The mind game – it is a wonderfully complex, yet simple game we play (or not). We do better in anything we attempt when our mind is “in it.” When we are distracted, our performance on the task at hand suffers.
Even our satisfaction from completing the task (if we do) is diminished when our mental game is off. It is like something is missing. Deep down, we know we could have tried harder, focused more, and gotten better results!
Whether we actually accomplish more or not when we zoom in mentally on our task, it sure feels invigorating and motivating when we do. Almost effortless. Many people call this being in the “zone!”
Being In the Zone
While being in the “zone” can be elusive, we can train our skills to access this mental strength and clarity more often in order to achieve our goals. This is particularly valuable when we are training for our fitness and health. Our minds are a tremendous resource as we move ourselves through the inevitable ups and downs that we encounter as we work to lose weight, become stronger, and build healthier lifestyles.
Yet, I see so many people “waste” this resource and fail to train their minds while they are training their bodies. And I see fitness professionals struggle in helping clients with the mental aspects of working hard and making changes in their lives. As a result people fail to reach their goals or, worse, they give up!
Get your mind and your body in check. Call Pam (630-653-8152 or email email@example.com) to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation fitness consultation.
Excellence is Determined by Mental Factors
As a fitness professional, I strive to be more expert in this area so I was happy to be introduced to Terry Orlick’s work. Orlick is a sports psychology researcher whose work focuses on the mental factors of excellence.
His research led him to conclude, “human excellence in virtually all domains is guided by mental factors.” This is good news! It is good news because our fitness goals no longer need to fall victim to our beliefs about our metabolism, genes, work demands, family obligations, and otherwise busy lives. We can build mental skills that enable us to be experts in navigating these obstacles and in creating the opportunities for us to win at fitness!
I particularly like Orlick’s “Wheel of Excellence” as a simple tool that we can use to train our minds.
Developing the Mental Skills to Get Fit
Training your mind to be successful in your fitness and health starts with your belief that “I can do this” and your commitment that ” I will do it.” You are in charge of flipping these switches that ignite your motivation to take action.
Then take a look at the five mental elements that Orlick suggests are key to achieving excellence. Does one or two call to you? Is that knowing inner voice saying, “yes, that is it?” If so, select these and work on building this skill(s). It will take practice, but stick with it. You CAN train your mind to succeed!
Five Mental Elements to Achieve Excellence
- Full Focus – “Focusing is the single most important mental skill associated with performance excellence.” [Orlick, Wheel of Excellence]. Practice concentrating totally on what you are doing, experiencing, learning, and observing. Zoom in on your fitness priorities, the importance they carry in your life, and the actions that will lead to achieving your goals. Don’t let anything get in your way! Even the kids and your work!
- Positive Imagery – Visualize what fitness and health means to you and your life. Practice creating an internal picture of what fires you up and inspires you to be fit and healthy. Mental pictures are worth 1,000 words. Recall these images when things get tough. They will help you get over the hurdles.
- Mental Readiness – “Mental readiness refers to a positive state you carry into learning and performance situations.” [Orlick, Wheel of Excellence] Practice learning new things without judgment, being comfortable with small steps forward, showing patience with yourself and your body. Learn to look for the “good stuff” and practice making the most of everything that happens to you.
- Distraction Control – Train to notice distractions attempting to pull you off track. Don’t let them win. Someone once told me “you don’t have to fight every battle you are invited to!” Learn to say “later, not now, I have important work to do for me because I am important!” Take a deep breath and re-focus your mind on the goal. Or take a cue from my dog, physically “shake it off” and get on with it!
- Constructive Evaluation – Throw away the “perfection meter” and tell your “inner critic” to sit in the corner while you work on your fitness and health. Instead become your own champion – coach yourself to look at “mistakes” as pointers on where to improve and listen for the whispers of your deep desires, they will guide you to your wants and needs.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Let me know how it goes by adding a comment below. If you have questions, ask away! We are here to help you achieve your fitness and health goals!
Let’s all be… fit for the rest of our lives!
At Strand Fitness, we believe the fitness journey is about a strong, fit body and mind!
Call Pam (630-653-8152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation fitness consultation. Find out how we can make fitness work for you!
Strand Fitness is a personal training studio in Downtown Wheaton, serving Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Winfield, & Chicago Western Suburbs. To learn more about how Strand Fitness can help you reach your fitness goals, contact Pam (630 653 8152) and schedule your free fitness consultation.
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