This is actually an email I wrote to my clients about developing the right mindset to achieve your goals, but it's something I really feel strongly about so I thought I'd share it here as well:
I'm going to start my first email to you with a quote that I use as inspiration in my daily life and one that believe is very important to think about in regards to reaching your goal.
Believing that you can accomplish something is the first (and possibly most important) step to actually achieving your goal. If you believe that you can achieve it you will find a way to do it, if you don't think it is possible you will find excuses. Why are you going to take the time and effort to work towards something if you don't think you will ever get there?
So the first step to reaching your goals is really believing that it you CAN do it. Of course it will take hard work and it won't happen overnight, in fact it's going to take dedication and consistency over a few months (more or less depending on the goal). But If you KNOW that eventually you WILL achieve it, then you can view each workout you put in and every well balanced high nutrient meal you eat as getting you closer to that goal (same goes for any other behavior necessary for reaching your goal i.e. every time I study I get closer to passing my nutrition certification.)
On the other hand if you don't think it is possible, you may think to yourself (even if its subconsciously), "why am I going to take these steps if it's not going to get me to my goal anyway?" Your much less likely to make the time to workout, to push yourself to the limit, to fuel your body correctly because you don't see it as getting you any closer to your end goal.
It really becomes a self full filling prophecy: You think you can achieve it, so you put the work in day after day even though some days are tough and you might not feel like it (and I believe the days that are tough and you really have to motivate yourself to get it done are the days where you make yourself stronger both mentally and physically). You get it done because YOU KNOW that it's going to get you to where you want to be. Eventually you reach your goal and the work was more than worth it, and then you set new goals. Goals you might not have even thought were possible before but now you know with dedication anything is possible.
You have a goal(s), but you don't truly believe it's attainable. You put some work in, especially in the beginning, but if you don't feel like getting out of bed one morning or you aren't in the mood to push yourself that day, you skip it. You think, " what does it matter, I'm never going to reach my goal anyway. " And so you make very little progress and get even more discouraged. You're even less motivated to workout/ eat right/ any other behavior that moves you toward your goal (because you don't see them as things that will get you there) and eventually you give up. You just proved yourself right.
I'm going to relate this to my own life as an example.
Big confession: I can't drive. Over the past 7 years I've taken my road test 2 or 3 times (don't remember haha) and haven't even reached the three point turn or parallel park before failing. I have this mental block where I truly don't believe that I can drive. The few times I took my test I really didn't put in enough practice. I didn't think I could do it so I didn't make the time to practice and improve. And as a result I further confirmed my thought that; "yes, I was right, I can't drive."
I am working on believing that it IS possible. That every time I go out and practice driving I will get a little closer to actually being able to do it. It is not easy. It takes concentrated effort just to change your thought process. To, every time a negative thought comes into your head, take it and turn it into a positive thought.
Every time I think about driving, I feel self doubt creeping into my head and I'm making it a point to squash that doubt by thinking, "Yes, driving is something that is difficult for you, but it's NOT IMPOSSIBLE. Have you ever put in 100% (or even 80%) effort to achieve it? No. So until you are making the effort to practice driving at least 3-4 times a week for 30+ minutes consistently ( 2-3 months), don't you dare tell yourself that you can't do it. You CAN do it, you just haven't put in the time and effort needed yet."
I'm challenging you all :), to think about your goals and whether or not you truly believe they're possible. And I want you to know that I 100% believe they are achievable with CONSISTENT hard work and effort over time. The more consistent and persistant you are, the sooner you will see the results you want.
"Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than ANY obstacle. " ~ Christian D. Larson