We’ve all heard the phrase “Mind Over Matter”.

In the world of fitness, it could mean the difference between a great workout and a downright disastrous one. But, what if trying to tailor your perceptions changed more than just your workouts in the most positive way?

On a thought provoking podcast, Chasing Excellence, Ben Bergeron goes into the principles of mindset and how just a few tiny tweaks can make a more positive and productive impact.

  1. Prioritize.

    Here is where you list your goals and priorities that are an absolute must and you will not deviate from. Your priority can be your family, your career, or even yourself. Focus on what means the world to you, what makes you happy, and gives brings peace to your soul. It doesn’t have to be just one thing, but once your priorities become your focus, everything else comes second and there is no more ultimatums or having to choose between what is “urgent” and what is important.

  2. Growth.

    Choose to be a lifelong learner. This doesn’t mean you can’t be happy or content with where you are, but a “growth mindset” means understanding that things can always be better. You can always be better. Talent and genetics can only do so much but you will truly see progress once the focus shifts. The key is to not look at what you are but what you are becoming.

  3. Focus on what you can control.

    This leads back to an old, Greek philosophy of Stoicism: a system of personal ethics and views of the world through logic. In this chaotic world, there are very few things we can control; how things affect us, our reactions and responses, and what we pay attention to. In simple terms, let go of what you can’t control and what yourself become more focused on things that you can.

  4. Grind through the obstacles- GRIT.

    Life is always full of obstacles and challenges. What separates those that can grow and develop from those that rarely make any headway is whether or not they welcome a challenge. You don’t happy to jumping for joy when things become difficult but a big part of everyday life is accepting that obstacles are coming and being ready to take them head on. As long as there is passion and perseverance in your intent, you will come out on top. And if for some reason things don’t work out exactly how you wanted, then look at the situation as a learning moment. Take the setback as a way to try something again but with a new approach or with a more refined method in order to succeed.

  5. Own your attention.

    With almost everything around us coming with its own horn and flashing lights, it’s hard to not get distracted. We mind those around us and every little thing they’re doing; all the Instagram celebrities and followers, latest trends in fashion, and even what food others have on their plates. This also pertains to your actions and whether you do them with intent. When you come home to unwind, do you choose to sit in front of the TV for 3-4 hours or do you do something productive like cooking or cleaning? If you intend to relax, do you do what is best done out of habit because that’s what you always do or is there a purpose? When making meals, do you choose to make what’s easy because that what you’ve always done, or do you think about who you are cooking for and decide to make something healthy for everyone? Own your intent. Pay attention to things that matter and not those that don’t. When you do things, do them with purpose rather than out of habit or because it’s “what you always do”. Small choices lead to big changes.

  6. Question your self-limiting beliefs.

    “I can’t pick up the kids.” No, you “won’t” pick up the kids. “I can’t work out today.” No, you “won’t” workout today. “I can’t reach my goal.” No, you “won’t reach your goal. Notice the difference between the statements. Change “can’t” to “won’t” and all of a sudden the responsibility falls on you. It’s no matter a question of physical ability but rather a conscious one to not follow through. It’s easy to not do something when you put the responsibility elsewhere and become complacent but start changing that one little word for the effect. Don’t limit your own capabilities by simply shifting the liability or duty elsewhere. Empower your own decisions and open yourself up to all of the things you CAN do.

  7. Never whine, complain, or make excuses.

    This falls into a phenomenon known as the frequency illusion. If you are always commenting on the negative aspects on things and how horrible they are, you will always end up subconsciously seeing more of it everywhere around you. The same can be side for the opposite when you look for positivity and opportunity; you will be more susceptible to seeing the good around you and the doors that are opening in your life. Ever been around someone who is draining to be around? Look at their language and mindset. Is it more positive or more negative? Is yours any different? Yes, life can be hard and it can “suck” sometimes, but it’s only a bump in the road that will lead to lessons learned if you are open to seeing them and that starts with moving away from the excuses and negativity.

  8. Practice open-mindedness.

    Simply put, don’t be overly judgmental. As humans, it is natural for us to judge. It is how we determine if something makes sense to us or if we like it/dislike it. Open-mindedness also refers to how you react towards other people. Don’t be quick to judge someone/something based off one moment or incident. Listen and absorb (also referring to coachability!).

  9. Transform every “have to” into “get to”.

    Same as point 7, change how you phrase things. “I have to cook dinner”. No, you “get to” cook dinner. I feel like one example should suffice as it is a simple concept. The takeaway is that you are turning something from a routine chore or task into somewhat of a blessing. You don’t have to go to work but you get to. I’m sure everyone can appreciate receiving an income, right?

  10. Chase excellence.

    Never settle for where you are. It is within our biology to evolve and become more than what we are. Don’t just set one goal; set 10 or 20. Have a whole lifetime of goals so that you have no regrets because you took every second and lived life to the fullest. As Ben Bergeron put it, “Have attention to detail while putting first things first.” As long as you strive to be the best version that you can be in your life’s pursuits, you will achieve excellence.

Excel (n.)- to be superior in some quality, attainment, or performance.