When I work with an individual at the gym, I might get to see him or her for 3-4 hours in the week. Just to be clear, that is only 2% of the entire week (168 hours in the week). I can only do so much physical training with that time. The time you spend training is important and a needed component to getting results. But your mindset will ultimately create the connection that will guide you to achieving your biggest goals. Your mindset is your attitude. Your attitude dictates your entire life. How you want to live, the goals you want to achieve, and the people you want to inspire are all directed by your attitude and mindset. Many people come into the gym with a false perception of what it takes to get results. “Isn’t just about working out and eating right?” Those two components are definitely part of the equation. But, in my opinion, your mindset is your main weapon. You can use this weapon to catapult yourself into getting in the best shape of your life. You can use this weapon when you are battling obstacles in your life. You can use this weapon to hit personal bests. You can use this weapon to push you through the last 5 minutes of a workout. But just as this weapon can be your main asset, if you do not work to create mental strength and fitness, it can also be your toughest competitor.
Here are a few strategies to implement to make your mindset your weapon:
· Thought awareness. Just as I have someone fill out a food log so they can be aware of their food consumption, I have people journal throughout the day to create an awareness of what is going on inside the head. Ultimately, I want people to transform, not just their physical body, but their entire well-being. This takes conditioning. Physical conditioning, mental conditioning and consistent practice. Being aware of your thoughts is a big first step. There are many people that dislike coming to the gym and working out. They know they need to, but their mental mindset is pessimistic. This will only take a person so far. Once this person can redirect their thought process, and improve their mindset and create a sense of belief, I am telling you, many things become possible! Listen and be in tune with your thoughts. Write them down. Then change if needed. If the wrong thoughts are always coming into your head, ask yourself the question, what am I allowing into my head? Books, TV, music, people, the Internet, all affect your thinking. Choose wisely so you can strengthen your weapon.
· Surround yourself with the right people. Leadership expert and business coach Jim Rohn says, “You are just like the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Pretty simple here, if you aspire for specific goals, you should be spending time with people who have similar ambitions. You support them. They support you. You motivate them. They motivate you. It becomes a positive daily environment for you to work on your mental fitness. Let me tell you from personal experience that when you are surrounded by motivating and positive people, you are much more likely to produce this similar mindset.
· Nutrients. Nutrients provide your body, your brain and your entire system vital nourishment that is crucial for growth, health, well-being and personal development. Poor eating habits do not assist your mindset. You will not feel energized. You will not feel strong. You will not feel confident. When you are loading processed and fatty foods into your system, plain and simple, your daily mental and physical performance will suffer. Building this mental weapon and allowing it to do its job, you need to consistently consume nutrient dense foods. This will give you a cognitive advantage, physical performance and a strong sense of esteem. Some of my favorite “brain foods”: dark leafy greens, blueberries, broccoli, fish especially salmon, raw nuts especially walnuts and almonds, and healthy whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal. Also, make sure to drink at least 70 ounces of water each day. Hydration absolutely assists healthy brain function.
When going after your fitness and performance goals, remember, it’s not just about the physical conditioning. The mindset is your weapon and if conditioned properly, you can build this weapon to help you go after your biggest goals, get you the best shape of your life and ultimately guide you to live life to the ultimate fullest!