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Steps to Prep Mental Strength Training

In the first series of our New Year’s blog, our Director of Education, Nate Palin and I shared some thoughts and information on where we believe people should get started on their fitness and mental strength journey.  We are well aware that many of you are not new to the fitness space and many of these suggestions and programs may be “below” you.  If that is the case, to you I say this; We can always learn something new, even if we think we know it all.  As you read through these blogs, try not to focus on what you already know; that is a waste of your time, attention, and energy.  Instead, choose a concept or suggestion that you may not be that well versed in.  Do your due diligence and dig into that piece a bit further.  The more information you have, the more versatile you become.

Nate has spent his entire adult life learning, practicing, and applying strength principles across multiple platforms.  I have chosen to do the same, in a different arena.  One that Nate and I believe is essential to our complete development as people, our mind.

In my initial blog, I wanted you to begin to get more emotionally honest with yourself than you have ever been before.  This is a theme you will hear repeatedly throughout this series and is essential to moving past barriers that have stood in your way in the past.  I asked you to identify the biggest obstacle you have faced previously as a first step in this process.  That “ask” was intentional as we cannot begin to add anything to our lives until we eliminate, or work around, that which stands in our way.  It is impossible to get rich when we have overwhelming debt.  Our ability to get stronger mentally works under the very same premise.  We cannot become stronger mentally, and over the long term until we chip away and ultimately eliminate the emotional debt we’ve been carrying for a very long time.

I hope last week’s exercise helped you identify that obstacle that has slowed your progress, and you are working to remove it from your life.  Remember, anything that does not add value to your life takes value away.  It is that simple.  This is the case in our training, relationships, work, and our mental strength.  We only have so much attention and energy to give; so let’s give it to the right people, places, and things.  A great place to start is with you.

If you have trained physically, and correctly for any length of time, I can confidently say that you are in better shape than you were when you started.  Why? Because, as you are aware, time under tension increases strength.  Thousands of reps, over many years, with a specific plan, yield positive results.  Well, our Mental Strength must be approached in the same fashion to yield long term, sustainable results.  Thousands of reps, over many years, with a specific plan, yields positive results.  Sound familiar?  Here’s some great f’in news: Our Mental Strength gains, just like our gains in the gym, will begin to happen almost immediately.  Let’s create the plan, and Start. By. Starting.

A. We’ve identified the area that we’d like to see the most improvement with our Mental Strength.

B. Our biggest obstacle has been identified and we are working on that.

C. You’re beginning to define your “WHY”.

D. Now, let’s do the Daily Work.

When we wake up in the morning, and the fog clears, every one of us has two very distinct similarities.  1) We are alive and breathing, that’s the first blessing, 2) We have the same 24 hours in a day.  By simply recognizing that you have been “gifted” 24 hours, you are off to a good start.

When we wake up in the morning, and the fog clears, every one of us has two very distinct similarities.  1) We are alive and breathing, that’s the first blessing, 2) We have the same 24 hours in a day.  By simply recognizing that you have been “gifted” 24 hours, you are off to a good start.

Steps to Mental Strength Prep

Let’s work on creating a small, simple plan to start getting our Mental Strength reps, and let’s repeat these workouts everyday.  That’s right, NO DAYS OFF.  Once you start doing this, believe me, you won’t want any.

Note: I have attached a copy of my “Daily Work” at the bottom of this blog.  You’ll see that I have some add-ons that help me get my day started.  Don’t rush to add those unless/until you have done the work below consistently and with results.  Just like in fitness, we can’t squat 400 until we master 135-225-315-etc.

A. Open up the same journal you started on last week – this has now become your Mental Strength Journal.

B. Date it and begin your workout by answering the following questions to start your day.

C. REMINDER: You must be 100% emotionally honest in answering all of these questions.  No one sees the answers but you, so don’t cheat the reps.

Today, I am most grateful for:

I will express that gratitude today by doing the following: (example: I am most grateful for my mother today so I am going to call her and let her know why)

One challenge I may face today is:

I will meet that challenge by doing the following:

The one word that will describe who I am today is:

Johnny’s Daily Work (15-30 MINUTES)

My friends, this is what works for me and how I choose to get my Mental Strength reps in everyday.  Please remember that you may choose to do something completely different and that’s ok.  Some people are powerlifters, others do CrossFit, some run, while others bodybuild.  The beauty of this work is that you can construct it in whatever way works best for you.  The key is to get the reps.  Lastly, I recognize that many of us have some underlying mental health struggles that require more significant help.  These strategies do not cure anything, or replace professional help or medication, if that’s the path you’re on.

WAKE UP: Walk slowly to the kitchen and start the coffee (critical step), drink 16 ounces of water.

5 Minute Stretch: Gets the blood flowing and wakes me up from head to toe.

Find my Spot, w/my coffee: I choose the same location everyday.  It’s quiet, away from the wife and kiddos, and allows me to be present, without distraction to do the work.  Bring your journal with you everyday.

Quick Prayer: I have a prayer book that accounts for 1 prayer everyday for 365 days. I prefer hard copy books over technology as I do not turn my phone on until my morning work is complete.  If this isn’t for you, skip it, or replace it with something you want to do.

The Daily Work: I journal answering the questions above.  Be sure to date each page.Note: For those of you that read that and said to yourself, “I don’t have 15-30 minutes everyday to do this”.  I will respectfully say, YES YOU DO.  It either matters to you or it doesn’t; it’s that simple.

Quick Resources:

Your Best Year Ever, By: Michael Hyatt –

How to Achieve your most ambitious Goals, Stephen Duneier (Personally, the BEST Ted Talk on Goal Setting that I’ve ever listened to) –