We can all agree the mind is a powerful thing. Are you doing anything to train your mind? Do you have a systemized mental training program?
If you're thinking that a mental training program isn’t for you, then I want you to consider the following: There was a study in 2017 looking at 2 groups of high-level kickboxers performing a 12-week physical training program. Both groups were made up of similar people and they completed the exact same training program. The only difference was that one of the groups also completed a mental training program. The group that did the mental training program (mostly self talk) outperformed the exercise-only in every category. The physical and mental training group demonstrated better performance measures, increased testosterone levels, lower cortisol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rest heart rate levels. This shows that mental training is more than just pumping yourself up in the mirror. It can actually help change hormone levels and make significant improvement.
How do we train our brain? A simple and effective strategy is the SAVERS morning routine.
For most people, this means meditation. While meditation is a great option, it could also be prayer or a simple breathing practice. Have some sort of time of silence to yourself in the morning to reflect.
Say something awesome about yourself. This may seem silly, but it is important to do this. Studies show that this step can make significant changes, just like the kickboxing study I mentioned above. In the fitness world, this could simply be reframing your thought process. Instead of “I can’t lift this weight, it’s too heavy,” try “I can lift that weight” or “I can do this.”
Visualize yourself reaching your goals. Think about your next big meeting, the lift you are going to try in the gym, your next game, whatever it may be. Visualize yourself being successful in your activity.
Move in the morning. Dedicate some time to get your heart rate up. This could be a formal workout, a yoga video, a jog in the neighborhood, or even just dancing around the house. It doesn’t matter. Get moving. If you prefer to workout in the evening, you should still do about 5-10 minutes of moving and stretching in the morning.
Struggling to find time to read your favorite book? Doing this task in the morning is a great way to get in some reading before the stresses of the day take over. For me, I listen to an audiobook on my morning commute. For some, this may be 10-15 minutes of reading a novel.
Write something down. Don’t text it. Don’t email it. This could be a journal entry or it could just be you physically writing down what you had for breakfast and then throwing that paper away.
When it comes to the SAVERS morning routine, it comes down to planning and dedicating the time to do it. You could knock out the whole routine in under 10 minutes if you really want. Some people will need an hour or more depending on how much they are exercising, reading, and writing. Try it out for a few weeks and see if you feel more energized and successful.