At the beginning of a new year, it seems that most people make New Year’s resolutions that involve physical fitness. (Trust me, I’m no exception.) Talk of “new year, new you!” and of renewing gym memberships seems inescapable. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with physical fitness being a popular type of resolution – it’s AWESOME and admirable to take control of our physical health – it’s also important to keep in mind that there is another area of fitness that needs our attention:
Good mental fitness is like the roots of a giant oak tree – we may not see the roots, but those roots enable the tree to grow and become tall and sturdy. Achieving success in resolutions, or in life, requires good mental fitness because all goals and dreams begin with mental willpower, faith, and persistence. So, how do we bulk up our brain’s biceps? How do we develop unconquerable mental fitness? Here are a few ideas…
Engage in Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are like your mind’s daily vitamins! Phrases such as: I am strong; I am intelligent; I am competent; I am an asset to my company; I am a great parent can give you that needed mental strength. Why? Because words have power, and the words you speak to yourself can define your reality. When affirmations are spoken with sincerity and thoughtfulness, you internalize them, and those small daily doses of positive words can end up creating unbreakable confidence and strength.
Life a roller-coaster with the constant requests, worries, tasks, bills, and more being thrown your way – one minute you’re riding high and feeling like the world is in your pocket, and the next minute you’re careening down a path of unexpected craziness. Taking time to stifle the static and realign with your inner magic can strengthen mental endurance and create a glass-half-full attitude. So, whether it’s meditation, prayer, journaling, or yoga, do something that centers and grounds you amidst the constant chaos.
“I think self-discipline is something, it’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.” Daniel Goldstein
Discipline begins with baby steps! Running a marathon or effortlessly choosing an apple instead of the chocolate mousse cupcake doesn’t just happen like magic – it takes time and practice. Challenging ourselves to refrain from hitting the snooze button in the morning or to drinking 120 oz of water each day are both great examples of small steps that can lead to accomplishing HUGE goals. So, no matter what level you’re at, find a way to develop your discipline each day. Why? Because discipline, no matter how small, results in PROGRESS!
In the world of Instagram and Twitter, reading may not be as popular, but reading is something that can definitely bulk up mental muscles! Reading can stimulate your brain, improve concentration and focus, and, obviously, increase your knowledge! Plus, who doesn’t love traveling to mystical lands, falling in love, solving a mystery, or becoming a better person while reading?
Kick up your boots and let loose! Doing something each day that you enjoy is one way to keep your mental fitness in tip-top shape. Take time to decompress with your favorite Netflix documentary or play a few rounds of Settlers of Catan. All work and no play can make ANYONE a dull boy or girl. (Did you catch the movie reference?) So, whatever it may be, do something that you absolutely love and that makes you love life!
Taking care of your mental well-being will help you to achieve whatever other goals you may have in life! Make yourself a priority and watch the success blossom!
– Jesse Bailey
Jesse is Viiva’s Senior Copywriter. She recently graduated Cum Laude from the University of Utah with a BA in English and a BS in Economics. She loves hiking, writing, reading, playing her violin, and spending time with loved ones.