Taking on fitness goals often requires at least as much of a mental workout as it does a physical one. In other words, the work of achieving fitness goals requires a strong partnership between mind and muscle. Your body will only do what your mind believes is possible. Challenge yourself by changing your mind. Open up to new ways of thinking, feeling and doing fitness. You will be surprised by what you learn as you get lean. The following tips will help you get started.

Ask for help

Young Woman Doing Crunches in a gymThe fear of looking foolish can foil your fitness goals. Let it go. Take a big breath and decide to be bold enough to ask questions, say you don’t know, or ask for help. No one is born with information about how to use cardio equipment or weight machines. Likewise, if you know the best lifting sequence or form for abs work you know because you learned. Just as you have always heard, there is no such thing as a stupid question. If you don’t know, finding out is as easy as asking.

Show up

Especially if you are obese or new to exercise you may be reluctant to head to the park, sign-up for a fitness class or even go to the gym. Fitness is for everyone, not just for people that wear Lululemon gear or have perfect coordination. Reaching your fitness goals has nothing to do with how fashionable you look while you sweat or how well you follow the Zumba routine. The key is consistency so keep showing up.

Rethink impossible

Maybe you used to think softball or biking wasn’t for you. People change and that includes you. Maybe what you really didn’t like about softball as a kid was getting changed in the locker room. Now you can change at home or in a bathroom stall. Try softball, or anything that seems interesting, again. You may find that the camaraderie is just what you need to stay motivated.

A few more tips…

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone ConceptPartner with a buddy for support. You can (gently) push each other along when fear tries to hold you back.

Stay focused on why your fitness goals are important to you – When the “why” of something is motivating enough the “how” often feels easier.

Encourage yourself. You don’t have to wait until you reach your fitness goals to feel proud or to celebrate. Recognize yourself for getting started and for meeting weekly milestones. Every step counts.

Change your mind about who you think you are and what you can do. You don’t have to turn in a medal worthy performance to consider yourself an athlete. Abandon old, non-useful beliefs about what you can’t do. Human beings can learn and do new things throughout every decade of life. With appropriate motivation and a new attitude, you will find that you can do far more than you thought.

P.S. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get it right. Practicing (insert sport or fitness activity here) may not always make perfect, but it sure burns calories and improves overall health. That is what makes you a winner.