Do you consider yourself an optimistic person? Someone who finds the positive in situations or are your thoughts consumed by negativity; a positive thought is quickly taken over by a negative one.
With the overwhelming presence and easily accessible social media channels, it’s easy to fall prey to feelings of envy towards what others boast, angst over the world’s problems, anger over differing opinions and the list goes on and on… The problem with negativity is that it triggers stress. Those with chronic stress are known to have a higher predisposition to cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, decreased immune functions and even accelerated aging.
Bringing this article into the context of your fitness and health goals, let’s look at a framework that will increase your positive outlook on your achievements, increase your sense of agency and ultimately bring you closer to your goals.
Comparison is the thief of joy… Re-read this sentence and let it sink in. How often do you find yourself saying:” I finished the workout but I didn’t use the heaviest weight.” or ” I broke my personal record but it’s nothing compared to my Sophie’s PR.” ” My friend lost 15lbs and I’ve only lost 5.” Comparison is the thief of joy…
So how do you get around this?
- Know your top 3 priorities. We are faced with 35 000 decisions each day! It’s no wonder we get side tracked into saying “yes” to things we weren’t planning on. This situation leads you to choosing actions that are less important than the ones that are your priorities. When you are clear on what is most important in your life, you will be able to make decisions that align with those priorities. Essentially allowing you to make the 1 decision that eliminates 1000 and therefore increasing your sense of agency.
- Set your own internally driven goal. When you are clear about what you want to achieve and why it’s important to you, it’s much easier to celebrate your wins without comparing them to others ‘ success.
- Measure backwards- While setting a goal is important, how you measure success along the way is imperative to keeping you motivated to keep moving forward. Measuring backwards is important to fueling positivity towards your journey. When you are able to look back at all the milestones you’ve achieved, you can see how much progress you’ve actually made even though you’re still not at your goal. Celebrating your wins along the way shows you that by being consistent in your action plan, you are actually moving forward. If you are always looking far ahead at your desired goal and withholding celebration for when you achieve this goal, you can quickly lose motivation and invite negativity because the flag post is so far away.