Developing a high performance mindset – Part 1

by | June 5, 2018 | Diet and Nutrition, Fitness, Health, Sleep

When it comes to making change in your body,

we often under-estimate the role that the mind plays in being successful.

We can have the knowledge of what to eat,

We can shape our path to have the good stuff around,

We can use all the right strength training methods and strategies.

We can motivate the elephant,

But if your head-game isn’t on point, then it’s pretty tough to make the changes last.

And it’s pretty tough to enjoy the process along the way.

Mental skills training is a way to make the process of lifestyle change more permanent and sustainable.

Because, really, unless you need to look this girl

for the couple hours she’s on stage,

I can imagine that the fat loss,

and the look you are trying to achieve,

you want to last.

Preferably, like….for most of your life.

So, here are a few strategies you can use to get your head game on-point.

A. The come-back game

Opportunity

When you’re on, you’re on…you’re a rock-star,

but when you fall of the wagon, oh boy, do you fall off the wagon.

This is also known as the “all-or-none” mindset.

Solution

Play the come-back game.

This is one of our favourite mental skills to work on – the skill of bouncing back.

The people that have the most success long-term are not those that are perfect all the time,

it is the people that eat well 80-90% of the time and know how to bounce back from that other 10-20%.

“Messing-up” happens.

I am actually hesitant to call it “messing-up” because that implies that you did something wrong.

You didn’t do aything wrong.

You are human.

So, you ate a couple extra brownies.

So, you ate to 105% full instead of 80% full.

You took 4 mins to eat your meal instead of 20.

Big deal!

Now you have the chance to practice the skill of bouncing back.

And don’t get it twisted, it is a skill.

Bouncing back is not something that people can naturally do.

Especially if you grew up in an “all-or-none” household or had some “all-or-none” influences, like Ricky Bobby…

Bouncing back takes effort,

it take deliberate practice

and believe it or not,

It takes a “mess-up” to actually work on.

So, there is no need to get down on yourself for “messing up”.

Wipe the slate clean,

Dust yourself off,

and make the commitment that you will practice your healthy habits the next day,

the next meal,

or the next workout.

Use that “mess-up” as a chance to make yourself a more resilient athlete!

B. The power statement

Opportunity

You don’t believe that you can make change in your life.

Your head is full of negative self-talk.

You start off strong when it comes to making changes to live better but often fail to commit to it longer than a few weeks.

Solution

Try a “power statement”.

A “power statement” is a set of instructions that you write or speak every day as part of a morning ritual and/or day-time and/or night-time routine.

Belief is often one of the biggest hang-ups when it comes to making a healthy change in your life.

Your brain is an incredible structure more powerful than the most powerful computer.

One of the incredible functions of the brain is it’s ability to experience something without actually physically experiencing that thing.

Here’s what we mean.

Areas in the brain responsible for movement light up when you move.

Pretty obvious right?

But not so obvious, is the fact that when we think about moving,

or talk about moving,

or even watch others move,

those same parts of our brains light up.

So, whether or not we actually do the activity almost doesn’t matter.

What matters is thinking about it!

Thoughts are things.

And those things can increase your belief.

So, make sure you’re putting the right things into your brain.

For example, thinking about failing on a task programs failure into your brain.

But, conversely, thinking about success on a task programs success into your brain.

This is where the “power statement” comes in.

The “power statemen” is a chance for your brain to rehearse success before it actually happens.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Use the “Mad libs” statement below to create your own “power statement” and read it every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to bed.

Put it beside your alarm clock if you need to.

Here is a completed form.

To get your own blank “fitness mad libs power statement”, download it here.

C. Ribs-down breathing

Opportunity

You are feeling stressed,

anxious,

and acting impulsively and it is affecting your lifestyle choices.

Solution

Try some ribs-down breathing.

Ribs-down breathing calms down the “activation” division of your nervous system and fires up the “relaxation” division.

Excessive use of the “activation” division of your nervous system causes stress, anxiety, increased heart rate, decreased digestion, sleep loss, metabolic and hormonal disruption and more.

Conversely, being able to tap into the “relaxation” division of the nervous system can improve sleep, heart health, metabolism, digestion, anxiety and impulsivity and even fat loss efforts.

Wrap-up

Health and nutrition doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

There are many factors that contribute to success in this area.

Whether it’s the people in your life that affect your decisions,

the environments that influence your behaviours,

the information you put into your brain,

and of course, the mental skills you acquire that help you navigate the muddy waters of health and lifestyle change.

Your mindset and mental skills have as much to do with your ability to lose fat and keep it off as the food you eat and the workouts you do.

Why not spend some time developing a high-performance mindset?!

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