6 Incredible Mindset Hacks
If your like most people you’ve set a fitness goal in the past, signed up for that package, bought yourself some spanking new lycra and set out on your quest with gusto only to become derailed and deflated along the way or in the case of dieting and fat loss hit your goal only to put the weight back on and maybe even a little more to boot.
Why could this be? Well if in fact you were given accurate information and an effective method to reach your goal (Lordy there’s a lot of rubbish out there) then maybe your mindset wasn’t as on point as it could have been. Fear
1) Set a goal
‘As ye olde saying goes ‘A person without a target hits nothing’ So do you actually know what you want? Or are you, in fact, kicking around a vague idea? Most people new to the concept of goal setting will approach a trainer or coach and say something like ‘I want to be toned, ‘gain muscle’, ‘be fitter’ now these my friend are merely vague ideas and vague ideas bring vague outcomes.
If this is you then you’ve come to the right place a much better way to set a goal is to use the SMART method (more in-depth blog post on this bad boy to come) but the 30,000 ft view is:
S – Specific what precisely do you want? If it’s more toned what is the look you’re going for? What precise measurements? What dress or trouser size maybe you have a picture in a magazine, like waltzing into a hairdressers brandishing a photo and saying ‘make me look like Meg Ryan or Ryan Gosling (or anyone without Ryan in there name if you prefer) or if your goal is to be ‘Fitter’ what does that mean for you? To play with your kids for an hr without getting out of breath or run a marathon?
The next element is M – Measurable, in order to know what your doing is succeeding you need something you can measure. Lose weight is an easy one here we have the pounds shed to track, fitter might have you measure your heart rate after exercise or complete a number of a given exercise in a specified time and see how you improve.
The A in our little goal getting acronym stands for; Achievable this means can you hit the goal in the time frame you have in mind. If the last thing you ran was a bath and you want to do the London marathon in 2 weeks despite currently owning only a pair of flip flops then maybe this is unachievable for now if we set an unachievable goal then we are destined to fail and even more sneakily let ourselves off the hook to even try (yep I’m on to you).
The R stands for Relevant, looking at the bigger picture of ‘who’ you are and what you want to achieve in life (yep pretty deep) consider if this goal aligns with who you wish to become and that it doesn’t derail the rest of your life. Consider the fact that Is this even your goal or has someone
So, is this goal something YOU truly want?
Which brings us to T for Timed you MUST have a completion date, ‘A goal without a deadline is a dream’ and whilst I now sound like a Jedi Master it is true that dreams do on occasion come, however, well-formed goals are much more in our control and are hit way more often. Now you have your goal be sure to write it down and read it every day, after all, if you’ve got the time to watch surfing dogs on youtube you’ve can find the time to invest in creating the life you want right? Or wallow in pity comforted by a golden retriever in a wetsuit catching mad tubes.
2) BIG why(s)
‘When your WHY is big enough, you’ll find
A good exercise to go a little deeper on this is the ‘7 Why’s’ thinking of your goals ask yourself why you want it 7 times taking the previous answer each time. For instance “ I Want to lose weight because I want to be healthy – ‘Why do you want to be healthy?’ because I want to live longer’ – ‘Why do you want to live longer?’ ‘Because I want to see my kids grow up’ – ‘Why do you want to see your kids grow up’ – ‘So I can guide them to live there best life’ and so on.
Now you have 7 answers really let these sink in and feel the emotions attached (and yep even blokes have emotions) because when you really don’t want to do another burpee or it’s run day and it’s raining outside or it’s Lesley from accounts Birthday and there’s cake a plenty while you are in the corner munching on carrot sticks like a vengeful rabbit, ensuring your kids live there best life might just be more motivation than having a tiny tush in a bikini ( both are worthy goals though btw).
3) Pain / Pleasure (no not the plot line from 50 shades…sorry)
There are typically only 2 reasons human beings do anything – to avoid pain or to move towards pleasure. Think about your goal now and in 30 secs come up with as many benefits or pleasures of achieving your goal as you can.
Now do the same with pain, what are the consequences or downsides of not achieving your goal? what will you not be able to do if you don’t hit it? Both of these elements have there own source of motivation (carrot and stick style…hmm second mention of carrots in this post) A good exercise to go a little deeper here is a ‘stream of consciousness’ set a timer for 5 mins and write down all the ‘pleasures’ you can think of when you’ve hit your goal, then do the same for the pain.
Don’t let your pen stop. Don’t ‘edit’ yourself just let it flow like prosecco at a journey party night. Once complete read your list through, pull out some
4) Mental rehearsal – embody and visualise
‘All things are created twice. First in the mind – then in reality’.
High achieving Sports people and public speakers etc know the power of ‘mental rehearsal’ or visualisation. Having gone through the above you’ve probably got a clearer sense of how the end ‘product’ will be when you reach your goal. Now take a few moments to clear your mind (wow that was quick 😉 and in your ‘minds eye’ get a clear picture of how you will be when you hit your goal. If it’s ‘more toned’ how will you look? Now expand this to include what you will hear? What will you say to yourself? And maybe the most important of all how will you FEEL?
Really take some time to embody this. If it’s a weight loss goal why not walk around in your ‘new body’ now, ‘Catwalk’ yourself up and down. This really is a powerful tool and if you take only 3-5 mins to do this every day, the results can be remarkable and we’re all about remarkable right.
4) Who else will benefit?
Some of us have been brought up or picked up a belief that it is ‘bad’ to put ourselves first. Maybe this is something in our unconscious that has sabotaged us hitting our goals in the past and until now we may have been unaware of it. If this resonates with you take a few moments to write down all the other people who will benefit when you hit your goal and why, your partner, kids, friends, you could even scale this up and consider your community, country, society as a whole whatever feels it holds some ‘power’ for you. Even just completing this exercise once can help remove this block and turbo-charge our success.
5) Routines and Habits
Having a goal with an element of ‘measurability’ is a fantastic part of the jigsaw but not the full picture another key to success is to identify the ‘routines’ and ‘habits’ required to hit your goal, for instance if it’s weight loss going to the gym 3 times a week, taking your lunch to work, reading over your goals each morning could all be habits that when done consistently move you towards your goal. Take a few minutes to write down the 2 / 3 habits or routines that will make a massive difference.
When you have these make up a little ’Scorecard’ and keep track of how consistently you complete them. You can do this in a Journal or on your phone etc. Check with your scorecard each day and be sure to tick off your wins. At the end of the week make time for a ‘review’ session to see how your week went and if unsuccessful for any reason, then come up with a plan to overcome such obstacles next week.
6) Create a ‘Winning Team’
You become the sum total of the 5 people you hang around with the most’
Our ‘environment’ or what and who we have around us is another crucial element of success. It will be very difficult to hit your goals if you hang around negative or people who tell you ‘you’ll never do that’ all the time, (btw that says more about them than it does about you but yep that’s another blog post in the making)
Conversely, if you surround yourself with supportive and people who are on the same path as you, your chances of success increase exponentially
Have a think who’s on your team? Who do you need to get around more? who do you need to limit access to?
Another top tip here is to ‘identify or recruit’ people who can play different roles in your journey because I’m sure you’ll agree sometimes as we progress towards our goal sometimes we need a cuddle and sometimes a boot in the well-toned buttocks! all done with love though of course.
5 such people on a ‘winning team’ elegantly all beginning with the letter C (now it sounds like Sesame Street) can include
Coach: (who has the technical knowledge you need, who has had success in the thing you wish to accomplish before, who has overcome similar challenges to you? )
Cheerleader: (who bigs you up, cheers you on no matter what)
Challenger: (Who calls you out, sees your excuses and challenges you on it)
Confidant: (Who’s always there for you? Who can you have a good old ‘moan’ to, who listens offers support but keeps you on track?)
Comedian: (Who can you have a laugh and giggle with? overall moving towards and hitting your goals should be fun so be sure to have a laugh along the way)
Take a few moments to consider if you already have such people in your life? Who could play these roles for you? Why not reach out and make them part of your journey. If not who might you reach out to and see if they will help you going forwards and what might you offer them in return?
In conclusion; We simply cannot underestimate the role a strong supportive mindset plays in hitting our goals. Take a little time to get yours on point, in the time it takes you to complete about a workout, shower and hair straighten (yep the fellas as well) you could stop ‘wasting’ a whole heap of workouts and eating of Cauliflower based Pizza in the future as you relentlessly put in the work only to have your trickster mind pull you back into your old ways… Not on my watch.
Most of all have fun on your Journey team.