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Coaching Corner: Mental Muscle

We strength train for the benefits: improve body composition, increase bone density, HDL’s (Good Cholesterol), joint functioning and obviously to build muscle. This weekend when your hitting your strength training session think about what else you need to strengthen. Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like muscles of the body.

Can you think about times you’ve said to yourself: “No way I can get a workout in today” or “It’s going to be impossible to stick to my nutrition game plan at the restaurant” According to Lyle Nelson, our thoughts create our reality. His thinking is that if you repeat a potential truth, then you will replace the old reality. I have to agree. Our words create our worlds at times and positive thoughts do lead to positive results. 

Today, I want you to build your mental muscle with the creation of personal affirmations. Start with a blank piece of paper and list out at least 5 to 10 affirmations. Write the most meaningful three on two 3X5 index cards so that you can keep one at work and one at home. You must repeat them 3 times each day. Let the affirmation sink in by slow and controlled repetitions just like your strength training.

Check out a few sample affirmations that resonate strongly with me and others I have met. Unlike strength training (2-3 days a week) exercising your mental muscle needs a daily session.

Sample Affirmations:

  • I make other people feel good about themselves
  • I smile, keep a positive outlook, and create optimism in everyone I encounter
  • I fuel my body fittingly – providing nutrients to heal my body
  • I aspire to radiate confidence, energy, and love for life
  • I enjoy physical activities: running, cycling, and Frisbee at the beach
  • I set a good health example – I am a role model for my family and friends
  • When I create an action plan – I follow thru, enough said.
  • I push the envelope to challenge myself each day – I never give up

 Exercise Adapted from Lyle Nelson’s: Total Well-Being – An Olympians Approach

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