There’s a beginning stage that comes along with getting into a exercise routine where you are on top of the world, ready to face your challenges, and you won’t let anyone or anything stop you. It’s kind of like a relationship, the honeymoon stage. This is usually the time in your journey where you see the most progress and it’s important that you fully take advantage of this stage.

Unfortunately this stage doesn’t last forever, and when the end hits you wake up early one morning tired, staring at the ceiling and contemplating getting out of bed or sleeping another hour. Or if you workout in the evenings you’ve had all day to convince yourself why you don’t need to workout because you’re tired. This is the point when goals are put on trial for importance because they seem so far. This is also the point where you will see exactly how determined you are.

When this hits, JUST KEEP GOING! There are numerous books and articles that will give ways to stay motivated but most are very basic and usually motivate you for five minutes. When someone tells you to, “Just do better.” It’s not so easy. So let’s take a different approach and look at what a mentally tough person is like.

To start, here are the nine essential habits of a mentally strong person according to Huffington Post:

  1. Let go of entitlement. Don’t think you’re going to run like our very own Hannah without putting in the DECADES of work she put in.
  2. Keep an even keel, control your emotions and have mental stability.
  3. DON’T aspire to be happy all of the time, accept both negative and positive feelings and learn from both.
  4. Be realistically optimistic. If you come to an obstacle, don’t just find one solution, find many solutions to make the situation better and then DO them.
  5. Live in the present, think of today and stop focusing on past mistakes. Work on making THIS very moment the best it can be.
  6. Be persistent in the pursuit of goals. Mentally tough people set a goal and then chase after it like it’s running away.
  7. Know when it’s time to let go. Have the ability to move past things and learn from them rather than keeping those thoughts in your mind and giving yourself a reason why you can’t succeed.
  8. Love life. Being able to enjoy life at all moments is a powerful thing. Make the worst situation into one that’s not so bad and try to enjoy what life has to offer.
  9. See things objectively. How you view something can change everything.

The habits in this article are not specific to exercise because there is a mental battle in all aspects of life, not just working out. When you take these habits and apply them in the gym, what can stop you? If you’re saying, “Well I am not that mentally tough according to this article”, remember that this article doesn’t define what “Mentally tough” is, instead these are habits all of us can improve upon. And what better place to being becoming more mentally tough than in the gym and in your health.

When you have long term, difficult goals, the way to get better at fighting the negative feelings that come with them is to work on them where you have people who will help you. Surround yourself with people who will push you to be a better version of yourself. If you practice fighting the negative feelings every morning or evening when you go to workout, you’re well on your way to reaching your goals in and out of the gym.

Recovering from an injury or surgery doesn’t happen in a day or even a month, every day counts to the greater picture. The same goes for weight loss, a weight loss journey is much more than just losing weight every week. Every time you make a healthy decision or even just smile at yourself in the mirror, you’ve just lost part of the emotional weight from the journey.

So start this week and wake up with an attitude that is positive and excited for the changes that you will make in your workouts as well as your daily life. The more you take on, the stronger you’ll grow, and then you’ll look back on the day you first started and realize how far you’ve come.