Keep the main thing, the main thing (Warning, some science stuff inside)
The brain is an amazing, and in my case, a scary place. You know what I like to talk about on Mondays though?
The pre-frontal cortex.
I am a big fan of author, leadership coach, and clinical psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud. In fact he was the one who inspired the workout monkey buddy concept that we use in boot camp.
Dr. Cloud was talking about the importance of the pre-frontal cortex in leadership. The pre-frontal cortex is responsible for executive functions, with on of the main executive functions being working towards a goal.
For the pre-frontal cortex to work properly three things have to happen:
1. Your brain must attend to what is relevant.
2. Inhibit everything else.
3. Create a working memory
He was talking about how a lot of people in charge will tell you, "A is the most important thing we need to change in this company." on Monday. Then on Tuesday you get an e-mail telling you that, "B, C, D, and E are also very important so we need to focus on them too."
Have you ever had that happen at work?
That leads to confusion and low productivity, because your brain can't focus on what is relevant (Task A) and you can't inhibit everything else because you're supposed to be handling everything else!
We do this to ourselves with our fitness programs too. That is why so many New Year's Resolutions fail.
"I'm going to exercise 5 times a week, start eating healthy every day, drink 40 glasses of water, and stretch 30 minutes a day. And I'm going to do this starting at 530am every day."
This will last 3 days. It's too much for the brain to handle.
Keep the main thing, the main thing.
Start with one habit at a time. Focus your efforts and intentions on that one habit.
Once you have established that as a habit, add in another one. Avoid the trap of trying to undo 20 years of inactivity in 1 month.
I will admit this is a slower process. But with this plan you will be much better off in the long run.
What do you need to begin putting your focus on? What do you need to let stop focusing on?
Getting healthy, strong, toned, etc… is not a short term thing. Plan on making a lifestyle change, rather than just something you're going to do until you fit into your skinny jeans.
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