• Rob Olson

3 Simple Ways To Improve Your Mindset





Mindset is the answer to pretty much everything.


From big questions such as:

Am I happy? Am I successful? How can I accomplish ______?


To smaller statements such as:

This workout is _______. Eating healthy is _________. Working out makes me _________.


Think about it. Literally go fill in the blanks. It will give you a snapshot of your mindset. Your mindset will shape your life and predict where you are headed. Do you like what your answers just showed you? If you want to be healthier, you need to believe that you will be healthier. This is not to say that the road to a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life is simple and easy - its not - but with these three simple ways to improve your mindset, it will become a little easier. Think of your mindset like a big ship. There are no sharp turns. It takes a long time to turn a big ship around. But once you start going in the right direction, you can full-steam-ahead on your way to your destination.


  1. Be Positive. Every achievement comes first from the belief that it is possible. Negativity will literally never get you anywhere. Fitness. Nutrition. Job. Family. Friends. Finances. If you want to succeed in any of them, they require positivity. The important thing here is to note that nobody is 100% positive all the time. I'd put myself at 90/10 or 80/20. You know who keeps me in check though when I do get negative? Denise (my wife). Everyone needs support, and this is where its critical that your inner circle is filled with positive people as well. This is also why we practice Bright Spots Friday, to find the positives. In many cases, when people think they are down and things aren't going well, there are positives happening, they just can't see them. Seeing the positives is a skill, and it takes practice. I challenge you to find your Bright Spot this Friday.

  2. Reduce Big Tasks into Small Ones. Let's say a prospective member comes in and wants to lose 100lbs. Thats a huge task that will take some time. What's more manageable, losing 100lbs, or losing 10lbs ten times? Of course 10 pounds is a more manageable goal. When I ran my 50 mile ultramarathon, do you know my thoughts at the starting line? "I'm just going to run 1 mile ... 50 times." Running 1 mile is easy. Running 50 miles is hard. The bigger the task, the more you need to break it down. Everything can be broken down, from fitness to finances. Nobody saves up for a house down-payment overnight, it is broken down into small savings each week, each month, and each year. Apply that same principle to any big task you want to accomplish.

  3. Embrace Failure. Failing is great. (Disagree with this statement? Go back to #1) It's a great opportunity to learn. I've failed so many times in my life I can't even count them. But, and this is the key point, I've learned from them, and tried again. I failed classes in college, I had a failed marriage, and the first two years of CrossFit Simsbury I had to borrow money from my grandma to cover expenses I failed to plan for. In Navy SEAL training I failed timed runs, timed swims, timed obstacle courses, shooting tests, medical tests, scuba diving tests, sky diving tests, and more. And I'm glad I failed. Do you know why? Because it forced me to improve, every, single, time. One of the best examples of this was when I was at the special operations combat medic course. We were in our final phase of training after 6 months of intensive training, and had to run up to an unknown casualty scenario and save them while a mock battle took place around us. As I went through this test, it came to a point I had to give a cricothyroidotomy. You know, that scene in the Anaconda movie and they stick a hollow pen into the throat to keep the person breathing? Its that, but in a more professional manner. Well I did that to my mock patient, the test went on, and my patient survived. At the end of the test it looked like I had passed. Until the instructor removed the bandages and did a closer inspection. I had actually put the incision 1cm below the cricothyroid membrane, in the trachea. My procedure still provided life saving air to the patient, but it was in the wrong spot. Attention to detail fail. I failed the test. I had to repeat the final phase of the course as my peers moved on. I was pretty upset. But, fast forward several years, and I found myself in Afghanistan treating my teammate for an IED blast, and more Afghan Police than I can count for gunshot wounds. Had the instructor passed me the first time, I'm confident I still could have performed my job overseas, but the failure, that created an even greater attention to detail that undoubtedly improved my performance as a medic. Failure may not be pretty or fun at the moment, but if you learn from it and stay positive, it will always result in a better outcome. This goes for a bad workout, a missed 1RM lift, a month of poor nutrition choices, or a decade of not working out. There are lessons in failure. Embrace them.


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