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Halfway through the Year of Transformation – Why ‘Being Tougher’ is What’s Next

‘If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: be tougher. Don’t meditate on it.’ – Jocko Willink

So at the beginning of this year I decided that by the end of this year I would be in the best shape of my life. As usual I thought, I got this. Give me 12 weeks and that will be that task done for the year.

In hindsight, it has been nowhere near that simple and probably the only one surprised by this is me.

So at this stage I am in the last week of completing the second round of my 12 week high intensity workout program. I am fitter and stronger than ever but I can still see how a lot of progress can still be made.

So now I’m embarking on planning for the next six months. What will I do, how will I train and eat? What will be my key focus areas and strategies.

In the last quarter of 2109, I felt that I could put a lot more effort into my goals. I read Grit by Angela Duckworth and did the Grit Scale. At the time I felt like I needed more grittiness. Back then I scored a 3.6 (somewhat gritty). After quitting sugar and then six months this year staying focused on fitness I took the test again. This time I scored a 4.2 (much grittier than before but not the grittiest I could be).

I’ve definitely improved my focus, commitment and staying power but there are a few mental hurdles to overcome in the months ahead.

In the last few weeks I have been reading Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, an amazing book that I may write a full review on later, that is filled with the tools, techniques, tips, tricks and philosophies of some of the most successful and enlightened people out there. The book is full of gorgeous little nuggets that I’m planning to re-read and take notes on later. Last week, the words of one ‘Titan’ stood out to me above all others.

‘If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: be tougher. Don’t meditate on it.’ – Jocko Willink

“JOCKO WILLINK is a decorated retired Navy SEAL officer, author of the book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, and co-founder of Echelon Front, where he is a leadership instructor, speaker, and executive coach.” –

In Tools of Titans, Ferriss tells the story of how these words helped a podcast listener succeed in beating his drug addiction where he had always failed before. The words struck a chord with me

Be tougher. Just be tougher.

I can be tougher. I can stick to the eating plan, do the workout, go to bed on time, meal prep, refuse cake, keep learning.

I originally discovered Jocko when my husband was playing a motivational video in the background and it inspired me to think about discipline versus motivation. Little did I know at the time that it would be Jocko’s straight up way of thinking that motivated me on the last stage of my epic 2020 journey.

He basically says that no one is motivated to jump out of a fox hole after an uncomfortable night in a war zone. It is discipline that gets a soldier moving. There is more benefit in discipline over motivation. If we need motivation to do something difficult, we will probably never get around to doing it while waiting for motivation to strike.

I will never be motivated to eat clean and controlled for six months. It’s just not going to happen, at least in the early weeks. Motivation, in my experience with starting (and failing with) eating plans, is dead about six days in. After that, discipline is required to form the habits that make things easier.

In order to achieve the goals of The Year of Transformation, I need to spend the next six months focused on my goals. Disciplined practices will be the key to keeping this all up through the dead of a New Zealand deep south winter.

I can be tougher. I’m no Navy SEAL but I can be tougher tomorrow than I was today.


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