Secrets To Having A Mind Over The Matter by Hilary Hagner

Setting realistic goals and surrounding myself with motivational quotes, scriptures and pictures are what have been my secret tools for success. It was my journey that taught me the long, hard way to set goals and achieve them. My hope is that I am able to help you push past any setbacks and catapult you forward towards your own personal best.

My fitness journey isn’t like most others. My fitness journey was birthed out of a desire to earn love and respect for myself. I didn’t grow up playing sports; I didn’t have an athletic family. In fact, to put it blatantly, I grew up an overweight adolescent. I lost my mother when I was only 8 years old to a sudden brain aneurysm. It left me lost, confused, and very lonely. In junior high school I, like most kids, dealt with a lot of insecurities and anxiety. It wasn’t until I started playing basketball and volleyball that I realized how much control I had over my actions. I learned that if I stopped eating then I would lose the weight. I also learned that if I worked out all day then I could expend a massive amount of calories.

In high school, that mindset, transcended to an eating disorder. Bulimia haunted me all the way through my collegiate cheerleading season. It took 5 years for me to finally surrender to extreme fatigue and pure exhaustion which led me to hire a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer. They helped me learn how to be healthy (not skinny). The gym I was training at (at that time) was filled with Bodybuilders and Figure Competitors, so needless to say I instantly became motivated! I thought to myself, “All this time I have been starving myself, I could’ve been eating and building a beautiful body like these people!?!” I absorbed everything I could from everyone there and got my health under control. That’s when I decided that I wanted to help people find their way to a healthy lifestyle as well, so I became a certified personal trainer. It was in those early days of training that I conceived the dream of one day competing; however, I didn’t step on stage until AFTER having two children. My first show was in 2008 and I have been competing ever since. I like to think that my children are what saved me from ever going back to my old roots of insecurities and have given me a whole new sense of confidence and courage.

As a figure competitor or simply someone that wants to take their fitness to the next level, there are challenges you will face regularly. That is why I find it incredibly important to gear yourself up for challenges ahead. One of my favorite quotes is by the legend Arnold Schwarzenegger, “The mind always fails first, not the body. The secret is to make your mind work for you, not against you”. In other words, you must keep your mind equipped, empowered, and focused at all times in order to reach your goal. Here are my top five secrets for keeping your mind working for you…

  1. Map out your goals on paper. Create in your mind exactly what it is that you desire to accomplish. As long as the physique you are envisioning is your body and not someone else’s then your goal is not “too ambitious”. No dream is too big or too great! You need to first know what it is that you are hoping to accomplish and then translate that onto paper. Now give yourself a timeline. Will it take five years to reach your goal? Ok, and then write that down. At this time, you now we have a point A and a point B. What will it take in order for you to get there? Write that down too. I found that the more detailed my step-by-step list approach was for reaching my ultimate goal, the more successful I became in the end.
  2. Create a Vision Board. I used old magazines to cut out pictures, phrases and quotes that represent exactly what I hope to accomplish in my life. Do not limit your board to just fitness goals though! You will find on mine a picture of twin babies because as long as I can remember, I have dreamed that one day I would have twins. A few phrases that I have on my board are, “Live Loud”, “There are No Limits”, and “There’s no stopping her”. Keep your vision board somewhere that you look often. Mine is hanging in our restroom that way when I am getting ready for my day, I can glance over and pick up a couple phrases to inspire me and awaken my dreams.
  3. Self-Talk…out loud! There is something so powerful that happens within yourself when you say out loud everything that you hope to accomplish. I spend a lot of time in my car during the day so while I am on my way to a client’s house I declare that, “I am talented, creative, and focused. There is nothing that is going to stop me from conquering my dreams. Doors of opportunity keep opening up for me and doors that lead me nowhere have been shut.  I am confident, secure, and victorious. Every day I am one step closer towards my goal.”
  4. Surround yourself with like-minded friends. There is nothing worse than setting goals and motivating yourself to follow-through with your plan and then get bashed by every person you share your excitement with. Not everyone will rejoice with you. In fact, you will quickly realize that your goals and determination will actually offend a few loved ones. It is nothing personal against you; they are upset because they are not willing to make the commitment like you and in result, they are made at themselves. Being around friends that are aiming towards the same goal as you will actually electrify your dreams and thrust you further along your journey. If you are having a hard time finding people that are like-minded consider looking up inspiring people on Instagram and or www.Bodyspace.bodybuilding.com profiles.
  5. Stay current. As you surpass mini goals heading towards your main goal be sure to celebrate your success, but hop back on the road and keep moving forward. Moving forward may require that you update your vision board. Moving forward may require that you rewrite your self-talk speech. Don’t allow yourself to be limited by old mindsets simply because you didn’t renew your surroundings. Keep everything current.

You were made for more! You would not be living right now if there wasn’t purpose in you. Stand up tall with your head held high. Our obese world needs us to take a stand for health and wellness. Be the one to make a difference for our future. You won’t regret it!

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Via Hilary Hagner

I'm a personal trainer. Mother of two and a figure athlete.