Mindset matters most when it comes to making a change in your life. When you starting doing something new, the important question that will shape your thinking is “why.”
- Why do you exercise?
- Why do you go to the gym?
- Why do you do the things you do for your health and fitness?
Take a second to think about why you do all these things. Why is it that you go to the gym to train, lift some weights, maybe do some cardio and break a sweat.
Is it because of that piece of cake you ate last night?
Or is it because you just love the feeling of your body moving?
There is confusion as to why we actually exercise, or why we should exercise. If you take a peek into most gyms on any given day, you’ll see people punishing their bodies because they hate how they look or hate how they feel, or they feel they need to make up for what they ate the previous day(s).
The Negative Mindset
Mindset matters. The prevalence is that we, as a society, have a mindset that Exercise = Punishment. And it sets us up for negative results. It’s born out of the need to better ourselves and the only way to better ourselves is to deprive ourselves of things we love (food) and punish ourselves with exercise.
If you polled a bunch of people and asked why they started a healthier lifestyle or exercise program, what percentage would say its because they love movement or they love exercise. I’d be willing to bet most say they start because exercise is a necessary “evil” in the battle against the scale. Essentially starting something positive for negative reasons.
This cycle of self-punishment should be avoided at all costs. It will not set you up for success. The more you look at it like punishment, the more you put a negative connotation on it, the more and more you are going to hate exercise. When you hate something, you’re not going to do it, you’re not going to see the benefits from it, and in the end, you might as well not do it.
The Positive Mindset
Change the mindset to Exercise = Movement.
Make the switch from “I HAVE to work out,” to “I GET to work out or “I WANT to work out.” “Have” implies that you have zero choice in the matter, that it’s forced upon you. “Get” or “want” is associated with choice.
See that positive spin right there!
Don’t take for granted that you have the ability to move, as some people would kill to be able to move. Avoid looking at exercise as a means to burn calories, or lose weight. That is completely secondary to the real reason we exercise. Exercise because you love moving, because you love the feeling of being able to move your body through space, because you love that feeling of lifting something off the ground with no effort, because you love the feeling of being strong.
I want to leave this with a quote:
“Most people are focused on the result, I look at the results as a bonus. Sure I have specific goals that I’m working towards but I think the process of getting there is much more important than the end result. It’s the work that transcends, the work builds character and sharpens you. The work teaches you humility & aggression. The work strengthens you physically and mentally. The process is really what it is all about. The results…they will take care of themselves.”