It is common for people to think about the impact of exercise and nutrition on their body, but most people don’t really think about the effects of psychology or their mindset on their results. Believe it or not, it is often possible to determine if a person will ultimately succeed or fail based on the psychological approach they have towards their health and fitness routine.
If you have the right mindset, it greatly increases your chances of improving and experiencing long-term success in all aspects of health and fitness. On the other hand, if you have the wrong attitude, it can completely sabotage your efforts.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you have the right mindset to enhance your health and fitness results and some of the most important ones involve doing everything you can to set yourself up for success before you start. In many cases, having a supportive environment can be the difference between success and failure.
A good place to start is by examining your lifestyle and determining how difficult it will be to follow a healthy eating and exercise program. Do your friends and family support your efforts to live a healthier lifestyle or are you surrounded by people who constantly question your behaviors or make things more difficult for you?
It should come as no surprise that people who have supportive people around them are more successful than those without a good support system. It can also be quite helpful to have a workout partner or even just some friends who all want to eat healthy.
If your friends, family, coworkers, or other people you spend time with are constantly eating junk food, it can be incredibly difficult to stick to your nutritional program. Your initial burst of motivation and enthusiasm can quickly falter before you have a chance to experience some decent results that can help keep you dedicated to your program.
If you don’t have supportive people around you, it might be a good idea to hire a personal trainer or other health and fitness professional, especially if you find yourself losing motivation.
Having a network of supportive people is certainly helpful, but there are things you can do by yourself to create a more supportive environment. Perhaps the most important thing you can do is simply to keep a positive attitude towards eating healthy and exercising.
For example, instead of thinking of living a healthy lifestyle as a chore, think of it as something you choose and ideally want to do in order to reach your goals. Concentrating on negative aspects of being healthy by focusing on things like the foods you shouldn’t eat or thinking that you “have to” exercise or eat healthy is very different from “wanting” or “choosing” to exercise and eat right.
In my experience, but most people who live healthy lifestyles don’t really feel as tough they are constantly making sacrifices or denying themselves pleasurable experiences. If you constantly think of healthy lifestyle behaviors as a burden, they will become psychologically draining and your motivation will eventually fade.
Instead, try to treat exercising and eating healthy as normal parts of your everyday routine that are ultimately a permanent part of your lifestyle. If you are able to have that mindset, you will not worry as much about making yourself do healthy things, because they will become regular habits, which is one of the big keys to long-term success.
14 years of experience and education in health and fitness and a BA in psychology from Grinnell College