You’ve set your goals, visualized the outcome you want, and the clock is ticking.
Whether you’re a distance athlete, a teammate, or an Olympic weightlifter, you already know the importance of mental preparation when it comes to crushing your athletic goals.
But, you also know that adequate mental preparation is no simple feat. Goal-setting, visualization, and crafting that perfect mindset all take serious work, just like perfecting your sport.
Luckily, when you know the most efficient process, and you dedicate yourself wholeheartedly for just 10 minutes, you can build a winning mindset that’ll help you crush your goals for years to come.
Sound too good to be true?
Not at all!
I’ll show you a simple, step-by-step process that you can use today to create your winning mindset from scratch with nothing but a pair of headphones and a few minutes to spare.
Creating A Winning Mindset You Can Access On-Demand
Even if you haven’t heard of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP for short), I’m willing to bet this won’t be your first encounter with it. NLP is gaining serious traction among fitness gurus and athletes alike- and for good reason.
While some refer to NLP as a pseudoscience, in my eyes, the best solution is the one that works. And when it comes to results, NLP delivers.
At its most basic level, NLP is an approach to personal development and self-actualization that relies on language patterns, visualization, and a wealth of other creative techniques.
One of the most practical aspects of NLP, and what we’re about to cover in detail, is “programming” a specific cue to elicit a desired mindset or attitude. Once it’s done once, you can “switch on” that mindset any time you need it, by using what we’ll call an Anchor.
Let me explain.
In the world of NLP, Anchors can come in many forms, and they’re simpler than they sound. An Anchor is just an external cue (like a sound, image, or even a place) that’s linked to a mindset, memory, or mood. Once you’ve got your Anchor set up, you can access that mental state or emotion any time you need it!
Anchors can even be created by accident; I’ll bet you’ve got a few set up already.
Have a favorite song that takes you back to a certain period in your life? Maybe a specific spot in your hometown that always queues up that one funny memory? Those are Anchors at work!
Ok, so How Does That Help Me?
I’m glad you asked!
Anchors are a simple concept, but as an athlete, they’re extremely powerful for tapping into your winning mindset when it comes down to game time. With a strong enough Anchor, you can easily access that mindset for the rest of your life.
The 5-Step Process to Building Your Winning Mindset
Now that you know the basics of NLP and Anchors, let’s walk through how to build your winning mindset in 10 minutes flat, step-by-step. The exact details are going to shift around based on your sport (and favorite song), but the process can be adopted to your situation no matter what.
Let’s say, for example, my goal is to build a mindset to help me crush my next triathlon, like the Kona Ironman.
Here’s exactly what I’d do, step-by-step:
- Before getting started, I’d make sure I’m in a quiet place where I can devote 100% of my focus to building my winning mindset. I’d choose my “pump-up song”, or the song I want to use to switch on my mindset, and make sure I have my headphones ready to go.
- Next, I need to get myself into a mental state where I feel confident, motivated, determined, and any other emotions I want to tap into when it’s time for my race. For 10 minutes of concerted effort, I’d do everything in my power to get myself enveloped in that mental state: visualizing myself blasting through the finish line, hearing the cheers of the audience around me, even tasting that briny saltwater during the swim. Nothing is off limits. For those 10 minutes, I’m completely focused on getting myself into a state where I’m gushing confidence
- Once I’m truly feeling confident (it could be as early as a few seconds in, or it might take a couple minutes to work up to) I’d turn on my favorite song on repeat, while continuing to visualize and feel those intense emotions, thereby locking that association in place. For the rest of those 10 minutes, my singular focus is just building and maintaining that feeling of confidence.
- Once those 10 minutes are up, I’d break the state, turn off my music, and come back to the room. At this stage, I can get back into the swing of things and move on with my day.
- Finally- and this is key- I’d set a reminder on my phone to listen to my pump-up song 1-2 times later in the day, to really lock in that association and train my mind to quickly access my newfound mindset.
And it’s as simple as that!
Follow those 5 easy steps, and you’ll be all set to access your winning mindset when game time arrives. Bring along your headphones, or even just imagine listening to that pump-up song, and you’ll be able to harness the power of your newly-developed mindset to crush any goal you’ve set your mind to.
Nico Moreno is a Wellness Coach & Founder of SciFit.org, where he combines his passions for science, fitness, and personal development. An avid coach, writer, and bodybuilder, Nico earned his B.Sc.in Chemistry from USC, where he coached and competed on the USC Triathlon Team.