After years of personal training, I have seen that the number one key factor in achieving your long term fitness and even life goals is Mental Toughness! Mental toughness may come natural to some but for others it is analysing your current mental state and motivation and cognitively changing the way you think and make decisions, when it comes to your fitness. That piece of chocolate or scoop of ice cream may look really tempting but what do you want more? It takes mental toughness to say no and walk away, thinking of the bigger picture, It takes mental toughness to squeeze that extra workout into your busy week. How do we enhance our mental toughness?
Stick with it!
Your fitness goals are not achieved without hard work and commitment. Changes don't happen over night. Getting into shape takes hard work, time and commitment. Many people's downfall is giving in too quickly when you don't see instant results. My clients who are in great shape have made that commitment to their fitness, healthy eating, mental toughness, patience and incorporating this into their life. Patience is the key. Never give up and always look forward.
Research has shown that those that tend to believe they have a superior ability soon give up when they are faced with a challenge that is above their ability. Those who have a growth mindset and focus on making small improvements and believe they will improve each time, even after failure tend to be the successful ones. Don't focus on what you can and can't do, focusing on growing each session, each meal choice and believing in yourself! I find many clients doubt themselves and by the end of the session they have completed 30 Burpees when they thought they couldn't do one. Believe and don't let fear get in the way.
There are goals that keep us focused and there are goals that lose motivational power over time. What will intrinsically motivate you and keep your mind focused? Research has suggested that we must focus on developmental goals instead of performance goals. Performance goals would be 'I want to run 15 kilometres in 60 mins.' A developmental goal would be 'I want to run 15 kilometres faster each month.' This focuses on gradual improvements and self development. You are more likely to stick to your long term goal when it is manageable and based on your hard work.
Factor in some pressure
To keep you focused on your training, book yourself in for a local event. There are so man local events going on in Perth from Tough Mudders to triathlons. I'm not saying book yourself in for a triathlon straight away but perhaps a 5k, 20k race with your friends. That pressure will help focus your motivation. It's not about focusing on winning. At first, its focusing on taking part and getting through the race. The following events focus may be to get a faster time. You are competing with yourself and your own self development, no one else's. We are all unique and have different mental and physical barriers to contend with.
These are just a few ways to help you in your journey to long term health. It is not just about how you physically look, your mental strength is just as important. This is just one way in which personal training can help you in achieving your long term goals. Seeing my female clients mental strength, grit and determination grow is one of the reasons I love personal training.