6 Ways To Improve Mental Performance

Sep 24, 2022

Improved Mental Performance 🧠

Thought of the week:
"The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom.” - N. Maharaj

Our desires, wants, and expectations hold us back from consistently feeling our best. It takes work to decommission our thoughts & beliefs that aren't serving us, but ultimately, that hard work leads to freedom.


In this newsletter, I share 6 simple things you can start today that will immediately improve your mental performance.

Sexy sells, but the boring fundamentals work.

Don't get sucked in by hacks, secrets, or industry trends.

Hit these core benchmarks for 28 days and get back to feeling your best.

1. Walk 40 Mins/Day

Since moving to San Diego two weeks ago, I've been training jiu-jitsu about as much as I did in Denver, but my hips have been incredibly sore - more than normal.

It's been puzzling to me trying to figure out why so I recounted the differences in my daily routine before vs now and it all clicked.

In Denver, I had been going for 1-2 walks a day of at least 20 minutes and I haven't been on ONE walk since being in San Diego - time to change that ASAP.

Our bodies are like water, staying stagnant leads to disease.

Some nuggets about the power of walking:

People who walked at least 20 minutes for five days a week had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less.

Walking improves mental well-being and active people are 30% less likely to become depressed.

It's proven to be effective in easing joint pain and improving our immune system.

It is THE easiest way to boost your energy, creativity, mood, and ultimately your performance.


  • If you say "I'll do it at some point today." It won't get done. Be intentional and schedule it in your day.
  • Your calendar is your friend, block of times during the day to get walks in or stack them with your morning routine.


2. Sleep 7-9 Hours

I can hear it now... "Walking & sleep?!? How original."

We've heard this too many times but it's for good reason.

Humans are the ONLY species on early that deprive themselves of sleep.

Top athletes & performers in the world KNOW that sleep is the #1 thing they can do to be able to perform their best.

In Dr. Walker's book, Why We Sleep, he shares a few key points about sleep:

Our sleep efficiency decreases as we age, so we need MORE time to sleep to get the same results.

Sleeping after learning allows us to save memories properly. We need at least 3 days of solid sleep after learning something to actually solidify it to long-term memory.

So when learning any skill, the quality of sleep you get afterward is critical for how well you'll be able to integrate what you've learned.

Ever notice how you're way hungrier during the day when you slept like crap the night before?

There's a reason for that.

Our bodies up-regulate our 'hunger hormone' (ghrelin) and down-regulate our 'feeling full hormone' (leptin) which encourages us to consume more food.

You'll feel less full and more hungry when you under-sleep.

In one study, when participants under-slept they:

  • Consumed 300 calories more per day
  • Gained 10-15 lbs in a year
  • Had sweets cravings increase by ~40%

So, trying to lose weight? Make sleep your #1 priority.

Getting enough sleep is critical for being able to be at your best each day.


  • Stick to a sleep schedule
  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Avoid screens 60+ mins before bed
  • Avoid caffeine at least 8 hours before bed

3. Drink Enough Water

Another boring tip we've heard and ignored a thousand times - but boring works.

Water keeps you energized, aids in digestion, improves mood, clears up skin, and improves sleep.

It helps us maintain blood pressure & regulates body temperature.

It makes nutrients & minerals accessible to the body.

It flushes bodily waste & prevents constipation.

It keeps joints lubricated & boosts our performance.

And those are all things we need to be at our best.

Often when we feel hungry, our body is just signaling for water.

Next time, knock down a full glass of water and wait 5-10 minutes to see if your hungry cravings go away.

Medical institutions haven't universally agreed upon the quantity of water we need to drink for optimal health, but most recommend a starting point of about half of your body weight in ounces each day (If I weigh 200lbs, I should get about 100 ounces of water).

Or as my urologist recommended (after I had kidney stones), drink enough so that you have clear pee 2 times in a row.

Simple enough.


  • Track your water intake for a week to take inventory of your current habits
  • Try to avoid fluids 2 hours before bed
  • Use your environment to your advantage - keep a bottle out on the counter or on your desk, so it's in-your-face and visible (or write a sticky note reminder on your laptop)

4. Keep A Consistent Morning Routine

We have to stop winging it in the morning.

Have a plan and create an intentional set of actions to start your day.

It's not a coincidence that the highest performers are maniacal with their routines & boundaries in the morning.

Peak performers aren't just winging it each day - they have a plan.

And part of that plan is priming their body & mind every morning to take on the day.

They use routines to be 100% in control of the direction in which they start their day.

There's no ONE routine that works, but routines DO work.

And they work 10x better when they are in full alignment with your purpose, values, and goals you've set for yourself.

"Oh shit, I should probably figure those 3 things out."

Here's a morning routine framework that you can use to get started.

The whole point of little actions done each day is to not only make you feel your best on that particular day, but when done over longer periods of time, they start to rewire your brain.

They fundamentally change how you think about yourself, what you're capable of, your level of mental resilience, and build the belief that you'll do what you say you'll do.

Morning routines are an incredible breeding ground for self-belief & self-confidence.

Your routine should be practical enough so you can do it wherever you are - no more excuses of being on vacation or traveling or anything else.

They don't have to be elaborate 60-minute programs.

You can create a highly-effective routine that takes 5 minutes, but you need to determine your purpose, values, and goals.

Example: Read 5 pages, do 10 push-ups + 20 air squats, and do a 60-second Wim Hof breath-work exercise.

5. Eat Foods That Are Real, Whole, & Unprocessed

Processed foods are jam-packed with pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, dyes, and a bunch of items I can't pronounce.

I scratch my head when I think how we've widely accepted this to be considered FOOD and continue to pump our bodies full of these toxins.

Our INPUTS directly affect our OUTPUTS.

Seed oils, sugar, and processed foods cause inflammation.

And chronic inflammation is associated with diseases such as Alzheimer's, asthma, cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.

(Things like alcohol, chronic stress, and not enough exercise also contribute to inflammation)

If you're constantly hungry, it could be a few things but I'd start with these TWO main things to try for a week:

  1. Center your plate around protein and aim for a fist-sized portion of protein at EACH meal (about 50g for those of you're familiar with tracking food)
  2. Cut out all processed/packaged junk. Eat only real foods

Processed foods packed with sugars, extra sodium, and seed oils throw off our body's ability to regulate hunger/satiety signals and mess with our cell's ability to function optimally.

Leading to overeating. So it's not you and your lack of control, it's the quality of the foods you're eating.

It's not all about calories - it's more about the quality of food you eat.


  • Avoid anything that comes in a bag or a box
  • Avoid food 3 hours before bed
  • Don't snack during the day

6. Take A Break From Social Media

It's only 28 days, the world won't end, and your friends won't unfriend you.

In last week's newsletter (read it here), I wrote about our phone addiction and how limiting my time on screens changed my whole mood in just 3 days.

It brings more focus, more clarity in thought, connectedness with the outside world (environment and people), and a sense of inner calm.

And you can do anything for 28 days.


  • Delete them off your phone
  • Pay attention to how often you reach for your phone out of habit - like your body is on autopilot
  • Replace social media time with something like reading, walking, or meditation
  • Before you start, look at your average screen time stats on your phone and turn it into a game - see how much time you can shave off in the next month

Bonus Challenge:

Take a break from ALL screens (aside from what's essential for work, of course).

Instead of plopping on the couch to unwind with a few hours of mindless TV in the background while you scroll your phone in front of you, pick a book or two to read as a substitute.

If you think you might enjoy writing, choose to write instead - or my favorite, meditate.

I know it's football season and baseball playoffs start soon - I have nothing against football (I watch my team every Sunday) - but at some point, you need to examine life to see why you don't have what you want right now.

Or why you don't feel how you want to feel.

You have to ask yourself, what am I NOT willing to give up?

What are my non-negotiables?

And maybe Sunday Night Football is something you could never give up, but at least now you know and can work around it.

Build awareness, create intention, and stay disciplined.

Tim 🖤

ps please excuse any typos in this week's edition. After a busy week, I wrote it first thing this morning and didn't have my normal process of editing!

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