Mentally Essential: Keys to a Successful Fitness Journey



Written by Tim Rigby

The crucial role of the mind in terms of behaviour and discipline cannot be understated.  When you embark on a fitness journey, especially a significant physical transformation, you’ll need to adopt a forward-thinking, focussed mindset that will yield the results you seek.  It’s important for you to realize that there are numerous misconceptions about a fitness journey which you should ignore and rebuff, so they don’t distract you from your ambition.  These include such myths as believing you’re going to have to starve yourself, that you’re never going to eat tasty foods again, that you’re going to have to work out with enormous intensity all the time, and that you’re going to have to make social sacrifices by avoiding friends and family when they get together.  Get these mental roadblocks out of your mind, and you’ll be on the most clear and straight path to success.  Here’s some key considerations:


>> Progress does not occur in a straight line.  If you desire to lose 20, 30 or 50 pounds, the fact of the matter is your weight loss cannot possibly occur at a consistent, fixed pace daily (or even weekly).  Your body is an incredible machine that makes phenomenal adjustments as it resets and improves.  Changing your body composition through a fitness journey usually requires the addition of muscle, which is significantly denser than fat.  Therefore, the scale is not the be-all-and-end-all measurement when it comes to your progress.  Mentally, it’s important for you to just keep training and eating clean; if you consistently do all the right things, the results will come eventually.


>> Accept short-term failure, but do not give up the ship.  There’s a school of thought that advocates “failing fast”.  This is when you embark on some kind of endeavour that requires a long length of time, and you almost immediately fail at one of your first short-term steps.  The idea here is for you to emotionally and mentally accept that failure is inevitable and part of the journey.  If you fail right at the beginning, you can acclimate to it and not allow ensuing failures to dampen your bigger picture.  So, it is with a weight loss journey, for instance.  If you aim to lose three pounds in the first week but only lose one, don’t worry about it – you’re still heading in the right direction.


>> Realize when you’re rationalizing.  How many people designate a certain day to begin their fitness quest like the first of the month, or the 15th of the month – or perhaps on a Sunday or Monday.  You know what happens; they often execute the plan for a few days and then give up, but instead of picking themselves up immediately and getting right back on that horse, they tell themselves they have to wait until the next first or 15th of the month, or the next Sunday or Monday.  This is nonsense – and it’s only one example of the feeble kind of illogical “rationalizing” which keeps people from making the most out of the current moment.  The time is now.  If you fall off track, re-start your journey immediately, whether on a 9th or 24th of the month, or a Thursday.  We have only the present; keep this constantly in your mind.

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