In my social circle of friends and family, it seems like I'm a physically-fit oasis in a desert of the out of shape who want to get in shape. They all try but never seem to get there. One thing that I am good at is solving problems so I'm also good at identifing them. Nearly every single time they all have problems with their attitudes and outlooks on how to get physically fit. To put it quite simply, it's in their minds as much as it is in their bodies.
I think that there are outlooks that I have about fitness that keep me in shape. Here are a few, in no particular order, that make all of the difference between succeeding and failing.
1. Thinking about what I eat before I eat it. Whenever I eat anything, I always ask myself if what I'm eating is good for me or not. It's always on my mind. That's not to say that I don't eat bad foods but I'm cognizant of of what I'm doing. I really don't think that many people do that. They just go off what they feel like eating and throw it into their mouth without a moment of consideration as to if it's good for them or not.
2. Making Exercise a Priority. For a lot of the people around me, things like gossip and reality shows, cocktail hours, video games, etc are a better use of 30 minutes than working out. Is it any wonder things never get done when Dancing with the Stars gets priority over push-ups? I agree with Matt Furey when he said that daily exercise is just as important as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Remember what "ChickenTuna" mentioned about those two activities? You may not like to work out any more than you like to brush your teeth and take a shower but everyone loves the results.
3. Believe that you can. There is a very thin line in your mind between what you perceive to be true and what is. This is why the technique of positive visualization gets used by such a wide variety of people from professional athletes to business executives to self defense instructors. It will work for you too. You can talk yourself into or out of anything. I've told myself that I could do Handstand Push-ups on T's and eventually, I did! I've also convinced myself I could only do 15 handstand push-ups when I know for a fact that I can do 20. It's a known fact that your muscles only contract at a fraction of their power even when you think that you are doing all that you think that you can. In other words, you're capable of more. BELIEVE!
4. Making Time. This one has had some help from outside sources for sure. You don't need an hour or even hours of time to get yourself into shape. I usually don't work out for more than one hour a day. Still, I get into great shape. My viewpoint on time relates to my belief in being positive. I don't look at my limited time and say that I can't work out. I try to find the way to make the time that I have work best for me. Trust me: you don't need much more than 20-30 minutes a day of exercise. If you don't believe me, then let me know. I guarantee that I can give you a 25 minute workout that will whoop your ass.
5. Focus. I've been approached by a few of my loved ones who believe that if they could watch TV while walking on a treadmill/elliptical/whatever for two hours, then they could get into great shape. I didn't have the heart or the bad manners (at the time) to tell them that is ridiculous. Science is just starting to prove that focused attention on a muscle makes the muscle stronger. So, distractions like television aren't going to help in the long run. The truth is that the more you think into your resisted movements, the more successful you'll become at getting into great shape.
I hope that I've impressed on you that physical fitness is more than just a physical endeavour. It is every bit an emotional and mental exercise. The sooner you realize and embrace this, the more successful you'll be at achieving your goals.