4 Ways to Retrain Your Brain for Success

Posted On Aug 17, 2015 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

4 Ways to Retrain Your Brain for Success

The mind is a VERY powerful thing. How many times have you had to talk yourself into doing a workout? Or, do you find ways to talk your way out of doing a workout? "It's only one day," or "Tomorrow will be better," are common (and unhelpful) thoughts that threaten to sabotage goals and progress. Excuses: Our brains are great at coming up with them and giving into them, but it's not so easy to fight them off. Here are four ways to retrain your brain to overcome the evil excuse, get started on your fitness journey, or fight through a tough day:

  1. Turn your negative mantra into a positive one

    Thoughts precede actions, so if you think negatively, chances are your actions, or lack thereof, will soon follow. Turn it around! If the voice inside your head is saying, "Skipping one day won't hurt," change it to "Everyday counts," or "every workout counts." This turns on the motivation and turns off the excuse threatening to keep you on the couch.

  2. Try the 10-minute Rule

    If you're feeling especially tired or unmotivated, tell yourself you don't have to complete a full 45-minute workout today. Just do 10 minutes. By the time you hit the 8-minute mark you'll forget about your excuses and the endorphins will kick in to take you further than your initial 10 minute goal.

  3. Visualize your actions

    Walk through each phase of your workout or preparing a healthy meal. See yourself lacing up your workout shoes, sweating it out on the BowFlex Max Trainer, and feeling great with a smile of satisfaction and accomplishment after your workout. If you workout in the morning, do this right before you go to sleep. It will make getting out of bed in the morning a breeze!

  4. Stay focused on even the smallest accomplishments

    Give yourself a pat on the back. By focusing more on your successes and reminding yourself of your progress on a daily basis, you will keep your momentum moving you forward.

The more you practice doing something, the easier it gets, whether it's passing on dessert, fitting in a workout, or allowing yourself to sabotage your goals. Positive or negative, the pathways in our brains actually get stronger and lead us in the direction of the action we do the most. The more you practice the healthy choice, the easier it will get!

Do you have a reoccurring excuse keeping you from achieving your goals that you want to retrain from negative to positive? Share what it is now, and what you want it to become in the comments below.