6 ways to think like a winner

Stack the odds of body transformation success in your favour with smart psychology 

Believe in yourself
Psychology theory suggests that if you don’t believe that something will happen, you reduce the chances of it happening. We’re talking specifically about things over which you have control, such as how you eat, exercise and recover. When you believe you have the ability to make a significant change to the way you look and feel, you take big step towards achieving your goal.

Take positive steps
Just believing in yourself isn’t enough on its own. You need to take practical steps to help yourself take advantage of your growth mindset. “People in a growth mindset don’t simply make New Year’s resolutions and wait to see if they stick to them,” says mindset expert Dr Carol Dweck. “They understand that to diet, they need to plan. They need to keep desserts out of the house, or think in advance about what to order in restaurants.”

Be ready for obstacles
It would be nice to think that your transformation experience cold be one long line of successes but that’s unlikely to happen. That’s why you need to know what you’ll do when you encounter a setback. According to Dweck, those in a growth mindset “know setbacks will happen. So instead of beating themselves up, they ask ‘what can I learn from this?’ It’s a learning process, not a battle between the bad you and the good you.”

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Don’t think “good and bad”
As an extension of the previous point, you need to move away from thinking about yourself and your actions as good and bad, or as strong and weak. “When people drop the good-bad, strong-weak thinking that grows out of the fixed mindset, they’re better able to learn useful strategies that help with self-control,” says Dweck.

Focus on the wins
During the course of a week, you may eat 41 meals that are in line with your goals and one that involves four pints and a naan bread. If that’s the case, focus on the stuff you have accomplished rather than the one time when you strayed off-course. You still need to be accountable to yourself, but only focusing on your slip-ups will hinder rather than help your better-body goals.

Have a plan
“Every day people plan to do difficult things but don’t do them,” says Dweck. “They think, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’, and they swear to themselves that they’ll follow through the next day. Research by psychologist Peter Gollwitzer and his colleagues shows that vowing, even intense vowing, is useless. The next day comes and the next day goes. What works is making a valid, concrete plan.”

To find your perfect transformation plan, take the New Body quiz!
Take the New Body quiz!

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