Good food and lots of quality movement are both major keys to a healthy lifestyle. But what can be even more important is actually a positive mental outlook. Stress is such a major killer, that all the good food and movement really can’t undo the damage caused by a poor mental outlook.I wrote a primer post about stress. You can read that post here if you haven’t read it yet. The reason a positive mental outlook is so important to your health, is because it is ultimately what determines how stress affects you.
i touched on it quickly in my previous post, but I want to go into a little more detail here. The tough thing about a positive mental outlook is that it’s easy to have it when things are going well. But it gets exponentially harder when things start to get crappy. Unfortunately, this is when you need that sunny disposition most.
A common piece of advice is to start seeing obstacles as opportunities. This is actually really good advice, but it’s not exactly easy to apply. I’m going to go down the road of fitness here instead of more standard obstacles. Any one who has worked out for a while and not seen any results understands how frustrating it can be.
The truth is, if you’ve committed a reasonable amount of time to something, and there hasn’t been any improvement, this is an obstacle. The way to see it as an opportunity is that it offers you feedback so you can reevaluate. A common reason people don’t see improvement is that, they actually have improved, but because it’s not the expected or desired improvement, the improvement is ignored or discounted.
Another common obstacle that makes people get a little hung up, is when they fail to lose weight. This is a major issue, because the foundation of this obstacle is the obsession with hitting a particular number on a scale. You’re weight doesn’t really matter that much! I have seen people irritated because they weigh the same, even though they lost several inches off their waists. I assure you, the measurement is a far better indicator of progress than weight.
Sticking with this example, if you haven’t lost weight or inches, but you are stronger and more coordinated, that’s also a great improvement. Congratulations! You are now a more durable, capable human being! How can that possibly be a bad thing?
If you’re having a hard time executing a particular movement, it’s probably not because you’re a failure or because you’re incapable of performing the movement. You probably can’t perform the movement because you’re missing some fundamental key required to perform the movement. If you evaluate this setback, it will likely give you a clue on what you need to hit your goal. And if you can’t, you can find a professional who can help you out. At least you can explain what you’re having trouble with instead of just getting down on yourself.
Don’t let expectations get in the way of your success. Part of this is reasonable goal setting. But sometimes there are several milestones before you hit a goal. Always acknowledge those milestones. It will do wonders for your motivation and your mindset toward your goal. If you have a setback, figure out why. It’s a learning experience and the knowledge gained will move you even closer to your destination. Most importantly, enjoy the process!