Keeping your workout routine in gear can be a constant process, and many times it’s all about mind over matter. These tips will help you get your head in the game and let go of everything that’s holding you back from acheiving your mental and physical goals.
Taming Your Inner Dialogue
“Words affect our dispositions, sketch out actions, form affections. It would be ideal to have interior silence, but this takes a great deal of discipline and years of practice. In the meantime, taking all of this type of chatter with a grain of salt will be a good start. Then place a sort of mental seal over the thought forms, depriving them of their power. Eventually, the thoughts become less bristly, more luminous, and more benevolent.”
That little voice inside your head that’s telling you “I can’t do this” needs to give it a rest. Focus on calming those doubts and talk yourself up instead.
Orient Yourself with Your Center
“Perhaps you are feeling pulled in more than one direction in your life. Mindfulness can help center you before making any rash decisions. Find the still, calm part of yourself in your heart center. Stay with this silence as long as you are able. Repeat this practice at repeated intervals over several days.”
Having trouble centering yourself among daily stresses and inner doubts? Get your om on with the Best Yoga Moves for Meditation, or find your balance with these yoga poses.
Live in Line with Your Goals
“The general haste of our lives, together with the lack of discipline and foresight entailed by such fraught activity, leads to confusion and error. We do not see the way to live because we are too busy keeping up with the treadmill of contemporary life. And yet we can use this busyness as an excuse for not doing what we know we should. In order to live better lives, we must slow down and pay closer attention to our actions and their consequences. We must learn to do things right the first time rather than having to complete a lot of rear-guard correctives.”
Slowing down for a second to make the best decision for your body and your mind can make all the difference. Strengthen your resolve with these tips.
Say No When You Need To
“Narratives of success and self-help put a lot of pressure on the average middle-class person to be more and do more, to make a mark on the world, to get rich, to change things, to make a difference, to disrupt technology or the market. Some of these narratives are more harmful, others possibly benevolent, but they all encourage frantic activity. And behind all of this activity is supposed to be the innovator, the genius, the individual as brand. The flip side, the dark side of this hyper-optimism, is that the present moment gets trampled in the quest to do more and be more. No matter how much pressure we put on ourselves, or others put on us, we can always say no.”
You might feel pressure all around you to do more, run faster, lift heavier. But it’s important to understand your limitations. If you think you might be overworking yourself, keep an eye on the signs of exercise addiction.
Lean Into the Moment
“The most luxurious setting will not be satisfying or enjoyable if your mind is in a funk. In the same way, the most rundown lodgings will be perfectly bearable with the right frame of mind. We try so hard to rearrange the scenery, but that strategy doesn’t work if the inner disposition rebels. Even when the external conditions are perfectly arranged, that perfection will not last in a changing universe. If we can learn the inner work, the inner alchemy, no circumstance will ever get in the way of peace. Without the inner work, no circumstantial change will make a difference. Even a small dose of mindfulness can make the difference between a good day and a bad day.”
Sometimes, attitude is everything. Letting go of your worries and being happy in the moment can change your workout experience, whether it’s kickboxing or running.
Delve Into Your Messy Places
“We tend to avoid the messy parts of our lives, but these messy places are exactly where the most growth can be found. The stack of unopened bills might hide the key to financial discipline. The friend you haven’t called may have the word you need to hear. The overdue library books might hold an unwritten article or chapter. And yet we shy away from these messy places, partly out of simple laziness but also out of a fear of change. As much as we hate some aspects of our present realities, we hate the unknown even more. To go into those messy places is to risk having to do something about our complaints.”
That messy drawer you avoid dealing with month after month? Same goes for that lunge move you avoid trying, or the push-ups you don’t bother to practice. Without getting at it and trying to improve it, you’ll never see results.
“A car stuck in the mud will spin its wheels when the driver presses the accelerator. If you have ever been in that situation, you know that the temptation is strong to keep stomping on the pedal, as though more of the same could free the tire. The more effective way to free the tire is to place sticks or rocks underneath the tire so that it can gain some traction. Then, by easing forward slowly, the car can get out of the mud. So it is with our own minds. We can spin our wheels in the mud of our own delusions, our own repetitive narration about the world. Only the introduction of new content, a new way of seeing things, can free our stuck minds from the loop of sameness.”
Stop Forcing Things
“Our societies equate pacifism with weakness, gentleness with lack of resolve, and yet nothing could be further from the truth. This morning, think of some way in which you might be aggressively forcing a solution that just isn’t working. What would it look like to take a step back, to let go? Wait and listen for a few minutes and see if a simpler way appears. Sometimes the courageous way demands doing nothing, or acting in more subtle ways, behind the scenes.”
Taking a recovery day or a break from training can sometimes help you push it to the next level.