It’s a new year and there’s all this talk of goals and dreams and what you want to accomplish in the year ahead. But without the right mindset, it’s extremely difficult to create the kind of big, …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 106 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners, and today, I’ve got a powerful way to start your day. I love how that rhymes. So it’s a new year. And there’s all this talk of goals and dreams and what it is you want to accomplish in the year ahead. But without the right mindset, it’s extremely difficult to create the kind of big permanent changes that you want for yourself.
Whether you want to lose weight, become a faster runner gets stronger, or just become the healthiest you yet I want to help you to develop the right mindset, the mindset that is absolutely required to get you there. So in this episode of the podcast, I’m going to share a very simple mindset exercise that when done consistently, when done every day can be an incredibly powerful way to start your day and help you achieve all your goals.
But first, if you like this podcast, you got to come check out the Facebook community. This is the Running Lean Community on Facebook. We do some weekly coaching and training in there, we get tons of encouragement and support from runners that are just like you, we have fun. We just finished up our running through the holidays challenge and everybody had an amazing experience with that. Lots and lots and lots of great feedback from that. So definitely come check out the Running Lean community on Facebook.
And then listen, the most powerful way to hit all of your health and fitness goals is to really have someone there guiding you every step of the way, helping you to overcome your struggles, showing you things about yourself that you just don’t see holding you accountable, and keeping you on the right track. This is what I do as your coach. And I’d love to work with you here in the new year and help you absolutely crush all of your health and fitness goals in 2022. I want to encourage you to take action.
If this is something you’ve been thinking about for a while, I want you to stop thinking about it and just do it. Take action on yourself, invest in yourself in 2022 and make this the year that you finally become that lean, strong, badass runner that you’ve always wanted to be.
You can apply for coaching over at runningleanpodcast.com/apply and I’d love to see over there. And then in the Running Lean coaching group this month, this is another way to get some coaching – in my group program we’re doing a weight loss is our focus for January. So we’re doing the eight pounds down challenge. And so we’re into week number one people are having some great experiences. It’s not too late to join, we’re going to show you exactly how to become a fat-adapted runner and lose weight and hopefully get to eight pounds down by the end of the month. That’s the goal. That’s kind of what we’re challenging and pushing each other to do this month over there.
Okay, this is a good time to get started with this thing because we’re, you know, not quite in a marathon training season yet we’re still kind of in the offseason we’re just getting started with that. So it’s a good time to get fat-adapted and be able to crush your spring marathons. Just go to runningleanpodcast.com/join if you want to learn more.
Alright, so let’s get into this topic today. This is something that one of my coaches shared with me and I wanted to pass it along to you guys because I thought it was so powerful. I’ve been getting a lot of good results by practicing this little daily mindset exercise and I want to share it with you guys.
So first of all, why do we need to work on our mindset? Like why is this something we actually have to do? Aren’t you just supposed to have the right mindset? And listen, no, no. Mindset is not something you have or don’t have. It’s something you learn it’s a skill. If it’s a skill, that means you got to practice it right. That means you can get better at it.
And if you don’t practice it you’ll probably not have a good mindset and so in order to just like building muscle at the gym, right if you want to get stronger muscles you got to go lift heavy things at the gym right? Getting a stronger mindset requires a similar approach. You have to work on it.
You have to, you know, work on your thoughts, your feelings and things that you believe about yourself and believe about the world, you have to challenge yourself, you have to push yourself mentally, emotionally, just the same way that you do have to push yourself physically if you want to, you know, become a faster runner or build bigger muscles, right? So we have to work on our mindset, okay.
One of the most powerful ways of working on your mindset, in my opinion, is journaling. And some people think that journaling is just stupid, and it serves no purpose, and it’s pointless, and they feel stupid doing it. And that’s okay if you think it’s dumb. You don’t have to do it. Okay.
But I just have to tell you, the people that do this on a regular basis, are achieving at a higher level. They’re building mental toughness, they have a much more sort o well thought out and more powerful mindset. They got a mindset game going on. Okay.
So I just want to encourage you, if you’re one of those people that thinks journaling is pointless, I want to encourage you to kind of reconsider that and give it a go. And listen, journaling doesn’t have to be, you know, like, oh, dear diary, you know, here’s what Billy said to me today. No, it can be, it can be very specific and done in a very specific way, right?
I’ve talked about this before, we can do things like thought downloads, where you just get everything that’s going on in your head, all the thoughts in your head, and just get them out on the page. That right there can be a powerful way to start your day, that can be a powerful way to just get the junk out of your head and see it on the page and see what you’re actually thinking about.
Like what are the big thoughts that are just kind of swirling around in your head, we can become very overwhelmed with our thoughts. You know, I think we think something like 60,000 thoughts a day, 60,000 thoughts a day. And what if you just put some of those down on paper, and you could actually see what’s going on up there.
It’s kind of like a little snapshot of what’s going on in your brain. I love the thought download. And I kind of do this every single day. That’s kind of the way I start my day. There are other types of journaling you can do, which is you know, doing like a training log, you could do a training log for running, or resistance training, I highly recommend this, you know, to keep track of your runs, how you felt, timing, pacing, how you felt before and after, the weather. You can just like record all kinds of things, heart rate data, that kind of stuff.
And in resistance training, obviously, you need to log your resistance training, see how you’re feeling during those workouts, and keep track of your weights and reps. So you can see that you’re making progress, okay. But journaling can also be just like writing down daily goals and objectives. Okay?
So it can be like a food journal where you’re writing down things you’re eating just to keep track and create some awareness around that. It could be an exercise journal, where you’re creating awareness and helping you to make good progress then in that way, but it can just be whatever you want. Okay. Now, I’m not talking about journaling in general today, but I just wanted to mention that journaling can be a very, very powerful mindset tool. Okay.
So, right, just writing in general, is one of the best ways to build a stronger mindset. Okay. Some of the benefits of journaling, and doing some writing every day. It helps you to review your past and be honest. So it helps you to kind of, you know, you can recap the past day or the past week, and you can say, like, here’s what actually happened.
Journaling actually helps to reduce stress and anxiety, it’s been shown that people that do journaling, have less stress and anxiety, which is awesome. It creates a massive amount of self-awareness because like I said, you’re starting to create, you’re creating self-awareness by looking at what you’re thinking about, right? You’re sort of like, it’s kind of meta, you’re kind of thinking about what you’re thinking about. But it’s important to write it down, not just like, think about it in your head because when you write it down, you start to see things in a much different way. And it starts to really bring things into your consciousness that you may not be aware of.
Journaling can help you to make progress towards your goals. It can help you identify weak areas so that you can improve them. Journaling helps to boost motivation, helps you to stay motivated, helps you to stay on track, with whatever goals that you have. It’s been shown to help improve focus and concentration. And it just helps you to kind of see the bigger picture and get some perspective on what’s going on. Okay. There are no real rules around journaling. And you can do it any way that you want, but I just want to encourage you to get into some sort of daily journaling, practice okay.
Now I have a very specific little exercise a journaling exercise that you can begin to do to kind of add to your daily journaling practice if you’re already doing it, or if you’re not doing any journaling at all, you can start with this because it’s super, super simple and very powerful. So there aren’t really any rules about what to do or how to journal, okay? But having a purpose, and having an intention for your writing for what it is that you’re actually putting down on the page can really make this daily act of writing much more impactful.
Okay, we’re talking about creating a mindset and working on your mindset and improving your mindset. And it requires daily practice, just like lifting weights, if you want to get stronger lifting weights is your daily practice. Journaling can be your daily practice to work on your mindset, okay.
And so what I’m going to share with you today is one very simple writing exercise that you can do every single day, it’s going to give you one thing to focus on every day. One simple mindset exercise that can help you to create powerful results in every area of your life. Okay. And this little exercise is called the word of the day.
So it basically works like this is so simple it’s not even funny. Okay, you just pick a word each day, you write it down. And then you write about that word, you write about what you might do today, to embody that word. And that’s it. It’s super simple. I love simple things. It’s very powerful.
Two words can be life-changing, right? How many big events in your life could be summed up with just one word? Words like divorce, cancer, or injury or illness or failure or disappointment? All of these words describe powerful times of pain and suffering and despair in your life. Right?
And, and when you hear one of these words, or you say one of these words out loud, it sort of brings all those emotions from that time from that event, from the past that brings it all right back into the present, right?
What about positive words, positive words that describe good times, where it’s like marriage, birth and promotion, and PR, and it’s not a word, but close enough vacation, joy, accomplishment; these positive words can bring those good memories and those good times right back into your consciousness right back into the forefront of your mind. And they can help you to kind of get through some of the tough times in the present. Okay?
So words are very, very powerful, right? And so what we want to do is we want to sort of hack into this little process of using words in a powerful, positive way. So you’re going to pick a word each day, you’re just gonna write about it.
So how do you pick the right word? How do you know you’re picking the right word, there’s no right or wrong way to do this, okay? And if you’re doing this every day, let’s say you, you decide you’re going to do this for a month, or you can do it for a year or a week, whatever you want to do is fine.
But you’re going to have a whole bunch, there are so many words out there, there’s a lot of words out there like you’re not gonna really need to worry about not finding a word, okay? But I just want you to focus on whatever sort of comes to mind or whatever you might need in the moment. So for me, when I’m sitting there, and I’m thinking about like, what word should I make my word of the day here?
I might be like, so I listen to a lot of books and podcasts, and I read a lot. And sometimes I see a word or hear a word over and over again. Or maybe when I’m talking with my clients, I’ll hear a word and I’ll hear the same word like three or four times in a row or three or four times in just a couple of days. And that’s like a little alarm for me.
It’s like a little sign that I need to pay attention to that word, okay? So, there’s no real right or wrong way to pick a word and there’s no right or wrong words here. Okay? We do want to pick words that inspire action, like sit.
So here’s a couple of guidelines for you pick a word that inspires action, because you’re going to be using your word, to inspire some sort of action, some sort of change in your behavior, something that you’re going to do differently. Or something that you’re going to do today.
So even a word like rest can inspire action if resting is what you need today, maybe you need to rest physically, mentally, emotionally, that’s a great word. And it could be just like, I’m just going to rest, you know, I’m going to spend some time not doing anything, that would be a great word of the day for you if that’s what you need in the moment. Okay?
The other thing is you don’t have to pick a different word each day, you can reuse words. You know, I’ve got some examples that I’m going to share with you guys where I’ve, you know, basically, I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now. And I just wanted to share with you some of the words that I chose.
So you can like reuse words, you don’t have to use the same one every single day. But just pick something that you want to focus on for that day. Okay, so let me give you my examples. And this might help to clarify all of this for you. This is a really fun and really simple exercise, and I think you’re gonna get a lot out of it, I just want you to try it, I want to encourage you to give it a go.
So here are some words that I wrote down. And I’ll give you a little bit of a little, you know, I’ll explain each one a little bit and just tell you kind of like what I did each day, or how I wanted to embody that word each day.
So the first word was strength. So this for me meant that, okay, so I, you know, started this after my shoulder surgery. And so strength for me was like, showing strength in the face of pain, showing strength in the face of like being tired, feeling weak, to do what I needed to do to do my physical therapy exercises, which hurt to build a little bit of strength every single day. So that was kind of like a word that I needed in that moment. And I embodied that word in that day. So I did things that day, that embodied the word strength, and to build a little bit of strength, that data was really helpful for me.
Another word I chose was action. Like just getting into action and getting things done. I wrote this down, because I had a lot to do over the holidays, I had a lot of work to do. And I was feeling like, Man, I need to get all this stuff done. How am I going to get all this done? And it was just like, the word that popped into my mind was action. And so I just got into action, you know. And it’s one of those things where, for me, I am all about, like, you got to take action, even when you don’t feel like it. And maybe I just wasn’t feeling it at the time. So writing this word down really got that ingrained in my brain, I was just like, I need to just take action, get all this stuff done. And I did, which was awesome.
Another word I picked was vulnerable. So for me, asking for help putting myself out there, you know, telling people how I’m feeling, even though I may not be feeling very supportive makes me feel very vulnerable. You know, I’ve had some bad moments over the last month or so I’ve had some tough days, you know, and sometimes it’s hard for me to, like, share that with people and say that I’m having a hard time, or to ask for help, like, I need help doing things sometimes. But I’ve just been sort of embracing that and being able to ask for help and being vulnerable. And it’s very powerful to do that. Right.
Another word I picked was heal, like just to, you know, to give my body the rest that it needs to heal properly. To slow down. I think I wrote this down, because, you know, I started to get into some action. And I started to like, you know, do more exercising and taking more walks and things like that I can’t do a whole lot still.
But I think I may have overdone a little bit. And I was, you know, creating some stress in my body, you know, and the stress that I was creating was kind of making things worse for me, you know, I needed to slow down I need to rest a take care of myself. And I needed to give myself a chance to heal this long process of this recovery from this rotator cuff surgery, right? So it’s going to take a while. And I have to give myself the time and the space to heal. So I spent the whole weekend just like resting last weekend, which was amazing.
Another word I picked was clarity. So for me, this is one of those words that I heard over and over again. I just kept hearing it. I heard it on a podcast. I heard it from clients. And I was like, ‘Well, I think I need to write this word down. So what does this mean for me?’ I was like, ‘What is clarity?’ What do I need clarity around and really for me, it was like, I needed clarity around this vision.
I need a clear and focused vision of who it is I want to become. It’s being able to see and feel very clearly my future self. It’s like having this sharp and focused image of who I’m becoming. That’s what that meant for me. You know, so I spent some time getting clear on my goals getting clear on who I want to become in 2022.
Another word I picked was discipline. So for me, discipline is like suiting up and showing up to do what needs to be done. Even though I don’t feel like it, right? Motivation is great. But discipline will beat motivation every single time. You know, motivation is a feeling. So you got to have that feeling in order to like, take action. But discipline is doing it despite feeling motivated, right.
So for me, discipline was like, I need to do some things that are going to move me towards that future version of myself, right? It means I need to do what needs to be done here, not what I feel like doing. And I think at the time, I didn’t want to go outside. It’s like, I don’t want to go outside and take my walks, it was cold. I wrote this a few days ago, it was like 21 degrees outside. And I just didn’t feel like it.
But I was like, dude, discipline is what you need here. So I put on my coat, put on my hat, and just went outside and took my walk. And I was still in pain. And it was still, you know, cold and whatever. But I enjoyed it. And I showed myself that I can do it and was practicing discipline which got me out the door. Okay.
And then the last word like I’ve been doing this every day. And I’m just picked a few words for you guys here. But the last word I’m going to share with you today is impact. And this is this was my word for the day. And it’s also my word for this year like impact is the word that I’m choosing to embody for 2022.
And I have had to think about this recently, like, what is the impact that I want to create in the world? You know, what am I doing today to create that impact? Am I doing something today that’s helping to create that impact? Right? So how can I make a bigger and more powerful impact in this world, that’s my goal.
You know, my mission is to be an example of what’s possible and to inspire those around me to do the same. And that’s what I mean by impact. I’m being an example of what’s possible, and I’m inspiring you to be an example of what’s possible, and then you’re gonna inspire others.
And it’s a ripple effect. It’s a ripple effect of positivity. It’s a ripple effect of health. And feeling good. That’s the impact that I want to make. And so it’s very easy for me to see like, what am I doing today, to make that kind of an impact? Okay.
So I want you to take action on so I want you to like, get into action with this little simple mindset exercise. Try it for a week, try for a month tried for the year. My goal is to do this every day for this year, right every day. So I do some writing every day. And I’m just adding this into my journaling practice every single day. doesn’t take any extra time.
But for me, it’s just like, I look forward to this every day and like, ‘Ooh, what, what word can I sort of embody today? What area of my life do I need to improve today? What do I need to focus on today?’ And all I feel like I’m just starting each day with more purpose and more direction, and more intention and more focus.
And I’m going to tell you this right now, that if you do this every single day, you know, over time, it is going to dramatically alter the direction of your life. Because you’re treating each day as an opportunity to move a little closer to your goals. You’re treating each day as an opportunity for you to become that future version of yourself. And when you practice this every single day, and when every day you’re moving just a little bit closer to who you want to become. Little by little, you will eventually get there. Try this I think you’ll love it. All right, you guys love you all keep on Running Lean. Talk to you soon.
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