If you think toughness is solely restricted to strength in numbers – such as how many squats you can do without collapsing on the gym floor, chin-ups, downward dogs, or bicep curls you can handle – think again. Being physically tough starts and ends with how tough the mind allows you to be. From bulging biceps to lean legs, a strong body starts with a strong, focused mind. Do you think you can – or can’t – earn that strong and fit body? Whatever you think, you’re right.

Put Your Head Back into the Game

The expression is a common one – It’s not the destination, but the journey – and it’s well known for a reason.  Everyone knows the expression because it’s true. Whether you want to lose 20, 40, or 60 lbs., have a flat stomach or want a body building physique that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger jealous, you can – as long as you believe in yourself enough to achieve it. Are you distracted or staying in the moment while you work out? Get your head back in the game, and keep in there! A focused and determined mind is the key to a strong, focused and determined body. In other words, think of it like this: The knowledge to exercise correctly and the equipment to exercise altogether is important, but it’s not the most important aspect of a tough body. Your mind is.

It’s You vs. You

Why is a strong mind essential for a strong body? Because it will give you the motivation to start a workout when it’s the last thing you want to do, the perseverance to press through your comfort zone, and the confidence to be in the best shape of your life.  Being mentally tough is about the inward journey of your physical transformation – the confidence, the belief in yourself, and the initiative to do what no one else can do for you – to continue strengthening your body despite what anyone else thinks you can or cannot do.

Get Motivated (and Stay There)

If you seem to get bogged down with past frustrations, disappointments and hopelessness, which is preventing you from the fit body you deserve, start re-wiring your thinking.  Transform your body by switching up negative thoughts into positive, self-affirming ones. Begin your day, even before brushing your teeth with this thought: My body is slender and toned. It is a temple, which I treat kindly and with respect. It is stronger than it’s ever been, because I fuel it with nutritious, wholesome foods and exhilarating workouts.

Start your day hydrating yourself with water or tea. Eat a wholesome breakfast of protein and whole grains. Challenge yourself to press more weight than you did last week, or enjoy taking a new dance class. Stretch. Enjoy a cup of coffee to boost your metabolism. Take a short walk around the office, or home. Enjoy a light lunch with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Take an evening walk, and end the day telling yourself what a healthy, balanced day you had. Stretch, breath and go to sleep with gratitude. After all, the journey to a strong body begins with a strong mind – and what you’ll find is with a strong mind, you’ll develop the confidence and belief in yourself to conquer anything you want to.  Train your mind to be tough and relentless and trust us – the journey there will be worth the hard work along the way.