This week is really the best week to be talking about mindset. For those of you who follow my instagram, you will know that I was battling a bit of a cold this week. It was also one of the craziest weeks for weather where I live. We went from getting 25cm of snow of Monday, to freezing cold temperatures, to the temperature going from +12 to -12 in the span of a few hours. This level of discomfort can really take a toll on attitude, and mindset. Shitty weather paired with a cold and poor sleep is a recipe for laziness and over-indulging in order to achieve a basic level of comfort.
After spending 4 hours on public transit just to get to work, and then having a really brutal sleep, I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling like shit. My alarm went off at 5:30am so I could catch the bus to get out to the gym for my workout, and I instantly felt frustrated. Not exactly the emotion I would like to start my day with. I started to run through all of these reasons why I shouldn't go to the gym - it'll stress me out; I shouldn't be spending too much time on public transit while I am sick; I need more sleep to feel better. Within the same thought I was thinking of all of the reasons why I should go to the gym - exercising is a great way to improve overall health; if I don't start my day now, I won't want to get out of bed later; the time on the bus is good for me to prepare myself for the day. Instead of wrestling with myself over this for too long I decided to compromise.
I am very fortunate to work at a gym where I have the equipment to get in most of my workouts. So I decided that morning that for the rest of my workouts for the week, I would find time while I was at work to get my main lifts in (chin up, squat, deadlift) with a few accessory exercises. This way I wouldn't slow down the progression of my strength training and I got to feel like I did something. This also enabled me to sleep in, keep my stress levels low, and limit my time on public transit.
I have made the commitment to myself that I will do at least 1 thing good for my body every day. That mindset was crucial to keeping myself on track this week, despite everything that tried to slow me down. Pushing myself to get to the gym super early for my regular workouts when I was not in regular health is not good for my body, but not moving at all is also not good for my body.
Training your brain to see health as a bigger picture than simply working out and eating "perfectly" is something that I think everyone should strive for. So much of what we do is determined by our mindset, so when we embark on any journey to improve our wellbeing, mindset should be the starting point. It's a strong mindset that will help you get to the gym, even on the coldest of days. It's a strong mindset that will give you the willpower to not overindulge in sweets or other treats that do not align with your goals. It's a strong mindset that will help you make the every day decisions that will help keep all aspects of life in a healthy balance.
One of my favourite songs is Rejoice by Swedish DJ, Steve Angello. It puts a wicked beat to a speech given by T.D. Jakes that is all about changing your mindset. I listened to this song every morning for about a month because what he says in the speech/song is so important.
If anything is going to make you successful this year, it is going to be your attitude towards your goals. I have so many clients who come in and say "I know I can lose weight, but I'll never not be fat" or "I can't stop smoking" and I have literally said to them that those assumptions are probably true if that's their attitude about it.
Train your mind to believe that you can achieve your goals. Make it a part of your every day routine to cast away self-doubt, and see your goals as not just a dream or good idea, but as an attainable reality. It takes time, but that is also part of a mindset shift - understanding that patience will pay off. Rome wasn't built in a day.
Do something good for your body today and make a promise to yourself to improve your mindset every day. It doesn't have to be a major change - little changes build up over time - it just has to be something.
Riri's Discoveries blog documents Riri's most recent research, her travel adventures, and her personal fitness journey.