In 2006 Walt Jocketty, the General Manger of the St Louis Cardinals reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to help the team develop the mental toughness needed to win a World Series.
The first thing I did with the team was teach them to do "Mental Workouts." The Mental Workout is a 5-step process that takes approximately one minute and 40 seconds to complete and is scientifically proven to improve confidence, focus and performance. In 2006 the St Louis Cardinals won their first World Series in 24 years, and in 2011 the team won their second World Series in a six-year period.
The Mental Workout is essentially what propelled my success in the field of sport psychology, and if you do the Mental Workout consistently, it will undoubtedly help propel your success, as well.
The 5-step Mental Workout:
1. Centering Breath: Breathe in for 6 seconds, hold for 2, breathe out for 7 seconds.
2. Identity Statement: Repeat in your head your identity statement. This is very much like a personal mantra. Come up with two to three sentences that describe exactly what and who you want to be, making certain to say it as if it has already occurred. For example, my identity statement is, "I outwork the competition every day, and I am the most effective performance coach in the country. I experience true love as a husband and father."
3. Personal Highlight Reel: Take 60 seconds total to visualize success. In the first 30 seconds, create a visual of who you want to be and how you want your life to be five years from now. Be specific and include the most important personal and professional aspects. Then take another 30 seconds to visualize how you want your upcoming day to go. See in your mind a few important successes that will propel you to be on track for exactly where you want to be in five years.
4. Identity Statement: Repeat to yourself your personal mantra (same as Step 2).
5. Centering Breath: Take another deep breath just as you did in Step 1. Be sure to take the full time for each part of the breath.
I typically recommend doing your Mental Workout a bare minimum of three days per week. The more days per week you complete your mental workout, the more of an impact you will experience.
I have also found that the most impactful time to complete your Mental Workout is either within the first hour after waking up or in the hour or so before going to bed. Remember, done is better than perfect. It is much more important to find a time that you will actually be able to get your Mental Workout completed than it is to do it at the most perfect time.
Most people have a tendency to coast through the final month of the year. Completing your Mental Workout consistently will help you develop the mental toughness needed to finish the year strong. BE RELENTLESS.