Connect with us

Success Advice

5 Ways To Get Stronger, Faster And Motivated By Training Your Mind

Published

on

Staying healthy, fit and motivated to achieve goals is every bit as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one. The fortitude it takes to get up with your alarm clock, get yourself to the gym before work, and achieve your set goals can be considered a herculean effort – yet, every day, the same people get up and get it done.

There are those who don’t want to hit the gym before the sun rises, but every evening, after a long day of work, those same people find the energy left in them to push through those reps, run those hills and complete their workout routines. Where do you fall on that range?

Mental fitness can translate to how well you can rely on yourself, and self-efficacy lends strength to physical health. In other words, knowing you have the power of choice is closely tied to your commitment to overall life goals, as well as fitness. Working out your brain is a little more difficult than maxing out on your bench press.  

Here are five ways you can begin to develop your mental fitness and physical fitness at the same time:

1. Practice Goal-Setting

Define a goal. A goal could be getting faster at hill sprints, doing more pushups in sixty seconds or solving critical thinking problems more efficiently. Anything can be a goal, and all goals are personal and specific. Having a mission in mind is the first step.

The next step is setting your expectations and plotting out the steps you’ll take to achieve that goal. Even if it’s a physical challenge, the mental fitness comes with defining the benchmarks toward reaching the finish line and devising the metrics to compare your progress.

Here are some examples:

  • Writing a book.
  • Running a 5k in under 30 minutes.
  • Losing just two pounds of weight.

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar

2. Practice Goal-Achieving

This might seem like it doesn’t even need to be said, but achieving your goals doesn’t naturally follow setting them. Just like salespeople are trained to ask a few easy ‘softball’ questions to get you saying ‘Yes’ and thinking positively, you should train your brain to get used to success.

Start by setting a few goals that are easy to achieve and with their finish, begin to develop a history of positive reinforcement. This is the easiest way to get your mental and physical health on the same track.

Here are some examples:

  • Spend an hour a week creating an outline for your book.
  • Walk 20 minutes four times in one week.
  • Plan and prep for three healthy dinners in one week.

 

3. Remove Mental Crutches

Developing mental strength means setting aside the crutches that we use without realizing. A snooze button is a prime example. By setting an alarm that you can ‘snooze’, you don’t just disrupt and reset the circadian rhythm; you actively train the brain to be more tired.

Seven minutes of snoozing isn’t as restful as seven minutes of real sleep because of the point in the sleep cycle in which they occur. Besides the sleep cycle issues, you’re also allowing yourself to be lazy. Get up and face the day! Mel Robbins’ TEDx talk about “How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over” mentions this specifically.

Here are some examples:

  • When you notice negative self-talk, make yourself stop.
  • Resist the urge to tell yourself you’re ‘fine’ the way you are.
  • Don’t allow self-pity; instead think of the first step toward success.

 

4. Build Resilience

There will be tough deadlines, personal setbacks, struggles and stress in your life. Being able to not only handle them as they arise, but to also continue life in a positive way afterward is resilience.

Resilience isn’t facing difficult situations or decisions with apathy; rather it’s meeting those same problems without antipathy. Training for resilience consists of building supportive relationships, accepting change without anger, setting realistic goals, developing a positive view and being decisive.

Consider an unpleasant experience:

  • Who is a person to whom you could turn for advice or comfort?
  • What is something you can learn from this situation?
  • Identify a single positive step you can take to move past this experience.

 

“Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.” – Jamais Cascio

5. Develop Mental Dexterity

Careful planning of decision-making, reactions, attention and movements are all parts of mental dexterity. Active meditations like Yoga Nidra (a spoken guided meditation which is sometimes known as the ‘science of psychic sleep’) along with the practices of Tai Chi and Qigong are great for developing dexterity of the mind.

The brain relies on many factors to maintain physical balance, and cognition tends to be one of the last skills developed. Primarily, the inner ear, the body’s somatosensory system and vision contribute to how we move within the world around us. By working on mental dexterity early to become more in tune with our bodies, we condition our mental fitness and train our brain to maintain our balance longer – which is especially important later in life.

Here are some examples:

  • Find a tai chi or qigong center near you and try a class.
  • Download a recording of a Yoga Nidra meditation and listen to it before bed.
  • Practice being mindful of your moments with a simple five-minute exercise where you mentally or vocally say each movement before you perform it.

Taking the time to practice even one of the examples given every week, or possibly even one every day, will start to strengthen and increase your mental fitness.  

What’s one exercise that you could do right now? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Mike Wines is a strength and conditioning coach and content editor for muscle and strength. He received his Degree in Exercise Science and seeks to combine personal experience with practical application to provide programming and movement based solutions to match each individual's goals.

Success Advice

How to Organize Your Digital Space for the New Year

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Every new year brings with it a fresh start and a new set of resolutions. One new year’s resolution you can make that will help set you up for success is to maintain an organized workspace all year long. Much like you should keep your physical workspace clean and clutter free, you should also do the same for your digital work space. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

How to Live Like a Millionaire Without Being One

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

You don’t have to look far to find people who seem to be living the high life. In both social and traditional media, the affluent lifestyle appears to be more the rule than the exception. While not always truthful, it’s part of the posturing that takes place in our rabidly consumer-driven society. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

3 Ways to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Imagine you’re the head of a $250 million company. Sounds great, right? Except you’re challenged with your level of success. In fact, your anxiety is so overwhelming that you walk out of an exclusive CEO event to talk to your executive coach. Without that support, you wouldn’t be able to return to a room filled with other leaders — most of whom aren’t running businesses worth nearly as much as yours. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

4 Lessons I’ve Learned From Sending 3 Million Emails

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

As an entrepreneur, the heart of your business lies in your email marketing efforts. Sixty-four percent of small businesses use email marketing to reach their customers. Each year this percent will grow because email marketing can turn a fledgling business into the leader of the pack. What you do with those emails matters. Whether you’re a branding coach that helps newly service-based women or you’re like me – an expert content freelancer helping others learn to make a business online –at the end of your email marketing efforts, you’ll hopefully come away with lessons for improvement. I learned these lessons from sending three million emails. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending