Trigger - Recoil - Impact
It's time to get serious about actual tactics and strategies you will use to combat mental weakness in fitness. Granted, these techniques work outside of fitness too.
You battle mental weakness on a daily basis, whether it is struggling with motivation to start something, with the battle to push yourself while you are doing something, or with the ability to stay motivated for prolonged periods. You weren't born with an inability to combat mental weakness; you have molded yourself into this position. You also reaffirm this by reacting to stress or ideas the same way every time.
Now, we have to identify what you are doing incorrectly and then change it. That's where Trigger - Recoil - Impact comes into play.
Let me explain, you may want to take notes.
Trigger - Is the action that causes an event or series of events.
Recoil - Is the reaction due to a belief that makes you react in a particular way.
Impact - Is the consequence of the trigger and recoil.
This may sound familiar as the ABC's (action/belief/consequence) popular in psychology and mental training, but our version is tweaked a bit, just for this challenge.
Let's use an example (MACRO):
Event: You look in the mirror, step on the scale, and decide it's time to lose weight. You research fitness plans and programs, find the perfect one and decide to start fresh on Monday. You start, you are doing the workouts, you have cleaned up the diet and things are going well. About 10 days later, work starts to pick up, and your fitness routine starts to slow down. Work takes priority and, over the course of the next month, you basically stop the fitness routine altogether.
Trigger (action) - Heavy on the scale, big in the mirror, so you decide to lose weight.
Recoil (belief) - You start an exercise program because you believe it is what you need. It's been proven to you somewhere along the line and you KNOW exercising will help.
Impact (consequence) - Work gets really busy so you quit working out.
Where is the problem? How could deciding you're overweight and starting an exercise program, lead to the lack of a continuous exercise routine?
The problem here is in the impact; you got busy. Now take it one step further, "Trigger - Recoil - Impact", the consequence/impact of 'Work gets really busy, so you quit working out.'
Event: Work gets busy so you stop working out.
Trigger - The trigger here, in its simplest form, is lack of time.
Recoil - Now, what is your instinctual reaction to work getting busy? Belief 1: You believe that work is more important than your fitness and health. Belief 2: You believe you have less time to workout, so you cease the activity.
Impact - Your health suffers.
The Fix: This one doesn't need to be analyzed any further. You have identified your problem; your beliefs are stopping you from achieving your health and fitness goals. You need to change the priority level of your fitness while incorporating better time management to achieve what you desire.
Pretty simple, right?
So, why don't you do it?!
I know, it's easier said than done, but knowing yourself and identifying the ACTUAL problem will go a long way in building mental toughness.
Identifying why you do the things that you do and react in the ways that you do, will really show you what your problems are. Identify and fix them one at a time and you will start to become more mentally tough. Never attack more than one at a time. The task above is enough to keep you busy for a while.
Another example (MICRO):
Event: You are working out trying to push yourself through an intense bodyweight workout that is supposed to be done as fast as possible. But during the workout, you slow down, rest too often and know that you are not pushing yourself as hard as you can.
Trigger - Physiological response, muscle burn and fatigue, cause you to back off and lower overall intensity.
Recoil - Why do you slow down? Why do you think you cannot move any faster? The recoil here may be hard to find. Perhaps you have been in a situation where you pushed yourself too hard and you got dizzy, passed out or vomited, so you believe it will happen again and you are afraid. Perhaps you have never pushed passed a certain limit or feeling, so the unknown makes you uncomfortable and a little fearful.
Impact - Not achieving true intensity, fewer benefits achieved by your exercise.
The fix: This one is easily identified as fear. Whether you are scared to go there, or scared to go there again, you are afraid to be there. 'There' is that truly uncomfortable physical position; you know 'where' I am talking about.
You have to face your fear. Perhaps not every day depending on your level of apprehension, but perhaps once a week, or month, set a date on the calendar that is your "face my fear" day. The date on the calendar will be your day to go there. You need to face your fear and raise your level of intensity.
As you can see these quick little analyses can go on and on. It is like peeling an onion layer after layer identifying the root problem, or mental weakness. Some issues can be fixed immediately simply by recognizing the issue. Some issues will have to be worked on for months at a time.
This isn't easy. But, today, as your task I want you to pick a problem you have. Anything that you struggle with, and do a Trigger - Recoil - Impact analysis on it and find out what the root of the problem is.
After you have your T-R-I, don't jump straight to the fix, try this as a solution:
Today, we work on you mental stamina, ability to think outside the box and focus while solving your problem (if you haven't noticed, focus is pretty important).
We are going to create a 100 list!
A 100 List is a very powerful technique to help you get all your ideas out, to uncover what may be hidden down deep and to help you come up with new solutions, increase your self-knowledge and find that intrinsic motivation.
It is as simple as it sounds...You are going to make a list of 100 items, but there is a catch, as there always is in the Walsh Performance Mindset Challenge:
100 List Rules:
Rule 1: You have to do the entire list all at once. You cannot come back to it, take a break or give up. Get comfortable, get a pen and paper (or laptop) and get ready to become an idea generation machine.
Rule 2: Move quickly and avoid distractions. The point of a 100 List is to quickly generate ideas, as soon as they come to you, you write them down. You do not analyze or evaluate. Don't start your list in a distraction-centric area or while watching TV. Don't worry about spelling, formatting, full sentences or grammar in general. Just write ideas!!
Rule 3: Pick a RELEVANT topic (the problem you picked above preferably). I do not want you to be limited in your 100 List, however, I suggest doing it on something relevant to your current situation and have it be fitness and health related.
Why do I need to work on Mental Toughness?
How could I make fitness and health more of a priority in my life?
I would avoid extremely narrow questions/problems. i.e. 'How do I get better at bench press?'. That would be a tough list to come up with 100 NEW ideas on.
It can take a lot of brain power to come up with a list of 100 items, let alone 100 items that are all geared toward solving one problem. But you can do it!
Here is what you may find in the process:
First 20-30 ideas: These will be very generic. You will write down what you have heard others say, what you 'think' you are supposed to say. They will be very logical and for the masses, but you are letting there.
Your next 30-40 ideas: This is where you will start to get stuck. You will find yourself writing some of the ideas you already wrote down in previous entries, but in a slightly different way. Your pace will slow and you will really start to challenge yourself. Now we are getting somewhere!
You last set of ideas: Now you should be nearing your last 30-40 entries or so, and this is where the magic happens. You have finally torn down your conscious mind enough to where the real ideas are starting to surface. These ideas and solutions may sound a bit crazy and perhaps even a bit 'out of character', don't worry, write down those ideas too. We want them all!
A lot of crazy stuff can happen in this process. You can find that you were focused on the wrong problem, or that you, perhaps, you need to be focusing on a different aspect of your problem. You can even find the craziest solution is actually the best answer. The main purpose is to get usable information you can act on. If you set out to solve 'how to be healthier', you would start with 'eat better', but in a 100 list you may come up with 'get rid of my microwave'. Not saying that is the best solution - just more usable.
That should be enough to get you started! Good luck!
1. WAKE UP 30 MINUTES EARLIER THAN NORMAL
2. COMPLETE A TRIGGER - RECOIL - IMPACT ANALYSIS + 100 List for a Solution
That's day 6!