I enjoy reading articles about how to build mental toughness in a specific context that also have a broader application. Here the reason to be cheerful is that you’re living in Colorado and hang out at the Cross Fit gym in E.78th Avenue in Thornton. Being a combi ride away from the great outdoors will also help you to be healthy and improve most, if not all, of your 4Cs of mental toughness.
Nevertheless I was really interested to read the post by Adrian Grodzki from Cross Fit in Thornton, Colorado who writes that developing mental toughness improves health over a lifetime.
He writes a lot of sense in the context of cross fit that is applicable everywhere and I especially liked and endorse his view that:
- You build mental toughness through accruing small wins, every single day, in everything that you do
- Discipline (he calls it habits) not motivation gets you there.
Over to you Adrian……………
Some of us walk into a CrossFit gym and make a promise to ourselves that we will commit to a life of health and exercise. Three years down the road you feel you hit a plateau and start to create excuses why you can’t do better. You look at the other people in class and justify them getting better because of genetics or pure talent.
There is more to the story than that.
Science says that at the upper end end, only 30% of your achievement is due to your genetics, talent or intelligence. It turns out mental toughness “grit” plays the largest role in achieving your goals.
Doesn’t it make you happy to know that? Knowing that there is something you can do to create a change in your life. We are going to focus strictly on our health in this article but feel free to apply this to any part of your life.
Let’s break it down.
What factors make someone mentally tough? If asked to describe it toughness or grit in one word, that word would be…. “Consistency.”
The people you see in the gym getting better results than you only get them for ONE reason. They are more consistent than you. When they make a commitment they make sure they stick to it.
Here are some other traits of people I have outlined who are consistent.
- They have a clear goal and they stick to it.
- They don’t miss workouts.
- They stick to their nutrition plan.
- They support the other members in the gym.
- They commit to long term goals.
- They don’t let a hectic schedule prevent progress toward their goals.
- They make habits of building up people around them to achieve similar goals
- They have a schedule
- They always do the most important thing first
Good news! You can develop the same grit and perseverance as these people. No matter how you were born, the genetics you were given or the person and beliefs you have today – you can possess this “supernatural” grit and consistency.
I decided to dive in deeper and discover what strategies you can implement today that will help you. Most people have seen the greatest success with the following three.
1) Determine what being mentally tough means to you.
Toughness is very abstract so you must be able to define it in terms that mean something to you. Whatever definition you choose, you must be able to tie it into actionable items. This way when you complete those items you can prove to yourself you are mentally tough.
Here are some of mine…
- Workouts six times a week this whole month
- Go 2 weeks without eating any processed foods
- Dedicate 2 nights to studying for each class this week
- Take 15 minutes everyday to enjoy the sunrise and think about the things I’m grateful for
- Push myself passed my usual comfort zone once a day (both inside and outside of gym)
- Take time to call one old friend once a week
2) You build mental toughness through small wins, every single day, in everything that you do.
It is not just how we respond to intense situations, but our actions in everything else will help us be stronger when those situations occur. This means never take the easy way out. Crank out that extra rep when the weight feels heavy, wake up 15 minutes early to be ready for your day, dig deeper for information instead of taking everything you hear as the truth, or talk to someone that makes you feel shy. When you start winning small battles throughout your whole day, you start building mental toughness. Your proof is in the actions you have taken.
3) There is only habits – motivation never lasts.
You have to build upon small habits everyday that overcome challenges that get you closer to your goal. Distractions will happen all the time, but the more consistent you stay to your schedule the better you develop a system to focus on what is important.
Eventually your new habits will form a new mental belief. Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place.
Thanks Adrian. For the link to his article click here
For more on how to build mental toughness contact us.