Picture yourself as a fighter. Strong. Agile. Tough. Championship belt in the corner of your eye. You can take on the world.
That’s the visual I used to hit the treadmill yesterday. My opponent? It’s my own brain. It keeps firing the “sofa sitting” neurons. It trained hard over the holidays and now it’s super strong at slacking off.
If you’re feeling like you need a bit of a kick to keep momentum going towards your goals, this week’s tip should help.
Build a “fight-through” mentality.
We all have mental battles to fight on our way through life’s journey, especially when it comes to sticking to new habits. Knowing how to physically win these battles, can actually be a detriment mentally. The knowledge can lead us to avoiding the mental training process.
Going through the tough stuff makes us stronger because it builds our “fight-through” mindset. It teaches our brain which neurons to fire so that we will be prepared later, when we really need the strength. This discipline builds momentum every time we use it, making the next battle easier.
Conversely, if we skip out, momentum works against us. Our brain will fire different neurons, and get stronger in a that unwanted direction.
Here’s an example many of us can relate to: a diet. We start it and see some success. We then know how we can physically keep going, but instead, we let that success trick us into thinking it’s OK to have just one, small cookie.
Then we find the next time we’re faced with that cookie, it’s even harder to resist. It’s because we didn’t teach our brains how to enter that “fight-through” headspace in that area. Instead, we strengthened the “go get a cookie” neurons.
Take action: Just recognizing when you are entering the “fight-through” phase can flip a switch so your brain goes into battle mode. Catch yourself when you say things like, “I’ll skip this today because I already…” or “I’ll do extra of that tomorrow since…”.:: Inspired by Jason Selk, Tom Barton and Matthew Rudy’s book, Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life.