How to Rewire your Brain for Fitness in 2020

It’s a new year, and the perfect time to rewire your brain.

As humans, we tend to think that we are the way we are. We are comfortable with our habits, so we convince ourselves that they define us.

We feel safe in our comfort zones, so we tell ourselves that there are no other possibilities. We keep ourselves indoors, unfulfilled, and out of shape because we secretly fear the unknown, and are content to accept ourselves just as we are.

The truth however, is that is not actual acceptance. It’s a cop-out. If you are someone who has always been a little out of shape, this message is for you. Maybe you just think your body won’t get any better. Maybe you secretly fear being judged at the gym, so you have never actually gone. Maybe you’re already married and think there is no point in losing that extra 10 pounds, because you’ve already done what you needed to do, to land a mate.

I’m here to tell you to stop listening to your brain, as it currently exists. You don’t belong to your brain, it belongs to you. If you aren’t 100% fulfilled with your life, you have the ability to rewire your brain, and change it all.

All you have to do to start, is realize that your brain runs your life based on all your experiences, and the lessons you have learned thus far. Introduce new lessons forcefully. Seek out education about the things you are curious about (especially regarding fitness). Stop listening to your brain, and start taking action.

Here are a few tips on how to actually accomplish that.

New decade, new rules. I know there is some debate on when the decade actually starts but for the purposes of this post, 2020 is the beginning of a new decade. You get to choose who and what you want to be over the next 10 years. Spend no more than one day reflecting on the last ten years. Decide what you would like to change in this coming decade. And commit to that change.

READ MORE: Resolutions Versus Goals: Five Fitness Goals for 2020

Be gentle with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You will slip, and fall, and make mistakes. When you do, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s kind of like sobriety. Slip ups will happen. Don’t focus on the time you’ve ‘wasted’ with your new habits. Don’t view it as a failure Just accept that you’re human, and keep walking towards your goal.

Make fitness your hobby. A hobby is something you do because you enjoy it. If you can look at fitness as your hobby, you are much more likely to keep up with a new regime. Spend the time to try out different classes, sports, and workouts to try and find one you legitimately enjoy. Once you do that, view it as your hobby. The endorphins from the physical exercise should help in that regard.

Compartmentalize your schedule. There are 52 weeks in 2020. Some of them are going to be good, and some are going to be bad. I hope that you don’t have entire weeks that completely suck, but I know from experience that is not the case. So, if you have a bad week and miss out on your workouts, start the clock over every Monday. The same way that 2020 is the beginning of a new decade, every week can be the beginning of a new workout cycle. Even if you just laid around every day the previous week, every Monday reset the clock and strive to make that week better. It will do wonders for your fitness, and your integrity.

Stop listening to your inner voice. There is an inner voice in your head. When you first think about going to the gym, it will do everything in its power to stop you. It will tell you that you’re fat, that you need to wait for the laundry to dry, that everyone will be staring at you, and even that you’re not worth it.

None of that is true.

The point of that little voice is to keep you safe (and by safe, I mean in the house, by yourself). The way you defeat that little voice is with action. Instead of listening to all the things it says and eventually deciding to stay on the couch, the second you hear it you should get up and get on with it.

Actions speak way louder than words. Especially when those words are coming from a little voice in your head.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

One thought on “How to Rewire your Brain for Fitness in 2020

  1. Karen you hit the nail on the head. I recognize myself in your synopsis as I force myself at age 70 to try and go to yoga class. Even then, I often only make 1/4 to 1/3rd of all classes. I will give your mental approach a try. Thanks for the motivation. All the best – Joe Scully

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