Our thought patterns are so powerful, and you may not even realize that you could be sabotaging your efforts to improve your health by engaging in negative self-talk.
No matter how bad you want to succeed, you must THINK like you are GOING to succeed. That means being kind to your body, following through with what you say you will do, not over-committing (i.e. do what is realistic at THIS time in your life), etc.
If negative thoughts aren't getting you anywhere (i.e. your desired health habits aren't sticking), then go back to basics and start with your mindset and thought patterns.
My approach to coaching involves working on the mindset and self-love FIRST and then addressing nutrition and fitness. If we try to approach the physical habits alone, it’s an uphill battle (that you’ve likely already lost a few times). By focusing on your mindset, we address the reasons why you developed the bad habits in the first place.
To help you change your mindset, I put together 5 ways to help you work on your thought patterns this week. It takes much longer than a week to really dig in deep, but my hope is that you will begin to recognize any negative thought patterns you may have.
Just like with nutrition and fitness, trying to overhaul our mental or spiritual health all at once can lead to feeling like a failure because it can get overwhelming and discouraging (and it’s not realistic or practical at all). That’s why I ALWAYS encourage working on one new habit at a time.
Don’t worry about doing each task this week! Choose one or two and then try another next week.
1. Look in the mirror and say three things you love about yourself OUT LOUD. Yes, it might feel awkward or funny, but that means you need to get comfortable with talking nicely to yourself. Look yourself in the eye and imagine you were talking to your best friend or daughter. You would be full of compliments… now talk to YOU. Do this everyday this week. Bonus points if you tape a piece of paper with your compliments to your mirror, or steering wheel or wherever you will see them.
2. Pencil it in. I don’t mean thinking to yourself before you drift off to sleep… I think I’ll workout tomorrow. I mean actually looking at your schedule, ask yourself what you have time for and what you DON’T hate. And pencil it in. I don’t care if it’s a 15-minute walk with your dog or a 90-minute hot yoga class or 30 minutes to meal prep. Just schedule AND follow through with ONE health-related task this week.
3. Daydream. I want you to spend 10 minutes thinking about how it would feel to be the healthy mama you are dying to be. What would your schedule look like? How would you feel? How would you dress? What kind of attitude would you have? What would your daily habits look like? What would your kids see you doing? What would you teach your kids about health?
Just really dive into thinking about where you want to go with your health and fitness. I don’t care if you want to lose weight, stay the same, or gain weight… I’m assuming you want to improve some aspect of your health-- mental health, physical, whatever. We can all improve. Think about EXACTLY what you want to improve and how amazing it would be to be there. Then write it down.
4. Positive Affirmations. This might seem a little “woo-woo”, but again how we talk to ourselves really affects the outcomes in our lives. I want you to think about your biggest weaknesses. Think about the thoughts you have that are unkind to yourself or your body. Then write 3 positive affirmations in response to the negatives.
Ex: I hate my thighs.
Affirmation: I love my body and especially my strong legs that carry me as I carry my babies, walk every day, and run up and down the stairs all day. My body is amazing.
Ex. 2: I am such a slacker with my workouts.
Affirmation: I am doing the best I can and I am always improving. Sometimes my expectations are too high considering the busy season of life I am in. I can and will learn to be better about taking care of my body.
5. Meditate. If you’ve never meditated before download the Headspace app. Meditation is amazing for managing stress, anxiety, depression, and just hectic life in general. There are several ways to meditate (guided meditation vs. silence, walking meditation, deep breathing, etc.). Try out at least one or 2 ways and meditate a couple minutes. Don’t give up! Sitting in silence with your thoughts is very powerful.
Overall, I just want you to really be thinking about your thoughts this week. It sounds like a strange thing to do, but as you talk to yourself (in your head), ask yourself… would I say that to my son or daughter? My best friend? My husband?
Am I perpetuating thought patterns I’ve had since I was a child? Am I saying things to myself that my mother or father (or another relative) said to me or about me? Is what I’m telling myself even TRUE??
These are all things to think about. SO much of our mindset, for better or worse, is baggage we carry from childhood and adolescence.