First things first though, what is manifestation?
According to Dr Kinga Minch, manifestation is the “impact of positive thinking on positive action. The importance of habitual action on our goals through visualisation, journalling, repetitive actions, and other techniques” . Essentially, manifestation draws on the principles behind ‘The Law of Attraction’ — when you put positive thoughts out into the universe, you’ll encounter positive experiences in return.
Alas, there is no actual scientific evidence behind manifestation. A growth mindset, on the other hand, is a proven technique to help you rewire your thoughts and habits to achieve your goals (fitness or otherwise) and does share similarities to manifestation.
Honestly, I’m just 100% here for anything that will get me to a Body Pump class at Fitness First after work. So, whether you’re drawn to the ritual of manifestation or want to build a growth mindset, here are three ways to get started.
Set Clear Goals
Manifestees: Use the 55 x 5 rule.
Legend has it, if you write down your goal 55 times a day for five days straight (known as the 55 x 5 method), you’ll tap into your unconscious mind and create an energetic frequency that can help you attract what you desire.
Growth mindset-ers: Focus on the long term.
Developing a growth mindset means avoiding short-term goals like ‘lose 5kg’. Instead, swap your goal out for something that will help you create better long-term habits, like ‘workout for 100 days in a row’. That’s when you’ll see the magic really start to happen and your habits (or the thought process that drives those habits) change for the better.
A study in Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience discovered that “affirmations can decrease stress, increase wellbeing, improve academic performance and make people more open to behaviour change” .
Essentially, repeating positive affirmations is a proven way to overcome self-sabotaging thoughts and instil the belief that you can achieve your goals. A quick Google search will uncover so many affirmations you can use as a guide, but here are a few to help you get started:
“I appreciate and love my body.”
“Each time I exercise, I feel my body getting stronger.”
“I am excited to go to the gym today.”
“I have a strong mind and body.”
“I am dedicated to building a stronger body.”
View Challenges as Opportunities
Practising meditation or working on a growth mindset share a very similar goal, and that is to change our behaviour, to believe we can achieve and to have confidence in ourselves.
Viewing challenges as opportunities is a huge part of this because that’s when it gets really easy to let those negative thoughts take over and they can ultimately lead to giving up. This can be a hard thought process to change, so a good starting point is to take some deep breaths and reconnect with the present moment before defaulting straight into fight or flight mode.
Most importantly, remember to be gentle with yourself as you navigate the rewiring of habitual thought processes and embark on your new health and fitness journey.