Are decisions about the “right” thing to eat, stressing you out?
Do you worry what others think?
Do you suffer from “analysis paralysis”
All this inner chatter is mentally draining and takes its toll on your already limited stores of willpower and motivation.
The following four mindsets have changed the way I look at many things in life and could change yours too.
- Small Wins
- Live A Little
- Be Yourself
- Discipline = Freedom
I emphasise “could” because I'm really not here to preach.
These are simply ideas, philosophies and ways of looking at situations that have helped me find a different and more productive perspective, so I thought I'd share.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?
Upgraded mindset means greater productivity by doing the things you know you have to do to win, on autopilot.
You can forget tying up brainpower on second-guessing yourself and wondering if you’ve made the right call.
This leaves your internal dialogue clear and free by getting to grips with these four very simple concepts.
The first mindset shift is from Menno Henselmans of Bayesian Bodybuilding – treat each day as either an investment day or a consumption day.
Menno talked about this on a recent podcast and it really resonated with me. He suggests that you choose what kind of day you going to have.
An investment day means doing one thing that gets you further toward your long term goal.
Doing that one thing you keep putting off, or something that you know you need to do, that will ultimately serve you better in the long term.
PICK ONE THING AND GET IT DONE TODAY! #OneThing #BodyPhi
Make that call, write that e-mail, contact that person, do that bit of work you know needs doing.
By acting upon this, you are investing in yourself and taking one step closer to that longterm goal than you were yesterday.
It doesn't have to be a lot, by doing one small thing, you'll be surprised at how quickly this act gets you toward the goal. Investment days are good days your future self will thank you for.
Small things add up ...
- Get a skinny flat white instead of a caramel frappucino with cream.
- Walk to public transport rather than drive.
- Take the stairs.
- Say no to that second helping that you aren’t actually hungry for.
- Put 2.5 extra lbs on the bar (if it’s safe to do so!).
^^ All these things are TINY, but will add up and make HUGE improvements to your life over time.
LIVE A LITTLE
If you don’t choose an investment day, however, choose a consumption day.
On these days, at best, won’t progress your forward toward your goals – you may even regress, BUT you’ll enjoy them a lot and they’re well worth it.
Short-term gratification type of thing. Just like with a financial budget you want to make sure you maintain credit over X amount of time.
More investment days will set you up for longterm success, but you need consumption days sprinkled in to the mix too. Can you tell the dude has a background in economics?
For me, intermittently going into town with my buddies, forgetting I'm a fitness professional and enjoying some lovely Spanish tapas with far too much alcohol are my consumption days.
They are few and far between, but when they happen … they happen
JUST BE YOU
Bodybuild like no-one's watching #AlbertoNunez #BodyPhi
By this I think Alberto meant, do not pay attention or change the course in which you are going, based on what other people around you expect of you.
He was talking about the scenario of bodybuilding in particular, saying too many folks will ”cut” just because it's summer despite amazing progression in the gym and with their physique.
Or perhaps adding more weight to the bar than is necessary just because “someone” is watching.
However, I think this shift applies to so much more than bodybuilding.
How many times have you changed course just because you saw someone else doing something different or felt something different was expected of you.
It happens to us all and social media really doesn't help, with distorted illusions of reality and false images of everyone doing wonderfully with no hardship or struggles.
Give me a break. Do your thing, don't worry about who's watching. Stay the course, you know what to do.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect!
The amount of times I have gotten the whole “analysis paralysis” thing when it comes to my own training and nutrition.
Whether that be programme hopping, wondering if there was a better nutritional strategy I wasn’t following or looking for that special supplement that promised all the fat loss and all the muscles.
Yea, don’t do that.
Focus on YOU and do your thing, and remember - believe in yourself and be you!
DISCIPLINE = FREEDOM / Jocko Willink aka Chris Robson
^ Huh? Let me briefly explain. I came across the whole Discipline = Freedom thing from US Navy Seal, Jocko Willink, who wrote about it. 
I proceeded to do a Facebook post about this, only to get a fair amount of abuse from my buddy Chris Robson.
He wasn't abusing me because he didn't agree with what I was saying - quite the opposite. He had written about it in his book Cut the Crap and I hadn't given that a mention so he felt a little hurt.
Anyway, after a few gins all is well now, we've made up and he's probably forgotten all about it up until reading this.
The mindset? The shortened version is that short term discomfort or pain can often lead to long term freedom. Kinda ties nicely into the “investment day” strategy.
Let's take fitness as an example since this is primarily why you are here. If I spend 30–40 minutes meal prepping on a Sunday night when everyone is winding down anyway and getting ready for Monday,
I then have the freedom later in the week to be able to enjoy time with my loved ones and be more productive with work or just “have” more time.
Yes, the 40 minutes of food prepping was annoying and I'd rather not have been doing that, but it offered greater long term benefit than the short-term dissatisfaction.
We often think of discipline as restrictive and associate negative thinking with it, but discipline is the most freeing quality there is.
Discipline allows you to do what you want with every single minute of your life and frees you from the constraints of willpower fatigue and other reasons why you fall off the wagon.
IN A NUTSHELL
SMALL WINS – You know what to do. Do it, get those small wins out the way early and watch yourself gain momentum and smash the day. Invest in you.
LIVE A LITTLE - Plan those consumption days in the diary. When they come up, there is no feelings of guilt. Simply pleasure and an acknowledgment of your hard work. Smash these days just as hard as your investment days … after all, what is the point in continually investing if you never spend?
BE YOURSELF - The best training/nutrition/business/relationship is the one you aren’t currently in. That is a damaging mindset to have. The grass is greener attitude can leave you spinning your wheels for a long time.
DISCIPLINE = FREEDOM - Short term sacrifice for long term success. Make that choice.
1. TAKE FIVE
Write down five tiny things you can do each day that won't cause mental fatigue or too much willpower, but will get you closer to your fitness goals – and commit.
2. PLAN A CONSUMPTION DAY
Get it in the diary. Book the restaurant, think about what you're going to do to let loose and have that in your sights. No longer than 5 weeks from now.
3. STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF
Anytime you do something for the sole purpose of impressing someone else or when finding yourself getting sidetracked from the main plan:
- Know your self worth.
- Remember who you are.
4. ONE THING
What do you keep putting off that you know very well is going to help you down the line? Meal prep? Packing your bag the night before? Getting up an hour early?
One thing. Write down how it will help you and do it.
Once you have committed to a strategy to get you to your goal, you’ll need to reevaluate and reassess if it’s worked or not.
Give it a chance – four weeks minimum before assessing.