It’s two and a half months into the New Year and I have already broken my resolutions. I don’t know why I insist on promising to eat healthy when I know I am in love with pizza and donuts and will eventually give in to temptation. My goal to post more on my blog has also fallen short with several distractions of well…life happening. Up until this point I was feeling a bit pessimistic that I will every accomplish anything with the way things were going.
One morning, as I lay in bed contemplating whether I would ever finish editing my pictures, I came across an article that changed my negative perception on goal achieving. It was an article about mental toughness. I’m sure some of you are probably thinking this is an attribute only really disciplined and successful people have. And I’d say you are right. It is the attribute that sets apart “successful” people and “non-successful” people.
According to Scientific America about 50% of superior athlete performance is the outcome of psychological factors, such as, mental toughness.
What surprised me was that several articles, including the TIMES, say mental toughness does not have to do anything with pre-destined talents or characterstics. Mental toughness can be learned and it can be learned by just about anybody!
It is your will or your thought to yourself to keep going that sets a person a part from the other. Telling yourself to do one more rep at the gym or run a little faster at a marathon is a simple example of this. These thoughts and these actions are what can help you and push you closer to your goal each day.
It is simply about practice. If you are choosing to eat healthier it is easier to begin with small steps rather than quitting your favorite junk foods altogether. You can start out small with telling yourself you will only eat one cookie instead of the usual two.
Psychologist Daniel Gucciardi says mental toughness comprises of the way we perceive positive and negative events.
For example, the fact that you didn’t do well on an English exam shouldn’t hinder you from doing future work in your class. You can tell yourself you are going to at least start that essay you have been putting off because you want to do better this time. Notice I did not say anything about starting and finishing the essay on the same day. But choosing to start can make a world of a difference.
Try these steps and I can assure you that you will be closer to your goal even if it doesn’t seem like it. After all, no one achieved greatness by merely being great. They all began from the start. (I just put this theory to the test this week and I have yet to eat a donut!) A series of small steps can go a long way, so next time you’re feeling down on yourself because you don’t think you can achieve your goal, remind yourself that you are mentally tough and it all begins with the choice to take action.
You CAN do it!