What Percentage of your Health is Mindset?
How do you see yourself right now? Look in the mirror if you have to and take a good look. Notice all the details. This isn’t supposed to be good or bad, just about being aware of how you feel about yourself right at this moment.
Then, shift your thinking to: What is the self I want to see? Really think about it. See yourself transform in the mirror to that other self (imagine you have a magic mirror). Then, close your eyes and focus on that new self; see yourself there right now.
Next, think about the steps you had to take to get there, as if you are going back in time to where you started and connecting the dots to where you are now, in your mind’s eye.
Did you develop a consistent exercise routine, getting it done, even when you didn’t want to?
Did you say no to dessert after meals, skipped the drive thru and packed a lunch, took the time to pre-prepare meals at home so you had something healthy to put on the table?
What are some other habits that you dropped to get you to this new you? Take some time and write them down. You know the habits that you currently have that contribute to where you actually are right now. Which ones do you have to drop or change to reach the image of the self you want to be?
Yes, this shift is possible and you can definitely do it! Part of mental fitness is working on our self image every day and affirming to ourselves that we are capable of accomplishing anything we set our minds to. This applies to our health, our career, our relationships - everything!
We’ve all heard that nutrition, or what we put in our mouths, contributes to 80% of our health and wellness goals, and exercise or fitness is the other 20%. Yes, consistent exercise and physical fitness is key to maintaining weight loss in the long term, and it contributes to a host of other health benefits, as well (see my blog “A Dozen Other Reasons to Exercise” here).
However, what we don’t hear enough about is our mental fitness. If you ask me, our state of mind and self image account for 95% of our overall health and wellness. If our mind isn’t in the right place, everything else just seems to be out of whack and we feel like we will never reach our health goals (think: broken resolutions).
Take the time to work on your mindset: meditate daily (there are plenty of short meditations and affirmations on YouTube to get started*) and do a self image check daily - are you focusing on who you want to be or dwelling on where you are right now?
When you focus on where you want to be, connect the dots going backward; what steps did you have to take to get there? Think, would “this me” skip a workout, hit the drive thru for the third time this week, opt for a Frappuccino rather than just a glass of water, etc? Then start taking those steps to make it happen.
Work on this daily and stick with it. That image of you that you want to be will definitely become a reality!
*Some of my favorite YouTube meditations are Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Challenge and Bob Baker’s morning gratitude meditation.