How To Build Positive Fitness Mindset

The Paradox

In the modern age, we have a plethora of effective workouts, exercise equipment, and skilled trainers. We have ab trainers, free weights, kettlebells, resistance bands, weight machines, treadmills, bikes, rowing and elliptical machines.

We have fitness watches, gadgets, pedometers and countless fitness apps.

We have gyms, exercise classes, DVDs, personal trainers, a huge sector of the Internet devoted to workout demonstrations and many books that offer extensive fitness education.

But, yet, according to the Centers For Disease Control, obesity rates in the United States alone are at epidemic levels, with 1/3 (34.9% or 78.6 million) of adults being overweight or obese. 

There are more people with obesity related Type 2 Diabetes than ever before. 

More people are dying of heart and other diseases as a result of lifestyle habits, such as, diet and exercise than ever before.

According to the American Heart Association, 32% of adults do not engage in physical activity, which, they define as light, moderate or vigorous physical activity for at least 10 minutes per day. 

Why Is This So?

The simple reasons is that they don’t want to! 

A sensible explanation is that most people do not have the proper mindset that it takes to maintain an active lifestyle that results in fitness and good health. 

Do you remember a time when you wanted something really bad and nothing stopped you until you achieved that goal? 

The old saying, “where there is a will, there is a way” is very real!

Everything we do is dictated by our minds. We have incredible power to make amazing things happen, and this includes becoming fit, trim and lean individuals. 

Set your mind, and the body will follow!

The Problem

The root problem for many people who spend their lives procrastinating and making excuses as to why they don’t exercise is that they lack the proper mindset towards it.

Typically the excuses to not workout go like this…

“I don’t have time” 

“I’m tired”

“I am too busy”

“It’s boring”

“I can’t afford a gym”

“It hurts”

But, all of these are just excuses. They really are.

The truth is that people who don’t exercise don’t want to. It’s really that simple.

The truth is that everyone can find time to exercise, and you don’t need a gym to workout. 

And, if we are to be honest with ourselves, we always find time to do the things we really want to do.

This is one of the reasons for the huge success of the diet industry that comes out with a new fad diet, or some new “magical” weight loss supplement every other month and people jump on it like it’s a drink from the fountain of youth. It is the hope and promise of a quick and easy fix.

The reality is that achieving health, fitness and a great body takes time, effort and dedication through a sensible diet and regular exercise. 


That is reality. 


But, people are attracted to the notion because it sounds fast and easy, and much easier than exercise, which, they don’t want to do.

In order to get fit, one must want to get fit and that begins with changing the mindset.

It is really a simple as that.

Every year people make resolutions for things they want to achieve or change in the new year. According to Statistic Brain, for the last three years in a row the #1 resolution made was to lose weight. Most of these are empty promises that will not come to fruition, because most people don’t really mean them, they are just robotic statements we make because “that is what you are supposed to do at the new year.”

Real behavioral changes begin with the proper mindset. 

Attitude And Perception

Why is it that some people can’t wait to hit the gym, the treadmill or the weight bench, while, others look for any excuse to get out of it?

Sometimes the differences can stem from different attitudes and perceptions that people have towards fitness.

Some of these perceptions are set in childhood where parents are not active and most of a child’s leisure time is spent in front of the TV or playing video games.

Athletes have spent most of their lives, starting as young as 8 or 9 years old in training and so fitness has always been a part of their daily lives.

Some people may have had bad experiences with workouts where they experienced muscle pain the next day and it really turned them off. Understandable, but, still not a good excuse because the pain is very temporary and does go away.

In order to change our mindset towards fitness we must change how we perceive it and our attitude towards it. 

For any real change to take effect we must instill real habit changes that go with a new mindset that will allow regular exercise to become a part of our daily lives.


The simplest definition of habit is a thought or activity that is repeated over and over again. 

The mind is, by nature, habitual. There is an inbred habit forming process in all of us that is part of our wiring, and it is there in large part to help humans with one of the most important aspects of survival, which, is learning. 

Habits are also integral in bringing us towards something we perceive as positive or pleasurable or to take us away from something that is negative and brings pain. 

Changing habits is integral to changing one’s mindset and vice versa. So once you set your mind to change habits, and take actions steps to change the mindset, new habits can be formed. 

Have you ever quit or started doing something and it is so solidified in your mind and your life, that the mere thought of doing it or not doing it again is an impossibility? That is a habit that has become ingrained and so behavior follows.

Athletes spend their whole lives in training, for them exercise is a regular habit and one they don’t even think about, it’s just a part of daily life.

Those who kick the sugar habit never touch soda. It never even occurs to them to order it, or buy it. They replace soda with other drinks and they never question it, or yearn for it because they have changed their taste so much that even one sip of that sugary drink is a huge turn off. This is a great example of a change in habits and mindset.

Elements Of Changing Habits 

Willingness And Motivation

In order to change habits you must be willing and it starts with motivation. Motivation is what drives us to do anything in life, typically there is some payoff that we wish to attain. Motivation for fitness is plentiful, you just have to be willing to go there and make the connections. 

Here are some of the best reasons to get fit:

  • A great body
  • Better health
  • To be a good role model for your kids
  • Strong lean muscle tone that will ensure healthier senior years
  • Wearing a bikini at the beach
  • Six pack abs
  • Energy and vitality
  • Disease prevention
  • Avoiding early death from heart attack, stroke, cancer
  • Preventing Type 2 diabetes
  • Preventing back pain
  • Preventing arthritis in the aging years
  • Strong bones to prevent osteoarthritis in women
  • Confidence
  • Self esteem
  • Feeling of pride for achieving something great
  • Feeling like a rock star when you push weight around and your own body as the sweat pours off your face
  • Self-Discipline
  • Wearing skinny jeans
  • Eliminate joint pain
  • Eliminate a variety of ailments that result from obesity
  • Heart health

The connection between exercise and the payoffs listed above must be accepted if one is to make lasting habit changes.

Positive Reinforcement

One of the best ways to change habits is through positive reinforcement, so it is important to look for it and find it in fitness. Positive reinforcement is simply the reward of doing something. When you realize and truly accept the rewards of working out, you will want to do it. 

What does positive reinforcement look like? 

  • Feeling some room in your jeans after two weeks of working out.
  • Watching the scale numbers fall.
  • Going shopping and looking for a smaller size.
  • Wearing clothes that you would not dare wear before.
  • Feeling stronger.
  • Looking better.
  • Having a friend or people at the office comment on your weight loss.
  • Going to the doctor and finding out that your cholesterol numbers are lower.
  • Feeling lighter.

All of these and more are positive reinforcements resulting from exercises. They are the pay off. 

That is what drives and solidifies the changing of habits, and motivates you to keep going.

All of these help shape a new mindset!

Action Steps

Changing one’s mindset and developing the habit of fitness takes action. Thinking about it can only get you so far. Action steps are necessary to reshape habits and the way we think about and perceive fitness.  

And, it is also important to note that it is not a one-time event. It is something that will continue on an ongoing basis, as there will be days when you will want to give up and go back to your old ways. 


The most important step is to become aware of, acknowledge and accept that the reason you never exercise is because you don’t want to.

This type of conscious acknowledgement is the first step towards making change. You see if you keep thinking and believing that it really is because you don’t have time, then you will never have time, and you will never allow the benefits of fitness into your life. 

Identify your pitfalls in advance

  • Your self-defeating thoughts and behaviors towards exercise.
  • What are you strengths and weaknesses? 
  • What stirs you to action? 

Decide how you will face them and deal with them once they come.


The second step is to make a commitment to yourself with yourself. Create a written contract. Decide that you will honor the commitment, and read that contract every single day. 

This is a tangible action step that will allow this issue to become forefront in your mind and bring it to reality. This can work wonders to stop the lies (excuses) we tell ourselves. This step also helps to plant that seed in the mind, so when we do make those excuses, we begin to see them as such.

You know yourself best, and perhaps setting personal consequences when you dishonor commitment, or perhaps it’s reward, like a movie when you do, may work to keep you on track. 

No More Excuses

Make a list of the excuses you typically make to not workout, and then add counteracting reality statements for each one. These should be addressed to yourself, so when you read them it will be like talking to yourself. 

Keep this list handy, make copies, one for home, and one for your purse or wallet and keep it with you.

For example: 

Excuse: I am too tired.

Reality: I am not really tired, it’s just an excuse, besides, I will feel energized after the workout.

Excuse: I don’t feel like it.

Reality: Imagine how I will feel and look if I don’t. 

Excuse: I don’t have time.

Reality: It only takes 30 minutes, much less time than it will take to watch my TV show, or to talk on the phone with a friend. I can alter my schedule, it’s too important to miss.

Excuse: It’s too hard.

Reality: I am a strong person, I am working hard to achieve my goals, it will get easier as I get into better shape, but, if I keep skipping workouts this excuse will always keep me from achieving the body of my dreams and sound physical health.

Continue with your own excuses and realities that make sense for you. It’s also a good idea to read this every day, it will help to reprogram the mind, prevent self-sabotage and change negative thoughts and perceptions about exercise. 

Positive Affirmations 

Positive affirmations are sayings one repeats daily in order to achieve some type of goal. The sayings are typically spoken in present tense and can work well to re-program the mind and keep one focused on their goals. 

Again, these support the changing of the mindset to stick with fitness on a regular basis.

Examples of Positive Affirmations

  • I am losing weight everyday
  • I have a healthy and strong body
  • I love to workout, it’s fun and it works
  • When I workout I love myself
  • When I workout I prevent disease
  • When I workout I fit into my favorite clothes
  • Working out makes me feel great
  • Exercise allows me to wear anything I want
  • Exercise is healing 
  • I don’t like skipping workouts
  • I love how my body looks

Tangible Motivation

Tangible motivation can come in many forms. There are great motivational sayings with images online that you can look at every day to stay focused on your goals. You can print them out, look at them and repeat them every morning before you begin the day.

One of the best ideas is to print a picture of a woman or man that has the body of your dreams and pin it at home, and in the car where you will see it several times per day.

This can go a long way to remaining focused, keeping the goal you want to reach in mind and close by at all times and to keep those mindset juices flowing. 


Use the power of visualization and mental imagery. Picture yourself working out, sticking with your commitment, and following through.

Imagine your new body.

Imagine yourself overcoming obstacles and most important imagine the feeling of pride and confidence that results from sticking with it and overcoming all the challenges.

Imagine what you can achieve and how good it will feel, and then imagine how these actions can influence other parts of your life by allowing you to realize that you can do anything you set your mind to!

The Right Crowd

Another important action step in changing the mindset for fitness is to surround yourself with fitness conscious people. This can have an amazing influence on your perception and general attitude towards fitness. Those who are involved in fitness on a regular basis are true enthusiasts and they have such a positive outlook on it that it can certainly rub off on anyone they associate with. 

These people are also great to workout with, because their motivation and how they push themselves can influence what you do and your general attitude towards fitness.

Cultivate A Belief In Yourself

It is important to cultivate a belief in yourself that will drive you to overcome challenges, change habits and change the mindset.

“Yes I can” is a powerful statement. Remind yourself of it every single day. Write it on paper and stick it all over your home, one the bathroom mirror, the fridge and anywhere else where you will see it all the time.

Celebrate And Note Success

It is important to acknowledge all successes that result from exercise, no matter how small, as they are the positive reinforcements mentioned previously that change habits and mindset!

Lost a dress or pant size, celebrate! Congratulate yourself, reward yourself, and rejoice! 

Worked out consistently for a week straight, celebrate. Congratulate yourself, reward yourself, and rejoice!

Lost 5 pounds, celebrate! Congratulate yourself, reward yourself, and rejoice! 

Increased your workout time because you feel stronger, and more fit, celebrate! Congratulate yourself, reward yourself, and rejoice! 

Feeling more energy, and vitality and experiencing better sleep, celebrate! Congratulate yourself, reward yourself, and rejoice! 

Lost 10 pounds, celebrate! Congratulate yourself, reward yourself, and rejoice! 

Lowered your cholesterol, celebrate!  Congratulate yourself, reward yourself, and rejoice! 

Had someone comment on how great you look, celebrate! Congratulate yourself, reward yourself, and rejoice! 

Had a family member or friend tell you they are proud of you, celebrate! Congratulate yourself, reward yourself, and rejoice! 




Write them down in a journal so you can refer back to them as reminders when the excuses try to creep back in. 

These are all the payoffs that blast the excuses.

They are the rewards. 

And they are what solidify the mindset with a different outlook on fitness.

Avoid Self Sabotage

Set Realistic Expectations

If you are new to exercise do not sabotage your efforts before you begin by starting a workout that is beyond your current fitness level.

Many who begin a fitness program go all out, and choose a fitness program that is way beyond their fitness level. This quickly leads to burn out that will end in quitting altogether and reinforcing those old excuses. 

Take it easy, and start at the appropriate level for you. Don’t over reach, you will get there, just make sure you get there the right way.

Remember perception and attitude. If you start by trying to do 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training every day, you will quickly be turned off as these are vigorous workouts that you should strive for, not start with.   

Realistic expectations increase the probability of success and the likelihood of obtaining them.  

Get a personal trainer, they will help develop the ideal workout plan for you, one that is personalized and will allow you to build up your fitness level.

Hire A Personal Trainer

Speaking of personal trainers, they can go a long way to stimulating a new mindset towards fitness. The best ones know how to motivate and encourage and can be key to proliferating the fitness mindset.

They can be incredible assets in providing that extra push that you will need to stay focused. It is also harder to make those excuses for not working out because you will have to cancel appointment and explain why you can’t make it.

Find A Workout You Like

Ignore the hype of the latest and greatest and find a workout that you like. This goes back to perception and pay off that drives habit and mindset changes. 

Humans need some type of gratification in order to continue a behavior. There are so many choices available today in workouts that there are no excuses. 

Find a workout that you enjoy doing, and it’s okay if you have to try 20 different ones before you land on the goldmine. 

Just remember one thing, there is no “one size fits all” in fitness. And, as long as you are active and perform some type of movement daily, you are still way ahead of the potato sitting on the couch. 

One Day A Time

Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. One of the best ways to sabotage your efforts is to think too fat into the future, instead of staying in the moment. One of the greatest tools of success in 12 step programs are mindset slogans, like, “one day at a time” and “just for today.” 


Because all we really have is today, and to think about 30, 60 or 300 days of working out is just too overwhelming and can be a big turn off. 

The only workout you have to think about is the one you will do today! 

That’s it. 

Yesterday’s is over. And tomorrow’s is not here.

The only workout you have to think about is the one you will do today! 

Bottom Line

You can do this!

A great body, and good health is all in your hands. Unlike many other things in life, you have full control. 

Change your mindset and your body will follow!

Hi, I'm Danny thanks for visiting my website, find us on Pinterest, here.


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