When you first set out on your fitness journey, for some it can feel like an exciting new challenge, for others, a daunting mountain looming ahead! No matter your outlook, above everything it’s your attitude and mindset that will play a vital role in helping you maintain and achieve your health and fitness goals.
Imagine always having a positive mindset and believing you can do anything – that’s like having a superpower when it comes to the fitness world! So many times I have seen people start their fitness journey with a hiss and a roar, only to give up a few months later. I don’t want that for you. Let me show you how you can better achieve your fitness goals by first having the right attitude mindset.
The Power of Attitude in Fitness
When it comes to achieving fitness goals, a positive attitude emerges as a powerful force that significantly influences both motivation and consistency. A positive attitude and mindset act as an internal driving factor, spurring you to stay committed to your exercise routine even when faced with difficulties.
It also enables you to better focus on the rewards and benefits of your fitness journey, allowing you to envision the positive outcomes that await!
Furthermore, setbacks, like missed workouts or temporary plateaus, can sometimes be very demotivating. However, those with a positive attitude and mindset view these challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
Trust me, I know! If you don’t know my journey, I hit burnout in my early thirties and for over a year, battled fatigue and mental exhaustion. Attitude and mindset were a massive part of my healing and ability to get my life back on track.
It started slowly with simple achievements like making my bed in the morning and getting dressed! Then it moved onto fitness goals like going for a 15-minute walk, then a 20-minute Lindywell Pilates session.
Every achievement, no matter how small, told my brain, “See you can do it!” which slowly helped me develop a strong, positive mindset where I believed I really could do it!
Developing a Healthy Fitness Mindset:
In the realm of exercise and health, a fixed attitude mindset can lead to self-limiting beliefs.
Someone with a fixed mindset might believe that they are inherently “not athletic” or “not cut out” for physical activity, which could discourage them from even trying. On the other hand, a growth mindset views challenges and setbacks as an opportunity for growth.
7 Tips for Developing a Positive Attitude and Mindset in Fitness
1. Set Realistic Goals
Having realistic goals is important when it comes to fitness. To develop a consistent attitude and mindset of setting small and achievable goals instead of trying to do too much all at once.
Consistently exercising 15-20 minutes every day or 4 times a week, is much better in the long run than doing the off workout here and there and not having that consistency.
So, instead of trying to do too much too quickly and becoming discouraged, try setting smaller, more achievable goals that will keep you on track for the long term.
2. Focus on Progress, Not Perfection
I believe it’s important to celebrate every step you take in your fitness journey – whether it’s a push-up every morning or doing yoga 3 times a week, it’s a win! Don’t worry about being perfect, just focus on showing up each day and taking one day at a time.
Trying to be perfect all the time can make you tired and frustrated. Remember, progress is more important than perfection, and this will be achieved through a positive attitude mindset.
When you notice the little improvements you make, you’ll notice how exercise makes you happier! So, don’t stress about being perfect – enjoy the journey and celebrate the small wins because as Lao Tzu famously said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
3. Practice Self-Compassion: Grace Over Guilt
Robin Long from Lindywell Pilates embraces the philosophy of “Grace Over Guilt” which I love and can attest to in my fitness journey.
Robin encourages us not to beat ourselves up if we miss a workout. Instead, we’re to foster a positive attitude and question the paradox of striving for body perfection and wrestling with self-doubt.
Self-compassion involves treating ourselves with the same kindness as we would a friend, and nurturing a positive attitude towards mind and body. It’s about countering negative self-talk with understanding and replacing self-criticism with self-kindness.
This practice can dramatically reshape your attitude and mindset!
4. Embrace Variety and Enjoyment
Embracing variety in your fitness routine can have a positive impact on your mind. When you try new activities, the enjoyment you experience during these diverse workouts can create a sense of fulfilment.
Remember, fitness isn’t just about achieving goals; it’s also about finding joy in the process and maintaining a healthy attitude and mindset that’s good for your overall well-being.
For example, if you enjoy yoga, trying different types of yoga from time to time will challenge your body and mind in different ways. Kundalini is known for its spirituality, Bikram for its intensity and Ashtanga for strength and flexibility.
5. Learn From Setbacks
Embracing setbacks as stepping stones to success is a crucial part of any fitness journey. Instead of viewing setbacks as failures, see them as valuable lessons you can learn from that can propel you forward!
Starting slowly doesn’t mean you’ll stay out of shape forever; it’s a healthy beginning. Incorporating light activities like walking, gradually adding weights for strength, and stretching before heavy lifting or running, are all valuable steps towards building overall fitness and strength.
Alongside exercise, a balanced diet is vital for nurturing a positive attitude and mindset. I’m sure you’ve heard it countless times before, but opting for fruits, vegetables, and wholesome snacks over processed foods can make a big difference to your overall health and fitness.
In fact, contrary to what we’re taught to think, research has shown that healthy food choices can significantly improve mental health! A contrast to the belief that binging on “tasty” junk food will make us happier or alleviate sorrow or a negative mood.
6. Surround Yourself with Positivity
Cultivating a positive attitude towards fitness is greatly influenced by the company we keep.
A supportive social circle can significantly impact our attitude and mindset. Engaging with workout buddies or joining fitness communities, fosters encouragement and accountability.
Moreover, sharing goals, challenges, and achievements creates a sense of camaraderie, which in turn nurtures a positive mindset.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals can reshape your attitude and mindset towards exercise, making it an enjoyable shared experience.
7. Practice Mindfulness and Breathing
Exercise has been proven to ease symptoms of depression through brain changes like neural growth, reduced inflammation, and endorphin release that boosts mood. Moreover, it serves as a distraction from negative thoughts that can fuel depression.
Staying focused during workouts by practising mindfulness and inhaling positivity helps in nurturing a mindful attitude. Embracing diaphragmatic and lateral breathing techniques can greatly enhance any workout.
Beware of common mistakes like reverting to shallow breaths. The practice of Pilates breathing is a great place to start. It teaches you how to do deep diaphragmatic breathing as well as how to harness it to improve core strength and posture.
Final Words on Attitude and Mindset
When you first embark on your fitness journey it isn’t just about diet and exercise; it’s an exciting adventure that’s also shaped by your attitude and mindset. A positive growth mindset fuels your commitment and will help you navigate challenges and setbacks.
Thus, a fixed attitude mindset hinders progress, while a growth mindset as outlined in my seven key steps underscores this transformative path. These include setting achievable goals, celebrating progress, practising self-compassion, embracing variety, learning from setbacks, nurturing a positive social circle, and grounding yourself in mindfulness and breathing.
Hence, each step contributes to a holistic, empowering fitness expedition. Reflect on your attitude mindset, consider these steps, and embark on a journey of growth, empowerment, and health. It’s not just about a physical transformation; it’s a holistic voyage to a better you!
About the Author: Jane Hart
Working crazy hours in a high-stress work environment resulted in my body one day telling me, “Enough is enough!”
Navigating this serious health journey was both mentally and physically exhausting. But through some serious mindset work and instilling healthy habits, I was able to rebuild my life one day at a time and come out stronger on the other side!
Now my mission is to empower women like me to prioritize their fitness and well-being in a healthy, sustainable way and build a community of strong, happy and healthy women!