No matter what your goals are, how you go about achieving them is as much to do about your mental approach as it is what you do physically.
Research from the Chicago Consortium on School Reform (along with many other educational experts),has shown that three concepts influence whether students will complete their education, regardless of what challenges they will face:
1. The belief that hard work can and will lead to improvement
2. Confidence that you, and people like you, belong in school and that it is a place where you can thrive
3. The belief that what you are doing is valuable and relevant to your goals
Although this research was specific to education, these concepts can be addressed to any kind of goal you want to achieve, especially fitness goals. Some people might stall at the beginning their fitness journey because:
1. You don't consider yourself a 'natural athlete'. You find exercise hard and can't see yourself sticking with it for life
2. You don't enjoy the environment or activity. Maybe you find the gym an intimidating place or perhaps you just don't like it
3. You don't really value exercise and the fitness industry. Maybe you think it is shallow and purely based on aesthetics and weight loss
Does this sound like you ? If so here are 3 tips on how to overcome these challenges:
1. Everyone is designed to move. You may not have moved properly for a while so you may find this hard at first. A big part of overcoming this is developing a growth mindset. Maybe at the beginning of your journey you can only run for a few minutes before having to stop. Rather than being discouraged by this and believing that you're just not cut out for running, adopt the attitude that you're taking steps to improve yourself and every day you will continue to get fitter and stronger. Research has shown that mastering a new skill (and the mistakes that come with this) helps our brain to grow synaptic connections and increase our ability to master other new things. Skill based activities like cycling, climbing, dancing and even many fitness classes are great for mastery.
2. Moving your body and exercise isn't limited to a gym. If you can't get on with treadmills and weight machines then don't force yourself to! Consider exercise classes or even different activities such as climbing and watersports. Flexible fitness memberships like Move are a great option to add variety into your routine.
3.Moving your body is a natural thing and despite what you may see in a lot of gym adverts most people aren't doing it for the six packs or the perfect bum. They are doing it because is feels amazing and allows them to get the most from life, be that an great hike, cycle ride or awesome fitness class. Your mind and body repaid you with immediate rewards. So reframe your approach to exercise instead of setting yourself goals around appearance or weight loss, think about the amazing 'quick wins' exercise gives you - and how moving your body can instantly lift your mood and improve your self-confidence.