The High Performance Journal

How To Win The Inner Game Of Getting Lean

high performance journal Mar 12, 2024

The High Performance Journal - March 12th, 2024

The process of losing weight can be a long and arduous one.

What most people do is try to find the perfect diet or the best workout program. But the reality is neither of these matters if you don't have the right mindset:

You can know all the right things to do but if your mind isn't set up correctly it'll be like fighting an uphill battle.

I've seen this in my own life:

I would do a diet and lose a bunch of weight only to gain it back because my mind was still rooted in the "old me". I needed to change my mind and who I was as a person.

I've seen this with my clients:

They would come to me at their wit's end having going through a few yo-yo weight cycles.

Admittedly, their actual plans did require a lot of tweaking. Yet, if they wanted to achieve long-term success, they needed to also work on the 6 inches of space between their ears.

Note: This is so important that we dedicated an entire module to mental training in our Lean Body 90 course.

So in today's article, I want to share with you the system for winning the inner game of getting lean.

If this is something you struggle with then make sure to read to the end of the email because the information I'm about to share with you has changed my life and many others.

Note: Even if you don't have a goal to lose weight you can take this system to any goal you're trying to achieve.

Before getting into the system, we need to let you in on the 3 main mindsets that prevent us from our fitness goals.

3 Toxic Mindsets To Avoid:

We were working with a client. For privacy's sake, let's name him Bob.

Bob was a CEO who had lost and gained the same 30 lbs over the past 5 years.

When we got on the call with Bob he was exhibiting 3 toxic mindsets that hold most people back from long-term results:

#1 - The all-or-nothing mindset: Bob had a mindset of extremes. He saw his success or failure binary. He was either on the diet or off the diet. He was either 100% in or out. This blew up in his face when he would make a mistake and give up on what he was doing.

This leads to the second toxic mindset...

#2 - The fast results mindset: Bob was impatient. He wanted to achieve in weeks what he had created over the years. This had him chasing fast methods where he'd lose weight only to gain it back.

 This is all reinforced by the 3rd toxic mindset...

#3 - Negative self-image & belief systems: Bob carried with him the identity that would always be fat. It started when he got out of college to build his business and well into his adult years. His old beliefs and identity held him back through self-sabotage.

Thankfully, Bob had us on his side, and through a lot of work and accountability we helped him change his mind (and body) by dropping 40 lbs and keeping it off:

Here's how we did it...

How To Win The Inner Game Of Getting Lean

Everything you want is behind a system to attain it.

We have systems for our businesses and even our families but how many of us have a system for training our mind?

The system I present to you is called the Mental Management System, which works in conjunction with our system of dealing with emotions, which you can read here.

We do this by first setting the stage and then changing your mind through mental training.

Are you ready? Let's go.

Phase 1: Set The Stage

“If you are proactive about controlling the direction of your life, then you must control the way you think.”
 - Lanny Basham author of With Winning in Mind

Imagine this...

You take out your phone to set a course for one of your favorite places on the planet. You'll get directions on how to get there and foresee any obstacles that may come. It'll act as both a guide and a confidant.

All you gotta do is drive the car and follow the directions.

That's what setting the stage is like.

Think of this as setting the destination on your GPS. It will give you clear instructions on where you're going, what you're doing, why you're doing it, and what to look out for.

Once completed you'll create what's called a directive affirmation, which will act as your North Star.

  1. Get out a journal. This could be a written journal or digital.
  2. Decide and write out EXACTLY what you want. Be specific and write it out in the present.

    Example: Do not write "I want to lose 20 lbs". Instead, write out "I've kept my weight at "X" (your goal weight)"
  3. Decide when you want it. In this case, if you're trying to drop 20 pounds or more you want to give yourself a long time horizon of at least a year, which would be 4-6 months to attain it and another 6-8 months to maintain your result.

    Example: I've kept my weight at "X" (your goal weight) by March 11th, 2025.
  4. Write out at least 10 or more reasons why you want it. The key here is to get to the core as to why you want what you want. Along the path to achieving anything you need to have an abundance of reasons to achieve it to keep you going.

    As you get deeper in this process you'll go from surface-level wants (ie. I want to look good at the beach) to deeper-level desires (ex. I want to set up my kids with generational health habits).
  5. List out the pay value. This is the set of actions you'll do consistently to achieve your goal. This would include resources you'll use (ie. coaching, meal prep service, etc..) and the exact system you'll use to create a lifestyle that makes losing weight inevitable. Keep this list to at most 5 actions to reduce overwhelm.

    Example: Lift 3x a week, eat to my circadian rhythms, sleep 8 hours a night, etc...
  6. Determine the obstacles in your way. Be specific about all the things that might stand in your way.

    Example: Obstacle: You overeat your calories at night.
  7. Write 1-3 solutions for each obstacle. This is your plan when things go wrong.
  8. Ask yourself if the goal is worth it. What type of effect will this goal have on your life? What type of effect will this goal have on your family? Is it even worth it? You want to ask yourself these questions to see if this is worth having in your life or not.
  9. Create and schedule your plan. Take the items from your pay value and put them into action immediately.

    Example: Put your workouts in your calendar. Order meal prep. Get a coach. Do what it takes to keep you to the goal you set.
  10. Finally, once you're done all of this you want to compile all this into a directive affirmation. Here's one that Bob wrote:

"I, Bob Smith (name withheld), have kept my weight at a lean, energetic, and confident 200 lbs by March 11th, 2025.

I enjoy the feeling of working out and eating foods that nourish my body. The energy and vitality I've created have set a positive example of what good health looks like to my children and wife. I've used my enhanced confidence levels to reach new heights in my business. I did this by creating a habit of working out, eating 3 nutritious high-protein meals a day, prioritizing sleeping 7 hours a night, and staying accountable to my coaching. I'm proud of the person I've become and am excited for my next stage of evolution. I, Bob Smith, have kept my weight at 200 lbs and am looking to set my next goal."

Now that you've set the stage it's time to use mental training to lock in this new identity into your subconscious.

Phase 2: Mental Training

“The ‘self-image’ is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self-image and you change the personality and the behavior."

- Dr. Maxwell Maltz author of Psycho-Cybernetics

Think of mental training as weight lifting. It is the "reps" you'd perform to train your mind and identity.

Step 1 - Set Your Focus

What most people don't realize is that their minds act as a goal-seeking mechanism. What we want to do is feed it the right thing to focus on.

Taking the directive affirmation, we got Bob to make 5 copies and strategically put them in various places in his home.

For the next 21 days, he read it every day.

Step 2 - Visualize And Feel

For those 21 days, we had him visualize himself doing the actions needed to achieve your outcome. See yourself achieving your outcome and feel the emotions you'd feel as a result of achieving it.

This imprints images into your self-image of the person you're working to become.

Step 3 - Change The Conversation In Your Mind

Changing your behaviors starts with changing the conversation you're having in your mind.

A long way to do this is to monitor your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a journal.

The shorter way we did with Bob was using NSDR (nonsleep deep rest) more widely known as hypnosis.

Hypnosis can help you change behaviors that interfere with managing your weight while improving your relationship with your body, reducing inflammation, and improving your overall quality of life.

Andrew Huberman has talked about NSDR at length and it's become an effective tool that I use to re-wire my thoughts when it comes to changing certain habits and behaviors.

The app I use is called Reveri. This app is clinically proven to change behavior and it's what I consider to be the best NSDR app on the planet.

I loved his app so much that I interviewed the founder (and world-renowned NSDR expert) David Spiegel on my podcast, which you can check out here.

Note: Subscribers to this newsletter can get a 20% discount code by adding "DANGO" to the checkout.

Step 4 - Keep A Performance Journal

You want to keep a daily journal to log your progress, work through obstacles, and note down the subtle changes happening.

This locks in the actions you're taking into your self-image and gives you more reasons to act the way you're acting.

Journaling was crucial to my year-long journey to eliminating alcohol and it's important for anyone looking to make a long-term change in their life.

Final Step - Get Massive Accountability

To commit fully to your new habits and behaviors you need to be accountable to someone outside of yourself and loved ones.

Bob, got coaching with our team where we provided the plan, vision, and accountability.

For you, it could be the same or it could be something different like joining a community or finding a friend with a similar goal.

The best way to stick to your new habits is to find an outside form of accountability.

What To Do Next

"Thinking will not overcome fear but action will."
 - W. Clement Stone

Think of this system as setting up the business plan for your body and mind.

The most important part is to take action and execute.

Yes, having a system to lose weight is important. But more important than that is getting set up with the right mindset before that even happens.

I hope this was enough to help you train your mind to achieve your weight loss goals.

Onwards and upwards 🚀

- Dan


When you're ready, here are 3 ways I can help:

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