Having the right mindset is the MOST important key to achieving your dream body. If your head isn’t in the game, you’re not going to get very far. It’s not just at the beginning of your journey that you need to be in the right head space either; it’s your life time if you want to maintain it! The very first step to being mentally ready for this journey is to believe in yourself. As long as you want this bad enough, you WILL be successful!
‘The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100%’ – Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Your mind is where full potential is first unlocked and accessed. The following will help bring you into the ultimate frame of mind for reaching your goals and make the journey towards achieving them increasingly easier and enjoyable. Once you understand how your mind works you will be unstoppable!
The Decision to Change
Lots of people say they want to change. They want the body of their dreams, they want the career of their dreams, they want the relationship of their dreams, and they want the life of their dreams. But do they want it enough to actually make it happen? Most of the time, no. You are in a position right now where you have to decide how badly you want to transform your body and mind. If you want to turn your dreams into reality, you have to want it in your bones. You have to want it more than you want to be comfortable, because forcing this change will have you out of your comfort zone for a while. It won’t be easy. If it were easy everyone would be living the exact life they want. But, it can be done.
You cannot just ‘half’ want this; if that’s the case you will not last long enough to create habit and change. ‘Maybes’ must turn to ‘musts’. It can’t be ‘I might workout today’ because to be successful your thought process has to be ‘I must workout today’. ‘Musts’ create consistency with your healthy eating and training, and consistency creates change and results. So ask yourself, how bad do you really want this?
The All or Nothing Approach
Are you one of those people who go hard one way or the other? Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?
‘I am fed up feeling overweight; tomorrow I am starting my strict healthy diet!’ ‘I want a nice toned body; from now on I am going to workout everyday!’ Then within a week or so... ‘I had a bite of chocolate that wasn’t part of my strict healthy eating diet. I may as well eat the whole block of chocolate now’ – Giving up. ‘I missed my workout today, now I have stuffed up my routine. No point in going to the gym for the rest of the week’ – Giving up.
Guess what you’re doing each time you follow these thought processes? You are setting yourself up for failure. How many times have you said something similar to this and actually followed through? I’m guessing not too many times. This isn’t your fault though; you are just going about it the wrong way. Change the way you think right now.
Next time you’re in a situation where you want to change, make the decision to change but don’t be so harsh on yourself if something happens that interferes with your plans. Get back on track the second you can and don’t dwell on your mistake. As I said earlier, the key to success is consistency, so the better you can become at getting back on track as soon as you stuff up, the more consistent you will be and the less you will actually stuff up. It is a lifestyle change, so don’t expect to be perfect your entire life.
Goals are essential if you want results. Have you ever hopped in the car without a destination in mind and just drove aimlessly, only to end up back where you started or nowhere near where you would have wanted? Not having a goal is the same thing. If you don’t have anything you are specifically working towards who knows
where you will end up? If you have a precise goal, you can create a plan to make sure you get there and achieve it.
An effective goal has to be a SMART goal. This stands for:
Specific – Your goal is well defined and clear. Measurable – You are aware when it’s achieved. Use a unit of measure if possible. Achievable – You know you will be able to achieve it. Realistic – It is not something out of reach. Timely – Have a time limit, but a reasonable one. Enough time to complete the goal.
For example: ‘I will lose 5kgs’s by my sister’s wedding in 8 weeks time’.
Also, be careful with the wording you use. Don’t say you want to do something, say you will do something. You don’t want to turn it into an option; you need it to be a decision – something that WILL happen. Once you have your goal, write it down on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere you will see everyday like on your fridge or mirror for motivation and to help remind yourself why you started. Under your goal it can also help to write down all the reasons why you want to achieve it.
If you do this, dig deep for the reasons why you want to bring your goal to life. Is it because you feel uncomfortable in your own skin? Is it because you want the confidence back that you had five years ago? Is it because your health is at risk? Make sure you have a solid plan to reach your goal and commit yourself to it 100% (without the all or nothing attitude – you need to commit to the lifestyle change).
Make sure you have a great support system behind you before you begin your transformation journey. Tell the people who are close to you about your new goal and how important it is to you that you achieve it. Having your family/ friends/ roommates/ significant other on board with your plan to change can help immensely and give you someone to talk to if you are ever having a tough day with your healthy eating or finding it hard to find the energy for a workout. These people can always be there to encourage you to keep up your great work. Remember you can also message me if you need some extra support or have any questions.
The Gap between Being Inspired and Getting Results
The flow chart of success: Inspiration creates Motivation -> Motivation creates Willpower -> Willpower creates Habit -> Habit creates Consistency -> Consistency creates Results
Inspiration – What gives you inspiration is personal. Inspiration is the reason you start something because it inspired you. Was it a person that triggered your want to change, something you saw (a picture or quote), or was it something that happened to you that inspired you? Identify your inspiration and draw from it every time you’re having a hard day.
Motivation – There are two main types of motivation which are intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. You might respond to one form of motivation more than the other or you might respond well to both types of motivation, but once you know what motivation you respond well to you can incorporate it into your goal which will enhance your chances of succeeding. Intrinsic motivation comes from within. This means it is personally rewarding to you, so you might be doing it because you find it enjoyable, because you want to improve your health, or because you want to achieve something for yourself. Extrinsic motivation is brought on by external factors such as a reward or to impress somebody. Figure out what motivates you and use it to your advantage.
Willpower – Willpower is the ability to resist short term gratification in order to reach a long term goal. It is needed less and less as your actions become habits rather than ‘chores’. Studies show that willpower is like a muscle and is depleted the more you use it, this is why people often begin the day eating healthy, but by night time they are saying yes to chocolate cake. Sleep helps to reset your willpower for the next day, so avoid difficult situations at night where you can crave bad food by having a healthy meal for dinner and going to bed at a reasonable hour.
Also, like a muscle, willpower can be strengthened the more you exercise self control, so the more self discipline you develop over time, the stronger your willpower will be when future temptations arise. The more you can avoid temptations and plan ahead while you are creating habit, the less you will need to use your willpower. If your willpower happens to be depleted when you need it, motivation can help restore some willpower.
Habit – Behaviour change is one of the hardest things to conquer and its elevated difficulty is the reason why 8-9 people out of 10 fail to accomplish the goals they set for themselves. By applying the following points you can largely increase your chances of succeeding.
1. Pick one thing and do it well – If you change too much at once, your willpower will be constantly used to avoid the temptation of retreating back to old habits. In contrast, if you focus on changing one habit at a time such as going to the gym 3 times a week, all your focus is going into achieving this one thing making it much easier on yourself. Once the first habit feels like part of your lifestyle you can look at making your next behaviour change.
2. Start with a small habit – Starting a new behaviour is the most difficult part of creating a new habit; therefore make it feel easy and achievable. Want to do 20 push ups every morning as soon as you wake up? Start by doing just 2 every morning and slowly work your way up as it becomes easier.
3. Don’t seek a result, seek a ritual – The goal you have created isn’t going to give you a result straight away, so instead of focusing on the outcome, focus on the behaviour. A ritual is what turns behaviour into a habit. It’s something you do at the same time everyday so that it becomes natural and automatic. The fact it is happening everyday is what will get you the result you want but the result won’t come right away so learn to love the process and love your new ritual. Results will come in time.
4. Change your environment – Your environment must complement your new habit. For example, if your goal habit is to cut back on chocolate, don’t keep 5 blocks of chocolate in your kitchen. If you fail to change your environment there is a higher chance of you failing to achieve your new habit.
5. Small changes do add up – A habit created is the result of small behaviours acted out regularly over time which in turn actually creates a big result. So, start with something small and over time increase the intensity to create a lasting habit in your life.
Consistency – Most people don’t understand the magnitude of consistency, when it is in fact the most important key to a physical transformation. To put the word consistency into perspective I want you to pick one famous professional who is at the top in their field. Now, understand that this person you are thinking of was not always at the top of their field.
There was a point in time that this person was only ‘average’ at their profession. So what brought them from a mediocre level of skill to the level of excellence in their abilities that make them the professional they are today? The answer is consistency. This person practiced a ritual regularly that brought them to such a high level of skill that they are now known globally for it. Consistency brings results.