9 Principles of Psychology You Can Use to Help Realize Your Fitness Goal
You go into your fitness goal with a positive mind and a plan, thinking that this is enough to make it through the often grueling process of achieving these goals. A positive mind can quickly fade, especially as you are watching out for solid results. You need something more to help you realize your fitness goal. Fortunately, through the use of psychology principles you have the tools necessary to not only realize your fitness goal but to have a better shot at lasting results.
1. Prioritize Your Goals
You need to make fitness as part of your priority every day. It helps to have a schedule that you are going to stick to. In fact, exercise should be the first thing on your to-do list every morning. If you get your exercise out of the way first thing, you won’t have any excuses as to why you didn’t get around to your workout that day. If you find that you are struggling with getting up early to get your workout done, you can save yourself some time by getting all of the stuff you need to work out together before you go to bed. This way you can just grab your bag and go to the gym or easily get dressed in the morning for your at-home workout.
2. Create Clear and Specific Goals, but Attainable Ones
Just saying that you want to lose weight by a specific time is not a good goal because there is no planning involved with it. You need a clear and specific goal because this is your guide to achieving it. These goals need to be measurable, such as weighing in on a scale every day. It is more reasonable to set smaller goals that lead you up to a larger goal. For instance, say you want to lose a ½ pound every week. This is a small goal but one that you can measure and over a specific period of time you can hit your goals. These goals do need to be attainable. If you create a goal that is impossible to achieve, you are going to get frustrated and quit your fitness journey. Come up with a specific goal that is reasonable to accomplish in the specific set of time that you have in mind.
Weight yourself every day to get a good measurement of how well you are doing with your goals. When weighing yourself, remember that you should weigh yourself at the same time every day. If you weigh yourself first thing in the morning one day, then later on in the evening the next day, you aren’t going to get an accurate reading. People weigh more in the evening than they do at night, so if you want to weigh yourself at night you should do this every night. Otherwise, you may think that you are gaining instead of losing.
3. Be Optimistic and Positive
Always keep a positive attitude. Having a positive attitude will help you through even the most difficult times of your fitness journey. After a long week of working out and only eating the right things, you may find that you have only lost a little weight. You can focus on how you failed a goal, or you could look at the positive that you are making progress, even if the scale doesn’t show that. If you have stuck to your diet and exercise routine, you are creating good habits. These good habits will help you maintain success after you hit your goals.
Motivation is what guides you through everything in life. This is what gives you the drive that you need to accomplish whatever you want in life. If you are going to be successful in your fitness goals, you need to be motivated. Do you have an event coming up that you want to look your best for? Do you want to be healthier? These are some ways that you can motivate yourself to go through the motions, but these may not be enough to give you the motivation that you need. Instead, consider other ways to motivate you to work out. For instance, say you like to watch television while you are working out to distract you so that you can complete the workout. Maybe there is a show on Netflix that you want to binge-watch. Instead of binge-watching it, maybe you can motivate yourself by only watching the show when you work out. This can be just motivating enough to get you into the routine of exercise.
There are other ways you can make yourself motivated. Perhaps there is a pair of jeans that you love and want to wear again someday. Use this as motivation to achieve a goal. Find something that will motivate you to accomplish your goals.
5. Change the Way You Think
When you think of getting healthier as “just losing weight”, this can make your mind think of your fitness goals as a short-term thing. Fitness goals should be a long-term goal, one that you not only achieve but also maintain. Diet is a term that people use for a more short-term goal. If you are looking for results that are going to last so that you can live a healthier life, you need to change how you think of this journey. This should be about making permanent lifestyle changes that you can stick to. A highly restrictive diet may help you shed those pounds quickly, but it can be harder to maintain diets that are that restrictive.
Being healthy is all about self-control.You need to have self-control to make sure that you stick to your diet. Self-control is what can make sure that you stick to your workout routine. This means that it can be important for you to maximize your self-control. It is about overcoming your obstacles to get what you need done. As previously mentioned, when you make your workout the first thing that you do in the morning you won’t have any excuse not to do it later on in the day. Self-control can be very difficult, which is why you need to avoid as many of these obstacles as you can. You have to set yourself up for success by making it a lot easier for you to make the best choices.
If you don’t feel like you are making any progress, you are not going to accomplish your goals. A lot of people give up their fitness goals and their journey to becoming a healthier version of themselves because they aren’t seeing the results that they want. There are a few things that you should remember here. For one thing, even the smallest amount of progress is still progress. Even if you only lose a little weight or you can only lift something a little heavier, that you are still moving forward. It can be easy to just get discouraged especially during such a strenuous process but keep your head up. Look at the positive growth that you have made. What happens is you don’t make any progress, or you end up going backwards? Take this as a teachable moment that you can learn from, encouraging your growth in the future. At some point, you will eventually hit a plateau that may seem impossible to overcome but focusing on overcoming this to achieve growth will help you move forward.
8. Find Something That Works for You
You may keep hearing about how great CrossFit is for you, so you tried it. As it turns out, you hated every second of it. You may be able to suffer through it for a short time, hoping that you will learn to love it. Unfortunately, things do not always work out like that. You are setting yourself up for failure by doing exercise routines that you don’t enjoy. The trick will be to find something that you love to do. Not everyone is made for CrossFit. Maybe you can try something like a dance workout or an aerobics class. It may take a few different attempts to find something that you love, but you are more likely to stick to a routine if you enjoy it.
9. The Social Aspect
Everything seems better with a friend. There are so many reasons why you need to include other people on your journey to realize your fitness goals. One reason for this is because you have someone to keep you company when working out. You can have someone to race with when running on a treadmill or to just have someone to make you feel more comfortable in your yoga class. You don’t even need to talk to them to benefit from having them around. Just by planning to go to the gym with a friend will make it so that you are more likely to go, even when you may not really want to.There is also something to be said about letting other people know about your goals, keeping them updated as you work towards your goals. This can hold you accountable, which will make it so that you are more likely to achieve your goals.
Other Tips to Realize Your Fitness Goal
There are important things to know when you are starting on your journey. You always hear “no pain, no gain” and while there is some truth to this, you need to listen to your body. When people talk about working through the pain, it is really more about working through discomfort and not powering through actual pain. If you are in pain when doing something, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. Pain is your body’s way of saying that something isn’t right. Maybe when you are running, you are noticing pain in your feet and knees. This isn’t always a sign that you are out of shape. Sometimes this means that you need to buy a better pair of shoes or stretch better before running. If you can’t seem to find something that makes the pain go away when doing an activity, it’s a good idea to stop and find a lower impact exercise.
Stay away from fad diets and detoxes. Juice cleanses and other detoxes are so popular right now but these are not ideal options for maintaining your fitness goals. You want to maintain the hard work that you put in to realize your fitness goals. These are temporary solutions when you should be looking for long-term solutions. You may lose an impressive amount of weight with these options but you aren’t learning valuable lessons to stay healthier, like proper portion sizes or making better choices with your food. Once you stop these fads, the weight will quickly come back.
Lastly, play a psychology game with your body to eat better. Did you know that studies show that you are more likely to overeat if you are eating directly out of opaque containers? Since the brain is better able to process visual information, you won’t be able to see how much you are actually eating. There are visual clues that tell the brain when it is time to stop eating. Another way to trick your brain is by using smaller plates to trick your mind into thinking the portion size is bigger than it actually is.
Achieving fitness goals is all about a positive attitude and using psychology to your advantage. These principles can be a great start for you to as you start on this journey, or to help you overcome a plateau that you may have hit. It’s all about creating healthier habits, making a lifestyle change instead of just being on a diet. It won’t be an easy journey to realize your fitness goals, however it is one that will be worth it. Don’t fall for those “get thin quick” schemes because these will almost always backfire on you in the long run. Work hard, stay positive, and keep focused on achieving your fitness goals. If you really set your mind to it, you can accomplish it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]