Building lean muscle, increasing endurance, and burning fat are all physical actions. But they wouldn’t happen without your mind.
That’s because the way you think about your own health and fitness is actually the key to success that lasts.
It all comes down to two different ways of thinking: a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset.
If you want long-term health and fitness results, you must cultivate a growth mindset. This is easier said than done, but it is entirely possible. And it will change your life.
Let’s look at the difference in these two ways of thinking and how you can begin (or continue) focusing on growth.
What It Means to Have a Growth Mindset Vs a Fixed Mindset
Someone with a “fixed mindset” believes intelligence, character, and talent can’t be changed. In a fixed mindset, success only comes if you have enough skill for it (or you get lucky)—without additional effort.
Because of this belief, when someone has a fixed mindset, they don’t spend time developing their skills. Whether they are conscious of it or not, there’s an underlying belief that their effort won’t make a difference. They may also avoid failure in any way because they:
- Are afraid of making mistakes. In their mind, failure is embarrassing or shameful and a sign that they aren’t “good enough.”
- Think failing indicates a lack of talent or skill (so what’s the point of trying?).
- Believe our successes or failures are an indication of personal worth.
This is not to put down those who struggle with these thoughts. Many of us battle with a fixed mindset every day. But recognizing the thought patterns of a fixed mindset helps us reframe how we think about success and failure.
The Basics of a Growth Mindset
By contrast, having a growth mindset means believing you can start with your most basic abilities and—through hard work and dedication—develop them over time. Instead of worrying about where you’re starting or where you are now, you’re always focused on improving.
The phrase “progress, not perfection” is integral to a growth mindset.
So many successful people in history have had to think with a growth mindset. They see failure as an opportunity for growth and learning—not an indication of their personal worth.
So the real question is: which person do you want to be? Are you willing to live with a growth mindset and embrace failure so you can continue to grow and meet your fitness goals? Read on for some ways to do just that.
How to Use a Growth Mindset for Your Health and Fitness Goals
At Gorilla Bow, we’re all about working up from wherever you are now. You can get the results you want and live a healthy life no matter where you start from. That’s the definition of a growth mindset.
Here are some ways to use this way of thinking to achieve your goals and dreams.
Don’t Chase Perfection
This is so important, especially if you’re new to health and fitness. Don’t be afraid to push yourself, but also be realistic about your goals. In other words, don’t fall into the trap of perfectionism.
Don’t assume the path to your fitness goals will be linear. Be open to change and bumps along the way—and improvise when you need to. For example:
- Maybe you have to travel for work unexpectedly. Instead of assuming there’s now no way to continue your workout routine, book a hotel with a gym or bring portable workout equipment (which you can use right in your hotel room!).
- Or, maybe your day-to-day obligations change and you have to move around what times you workout. Be open to shifting around your schedule to still include exercise.
- If you have a busy schedule, instead of grabbing fast food, pack healthy snacks to keep in your desk or on the road, or start meal-prepping for the week.
Recognize where you are now and where you want to go. What are your goals? Do you want to lose or maintain weight? Tone up and build muscle? Be more active? Start eating more whole foods?
When your goals are specific, they’re more attainable. Ask yourself these questions:
- What do you want to accomplish? Get clear on the specific goal you want to achieve, and write it down.
- Why do you want to change? What is your “why”? Maybe it’s to have more energy, attain a certain physique, feel better, or prevent your risk of disease. Maybe it’s all of that.
- How will you achieve that goal? Will you workout each morning before you start your day? Prep your healthy meals each weekend? The “how” is a huge part of meeting any goal because it actually makes you follow through.
- What is the timeline for your goal? By what date are you hoping to meet your goal? If it’s a big one, such as losing a lot of weight or gaining a lot of muscle, you might even break the goal up into smaller milestones. Make it achievable and something you can really work towards.
Remember that goals are just that: goals. Even if you fail to reach a specific goal, it doesn’t make you a failure.
Recognize how far you have come, then reframe the goal to fit your current situation. You must celebrate the steps along the way because sustainable fitness is life-long, and you will always be growing and changing. This is a growth mindset.
Make Exercise Fit Your Lifestyle
There’s a reason gyms have the most business after New Year’s—only to drop off after a couple months. Many people crash and burn after starting a fitness routine because of an unrealistic, fixed mindset about health and fitness.
You need an exercise routine that can fit into your life. Sure, you might have to make sacrifices too, but think about a balance that makes sense on a daily basis. Otherwise, it’s all-too-easy to give up after a few months if your fitness habits are not sustainable.
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get results. The great thing about home gym systems like the Gorilla Bow is that they make it possible to workout literally anywhere. Plus, the Gorilla Bow system comes with free workouts for all muscle groups!
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset: Which One Will You Choose?
A growth mindset will get you the farthest over the long-term, and that’s the healthiest goal to have. Start small if you need to. Have realistic goals. Be flexible. And think about health and fitness habits that you can realistically maintain each day—then build up from there.