It’s All In The Mind: Why Mind-Set Matters When It Comes to Fitness

It’s all in the Mind: Why Mind-Set Matters When It Comes to Fitness

At this point in the year, 80% of us will have failed our new year’s resolutions (actually, 43% wouldn’t have even made it through the first month). Depressing, isn’t it? Unfortunately, while those who take on a health kick commit to a different routine, few also commit to a change in thinking – a pivotal influencer on whether we succeed or fail in our fitness efforts. But let’s not pretend here – habits and thoughts are seriously tricky to change. The question then is how you can go about readjusting your mind-set for fitness and health transformations that stick.

1. Switch to a ‘growth’ mind-set

Research by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck determined that there were two core forms of mind-sets –fixed or growth. Those who have a fixed mind-set believe that elements such as creativity, intelligence and performance are fixed, and cannot be changed. On the other hand, those with a growth mind-set believe that they can develop themselves – their characterises, habits and abilities. This latter way of thinking is essential for a successful body overhaul – ‘growth’ individuals see failure not as a roadblock or reason to dive into the ice cream, but instead as a further step towards mastering a skill or achieving a goal. Foster this way of thinking by focusing on the small gains, a consistent commitment and successes that are secured over time.

2. Believe in yourself

The way we think of ourselves is incredibly ingrained – formed from the earliest times during childhood. However that’s not to say that self-beliefs can’t be changed. An effective strategy for this is positive affirmations – the repetition of positive thoughts spoken out loud to replace the negative concepts that you have about yourself.
You should also start to challenge yourself on all that you say that you can’t do and break down distant goals into weekly steps that are achievable. Through progression, you prove to yourself that negative thoughts about what you can’t do are misleading – and the positive affirmations lead to a healthier, more proactive mind-set and focus.

3. Replace your language

Words translate to thoughts, and Martin Seligman, who wrote the book ‘Learned Optimism’ (based on a solid founding of psychology) argued that pessimistic language and conversations, leads to thoughts that are pessimistic – essentially dooming our health routine or diets to failure before we’ve even begun.
If you’ve found yourself uttering phrases such as “my diet never works” you should consciously re-think your statement, “the 5/2 diet didn’t work for me, but I’ll find one that’s better suited”.


Ready to reset your mind-set for a health kick that sticks and a whole new you? Then we should get started. Let’s talk – call me, Valkyrie, for personal training in Bromley 07973 483314 or email me via

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