This is the time of the year that most people get into the habit of “New Year’s resolutions”. They usually resolve to make some sort of health changes. Whether it’s to exercise more or to eat less what we find is that these resolutions usually only last less than a month. The gyms are busiest in January with people sweating it out but then, as any regular gym attendee can attest, they get less and less congested as people fall off the bandwagon. I’m going to tell you why everybody fails with these resolutions and it’s not because they have weak will power but rather they think too much. The brain is a very powerful organ. The amount of times I’ve talked myself out of a workout or convinced myself that “one more piece of cake” was okay. The analogy I often use is to imagine a anorexic person who, to everyone else’s eye, is severely underweight. To that person suffering with anorexia, they believe they are fat. The brain convinces them that they are still too heavy. This is not to compare an eating disorder to a failed resolution but rather it’s an example of just how powerful the brain really is.
So here is the secret to success……don’t think. You have about 5 seconds to commit to an action before the brain tries to convince you otherwise. If you want to go for a run don’t over think it, in fact don’t think about it at all. Just put your shoes on and head out the door. If you want to be more productive in the mornings and not be late for work then within 5 seconds of waking get out of bed and start moving your body. Don’t give yourself a chance to fall back asleep or start playing on your phone. Nike’s slogan is perfect…… “just do it!”
Now, in all reality you cannot be successful if you don’t think and plan out your day. Every successful person has a plan, a road-map of sorts, of where they want to be and how they are going to get there. The secret to having a plan that works is to plan it out in advance. Don’t plan it that morning because your brain will convince you to take the easy road. Instead plan at least the night before when you have optimism and enthusiasm of what you will be able to do the next day and then ……. don’t think.