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My Approach To Becoming A Better Man Every Day

Photo by Gianluca Zuccarelli on Unsplash

Below you will find the strategy I use to assure daily growth on my journey to becoming a better man each and every day.

Reading: I start my day with 30 minutes of reading. This is a critical part of my day. This is what resets my thinking. I don’t do anything until I have reestablished my base mindset. I don’t just read anything. I only read material that reinforces my mental toughness. Sometimes I read from a book but other times I read from my own journal. I am constantly journaling my thoughts and actions so going back over them really helps me focus on my mindset.

Meditation: I meditate for at least 20 minutes. I meditate on what I have just read. I have no goal with my meditation other than to visualize myself working at peak performance levels. The definition of peak performance is different for each of us so you will have to establish your own vision of peak performance.

Thought Monitoring: This step begins in the morning but actually lasts all day. It’s a simple step once it becomes a habit. Thought monitoring is the habit of checking in with the thoughts that are flowing through my mind at multiple points of my day. I do not try to stop my thoughts or change them in any way…..that’s a losing proposition. Instead, I act as the observer of my thoughts. The important part of this step is the “observer” part. As the observer of my thoughts, I view them but I do not engage them. Meaning, I see my thoughts without attaching an emotion to them. The most harmful part of negative thoughts is the emotion that we attach to them so if we deliberately interfere with the thought/emotion combination we effectively render our negative and unproductive thoughts harmless. Obviously, I allow myself to attach positive emotions to positive thoughts. This segregation of thoughts requires practice but it didn’t take me long to figure it out. It’s easier than it sounds.

Precision Thinking: Precision thinking is different than thought monitoring. With precision thinking, I engineer specific thought channels in my mind. These thought channels are similar to channels on a TV in that once I am on a channel of thought I stay on that channel until I choose to change it. This allows me to redirect energy from the random thoughts my mind produces to highly productive, pre-planned and deliberate precision thinking. My precision thinking focuses on the five tenets of mental toughness: (we will discuss these five tenets in future posts)

  • Controlling my response.
  • Controlling my attention.
  • Developing emotional resilience.
  • Setting effective goals.
  • Visualizing powerfully.

Action Evaluation:  As my day unfolds I, just like you, make hundreds of tiny decisions regarding the actions I am taking. I evaluate these actions constantly throughout the day. This might be the absolute most important part of my approach to becoming a better man every day for the simple fact that at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is the action that I took during the day. This has to be done in real-time! Action evaluation has to happen prior to the decision to take action! I can’t emphasize the importance of this detail enough. 

I evaluate every single decision/action…..and I mean every single decision/action. 

A few examples…..

Decision#1: Am I going to brush my teeth?

Action evaluation: Is this going to move me closer to becoming a better man today than I was yesterday?

Answer: Yes, of course, it is. Good hygiene is essential to good health and I need to stay healthy for my family and those that depend on me.

Action taken.

Decision #2: What should I have for breakfast?

Action evaluation: Is this going to move me closer to becoming a better man today than I was yesterday?

Answer: I am going to eat clean. I need to stay focused and strong today. Focused and strong will get me the best results.

Action taken.

Decision #3: Am I going to make sure my wife and family feel loved before I start my workday?

Action evaluation: Is this going to move me closer to becoming a better man today than I was yesterday?

Answer: Yes! I have skipped this step too many times over the years and I am going to change that. I am going to create the time to make sure my family knows how much I love them. This will no doubt make me a better man and a better husband and father.

Action taken.

This process continues through the day and is applied to each and every decision/action without fail. Tedious and hard to get used to but incredibly worth it.

A word about action evaluation……Action evaluation is a critically important, must-do for me. It is absolutely critical to my success and has made the most difference in my life. The moment I started evaluating every action I take I started noticing how sloppy my decision making really was. It was an eye-opener, to say the least. Now that I pause and evaluate my decisions prior to taking action I make far better decisions that lead to far better actions and conversely far better results. 

Analysis: Even though I evaluate my decisions before taking action I still need to analyze results to make sure that the chosen decision/action is producing growth-oriented results. This step really is more reflection than a clinical analysis. At the end of my day, I take a few minutes to reflect and analyze the results of my day. This reflection is encapsulated in one direct question I make sure to ask myself at the end of my day. That question is…..” am I a better man today than I was yesterday?” Brutal self-honesty is required to answer this question. Thankfully, my answer is often yes. Not always but often enough to know that I am growing as a man and that is my goal.

Journaling of Results: Personally, I journal the results of my day. I often write things like….

“Today I stood strong in the face of adversity.”

“Today I pushed myself harder than I wanted to be pushed and I feel great about it.”

“Today I helped someone that could not ever possibly help me in return and that I am proud of.”

All of this will look different to each man that reads this. I don’t feel comfortable telling my fellow man what they should do or how they should live their life. I simply want to show you what works for me so you can cherry-pick the parts that you think might be of benefit to you and hopefully apply those changes to your life so you too can move toward being a better man today than you were yesterday.

Onward!

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Steve Miller

Entrepreneur, Sales and Marketing Consultant, Mental Toughness Adviser, Self-Mastery Practitioner. Founder at The Manly Club, leader of The Manly Club Facebook Group with over 4,000 members. Outdoor enthusiast, weather buff, muscle car lover, cabin nut. Loving life up here in the PNW (Oregon) with my beautiful wife and two young sons.

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