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The Power of The Mind

It is not coincidental that the first of the 5 Pillars of Health is the Mind (Mind, Nutrition, Cardio, Weights, Spirit). When the mind is right, the body follows. When the mind is off – because of poor nutrition, alcohol, unchecked stress, or myriad other variables that make our mind less than optimal – it is difficult to have total health including the physical realm. As I told my son when he was young, the mind is the most important muscle in the body.

I was recently asked how to push through moments of being ‘down’, either before or during a workout. In other words, generally speaking you know that being active regularly is good, you have a solid routine in place, but from time to time you lack motivation to get your workout in – or put in a strong effort. While at times it is truly our physical state – injury, sickness, etc. that prevents us from going our hardest, more times than not a simple shift in attitude can light the necessary fire to quickly shift gears. Here are some tips on how to put yourself in a positive mood to move your body forward:

  • Set meaningful, powerful goals. An important Why (the reason behind your goal to lose weight, etc.) will always beat out some temporary, in the moment, excuse.

  • Listen to music. Songs have a way of transforming our state of mind. By listening to motivational music – or mixing up what you currently listen to – you can put your mind into a positive, energized state.

  • Visualize a successful workout earlier that day (or the night before if you work out first thing in the morning). You can train your mind just like you train your body. Taking a few minutes to picture yourself powering through a workout can set the tone for the day.

  • Chew gum. I know this sounds silly – try it!

  • Workout with a friend or personal trainer. While most motivation does and should come from ‘within’, external accountability in the form of a workout buddy or PT can make the difference between having a so-so workout or a killer sessions.

  • Try a new gym or time of day. Environment can affect our moods, so try mixing it up in terms of when or where you work out.

  • Set meaningful, powerful goals. Yes, I am intentionally repeating this one. Establishing clear, written goals – and reviewing them regularly (including visualizing your future self having accomplished them) is the single most fundamentally powerful way to put your mind in a continuous – or refreshed if need be – state of mind for optimal performance.

Experiment with these simple tricks and see which one or combination serve as a catalyst for you to turn an otherwise poor – or even non – workout into one that moves your progress forward.

Stay Disciplined My Friends!

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