We talk a lot here at Spartan about being resilient and being ready for anything. We want you to pull yourself off the couch and join the community, to push yourself and your limits and shape your mind and body so you can live a Spartan lifestyle.
But how exactly do you start? We asked Spartan CEO and founder Joe De Sena and two veteran Spartan trainers for 10 tips on how to retrain your mind and think like a Spartan in just 14 days.
How to Think Like a Spartan Every Day
1. Start Small
There’s simply no easy way to jump right into making a lifestyle change, so be realistic. Spartan trainer Sam Stauffer says it’s easiest to make changes in your nutrition, your workout routines, and your mindset by setting attainable goals. Start your day with a tall glass of water. If you want to start a running routine, try long walks first. Take some time away from your computer every day to take 10 deep breaths, then you can work your way up to meditation.
2. Make a Commitment
It doesn’t matter what you want to start with, De Sena says, but get in the habit of committing to a goal and accomplishing it. Not only will you achieve what you initially set out to do — even it’s reading a book or managing 25 burpees in the morning before work — but you’ll also develop confidence and self-belief.
Once you’re feeling good, you can set more challenging or even uncomfortable goals for yourself, and that triggers action and change.
3. Get Up Early
Imagine if you had one more hour a day just to clear your head and get some of those nagging tasks out of the way. Spartan trainer Rich Borgatti says that if you can wake up a little earlier every morning, you can carve that time out — even if it’s just 30 minutes.
That may mean turning off electronics at night and going to bed earlier, but think about how much stress you could release if you could just clear your head first thing in the morning.
4. Manage Your Time
We’re all given the same 24 hours in a day. But the key, De Sena says, is how you manage those hours. Can you organize your day so there’s time for all the things you need — exercise, emails, time with the kids, time with your partner, time for yourself? The sooner you can sit down and outline the priorities for your day and commit to a realistic timetable for each expectation, the less time you’re going to waste.
5. Do the Hard Thing First
There’s no worse feeling than the guilt of putting off that workout or journaling all day, or not getting around to it at all. Make time to get those things done as early as possible, Borgatti says, and that will free you up for the rest of the day to accomplish what you need, both in work and in life.
6. Appreciate Your Nutrition
You can’t make wholesale changes to your overall nutrition all at once today, but you can take some steps to eat better, Stauffer says. Start simple by buying organic vegetables and greens, as well as better cuts of meat. It might cost more at the cash register, but it’s worth it in the end when you live a longer, healthier life.
7. Define "Average"
It’s always critical to understand your strengths and weaknesses, but you’re hurting yourself if you’re willing to settle. De Sena advises that if you’re given a challenge you don’t think you can complete — maybe it’s at work, maybe it’s on the Spartan course — consider what the average person might do and where he or she might stop. Then, consider whether you’re willing to call yourself average.
8. Delay Your Gratification
You just finished a taxing workout at the gym, so don’t waste it. Too many people feel they need to reward themselves with a post-workout burger or a treat, but Stauffer says that’s the wrong way to go about it. If you can postpone the reward until later in the day (or even skip it all together), you’ll teach yourself to appreciate completing the challenge, instead of the reward.
9. Write It Down
There are too many ideas and anxieties in our heads not to get it out on paper. Borgatti says that he started journaling after the arrival of his second child so that he could get all of his many obligations on paper and set realistic expectations. Start with freeform writing and you might develop a structure that works for you and helps you be the most effective person you can be.
10. Know Your "Why"
Take a second to think about why you’re getting out of bed in the morning. Why are you going to work? Why are you taking time for your kids? If you can identify an end goal and what you hope to accomplish with all of the activities you take on in life, De Sena says, understanding what motivates you becomes much easier. And once you know what you’re aiming for in life, you can tailor your life — and how you spend your time — to reaching those goals, and then setting more.