Why mindset matters more than your age

A while ago I wrote a blog about being fitter over fifty than at 30.  I’ve had a tremendous response from thousands of women, overwhelmingly saying yes they are fitter, stronger in mind and body and looking forward to the years ahead.

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I think there is an interesting mind-shift going on with those of us over 50.  We regard the coming decades as being filled with opportunity.  Our health and wellness, self esteem and energy levels are all part of this picture.

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘mind over matter’ and can probably all think of a time when this was the case.  It’s how I got to the top of Kilimanjaro despite the blinding headache and sickness; it’s how people run marathons and then do it again! There is an interesting Ted talk by Emily Balcetis that shows when it comes to fitness goals, it is those people who believe they can achieve, that do.

So what might be the key elements of this new mind set in the second half of our lives?  Here are five ways I think now, that are different to the way I thought in the past.  I’d be very interested to know if they are similar or different to yours.

No need to compete

1. I no longer feel I have to prove myself in the corporate world or anywhere else.  I’m not in competition with anyone and I set my own goals in life.  Connected with this is a strong sense of self, so whereas before I would have worried about other people’s opinions of me, I am now much more focused on living up to my own expectations, rather than trying to please others.

How I want to live

2.   I have thought a lot about what is important to me and how I want to live my life and made decisions accordingly.  I left a profitable business to experiment with an idea that I could help bring women together to support and motivate them to be fit and well.  (Still in the experimental phase!). 

Keep learning

3.     I want to learn new things and participate in things that challenge me.  I am currently training to become a level 3 Pilates Body Control teacher.  This involves learning all about the body’s systems and anatomy as well as many hours of supervised teaching (with feedback!) and exams.  It’s not easy but it is rewarding and I love Pilates because anyone can benefit from it, from elite athletes to people in their 90s.

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A healthy life

4.     I want to be fit and well and love to walk, do park runs and be outside with my dog.  If I can’t fit this in I am miserable and frustrated.  But I recognise I need to prioritise this, otherwise as I get busy, my own health and wellbeing suffers. 

A shift from my children’s needs to my own

5.     Whilst I will always be there for my (grown up) children if they need me, I am no longer focused on their needs.  I feel I have done the best job I can in the circumstances I found myself and I am proud of the young men they have turned into.  Whilst my partner is looking forward to the grandparent phase – I’m in no rush!

I am sure there will continue to be changes in my life and my attitude but I am thankful that my work now brings me into contact with so many inspirational women.  I look at their achievements and think maybe I can do that.  Mind you I don’t have to look too far.  My mother (76) is about to compete in a charity Strictly Come Dancing event in front of 100 people.  I know she will be sorely disappointed if she is not in the top 3!

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