Traits for Exercise Success
Now that you have had a week to digest Zig Ziglar’s “If you think you can, you can, if you think you can’t you are right” motto, I hope you have built some momentum to set those stretch goals you secretly always wanted to go for but never had the confidence to tackle.
Believing you can reach your stretch goals is extremely important but it’s only a start. Once the goal is set you will need a mental arsenal of skills and traits to make sure you keep on track and don’t buckle when the going gets tough. I hate to tell you but the going IS going to get tough but that is half the fun, knowing you overcame obstacles, pain and discomfort to achieve your exercise goals.
Triathlete and endurance coach Joe Friel knows the importance having a good mindset and attitude when taking on aggressive exercise goals. He lists seven traits an individual must develop and possess to be successful at reaching their exercise goals.
Confidence – Successful athlete have respect for themselves as individuals and for their athletic abilities. Success comes in large part from controlling the small vice in our heads that likes to criticize or gets us to try and give up. We must learn to control that voice and provide ourselves positive feedback.
Focus – During times when an important outcome is on the line such as a big race or key workout, successful individuals have the ability to concentrate their mental and physical energy on the task at hand.
Self-Sufficiency – When working towards aggressive goals, you will have to take chances and move into new territory. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t. Successful individuals take full responsibility for their actions and don’t get down when things don’t go according to plan.
Adaptability – This may be the most important trait of all. Be flexible with your plans and strategies and don’t be afraid to revamp your plan based on unforeseen circumstance. For example, if you are working towards a running a 10K but hurt your foot; take up swimming as way to build your fitness.
Emotional Stability – Simply put don’t get too high with the highs or two low with the lows. Things happen and you are in it for the long haul. Getting mad or frustrated is just wasting energy. If things don’t go the way you expected, give yourself time to vent then focus your energy to move forward with your plan.
Quiet Cockiness – No one loves an outwardly cocky and brash individual, but it’s OK to know what you will need to succeed. The most successful athletes are ones that never brag out loud but have the confidence and belief they can to whatever they need to do.
Mental Toughness – When the going gets hard, mentally tough individuals hang in there. Determination and mental toughness is duct taping the switch in your mind to the ON position knowing you will desperately want to flip it off when pain ensues and knowing you just can't do it. That’s the place you must get to.These traits will help you develop the attitude you need to successfully reach your goals. As a friend of mine once told me, “Pain is temporary, accomplishment and Jesus are forever.” Keep your eye on the prize and remember to enjoy the journey and stay committed, flexible and mentally tough. The prize of accomplishment is well worth it, I promise.