What is Mental Strength?
We all have it, although some people seem to have more than others! Do you notice how some people seem to be able to stick to their plans and achieve their goals! Whereas others seem to give in and fall back in to bad ways! Mental strength is needed to stick to your intention despite all the things that life and our own destructive habits throw at us.
It is hard work; you are often fighting engrained bad habits around poor diet, lack of exercise, negative thinking and bad self talk.
So the key is: Break your bad habits and create new good ones! You need to develop your mental strength.
What Helps to Develop Mental Strength?
We have already covered in the blog ‘Losing Weight – Intention’, you have to have a powerful vision that you believe in and don’t lose sight of. When the going gets tough you need something you can easily bring back to the forefront of your thinking.
You need to believe in yourself. The people who succeed haven’t got anything that you don’t have; they are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They believe they can do it, and when you talk to them they will say that the voice in their head, ‘self talk’, is positively supporting them! No magic recipe here; you need to study and reflect on what your ‘self talk’ is saying, analyse it and dig for the truth, invariably it won’t be true, so then you can change the message.
From setting your intention (objectives) you should know some of the negative things that are preventing you from achieving your goals. You need to make a commitment to face these, if it is changing your diet or getting into an exercise programme, do it! Face the issue and confront it and keep confronting it even if you fail the 1st, 2nd, 3rd …… time. Get back up and get back on with facing the problem.
Regularly review what you are doing against your objectives, make sure you are staying on track – reflect!
Make sure you are doing everything you can to get enough sleep. Research generally says you will need between 6 and 8 hours a night, but the main thing is that you listen to you mind and body, you should try getting some extra sleep and see how you feel. As a rule, don’t ‘sleep in’ to get extra sleep, go to bed early.
Work, exercise, sleep and being with family and friends are all important, but don’t under estimate just chilling out. Make sure you take time out to do nothing; this will help you reflect on how you are feeling about your objectives and the progress you are making. Meditation is a great tool for helping out here!
Get a support network that helps, create a network of friends and family with whom you can share your successes and failures. Seriously consider those people that don’t help you, how can you minimise their impact!
What Hinders the Development of Mental Strength?
I don’t want to be a ‘Kill Joy’ but are the benefits you are getting from alcohol really worth it? I know from personal experience that Alcohol destroys ‘will power’, alcoholic drinks are not only high in energy, they spike your sugar levels to make you hungry, and then you just need to snack! Drugs – Where you have to take these for medical reasons then ensure you consult with your medical practitioner on how best to manage their impact. Illegal drugs it goes without saying are pointless and do you absolutely no service, seek help straight away if you have a problem.
We will be talking about good food practices over the coming months. The key elements that will damage your success and mean that you need even greater mental strength are:
- A lack of fresh fruit & vegetables
- Portion size too large
- Sugar spiking
- Too much processed foods
- Engrained bad habits
The same goes for issues relating to exercise, what are the usual problems that make things even harder for you:
- Lack of regular exercise
- Sedentary job / lifestyle
- Reduced strength, flexibility
- Overweight, unfit and probably unhealthy
- No goals or targets
You CAN do it.
There is no doubt you can develop enough mental strength to achieve your objectives, you can find plenty of examples of people beating their weight problems as I know myself, having lost significant amounts of weight; ordinary people can do extraordinary things!
Start thinking about how you can implement some of these changes, don’t wait, just do it. Keep doing it, even if you fail, get back on plan, keep going.
Let us know how you get on!
(wrote : Gavin Henderson)