Whether you have committed to a 3-week fitness challenge with friends or you are training to compete, we all know having a strong mindset is just as important as being able to put up heavy weights. If you’ve ever started a program before, you know that the first week is always the easiest. Your muscles are fresh and ready to work, all of your meals are prepped and it’s easy to say no to those weekend social engagements that throw you off track.
But what happens during week 2, or even week 5, when your sore, tired and completely tired of eating out of your tupper ware 6 times a day? After spending some time figuring out where my clients were struggling, I realized that long-term success all comes down to our mindset and how we look at our wellness journey.
Here are the top 3 mindset traps that are killing your motivation AND how you can work to flip the switch in your brain to have a more successful week.
The first one, belief, seems simple enough, right? Just believe in yourself! But the world around us is shaped by the beliefs we hold onto about our lives. If we go into our program thinking that we are not capable, we are never going to be able to push through. Creating and reciting a mantra that supports a positive belief in our abilities, allows us to keep going on those mornings where our brains are trying to trick us into skipping our workout. (Saturday mornings, am I right?!) Here are some examples of mantras you can use this week.
Try these- “I am dedicated and motivated.”
“I have a strong and healthy body.”
“I do whatever it takes to succeed.”
Another mental trap that tends to knock us off track is personalization. This is when we start playing the blame game. Maybe our alarm clock doesn’t go off, we’re out of spinach and now we have an unexpected appointment in the middle of our day. Welcome to life! Things happen, schedules change but when we start getting into mindset loops such as, “This always happens to me” or “I can never do anything right” it can ruin the motivation for our entire day or even week. How do we combat this? Remember that life will continue to happen, the choice in the matter is how we react to it. Miss a meal? Miss a workout? Stop stressing and keep moving forward. One missed workout and or meal will not kill your progress, it will only remind you to be fluid when it comes to your planning and make you stronger because you are learning how to handle adversity.
The last way our mind becomes tangled is through universalism. This is when we apply one quality to a large scale idea. I tend to see this a lot when we talk about food. We can get into brain ruts that start by taking one bad experience and thinking it’s true across the board. When I have clients that have been unsuccessful with programs such as Whole 30, I notice that they tend to think universalisms such as, “Clean eating/meal planning/meal prepping doesn’t work for me” but by having this mindset, they immediately cut themselves off from future success. A good way to shift that can be to think, “Whole 30 didn’t work for me but maybe with enough dedication and research, I can find a system that does!” Just by doing that, we have empowered ourselves to take on the challenge and given ourselves a chance to see long-term success.
The first step to combating these traps are recognizing them. All of the above shifts will not only start to help you this week but will allow you to see success as a part of your lifestyle.
Several wellness coaches exist to help you recognize and disempower your limiting mindsets. You can check out this interest form to receive a custom wellness plan and see how a coach can help you succeed.