Toughen Up to Tone Up

When it comes to physical fitness, there will be days hitting the gym or staying the course proves to be challenging.  It’s these times when the going gets tough, the tough get going!  So what makes some people push through and succeed?  Call it guts, determination, or will power; mental toughness can make a large impact on one’s ability to reach their goals.  Mental toughness is essentially your ability to maintain focus and determination to complete a course of action, despite the obstacles.

The root of mental toughness lies in motivation, specifically intrinsic motivation which comes from within.

People with intrinsic motivation are self-starters. They tend to need little encouragement to give their best effort and do well setting goals for themselves.  The first step to boosting your mental toughness is to identify your own intrinsic motivation for your goals.  Although it may sound simple, identify your intrinsic motivation. Keeping it front and center for challenging situations is a clear advantage to your success.

Becoming more aware of the “thought tapes” running through your head can also make a large impact on your ability to overcome difficult situations and persevere.

Every day we have inner dialogue, some positive and some negative.  Tuning into that conversation and re-directing negative or blanket statements is vital to keeping perspective.  The adage “whether you think you can or you can’t, your right” is true.  Keeping your “why” or your intrinsic reasoning for losing weight, running a marathon, or putting on muscle, close, can support positive inner dialogue and help you take a fresh approach to an otherwise challenging situation.

While internal dialogue plays a strong role in how you approach your goals, so does external!

Speaking to yourself in the second person with positive statements such as “you can do this” can spark the additional motivation you need.  Try being your own coach to keep your mental focus on the task at hand and on the steps required along the way.

Reaching any goal requires discipline and dedication, but taking time to identify your intrinsic motivation, and address both your internal and external dialogue can set the stage for a strong foundation.  Just remember, “you CAN and WILL do it!”

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