“Which key tools will you turn to regularly to maintain your mindset and how will you use them effectively?” - The Suitcase Entrepreneur

Any tool that lets me move my life forward as a Life Athlete is a tool that helps me maintain my mindset.

I’m going to start with the tools I DO use and maybe talk about other I’d like to adopt another time.

I’m going to look at a few areas of life and the tools I use to train myself. Here we go...


I'll start by saying that I think that a stopwatch is the most important exercise tool you can have. 

Here are some of my favourite formats for a workout: 

-The first is taken from Crossfit and is called an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible). Choose two or three movements and set a number of repetitions for each at a weight that will challenge you but not stop you. Then choose a time duration (usually 10 - 15 minutes) and see how many rounds you can do in that time.  You should be a puddle on the floor at the end.  Remember to keep an eye on your form!

-The second is to set an amount of work in front of me and then to see how fast I can get it done. It might be 30 heavy cleans and presses or deadlifts or anything really. This is also a Crossfit mainstay. 

-Next is something called Tabata. It was developed by a Japanese speed skating coach I believe and has been heavily adopted by people who want a quick workout. The basic idea is that you get more of a fat-burning, cardio hit by doing intense sprints than by long duration training. So what you do is choose a movement and go as hard as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for ten and repeat for a total of 8 rounds. This is hard to manage with a normal stopwatch and so I use the Tabata timer built into the “GymBoss” app. 

-Another feature of the GymBoss application is the ability to create custom timers. I have used this to make a yoga routine for myself that I’ll actually do. Up until setting up this timer, yoga existed as a good idea that I often had but didn’t follow up on.  I have done yoga in India and used to work for a yoga clothing company and I LOVE yoga and think that it’s very beneficial but I’ve struggled to do it on my own. As I’m not always geared up to go to a class, I wanted something I could do to break at home between bursts of work and so I created this timer. It tells me to what positions to hit and how long I have to hold them. I just hold on until the timer beeps and tells me to move on to the next position. It might not be the purest form of the discipline but it’s getting me to do the movements and my body and mind are happier for it. 


-Being an expat is a lovely existence but it does have a few drawbacks.  Being in a place that doesn’t use one of the three languages I speak means that I’m essentially using a mangled form of English to make myself understood most of the time. It can have a detrimental effect on the way I speak which I believe is connected to the way way I think. In talking about this with a number of expat friends, I have discovered that many of them have experienced the same degradation of their mother tongue while living in foreign lands.  Luckily we live in the internet age and there are resources to rescue us from this predicament. I’ve found that listening to podcasts featuring eloquent and informative people is a GREAT countermeasure to language decay.  I have started using a combination of iTunes and Stitcher to manage my podcasts. Some of my favourites are: QThe MothThe Dirtbag DiariesQuirks and QuarksUnder the Influence, and Entrepreneur on Fire

-Additionally, I am almost always listening to some sort of “self-help” content as I believe it’s a good way to train my mind to think in a way that works for me. I’ve found that this kind of content is great for me to listen to while I go on longer runs as they allow me to focus on something other than running. Listening to music has me changing my tempo to keep pace with the beat. Audiobooks and self help audios don’t have that effect. They just let me contemplate life and reconnect with the language of possibility. (Brian TracyTony RobbinsEben Pagan, and Fredric Lehrman  are some of my favourites.)

The book Making Ideas Happen lays out an “action method that I have used for my projects lately.  Essentially it’s a system that has three categories. Paraphrasing the sections are “do now”, “do later”, “resources and notes” (here’s the author, Scott Belsky giving a TED talk.)  . I’ve added a “completed” folder to the mix and aim to move things there. It’s been surprisingly effective. I’m planning on giving the book another read as I’m sure there’s more depth I can glean by going through it a second time. 

There are other tools I use, but I’ve already gone on here longer than I’d planned. I am actually very curious to hear about some of the tools you use to make your life better and to play full-out in the game of life. Please post yours and if you have any questions about the things I mentioned here or about any other tools I might use for specific things, please ask.