Get Your Mind Right to Make Better Progress

When it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, getting your mind right is at least as important as the physical work. 

Why? Because our bodies do what our minds believe.

When you’re trying to establish a new habit or learn something new, you have to first believe that eventually, you will be able to reach your goal. If you don’t, any amount of effort you put in will end up being useless, because you’ve already set yourself up to fail.

For example, if you start with the belief that you will be able to do whatever your goal is (with hard work, of course), then you’ll take the necessary actions that will help you to move forward and ultimately accomplish your goal. On the other hand, if you believe that no matter how hard you work, you won’t be able to do it anyway, you won’t take any action (or you’ll make a half-hearted effort), and as a result will never get to where you wanted to be.

In today’s post, we’d like to remind you of the power of positive thinking and belief in yourself, and that the way you see your failures and setbacks ultimately determines your success. The way you think can help you move towards your goals faster than you thought was possible.

Missteps are Learning Opportunities

There’s always something to learn from failure. Things rarely go perfectly, so failing is inevitable at times. But taking risks and being willing to fail is the only way to make progress and and keep moving forward.

Nobody was born with the ability to do pull ups or pistol squats—almost everyone has to work really hard to get there. Yes, they may come easier to some people than others, but we all had to work for them.

When things don’t go exactly the way you hoped for, take it as an opportunity to learn from the experience and move forward, no matter what.

Stop Saying I Could Never… 

You may see someone hold a handstand for a full minute, and say, I could never do that!

Yet without actually trying, there’s just no way you can say that something won’t work or that you will never be able to do it. You may try and fail at first, but even that doesn’t mean that you can never do it.

If you stop trying to do handstands after the first few weeks or even the first few months, you won’t get anywhere. You may be tempted to say that you can never do them, but how can you possibly know that if you don’t give it any real effort?

Try to delete I could never from your vocabulary and put in some hard work instead.

Try Something Different

Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.” 

Finding ways that don’t work is a very important part in getting closer to your goals. You’re not failing, you’re actually moving forward!

Yet if you’re doing the same thing over and over without seeing any progress, it’s time to try something different. For example, if you’ve tried to change your body for a long time by only running on the treadmill, but you aren’t seeing the results you’re looking for, it’s probably time to try something else.

If you’ve tried keeping your calories low all day, only to come home at night and eat everything in sight, maybe it’s time to try more balanced approach.

People who are open minded to trying new things even if they don’t feel very comfortable at first are the ones who reach their goals. Challenge yourself! If you want to level up your body, get started by learning a new skill. To challenge the way you think, read lots, and lots of books. If you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and try new things, you’ll always keep moving forward and getting closer towards your goals.

Pay Attention to Your Thoughts

“We either believe what we think or we question it; there’s no other choice.” – Byron Katie

There are thousands of thoughts crossing our minds every day (they call it our “monkey mind” for a reason). But it’s a mistake to assume that those thoughts are automatically true and that we should just go ahead and believe them.

For example, if you’ve practiced a new skill for a while but you don’t seem to be getting anywhere with it, you may easily think that you’re never able to do it. But instead of taking this thought as the truth, question it.

How can I know for sure that I can never do it? What’s the evidence?

The fact that you haven’t made a huge progress in three weeks doesn’t prove anything! That way of thinking gives you some extra power to keep pushing forward, even if you’re stuck right now. So, before you believe your negative thought, question it and see if you can find reasons why your thought may not be true.

Don’t give up on goals or dreams that you really care about—keep pushing and putting in the work.

Don’t Let Your Mind Hold You Back

When it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, managing your mindset is more important than most of us think. We let our minds hold us back way too often, and it’s important to make an effort to change this to continue moving forward and making progress.

Keep in mind that the way you see things and the language you use when you’re talking to yourself has a strong influence on what you can achieve, both physically and mentally. Stay positive, work hard, and the results will follow.

Kersten Kimura is a NASM PT, bootcamp instructor and personal trainer located on the East Bay, California. Check out her website here to learn about her take on womens’ health and hormones, balanced and obsession-free living and get her best 30-minute workouts.



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4 thoughts on “Get Your Mind Right to Make Better Progress”

  1. This is fact according to neuroscience. I’ve learned through failures that it’s not truly failure until one gives up entirely. Read Grit by Angela Duckworth, Mindset by Carol Dweck, or read the myriad quotes by those successful warriors who’ve ground their way to the elite levels of athletics, academics, leadership or business. Read the Tao Te Ching. As Ms. Kimura states, read as many books as you can. I suggest you travel somewhere so foreign to you that it’s terrifying, Do two things tomorrow that terrify you. “If you’re not falling down, you’re not getting better.” -Anon. How does one achieve seemingly impossible accomplishments? By doing the small steps that one is able to do TODAY. Do these small things, AS A DAILY PRACTICE, and if you do, those impossible goals become a little closer to possible. “The master does things when they are small and easy. Through daily discipline, the master seemingly accomplishes monumental achievements without effort.” ~Lao Tzu.
    “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
    ~Michael Jordan.
    There is no rest for those who succeed. Fail, and fail often. Through falling down over and over, you become the Master. Master yourself, and you’ll have become able to do Pistols, do Chin-ups, do 400 push-ups because you believed.
    Thanks for the reminder Ms. Kimura.

  2. Great message! I’ve never had trouble getting motivated to run or workout. But now I have some injuries that will live with me forever, so it’s hard to stay positive. I’ve tried several techniques, and they work. But every few months the pain increases so I need to re-adjust to my new body constantly. But giving up or sitting on my arse doing nothing won’t help. So I push on. But now I get how people who don’t love fitness have trouble staying focused or motivated. They must go through lots of the same things, re-adjusting over time, to a body that’s not used to working out. So I have a new found respect for those who struggle to make fitness part of their lifestyle…


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