When we think of getting fit, we think of all of the things we need to change. Quitting soda, cooking more meals at home, or giving up carbs seem to be the most popular choices.
Being fit and living a healthy lifestyle requires being in a constant state of "fit." That means what we do to get fit needs to be done, every day.
If you're thinking, "I already knew this..." the reason I bring it up is that sustaining a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean eating better and moving more until you hit your goal and then you can stop.
In order to lose weight and keep it off, it will take discipline and willpower to create healthy habits. So, that means you have to make a mental change to make things stick.
You'll need to make a conscious decision to live a healthier life. Period.
So since losing weight requires some mental barriers to be broken, let's look at seven tips to help change your mentality on getting fit.
Get Fit Fast
#1 - Create Goals and Expect Delayed Gratification
One downside to starting your fitness journey is that if you don't have a history of being active, you will make goals and may eventually stop sticking to them because you don't see instant results.
Working out hurts, you won't see any of the positive aspects of fitness for a month or two after you started, and there are upfront expenses that you'll encounter.
From buying new shoes to active wear, things cost money... And many aren't willing to invest in themselves.
Before you read another article that tells you not to set big goals for yourself, know that whatever goal you have will take 10x the amount of action you think it will take to achieve it.
The improved mood, more energy, and other health benefits are awarded to you after you've put in the work... not during.
Taking this into account, the first six to eight weeks of building healthy habits will suck. It will be uncomfortable, and you're going to struggle. But everyone does.
Keeping a relentless focus on your goals helps you push past the pain and perceived restriction of your favorite foods. It will pay off, I promise.
#2 - Think "Training" Instead of "Exercising"
One thing people always gave me weird looks from is when I would tell people that I'm going to the gym to train.
The difference between exercise and training is that exercise is untethered from any project or goal. Training implicates a goal.
Running a 5k, losing 50 pounds, and deadlifting 500 pounds are all things you train for. They are specific results that take specific training.
Simply "exercising to lose weight" will not make you wake up before your alarm - training to deadlift that 500 pounds you've been wanting will.
#3 - Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People
Let's get real for a second. The majority of your friends want the best for you... but they don't.
They want to cheer you on for that promotion or new job offer, losing weight, or any other goal you have. What you don't realize are that these same people also don't want you to succeed.
Think about it, who really likes seeing your friends succeed? While you're stuck at the same job doing the same remedial tasks and barely paying bills, your friend just got a nice paying job and is living it up.
Envy keeps friends from actually wanting change. If you've ever told your friends a goal that would make them look stale, you probably got some reply like "remember last time you tried this?"
They don't really want you to win.
So instead, surround yourself with like-minded people. Joining forums or Facebook groups that have people working on the same goals will help give you the support and knowledge you need.
I'm not saying that your friends don't want you to succeed. I'm just saying they don't want to see you doing better than them.
So find a group of people that you can get the information and validation you need.
#4 - Change Your Habits
Simply put, you're in the condition you are in because of your habits. We are creatures of habits, and I can set my watch to you.
Removing as much friction from your new habits will allow you to develop them quicker and easier.
Things such as working out in the morning and laying your clothes out the night before make it effortless to wake up and go.
If you workout after work, any sort of resistance will make you drive home instead of work. You'll find an excuse not to go.
Any way that you can create physical activity as your default choice is helpful. Keep running shoes in your car, venture out to the park, or find a nice coffee shop that you like to visit for a post-workout treat.
Anything you can do to make your new habit easier to do should be done. Get creative.
#5 - Define Yourself as an Active Person
Imagine your perfect weather to be outside in.
You're almost drawn outside to go take a walk or run, right? It's easy to be active when things are pleasant... but what about when it's rainy, cold, or any other excuse you can use?
Being active is a constant process and needs to be adopted as fun. Remember when you were a kid and all you wanted to do was run and play outside?
Pull that inner kid out of you and embrace activity; otherwise, it's going to be hard to change.
#6 - Planning Is Key
Taking a needed rest day or going lighter than usual are things that newbies don't like to think about.
They don't forgive themselves for taking a day off or only running at half speed. They haven't understood how important rest days and recovery are.
Be deliberate with your rest days. Plan your workouts in advance and embrace the day you get to rest. Instead of thinking "I'm not going to the gym" shift your attention to eating more nutritious foods and getting to bed an hour or two early.
You'll wake up refreshed, ready to go, and you'll wonder why you thought you didn't need it.
#7 - Change Your Goals as You Change
Everyone is aging. The stuff we used to do as kids could wreck an ankle or snap some stuff up.
Calibrate your expectations to meet reality.
For example, a starting pitcher who has been pitching for years will start throwing with more finesse once he starts losing speed on his fastball.
A marathon runner who can no longer beat their time may switch up to triathlons.
Instead of losing motivation due to feelings of failure, know that fitness isn't a destination, it's a lifelong process.
Always have a goal and don't be afraid to modify it as life goes on.
Wrapping It Up
Your performance in life depends heavily on your mentality of accomplishing it.
If you dread waking up in the morning to workout, start loving it. Instead of finding every negative thing to nitpick about, embrace the challenge and conquer it.
You can't get healthier if you refuse to change your diet, and you definitely won't hit goals if you don't have a burning passion backed with adequate levels of action.