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Mental toughness, what does it mean to you? Better yet, have you ever actually thought about it?
Over the last month, I have been thinking about goals. I have found, in the past, it was difficult to achieve goals because I set the bar way too high. Then I realize I’m burned out and move onto something else. I feel this is similar in many ways as setting a new year’s resolution, something I have not done for many years. After all, how many of you have achieved your resolutions for 2020? Do you even remember what your “Goal” was?
Instead of resolutions, I have made the change to set goals.
The best way to do this is to come up with an overall goal. Let’s say reading ten books this year. Many of you might think that is a considerable task and get overwhelmed, even thinking about it. I know I was. I then simply changed my goal to read ten pages a day. With this simple mindset change, it doesn’t seem so daunting. And I’m happy to say that to date, I’ve already read twelve books this year!
The above was just an example as I’m sure you have many goals, and I’m sure they even change over time. I feel by simply changing your mindset, and you can achieve pretty much anything. I’ve said it many times, but the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
What Goals Do You Have?
Not to get all deep with you. I have recently been thinking about life and what I want to achieve out of it. I have found a few things that are very important (let’s call them priorities) and something that I want to eventually accomplish (one of which I refer to this as mental toughness).
The goals you have can be both short term and long term. I think having a mixture between the two is a perfect balance. I can list what my goals are here, but that might be a bit boring. The point I’m trying to make is to have a purpose. And then set some smaller steps that will help you achieve your overall goal. Not only will this be a great way to check off the smaller stages, but you might just realize that you got to your goal a lot faster than you initially thought.
It also helps to have the proper mindset. If you make a goal and later realize that it changed, it’s okay to fix it. Sometimes, as humans, we get stuck in our ways and feel we can’t change something we want. Well, I have news for you, you CAN change it. It’s your goal, not someone else’s.
Changing Your Mindset
I often refer back to the Nerd Fitness article (yes, I am part of the rebellion; it’s an excellent blog about nerds and fitness) that set me on this path. I will do my best to sum it up if you don’t want to read the fantastic article (which does go into a lot more detail).
Going back to my example above, there are day’s I say, “I can’t read today, I don’t have time.” I am sure everyone can relate to this. Another example is that you, “I don’t have time to work out.” What the article linked above is says is that you are simply not making it (reading or working out) a priority.
So now, let’s change your mindset. Instead of saying, “I can’t ___,” now you say, “I am not making ___ a priority.”
I think it’s crazy when you change to this mindset. You start looking at things differently. For example, instead of, “I can’t read today,” I say, “I’m not making reading ten pages a priority.” That might be fine to do every once in a while. But what happens with the second example, “I don’t have time to work out work out.’ What you are saying is, “I am not making working out a priority.” That right there makes you reprioritize working out because we want to be healthy. So now I should go for a walk, even if it’s only around the block!
Doing something is better than nothing.
Once you change your mindset, you will find the areas in your life that are truly important to you. Something you might need to look at next is your ability to succeed and overcome what is going on inside of you.
What Is Mental Toughness?
This all brings me to action. I read a definition of mental toughness, and it said it is something you DO, not something you have. Being mentally tough is having the ability to resist, manage, and overcome the doubts, worries, concerns, and circumstances that prevent you from succeeding or excelling at a task.
Wow, that is a mouthful. But if the objective is to have the desired outcome, like being able to handle what life throws at you. This is where having and making workout a priority will change your outlook. And then, you will start to have control over the areas in your life that might be currently lacking.
This is not going to happen overnight. It has taken me a while to come up with all of this, and who knows, it might even change in a year. But for right now, this is how I have focused my attention.
Things You Can Do
By now, I hope you have a goal you want to go after. Something that you want to achieve, maybe in a certain amount of time.
As an example, I want to start writing more. So this month, my goal is to write 500 words a day. There have been days that it has been super easy, and others I have to force myself to write. There are times it’s about things I can’t wait to put online, and other days it is about what is going on in my head (which might even end up online one day too).
This goal, of writing more, started because I want to post 50 blogs to this site in 2020. That is a very overwhelming task, especially for someone that doesn’t write a lot. So I broke it down to one post a week. And something that will help even more is to write a little every day. I also changed my mindset from, “I’m not a writer,” to “I have a blog and am making this a priority.”
And just for fun, here are a few other goals I have:
- Write 500 words a day (in a journal for example)
- Read ten pages every day
- Spend one hour doing something creative
- Going one month without missing a workout
- Meditating every morning (for a month)
- Pushing out one extra rep at the gym today
- Delivering work ahead of schedule
I can sometimes go on tangents, so I thank you for reading this far. I hope to get you thinking about what your goals and priorities in your life. This might mean changing your mindset or setting small attainable goals to achieve what you want to do.
Leaving with a question is something that I enjoy doing. I hope to get comments for myself and others to learn from. So feel free to leave a comment below on, What is the one thing that you want to do this month?
Remember to take one step at a time, I know it might not be the best analogy, but it gets my point across. It is the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant?” – You take one bite at a time!