Half Way Through – The Mental Battle

Richard East

Well done to everyone that has been taking part in the Olympic Challenge over the last 9 days. We are now basically half way though.

If you have been attempting a challenging distance then I would suggest that it is about now that mentally it is starting to get tough. It probably isn’t so much the physical challenge.

This is very similar to when you start a new diet or try and change your lifestyle. The initial changes happen quite quickly and you manage to make some healthy choices. After a short time these changes start to become more difficult to stick to.

It is generally not because of any other reason than our brains start to take over and it becomes a mental challenge. We know we are fully capable of making consistent choices when it comes to what we should be eating but our minds start to make excuses…its okay just this once…you’ve done so well over the last week you deserve a break…no one will know so what difference can it make?

This is the same mentality that will creep into any fitness changes we try and make in our daily lives.

A challenge such as this, picking a timescale and doing the same activity every day without fail, is teaching us consistency.

It’s the tortoise and the hare scenario. The hare might make a big, quick, change and go at it 100% for a day or two or maybe even three. It will be bold. It will be noteworthy. It won’t last.

The tortoise picks a sensible but challenging goal and does it every single day without fail for 2 weeks. They will be methodical. They will deal with doubt along the way and overcome obstacles. They will succeed in the challenge they set.

Who do you think will do better in the long run?

Who is teaching themselves about consistency and will move forward in a more positive manner?

From this event or challenge we can then build a new habit into our life. We may decide to do another challenge which is slightly harder or we may actually incorporate the activity into our life longterm.

As with everything it is best to set a goal. An achievable goal physically and timely. This then allows us to see progression and will help motivate us to continue. It also allows us to re-evaluate and make changes as we need to.

If the goal we set is too big and too hard to achieve regularly then this will naturally end in failure. So choose wisely and try it out.

When you achieve your goal, or the desired outcome, no matter how small then celebrate it. You have to include self appreciation into your plan.

The mental fight is always a harder battle than the physical.

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