Some of us might want that nice, toned body but really don’t know where to start, so we roam around the gym for hours wasting time. Others simply do not attempt to get fit because of fear of failure and a lack of knowledge.

Many fail to realize that working out is 80 percent mental, and the best place to start is by strengthening yourmind. Below are five tips on how to mentally prepare for a healthy lifestyle.

1. Train Your Mind to Focus on the Present
Mindful meditation is a valuable tool to help individuals remain in the present. It is often recommended for those who have trouble regaining control of their minds and focusing on what is happening. Being in the moment is very important when it comes to living and practicing a healthy lifestyle. While exercising, focus on isolating your muscles and making every repetition count. You must gain control of your body and become completely aware of what muscles are being worked with your movements. If not, you will flail about and your workout will not count for much.

Mindful meditation is usually practiced while sitting down and remaining still. It is a combination of deep breathing, relaxation and focused attention on the present moment, and it may initially be difficult to achieve. But like your biceps, your brain is a muscle, and it can be retrained and strengthened with each workout. In fact, it’s the most important muscle of all. Click here to learn how to practice the ancient craft.

2. Find a Reason to Get Fit
It’s no secret that motivation is the key to a better body. Whether you want to fit into that nice little black dress or finish strong in this year’s marathon, it’s important to identify your why for wanting to change your lifestyle. The obvious reasons are that leading a healthy lifestyle increases your energy level, boosts confidence, relieves stress and improves your chances of longevity. Looking good is just an added bonus. If none of those reasons sells you, dig deeper. Once you’ve identified your “why,” hold on to it for dear life.

3. Plan for Setbacks
Yes, we would all like to hit the gym running, lifting, twerking and crunching, but the reality is that you will not be able to do so initially. And even when you’re able to, you won’t succeed all the time. Failing is part of the plan, so plan for setbacks along your road to fitness. Make up your mind that backsliding on your diet is part of the plan, but don’t allow it to be a crutch. Understand that as much as you might want to put up another set of leg presses, your body will sometimes say no. Recognizing that you are human is not the same as making excuses and just being plain lazy with regard to your workouts. There is a difference between struggling with something and choosing not to do it because you “don’t feel like it.”

4. Focus on You and You Alone
I remember when I gave up alcohol one year. My friends gave me hell for it, told me that I “was no fun” and urged that I “take one sip.” But I stuck to my guns because I viewed liquor as unnecessary calories. There’s no better time to be selfish than when attempting to improve yourself. Working out and eating right is intimidating enough, and if you focus on what others look like, what they will say and how they will feel about your improved lifestyle, then you won’t succeed. It is very easy to go down the road of peer pressure, but make up your mind to do better. Who knows? You may end up inspiring someone close to you to take the same path.

5. No Matter What, Never Give Up
Life has a habit of not letting you in on its plans, and as mere mortals, we will have to prioritize at some point. Fitness will not always make the cut. You will have to choose between working late, social events and soccer practice for the little ones. Hectic schedules are inevitable, but so is consistency. It is OK to take time off from working out, but make sure that you are eating right and prepare to get back on track when things die down.

Remember that you’re only as strong as your mental condition. Aim to strengthen your mind as much as your body, and you’ll be fit in no time!