This is How you keep the demons out. AKA controlling your focus when it comes to changing your life

This is something I care about a lot because when I was having a very, very hard time in my life, things needed to change dramatically. The things that you really want to change may not feel fully within your control; whether it's that career you want or your body and vitality (to look the way you wanna look and feel), etc. It's not like you can wave the magic wand and make someone give you a job, marry you, or make you get in the best shape of your life. However, you DO control the process... or at least you have a large amount of input. Focusing on your sphere of influence and what you can control matters quite a bit. So let's start with the 50,000 foot view. For example, let's say you have a very specific goal that you care a lot about- that's your north star. That's the thing that you want the most.

In this regard, I myself have some big goals: to squat 395, deadlift 495 lbs, bench press 315, press 205, weigh 205 lbs and 12% body fat. 

So specific and clear. Why? Because I think if I could do all that, I might have a chance to beat Luka Hochevar in arm wrestling (WHICH WILL HAPPEN LUKA, I'm coming for you.) I don't control that though. That's just the outcome I want. In order to get there, I'm gonna have to be bigger, stronger, faster, better-looking. I don't control the outcome. That's the north star. I'm always gonna care about that. 

What does the path to the goal look like?

The thing I do control is my focus, the path, the process. What am I going to do on a daily basis to get to the huge outcome I want? For me, the plan is to lift heavy a few times a week, sprinting, got to do M and M's (not the chocolate little candies but metabolic and mobility training), keep my joints loose, get my heart rate up, and feel good like a winner.

Also, I'm gonna eat 2200 calories of clean food because that's gonna keep me lean. I'm gonna have to adjust that later on, but for now, this is the process. I will continue to adjust the processes I need, in order to get to where I want to go. I'm gonna drink a lot of water, I'm going to take fish oil every day, and I'm gonna weigh in twice a month to make sure I'm building muscle and strength and I'm continuing on that path. 

Even though this is my beautiful, loud, big, hairy audacious goal, the path is really where my focus is set. Those actions are the inputs. That's what I do every day to keep getting closer to that outcome goal. What will happen is, because I've set a huge goal, this goal... I'm not at that goal. In fact, I'm pretty far away and the demons and evil spirits start to come out to say, "Well, is this really you? Is that who you are inside?" And of course, because it's me and I have a big old, "Yes! I'm a warrior. I do what I want."

If you're just beginning on the path, it might be scary. You may not have an environment that's very reinforcing. There may be voices from the past, your own bad habits, or people in your life that are pulling you down saying things like, "Oh, you wanna start that business? That seems complicated. Where are you gonna get the money? Oh my gosh, you got to do a lot of stuff." Or as you're trying to lose weight, "Oh, there's Josh again. He's on one of his plans. He thinks he's gonna be Rocky."

Be on your own side.

Be on your own side.


One way you control the process and those inputs is, you get rid of those people. You cut them out or minimize your exposure to them. When it comes to you and your inner voice and your interior dialogue, man, you've got to turn into your own cornerman. Just imagine, what would you say if it was your best friend? How would you coach up your best friend if they were trying to change their life? You wouldn't tell them they couldn't do it. Man, you'd be on their team. THAT'S what you need. That's what you want your interior dialogue to be. If you want someone to believe in you, you got to be willing to be the first one.

But Josh, where do I find a cornerman?

Go to the most positive person you know and/or go to someone online. The internet is a great resource. I have a whole playlist of motivational videos created by people I admire, who speak about achievement goal-setting and having a resilient mindset. Create a positive micro environment inside some ear buds... and that environment will support you as you begin your journey of change. Now, if you're lucky and you're training here at TFW Portland, you have a great environment in which everybody's giving you high fives, telling you can do it and celebrating your victories, and when you do something that you've never done before and you get to ring that victory bell. That's not something you get at any gym in Portland. But that's okay- you just got to start by minimizing your time around those demons. Work on that inner self talk to let go of that idea that you can't have the things you want, or you can't do it, or that it's not who you are because who you are is already always changing anyway. You might as well change it to that north star.

Stay focused on the process, stay focused on what you control (the inputs, minimize the bad shit, minimize the people that aren't gonna help you and the bottom line). The most important message that I'm trying to relay is: Luka, I will destroy you.

Until next time, this is Coach Josh at Training for Warriors PDX, hoping YOU bring out the warrior within.