Someone once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” In other words, your thoughts about yourself and your abilities have an effect on your ability to achieve certain goals. Remember “The Little Engine that Could”?…why could it? Because it thought it could. This Little Engine was aware of his challenge, and accepted it knowing the difficulties. He chose to activate his willpower and ignore the negative voices that told him why he wouldn’t be successful. Instead, he repeated the phrase, “I think I can, I think I can” focusing on the task ahead and slowly but surely, activating all his energy, he climbed the mountain, he achieved his goal.
The same is true about how you approach your fitness goals. We must become aware of what our goal will require of us and then activate our will by thinking positive things about ourselves that will help us achieve the goal. For example, if you have set the goal of walking 5x a week, first become aware of what you will need to do to make this a reality. Perhaps it’s adjusting your morning routine, setting up an accountability partner, learning new stretches to avoid injury. Then, tell yourself that your goal is possible, that you are capable of achieving this goal. Use the skills you already have to achieve your fitness goals. If you are good at completing tasks at work, set up your fitness goal like a project: Set a time limit, organize your steps (set alarm, lay out clothes, etc), and get to it!
Pilates, of course, also focuses on awareness and activation to achieve the goal of action or movement. In order to move the body effectively and efficiently we must first become aware of what our body needs to do. Then, using the breath, we activate the core muscles. Finally, using focus and control, we begin to intentionally move our muscles in order to achieve the goal of each exercise.
In his article, “It’s Time to Start Confessing Good things about Yourself!”, Rick Renner talks about how the mind affects your spiritual growth or strength. Renner discusses that although it is important to have the knowledge of God’s Word, actually activating the truth about yourself through God’s eyes by speaking (using the breath!) is the “key” to success. For more on the importance of positive thinking through God’s Word in your daily life, see http://www.crosswalk.com/spirituallife/11624934/.