I like to think of mindfulness as ‘awareness combined with motive’.
It’s about truly embracing the present and maximizing the moment with the right intentions so you can always keep moving towards your goal.
You have the power to do this. Every moment, of every day.
Even though we may have the power to do so, it isn’t always easy. All too often we allow our minds to wander and very quickly become consumed by our thoughts and any number of other distractions.
Some thoughts are to be truly embraced (I discuss these types of thoughts later in this post) however, yet some thoughts cause us to lose focus - which ultimately lowers the quality of your workout.
While working out, you should:
Practicing mindfulness will help you to do this.
Here are 6 mindfulness techniques that will help you to enhance the quality of your workouts:
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” - Alan Lakein.
We plan for college, our career, and our families…why should fitness be any different? So make sure you know what you’ll be doing before you head out the door for the gym. If you begin your workout without a plan, you’re hindering the success of not only your workout, but of achieving your long term goals before you’ve even begun.
Why? Because we end up in the gym wandering from one machine to the next, trying to remember that one perfect workout or look up the latest 30 minute routine. We end up leaving the gym 90 minutes later without even breaking a sweat, disenchanted with the entire process. Set yourself up for success, be prepared, have your workout ready, go through it with intent and enjoy the results.
Take Action: Sign up to my weekly workout training programs. For less than $6, a week, the path to a stronger, fitter, better looking you will land in your inbox every Sunday night!
Joining the program will eliminate the uncertainty of what to do in the gym.
Your phone is a MASSIVE distraction.
Responding to, or even acknowledging texts, incoming calls and social media notifications lowers the quality of your workout time.
Many people complain that they do not have enough time to workout, but oftentimes this is due to the fact that they are just getting distracted.
Remember, shorter, quality training time is better than being in the gym for hours and barely getting anything done.
Before you start working out, switch the phone into airplane mode. This way you eliminate potential distractions from your phone.
Take Action: Store songs locally, screenshot your training program, watch any how-to videos on the walk to the gym, and don’t rely on Spotify. Spotify means Internet and Internet means distractions!
Ultimately, you want to get ‘the most bang for your buck’, physically and mentally.
One way to help you to do this is to consciously focus solely on what you are doing in that current moment. Not how the work day went, or the date you’re looking forward to this evening. Give yourself the liberty of 100% mental energy to your workout.
So if you are doing a warm up routine, focus only on warming up, and nothing else. Don’t be distracted by how tough, or fun, the next thing is. Earn the main part of the workout by properly warming up.
Once you’ve done that then move on to the next exercise and focus solely on that. A 90 minute session in the gym becomes 45 minutes, and you’ve accomplished far more than any of your past workouts. If you’re doing cardio intervals, focus on doing your best on this ONE round. Then enjoy the rest, and when the next interval comes, crush it. One step at a time, that’s how we improve.
Take Action: During your next workout, be mindful of each stage of your workout, and embrace the moment.
Ignore the negative:
During an intense workout or after a long day at the office, you may experience some negative self-talk. “I’ve had a long day, I deserve to stop now” or “I’ll get this workout done tomorrow”. False. You’ve earned your rest when you’ve done the work. There are plenty of other people working longer hours, with kids at home, that work harder than just about anyone I’ve ever met. If you quit once, it will become a habit.
While we want to ignore the negative self-talk, it is important that you don’t just try to drown out these thoughts, but address them by focusing on what I like to call ‘green light’ thoughts and positive self-talk.
Think about a time you wanted to quit but didn’t. Or what you would do if that person you look up to was standing next to you, watching and waiting to be inspired by your effort. If you have a son or daughter at home, think about the standards you want to set for them. Make them proud. Know you can do it, tell yourself you can.
Take Action: Next time you are working out and you begin to experience negative self-talk, consciously decide to embrace the hard work, and convert the negative thoughts into positive ones. Just like anything else a positive mindset can be practiced.
Believing that you will be successful is key! I can’t stress this enough.
It all starts with your mindset.
Don’t just workout for the sake of it. Do it because you want to better yourself, physically and mentally. Do it because you want to achieve a goal, lead a healthier life, be happier, build the confidence to earn that promotion, and be a better partner or friend.
It may sound silly, but all of this can be accomplished with a positive mindset. Build that positive mindset in the gym. Set small goals for yourself, work hard, accomplish them, and be proud of that. Know you can be successful, in and out of the gym.
The more you tell yourself you’ll be successful, the more you will believe it, and before you know it you’ll have achieved your goal. Then set a new one with this newfound self-confidence and keep progressing forward.
Take Action: From now on, make the conscious decision to believe in yourself. Know that if you put the work in, you will be successful.
Nothing worth having comes easy and knowing that it will be hard is important. There will be great challenges ahead.
Because there is no escalator to success.
Once you realize that it’s not going to be easy but you decide to pursue it anyways, you’ve won the mental battle. You’ll stop seeing the things you need to do as a “grind”, and instead as something you have the opportunity to do. You’ll wake up in the morning feeling invigorated, ready to handle whatever the day throws at you. The work becomes fun, and you’ll see progress in and out of the gym.
So put the work in. It’s going to take dedication on your part but it will all be worth it in the end.
Take Action: From now on, don’t see your workout as a chore. Embrace the opportunity, and appreciate the fact that this is just part of the journey to becoming a better version of yourself. Be sure to track your progress so you can see your accomplishments unfold to stay motivated and on track.
Implementing these 6 mindfulness techniques will enhance your workouts, helping you to get the most out of the time and energy that you dedicate to your fitness goals.
Remember, the gym is fair. Your input is directly correlated to the output. Low Effort = No Results. High Effort = Massive Results. Time to start crushing your goals.
I’d love to hear about your training and fitness goals, shoot me a message!