Admittedly, that title is total click bait. How to look better in the mirror...can anything be more of what you expect from a gym? Probably not.
Let me go a different, direction, though, than is expected.
"Looking better" (whatever that actually means) doesn't begin in a gym or in the kitchen - it begins with the muscle between your ears.
First of all, looking "better" is such a subjective goal and is completely dependent on what YOU think looks good. It is also the most common goal we hear from people when they first enter our community. The fact is, most of us are greatly influenced by the desire to be more desirable. To impress our friends with our six packs, toned legs, and big biceps. We want to walk into a room and be the one everyone else says, "wow they are looking great!"
I get it. I feel that often in my own life. But a focus on that exterior motivation is never going to get you toward your goals, or help you lead a fulfilling life.
At Summit, we've seen pretty amazing physical transformations for our members. However, none of these people changed their appearance without first changing their mindset.
"I can't do that," turned into, "I can't do that YET, but I can do this - and that's better than nothing".
"I hate exercising," turned into, "Exercise can be uncomfortable in the moment, but I absolutely love how I feel after".
"I don't fit in at gyms," turned into, "I have a community of people here who care about me and want me to get better".
Changing your mindset doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and consistent effort. Just like improving your fitness takes time and effort. Maybe that is why fitness is such a great way to build a better mindset. Here's how we approach it at the gym.
1. Determine your why
Simon Sinek gave one of the most memorable TED Talks of all time on exactly this topic. In essence, what it means is you need to understand the real reason behind what you're doing. You may REALLY believe you're coming to the gym to get a six pack. You're not. Take 20 minutes, and ask yourself "why" five times. Yes, five. Be honest with yourself, go a layer deeper each time, and you'll get closer to the truth.
2. Commit to doing something hard
Of course we would love for that something hard to be starting your fitness journey with us. It doesn't have to be fitness related, however. It can be attempting to pick up a new hobby, learn a new language, or simply put your phone down and be present with your spouse and loved ones.
Doing hard things stretches us outside of our comfort zone, and teaches our brain we can do more than it believes we can. If you can consistently show your brain you're capable of more you will inherently believe you can do difficult tasks, and when you're presented with one in other areas of your life, you'll be ready.
3. Identify the obstacles and solve them before they happen
Many people commit to trying something new around this time of year. This the year they're going to go to the gym three or more times every week, and eat healthier. This is the year they're going to save more money.
Then life happens, they get busy, and all those things fall by the side.
You can conquer this by identifying obstacles in your path and creating solutions for them. If you're trying to disconnect from your phone and be more present and know you will check Instagram and respond to texts if they pop up, you've identified your obstacle. It is the physical presence of your phone. The solution can be as simple as turning your phone on airplane mode, or leaving it in your room once you get home. Now you've defused that bomb before it ever went off.
This process keeps repeating itself with more hard tasks, and new ways to tackle them. The more these relate to your why, and the more you accomplish them, the better your mindset gets. The more you BELIEVE IN YOU. I cannot stress how important that is. Believe in your ability to do hard things, or you'll miss your shot at leading a life up to your potential.