There’s a lot of talk right now about the New Year Resolutions, and all the reasons why you wont stick to a fitness program or compete your physical goals for the year. There are always a thousand more reasons why you will fail compared to those why you will succeed, instead of focusing on the reasons to fail, let’s take a look at a tool that will help you succeed! The single most determining factor of success and failure to adhere to an exercise program is your mind, not your body!
Upon taking up the challenge to complete a physical fitness goal or exercise routine, there are a few things to keep in mind that can help ensure your success in not only completing the routine or becoming more active, but also achieving your goals and then some!
One of the key factors that affect the probability of your success in pursuit of physical fitness improvement is that of your self-efficacy. Typically defined as your own self worth and ability to solve issues or fulfill your goals. It is a behavioral trait that tells you how good you are getting stuff done! When it comes to exercise, jobs, relationships, honey-do’s, projects, and other facets of life, we all start with a certain level of self-efficacy that directly helps or inhibits our motivation to accomplish the task. Improving this trait is important if you want to stick to your goals, if yo want to develop that habitual routine and get yourself into the best shape of your life. Basically, if you are uncertain of a certain skill, your self-efficacy of said skill is low, and your desire to get it done is low, resulting in a poor performance or failure to complete all together. If you are proficient at a skill, and are efficient on getting it done, you are going to have a high self-efficacy giving you more confidence and a higher probability of not only completing the task, but doing it well at a high level of performance.
What most people don’t tell you is that this characteristic is able to be developed. It’s not a genetic trait that cannot be altered and you’re stuck with what you were born with. Developing self-efficacy is a process of repetition and simple steps, progressing surely but slowly until efficiency is achieved. Emil Zatopek (the human locomotive) said it best. “If you do something once, nothing happens, but if you do something a hundred, a thousand times then you have not only just changed physically; and will power is no longer a problem.” Too many people start the New Year off with goals that make them go for the gusto and the lack of patience doesn’t allow them to see the progress made. Rather they focus on the longer distance to the end goal and forget to notice the small things that are required to achieve the big picture goal for the year. This is also the key to building this ever so important trait of self-efficacy, taking the journey day by day, week by week.
First things first, your goals… Choose goals that are achievable in a short span of time, things that don’t take too much preparation and can be acted upon quickly. You are more likely to scale Mt. Everest standing at it’s base than you are trying to save money for the plane ticket to get there.
Secondly Start simple. Start with things that you KNOW you are capable of accomplishing, as you accomplish these small things, you will inherently push yourself for more and find yourself succeeding because success is not a coincidence, it is a habit. Start small and progress from there.
Third, Keep in mind that we all start at our own level, be patient! Remember that every bit of progress (no matter how small) is still progress and gets you closer. Forget about comparing yourself to others, forget about the other people you want to impress, your greatest opponent is yourself. As cheesy as it may sound, how can you expect to be better for others when you can’t be better for yourself. Conquer yourself and watch the rest of your world improve!
Achieving self-efficacy is a process, nothing in physical fitness takes shortcuts, there’s never an effective “trick” or “secret” that can replace the efficiency and permanent nature of gaining results through hard work and effort. In achieving self-efficacy, you gain a mental toughness to not just workout more, but to do more in life. self-efficacy is translated into all areas of life. Let your mind become your greatest asset this year. Grow your minds ability to push your body to new limits and forge in yourself a new found level of strength in all areas of your life!