Health,  Mindset

A New Year, A New Body… or Mind?

We’ve heard it all before. We see the calendar flip to January 1 and we immediately make a new goal for ourselves. Nine times out to ten, it’s health orientated. And what seems to bat a perfect score out of those nine, is “I am going to lose weight this year.” I am pointing the finger at you, but I need to turn it right back around at myself too. I hate to admit it, but those words have definitely come out of my mouth more than once, and you better believe I have also been that person sweating off my month long Holiday binge on the stair master that very next day in order to “get back on track.”

Fast forward a solid decade and that annual cringe-worthy routine is nothing but a distant memory.

It took years to realize that old (and very skewed) mindset got me absolutely nowhere by the end of the year, and it certainly didn’t make me lose all the weight I promised myself all just because the calendar told me it was time. Hell, let’s be real- don’t majority of new year’s resolutions disappear faster than the Times Square ball dropping? (It’s ok, you can tell the truth, too.)

If you put yourself on repeat enough times year after year, with ultimately the same (non)result each time, you will learn to stop picking up and dropping the same pieces over and over again. I think realizing this emptiness of an annual declared resolution is actually the easy part for us. 

Letting go of what’s familiar, of what today’s culture tells us, is the hard part. If we set aside our obsession over fad diets, detox’s, generic exercise programs, the energizer cardio bunny workouts, quick fix challenges- essentially everything that encourages laser focus on a very broken body image. If we let all that go, we can finally step (no, jump head first) out of the vicious cycle. We can actually grasp the change we so desperately are seeking and effectively do something about it. 

We take the time to not just act, but instead to understand. It’s then, when a New Year’s resolution evolves from a trend to do, into a lifestyle to become. 

And this change? Hold your social media scrolls, it has NOTHING to do with your body and EVERYTHING to do with your mind.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that eating a cookie the size of your face isn’t exactly packed full of nutritious value. That drinking alcohol has no real benefit to optimizing your health. That choosing to be sedentary versus lifting weights or even just taking simple walks, is not going to boost you up in activity levels. The underwhelm of mind blowing facts goes on, along with the head knods of “Duh, I already know that.” 

To which I say, “Duh, then stop focusing on what you already know!” Why are we solely concerned with reading nutrition labels in the grocery aisle, what the new local gym offers, or when the next best water bottle is going to be restocked (because clearly water tastes different from it)? You KNOW how to do all these things already, but you aren’t DOING it. Why?

Because you are missing the biggest piece of the puzzle. You are putting your energy in the wrong lane. 

Instead, we put our effort where it matters. We triage our needs in order to pivot our attention to what we think, not what we do. We must change first, what will allow you to change what you want next. 

Above all, we grow and exercise our minds.

Our mindset is the root of our health. If we don’t have our mind in the right space, all we will do is keep spinning our wheels. Our mind needs to be in tune with every want and desire of ours, otherwise all the other bright, shiny goals will frankly never be reached. Or at the very least, they certainly won’t stick. 

I’m not saying any of this is easy. If it was, everyone would drop the fads and go straight to mindset work. (Being trained, educated and passionate about the workings of our minds and behavior change, I can assure you there’s no line outside my door for it.)

It’s unknown territory, the road less traveled in the health industry. It’s maybe even scary for some. It can certainly be uncomfortable, but you know my favorite quote, “You have to be uncomfortable in order to get comfortable.” 

Working your mindset is most definitely not immediate. It takes time, dedication, and persistence. 

This I know because I’ve been there (and I still go there). Patience is not my strong suit and this anticipation often gets the best of me. I jump the gun- I respond with my body before I practice with my mind. As you may relate to yourself, you know how this ends. I reach my goal (I’m far too competitive and stubborn not to), instant gratification hits, and then the feeling of two steps back settles in. 

You are probably thinking to yourself, then how the hell am I supposed to do this? HOW do I change my ways? HOW do I grow my mind? HOW do I loosen the reigns on the physical goals I want right now to gain mental control first? WHAT is the realistic expectation here?

Well, first you need to believe in the process and want to change. Commit to temporarily letting go of surface level goals, in order to gain the MENTAL FOUNDATION OF YOUR LIFE. (If that alone is not enough, then maybe this Blog is barking up the wrong tree for you. I told you I’d always be honest here…)

After completing my Health Mindset Certification, I could go on for pages and pages with information around mindset. I could throw a crap ton of scientific research at you, more than you probably care to process. And I also know I can’t convince you to look deeper into your own mindset. You need to make the decision for yourself. So in an effort to keep my message very clear and simple: 

If you want to change your body, you point blank HAVE TO train your mind first. The physical structure of your brain must literally change; your brain’s response centers must be continuously triggered and exercised in order to retain any sort of habit, routine, or mindset; and most importantly, you need to remember that everything in your life is directly correlated to your mind. Your life is as fixed or as exponentially growing as your mind is. 

So again, how do we do this

By ending the self-sabotage.

Letting intrinsic motivation ignite you.

By vanishing limiting beliefs in all the things. 

Turning negative self-talk into learning, positive experiences.

Eliminating all toxicity, both internal and external. 

By accepting your mind as priority, and achievement of all other tangible goals will become second nature. 

Ok. But still… HOW? 

And what makes me an expert on mindset, anyway?

Well, I’m not exactly. But I do pride myself in my own personal experience, and I have educated myself on a professional level. I live what I preach but there is always room for more. I’m still not done with mindset. I will never be. 

So I’m going to share with you how I’m currently doing it. In hopes that maybe it can help you too. To show you a real life example of how you can take a specific goal and turn it into so much more.

I signed up to run a half marathon at the end of May. Probably not what you were expecting me to say, was it? But let me explain how this goal is different. 

Running a race is a fitness goal, yes. And I wouldn’t be human if I said I am not welcoming the physical benefits I will gain *NOT lose (weight)* from doing this. But the physical is secondary and will honestly come without even trying to accomplish it.

It’s the mindset work that will be the focus over the next several months. I remove all concern of the physical elements of my training, transforming the surface level goal into simply a handy dandy tool.

Here’s the how:

I eliminate preparing for actual race itself from my daily repertoire of thoughts. 

I am not driven by the finish line- I already know I can run the distance, I’ve done it three different times before, to be exact. 

I am not motivated by my pace- I already accomplished a PR on my last half in 2020. 

I am not proving to anyone else that I can do it- my kids already have mommy’s race medals to remind them of that. 

I am bolding taking the running out of a ‘running race’ and turning it into a mental race (with NO finish line, mind you). Focusing my energy here, utilizing all the tools I can, will help shift my entire being into alignment. I know this, again, because I’ve done it before.

So with full, mindful intention, I will reach for the real goal at hand:

I will use every training mile as an escape to free my mind- NOT making my body a slave to the pavement.

I will follow a training schedule- made by me, enjoyed by me. To use my mind in order to listen to my body when it says “you can do more” or if it says “no” on any given day. 

I will face physical challenges by first dissecting the mental obstacle. It’s like what came first- the chicken or the egg? The mind or the body? My money is on the mind…

I will take care of myself by honoring the rest and nutrition my mind craves- race or no race, a priority that needs more attention. 

I will earn the right to achieve a handful of goals I have waiting for me on the horizon. Because my head is already in a good space, but I owe it to myself to get it to an even better one before striving for more. That’s when the magic really happens… and sticks.

Bringing me back to New Year’s Resolutions, the whole idea that sparked this conversation. 

I’m not bashing on them. If you need January 1st to light a fire under your ass, so be it. Kudos to you for recognizing you want a change. 

But I do ask you now to consider not just what your goal is, but how are you going to accomplish it? Should you think about digging a little deeper first? Have you done the work you actually need to do to get to what you want to do? Is your goal just scratching the surface, or is it the real deal?

The good news is your mind doesn’t give a rat’s ass what day of the year it is. So whether you need to re-evaluate what you set out to do, or maybe you didn’t jump on the New Year’s bandwagon at all, it’s all okay. You still have time. You always will.

Your mindset is waiting for you every day, to grab ahold of the journey and run with it.

That’s where mine will be in 2023.

Running it’s little brains out. 

Until next time❤️