Do you have a set of limiting beliefs that hold you back from reaching your goals?
Think back to a time when you were taking an important exam. Let’s pretend it had 30 questions.
Let’s say you understood the first question and felt confident about your answer.
You’re motivated and moved on to the next question with enthusiasm! (Ok, maybe not enthusiasm, but at least you were feeling pretty good about it.)
But the second question – that one stumped you. No idea how to answer.
Did you a) try it anyway, or b) left it blank?
Now here’s my real question for you…
Knowing that you screwed up the second question, how would you proceed for the next 28 questions?
Would you focus on each one and try?
Or would you assume that you can’t do the next 28 questions because you screwed up the second one?
Would you tell yourself… “There’s no point in trying. I always fail these things anyway.”
No sense stressing it. Just randomly answer or leave them blank. Put your name on it and turn it in.
By now you’re probably wondering why I’m writing about a school quiz in a fitness blog, right? Or having flashbacks to algebra class, maybe? (Sorry.)
I retired from public school teaching last year. For almost half of my career, I was actively engaged in my own body transformation. I was also training to be a competitive bodybuilder in my 50’s.
What I learned from my struggle with a fixed mindset about what I could achieve as an older athlete was almost identical to the struggle my students had when trying to learn math.
We were in the same boat. Fixed mindsets caused negative thought-loops that were hard to ignore.
Do you have a similar fixed mindset about your ability to stick with a fitness program?
What if it’s not an exam with 30 questions, but a month with 30 days? Or the first of the year when you set a goal for yourself that this was the LAST time you were going to start over?
Things started out well, but then life interfered.
Do you shake it off and approach the next day as a new question to be answered? Or do you decide to not try and leave it blank?
I get it. It’s much harder than you thought it was going to be.
How can you develop a growth mindset for fitness?
Practice these self-talk ques:
Perfect isn’t sustainable, so “perfect” can’t be the ultimate goal for a program long term. Some days will go well, but others might not. Remind yourself that the bad days are only 24 hours long, too.
Your body responds to what you do consistently over a long period of time. One meal, one day, or one week off track will be forgotten in a few months if you get back on track.
You’re allowed to quit and start again every day if you need to. If you had a bad day (week, month, year), shake it off and start again. Repeat as needed.
Promise yourself to post-pone any self-defeating behavior for a day just to give yourself some space to start again tomorrow morning without feeling like you went backwards.
Embrace the suck. That’s a reminder from others who have taken this journey ahead of you. There will be days when you won’t feel motivated and will need to grind. That’s normal.
Tammy became an athlete in her 50’s and is passionate about helping other busy adults transform their health. Each individual has a unique combination of strengths and challenges that have to be used to shape a program that will work. Science-based principles, flexibility, accountability, and support make all the difference.