Components of a Mental Fitness Plan
Creating a Mental Fitness Plan – Part 1
What is a fitness plan? When you ask yourself questions like this, it puts your mind to work. Your mind, mental, asking a question that you must answer makes it a mental exercise. Back to the question. When we ask a question like this, we tend to find out two things: 1) what we know, and 2) what we don’t know. When you ask the common person (1) what is a fitness plan, you get back a familiar yet incomplete picture. In asking a number of people (>1) you get a clearer and more complete picture.
A fitness plan is a plan to achieve a desired fitness goal. In this statement are two requirements that the normal person often misses when one thinks of defining a fitness plan. Those two critical items are a fitness goal and the plan itself of reaching this desired goal.
What we usually get in the answers are the components that make up the plan like exercise, dieting, workouts, running, lifting weight, etc. Without a goal and a plan to reach the goal, how will one know what components are necessary to achieve said goal? Components without a goal will not produce the results that a person seeks.
If you had to create a fitness plan, what would you put in it? Just as a person would create a physical fitness plan, we need to put some thought into creating a mental fitness plan. Our goal for what we wish to improve upon with regards to our mental health must first be established.
Creating a Mental Fitness Plan
Taking a lesson from common physical fitness plans to get us started, let’s define what components we should include in our mental fitness plan.
- Fitness goals or dreams.
What is your mental fitness goal or dream? Get a clear idea of what you are after so that you have a target to reach. If you don’t have a target, you have no goal to reach. It’s a good idea to get a picture of what you are after with specificity. The Master Teacher used the words, “believe that you receive it and it will be yours.”  Allow me to expound. Believe or in other words, see it first. See it (whatever it may be) completed as if it is already in hand. Once you do that, it will be yours or in other words, you will certainly have it (whatever it might be) later.
- Create a routine (make it a habit).
A fitness plan whether physical or mental requires a routine. Another word for routine is habit. Create some habits to reach your goal. I’ve heard it said that we are what we repeatedly do. If we are to become mentally fit, then we need to create the habits that will get us there. There is a Bible phrase that I love: it says “And as His custom was.”  What is your custom? What will people say you have been repeatedly doing? What is your habit?
- Progress daily.
In order to get better, there must be improvement. That means we can not do the same things we have always done. In order to get what we don’t yet have, we must do what we are not doing otherwise we remain the same. So if you think something is going to happen differently from taking the same course of action, then you better think again. Monitor the progress towards your mental fitness goal daily.
- Include variety.
Change it up. You have to have a variety of activities. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) you need a way to impact various areas and 2) you need a way to make sure you don’t lose interest. Variety may look like you pair an easy activity with a hard one, as opposed to performing two difficult tasks. Create the variety in your plan needed to keep you interested and to ensure the results you desire.
- Push yourself.
This one is good. In order to go to the next level, you must be able to push yourself. No one else wants what you want. Therefore you must be able to push yourself to get it. Motivation is necessary to help fuel action. That is what we mean by push. Shaun-T in the Insanity workouts uses this phrase, “dig deeper.” You have to be able to dig deeper than you’ve been doing to get out of yourself more than you have been getting. Push yourself beyond normal.
In all workouts, experts will tell you that you need time to recover. Build into your plan a time to recover. Don’t miss this. Recovery makes sure your body, your mind in this case, will be in the best condition when it is time to exercise again. If you don’t leave time to recover, the next exercise routine won’t produce the maximum results that it could otherwise. Without recovery you could end up doing harm to yourself.
If our body needs a physical fitness plan, then our mind needs a mental fitness plan. Let’s work on a plan to get our minds in better shape. Your mind, your thoughts define who you are. “As a man thinketh, so is he.”  Your current mental fitness plan is what has produced the person you now see in your mirror. If you want to change who you see looking back at you in that mirror, get a better mental fitness plan designed to get you there. This is next level mental fitness.
Question: what one item can you add to creating your very own mental fitness plan?
 Mark 11:24 NIV, Bible.com, accessed September 26, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MRK.11.24.NIV
 Luke 4:16 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed September 26, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/LUK.4.16.NKJV
 Proverbs 23:7 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed September 26, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/PRO.23.7.NKJV
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