelmed, we all have to start somewhere, and that is often when a Personal Trainer can really help you get started. It is so easy to go and get a gym membership, but we see it all the time, people turn around and then never go back to the gym, but when you also commit to doing, for example, 3 months with a Personal Trainer, now you have someone who is going to hold you accountable, follow up with you and make sure you are getting it done while providing you with regular assessments so you can actually SEE your progress! Plus you can learn how to deadlift that 250 lbs like the boss you are!
Now, no one is perfect, I sure as hell not! I am so far from perfect it is a little scary. And we all mess up, right, life happens, things happen and sometimes we get discouraged and fall off the fitness wagon so to speak. But that is OK! Changing your mindset takes time. It is OK and sometimes even helpful to start slow! Build up. Maybe start with post dinner walks, that turn into post dinner jogs, that turn into signing up for your first 5K. Next thing you know you will be entering the wife-carry race with your significant other!!
And when you meet those little moments of Leveling Up, CELEBRATE THEM!!! Make someone give you a freaking Hi-Five. Hell email me your latest accomplishment, I will be happy and excited with you because leveling up is awesome and you should be proud of yourself!
We all know the saying, If at first you don’t succeed, Try Try Again! And as in so many other parts of your life, it is also true in fitness. Sometimes you have those terrible days at work where you just end up messing up your dinner with some not so good choices. Or you get to the gym and you just aren’t feeling it and you just half ass your workout. I have been there. Hell, If you ever look at my insta at least every week or so I am like, “Welp got that workout done even though I felt like it was torture and I just wasn’t feeling it.” If you thought one type of fitness was something you could get passionate about and it turns out you absolutely hate it, that is OK, change it up, It’s OK to have off days, It’s OK, because no one is perfect!
As with anything good in life, it takes time. You start off as an adorable baby and you grow into a kickass person! So don’t expect to be able to change your mindset with the flip of a switch, don’t expect to be perfect over night (or every - I mean it is perfection) and expect to fail because from failure we learn and when we learn we grow and growing is awesome sauce!