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fitness goals health mind-body mindfulness

Train Your Mind To Train Your Body

Being healthy is not as difficult as you ‘Think’

Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash

“The mind always fails first, not the body. The secret is to make mind work for you, not against you.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger

The alarm just went off. Its 6:00 am. I shut off the alarm and crawl out of the bed. The bed and the blanket is calling me back and the weather is just perfect to snuggle inside. While I try to get back in the bed, I remind myself of why in first place I’d set an alarm- I’d scheduled a run this morning and what flashed along were my fitness goals. And there it was. My bigger calling. I immediately jumped into action and ready to hit the track.

Its not always been so. Few months ago, I would give in to staying in the bed and crap out my fitness schedule, only until i rattled my brain to dig deeper into why do i want to lose my sleep over going for a run/walk or yoga; why should my taste buds trade for something healthy over junk; why should i be part of a race that’s made fitness only about owning a toned and sculpted body.

The quest got me present to my WHY. It radically changed the way i thought of fitness, and the way i looked at myself in the mirror. I no longer had to drag myself out of the bed because now i was called into action by my Why.

Here is what has kept me on my toes every single day; on schedule and moving my way up towards my fitness goals.

1. KNOW YOUR WHY

In modern times, the importance of keeping fit and healthy have taken a center stage and rather taken a glamorous route. Fitness has become synonymous with physical appearance and we merely build our fitness goals around losing weight or shedding a few inches. The motivation doesn’t last too long and energy soon fizzles out. In all likelihood, you haven’t given it a deeper thought as to why that is your goal. It is just a trend we want to follow.

Then what is it that will keep pulling you in action every time? Here it goes — Know your why. This is the most crucial compelling factor to call you in action each and every moment.

Know your why means being intentional and mindful of what YOU really want from life and paying attention to make it happen.

“When the Why is clear, the How is easy”

You’ve got to dig deeper to Know your why. It starts with a deeper understanding of what your Life goal is. Get your answer to your Life-Goal by asking yourself:

What is the vision of your life? Who are the people that matter the most? What are the things that you want to spend your life doing? What does the vision demand of you from a physical health perspective?

Identifying your life goal is the beginning point to outline your Fitness goals. And, now if your fitness goal is to lose weight, you know exactly why. It’s not merely a fitness goal anymore because you’ve identified it from your Life’s vision. You are the creator of this goal; this goal completely belongs to YOU.

My life goal is to live an energetic and agile life, breathe life into every moment that I’m alive; not just now but forever. I want to see different cultures, travel places, meet millions of people, hang out with my children, go hiking — thereby making it really important to me to keep myself in top physical form. And so my fitness goals are to build strength and endurance in my body.

When designing your fitness goals, tag it to the following to make it a compelling one:

  1. Specific and measurable : Your fitness goal should be absolutely specific, measurable and pin pointed. It’ll keep your efforts focused. Measurable goals would help you to check your progress vis-a-vis your efforts. If your goal is to lose weight, be specific about how much, by when and how would you measure it.
  2. What are the stakes : Our experiences in life are a function of our well being. Identify what’s at stake for you if you do not make choices in alignment with your fitness goals; what are the areas of your life that are going to be impacted due to your non pursuit. The higher the stakes, the higher the probability of you being in continuum of healthy state.
  3. Who are the people impacted : It is important to know that your well-being matters to those around you — your children, colleagues, your partner, your friends. These are the people to whom you matter, to whom your health matters. YOU MATTER. Knowing the people who are under direct or indirect impact of your actions will keep you inspired to make responsible choices.

Knowing your why and setting your fitness goals in accordance is the big leap towards healthy living. Your every day choices of leading a healthy lifestyle now become easy and natural because now you are guided by a goal that you’ve chosen.

2. GOAL VISIBILITY

Our mind is a bedlam of thoughts, feelings, emotions and then there are daily chores. Its quite possible for our fitness goals to get lost in the muddle. Inexplicable as it may seem, our mind pays attention to what it’s been doing routinely, therefore making it pertinent to make these goals present to the mind and provide an organized structure to follow.

To give your mind an external stimuli to make fitness a priority, bring your goals into existence. Pen them down. Penning down the goals removes any obscurity, and you have your clean and clear fitness goals right in front of you that’ll have a lasting impact on brain. Further, follow this up with making your goals visible in places like the fridge door, bed side table, closet, office table or any place you spend most of your time.

A simple act of goal visibility provides a stimulus to your brain and boosts yours chances to take intentional actions. Its a way of signalling your brain to whats important, creating photographic memory channeling your mind to take conscious actions.

“Where the mind goes Energy flows” — Ernst Holmes

I’ve personally stuck my goals on my fridge door as i spend a lot of time in the kitchen. The image of my goals is now clearly seated in my brain making it seemingly easier for me to choose between effective and ineffective actions.

3. PLAN YOUR ACTIONS AND ACT YOUR PLAN

We have a goal. Now we need an Action Plan. From the fitness goals chalk out the possible actions you can take to crush your goals. And schedule them. To begin with, start scheduling your fitness routine for the next day (among other things you do) and then slowly span yourself out for the week. This may seem like a bludgeoning task at the beginning, but trust me, this will take away a lot of your daily mental work and peace you out.

Planning, scheduling and following the plan will take away the randomness of each day because now your mind can focus on taking action. Your mind doesn’t have to expend time and energy everyday to manage and juggle between different responsibilities because now you have a schedule to follow.

Giving yourself a schedule brings discipline to your regime, reduces your chances of missing the scheduled activities to either mood or lethargy. Being fit would no longer be what you strive to achieve, rather your being would exuberate fitness; it’ll be a part of your being.

4. JOIN OR BUILD A FITNESS COMMUNITY

Join or build a community that shares the same commitment and zeal towards accomplishment of fitness goals. It is only humanly to have a down time, become complacent or even quit working on your goals. It is then that your fitness community will show up and help you rise.

All you need is have right people around to keep you going in face of adversities, non achievement of goals, or an emotional low. Be a part of a community that pulls you up from your lowest of lows and holds you responsible and accountable for being in action.

Lastly and definitely not the least, Believe. Believe is the magical element. Believe in yourself, in your dreams, in the power of your actions and see them turn into reality.

“Believe you can and you’re half way there” -Theodore Roosevelt

Being fit is more than spending hours on the number rumbling machines or choosing between fad diets. Fitness is rewiring your mindset. Find your meaning, train your mind and act. Good health is only a reflection of mind over matter.

Thanks for reading. Go, kick your goals and live a life you’ve longed to live.


Train Your Mind To Train Your Body was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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