An Introduction To Mental Fitness and Self-improvement


Update 27/7/20 – check out this post I recently put up on the basics of building mental fitness. I now have a model and acronym (RIPPED) to describe the process.

Update 9/7/20 – so I hit a roadblock in terms of finishing my workbook chapters (competing priorities) but I am working on a 2-hour mental fitness workshop which should be ready quite soon. I’ll be delivering it through Oasis Online – a FLO topic you can join to access online versions of a number of the Health, Counselling and Disability and Oasis wellbeing programs. 

Update 11/03/20 – 7 Chapters of the new mental fitness workbook are now up. Send me red bull so I can get the rest of them written. 

I first mentioned ‘mental fitness’ back on this blog in April 2018. I went on to write a couple of posts about my burgeoning understanding of the concept: domains of mental fitness, mental fitness techniques etc.

In August 2018, I then announced that we were developing a Mental Fitness Course.

Late in 2018, I was working furiously in the background writing mental fitness lessons which I had intended on presenting as more standard lectures or audio recordings. The goal was to get these lessons out during orientation week 2019.

The main problem though was that my ideas about mental fitness were constantly evolving. I was digesting the information on the fly and sharing it with you as I went. Recording lectures seemed a bit silly because I’d have to re-record them a week later having thought about the topic more in the intervening period.

Instead I released my initial thoughts on Mental Fitness as a series of lessons/blog posts. I released 18 in total. They are indexed below.

With that initial process completed, I want to turn my hand to a new Mental Fitness project.

This new project is inspired by an observation I’ve made that some of the most popular materials we produce here at Health, Counselling and Disability Services are our print handouts, available at the service (and digitally as well). It seems that when it comes to wellbeing and self-development, students like something tangible they can hold.

So I’ve decided to create a Mental Fitness workbook.

The workbook will be a complete Mental Fitness course, incorporating many ideas from the Lessons posts, but also new content and ideas I’ve been working on in the background.

I’ll be posting the chapters here on the blog for the remainder of 2019 and then combining them in a workbook for print in 2020. In 2020, we’ll then explore how we might support those students working through the book with email/text or phone coaching.

I’ll keep an index of the completed chapters here:

Mental Fitness Workbook

So we have a new graphic for the Mental Fitness Workbook! It is yet another fairly ordinary attempt on my part to do some graphic design via Canva.

Published content is outlined below:

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 – What is mental fitness? Self-improvement as a type of mental fitness training

Chapter 3 – Is this workbook evidence-based?

Chapter 4 – The 7P’s of Self Improvement

Chapter 5 – Purpose

Chapter 6 – Psychological and Physical Capacities

Chapter 7 – Principles of self-improvement


To stay up-to-date with new chapters as they are released, subscribe to our blog. You’ll get updates on the Mental Fitness Workbook as well as lots of articles on wellbeing and productivity, notification of wellbeing related events, and news about other programs we are running.


Original Lessons (March to September 2019)

Lesson 1 – A welcome to the course

Lesson 2 – Self-improvement and why we should pursue it deliberately

Lesson 3 – Self-improvement – why pursue it all? – lessons from trying to do more physical activity

Lesson 4 – Identity, values and self-improvement

Lesson 5 – Psychological needs and self-improvement

Lesson 6 – Why the world needs you to self-improve

Lesson 7 – What is mental fitness?

Lesson 8 – Components of mental fitness

Lesson 9 – Examples of mental fitness in everyday life

Lesson 10 – Let’s start building mental fitness – acquiring knowledge

Lesson 11 – From knowledge to goals

Lesson 12 – From knowledge to skills

Lesson 13 – Self-experimentation

Lesson 14 – Habits

Lesson 15 – Let’s summarise. You could start with this lesson if you wanted as it is a concise summary of the previous lessons.

Lesson 16 – Lets practice building mental fitness

Lesson 17 – Building mental fitness update

Lesson 18 – The end, or is it?


I have also produced an “Introduction to Mental Fitness handout” that covers a lot of the core content. Not bad if you want to read the basics in one go.


Mental Fitness Workout

Maybe you just want to get straight to the ‘doing’ part. Here are what we think are the key aspects of mental fitness to focus on as a student.

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Mental Fitness Mental Fitness Course

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