Knowledge is an evidence-based understanding of things like training and nutrition. It allows you to create a plan and execute it. Knowledge can be either basic—understanding calories and how they impact your weight—or relatively advanced, such as correctly incorporating a carbohydrate re-feed in order to raise leptin during your diet. You can improve your knowledge by reading site , or by utilizing credible fitness pros like Alan Aragon and Layne Norton for their encyclopaedic knowledge.
Too much information, especially if you can’t sift through all the white noise, can put you at a disadvantage. After all, what good will understanding the optimal meal timing to optimize muscle protein synthesis do for you if you can’t stop yourself from binge eating?
That’s where mindfulness comes in.
Mindfulness is the examination of your feelings, surroundings relative to everything else. Think of mindfulness as fitness wisdom. It’s the ability to learn about yourself and your feelings. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to learn from your mistakes.
Hate. Guilt. Self-loathing. These are the typical feelings of someone who slips up on an otherwise “perfect” day. They become convinced that they need to “strengthen their resolve” to overcome these weight-loss hurdles. And each time, they face the same disastrous outcome.
Developing self-compassion allows people to think of fitness more as a skill to improve, rather than an end goal. Those who show self-compassion forgive themselves for their mistakes so that they can try again with a more productive mindset.
The next time you mess up, cut yourself some slack!
Humility is the skill that gives you the motivation to improve all other skills. Without it, you stagnate.
Anger is a natural reaction to a hole being punctured in your steadfast beliefs. How dare someone tell you differently! People’s deepest convictions get challenged by contradictory yet credible information, they actually cling more tightly to their existing beliefs.
It turns out that the more you learn about fitness—or any other skill for that matter—the more you realize just how much you don’t know.
Discipline allows you to create habits, which in turn are created by repeating a task over and over again—going to the gym at the same time every day, preparing tomorrow’s meals at the end of every day, and so on.
Some studies show that discipline, however, can expire by the end of the day. Making decisions throughout your day—no matter how small—drains a ton of energy. If you’ve ever felt mentally exhausted after a day full of meetings, then you know what I mean. Hell, thinking really hard depletes self-control so much that it could even reduce maximum voluntary strength, according to one study.
Simply put, making hard decisions at work, deciding whether to go to the gym, and saying no to that piece of cake all compete for the same pool of mental resources. However, there is a way to combat this: Build a habit.
When something is repeated often enough, that action no longer requires a costly conscious decision. The kicker is that habits may require more willpower at the start, but a good habit is well worth the effort it takes to build.