The original article was titled '10 Mental Rules Fit Women Live By' and to respect the author I am telling you this but in my opinion these can be followed by both men and women and should be if you want to set yourself up for success when taking on any fitness challenge! These are all great mental rules to follow and so many of them I need to work on myself!! I plan to start my next prep off with just that intention: to set myself up for physical and mental success. To learn and grow in both areas!
1. Shut out the noise
Shut out the constant stream of negative thoughts that runs through your mind. That mental static is your biggest obstacle – learning to filter it by focusing on positive thinking is essential to your success.
2. Maximize inner motivation
To do this you need to be absolutely clear about why you want to get fit. Figure out what’s really important to you. Do you want to lower your blood pressure? Fit into a size two? Or do you just want to feel better? Motivation that lasts can’t come from an outside source—like your doctor or a loved one who wants you to slim down. It has to come from a personal, deep-rooted desire for change.
3. Cultivate grit
Grit is the resolve and passion required on a daily basis to pursue a long-term goal. To cultivate grit, you have to commit to consistency no matter what. A fit person wakes up every day knowing she will do whatever it takes to stay on track—whether that means getting up an hour earlier to make it to the gym before work or squeezing in a power walk at lunch. The secret is focusing on the thoughts that drive and inspire you. If it helps to remind yourself how good you’ll feel post workout, for example, do that. If it motivates you to daydream about your future toned tummy, do that. Concentrate on exactly what you want to achieve and make every day count.
4. Set specific goals and strategies
The more detailed your daily goals and plans, the better. An English study on women enrolled in a weight loss program asked half of their subjects to write down their strategies for managing temptation (for example, when sugar cravings strike, I will make a cup of tea). After two months, those women had lost twice as much weight as women in a control group, who did not write their strategies down.
5. Picture your success
Close your eyes and imagine your ideal body—both what it looks like from head to toe, and how it makes you feel. Then, go shopping – if you want that body, then buy clothes that would fit if you had it. And try them on every day until they fit!
6. Plan your meals, eliminate choices
Chocolate croissant or steel cut oats? Grilled salmon or a quesadilla? When you have to make these types of dietary decisions all day long, you may end up exhausting your willpower. Planning your meals in advance, however—even just one meal per day—can make it easier (and less stressful) to eat healthy.
7. Do not give yourself any outs
There are a few classics, like “If I don’t exercise at lunchtime, I’ll do it tonight” or “I’ll have ice cream today and get my diet back on track tomorrow.” Any sort of procrastination and deviation runs the risk of bumping you off course. Don’t give yourself an out, and stick to the path that leads to your goal.
8. It’s ok to give in sometimes
It’s inevitable that from time to time your healthy routine will get interrupted by forces outside your control, like when your partner proposes an impromptu date night right after you’ve bought salad ingredients. When that happens, try to go with the flow and enjoy yourself.
9. Believe it and become it
This rule is simple: If you believe you can be in amazing shape, then you’ll do things on a day-to-day basis to accomplish it. The problem is, many of us carry around defeating beliefs. When you recognize a negative thought (like, “I’m so uncoordinated”), ask yourself why you think that way. You may discover the criticism originally came from your parents, or your sibling, or a childhood buddy. Don’t give those outdated internal beliefs power. Just let them float away, like leaves that have fallen into a river (much easier to say and write it than done) You have control over your thoughts – they don’t have control over you.
10. Enjoy milestones, jump for joy
Celebrate milestones. If you don’t appreciate your successes along the way, you risk becoming emotionally numb, nonreactive.. But giving yourself regular (healthy!) rewards (like a massage, for example), provides a little “added oomph” to keep going and push yourself even harder in the long run.