The Brain Re-Train

What often starts as a clear intention can quickly disappear into passed time and lost priorities. As we lay to rest each night, we remind and encourage ourselves that things will be different the next day, but quickly awake to an unchanged monotony that becomes missed opportunities.

Sadly, these moments of failure forge a wall of discomfort and destroy our sense of self-worth. Our frustration allows us to forget that the world rests on an instant in time.

One second thought.
One step in another direction.
One decision to change.
Just one moment is all it takes. 

Moment of Change

It’s when we finally conquer our one incredible moment that our power is restored. We remember we can do it. We recall times in the past that worked and what was to blame for our fall back into oblivion. Our memory becomes restored, our motivation mounts and we know we must get to work.

Start by dedicating your focus to the physical tasks that make up the moments of your days. While you’d probably defend the fact that you always know what you’re doing, our lives are primarily run on auto-pilot. Have you ever accidentally treated a red light like a stop sign? Have you ever tried to turn on a light switch when you already knew the power was out? Have you ever been distracted and just driven to work or home when you were supposed to go somewhere else? The list of auto-pilot examples is endless. If we ever hope to accomplish change, we must re-route our habits, challenge our trained routines and instill healthy actions on a daily basis.

Brain

Giving credit to the power of your mental process and the psychology behind habits can be a huge factor in the success of your fit life. One small moment transforms into an action performed daily, and before you know it, you’re years deep into a habit that’s incredibly hard to break. We find comfort in routine and in reality, it’s no wonder we resist change. The trick is to change things up and keep your brain working. Just like exercising any other muscle in your body, the key is keeping things fresh. Ultimately, habits performed without much thought is a good indication that your mental process has plateaued. If these habits are ones you enjoy and support, that’s great. However, if you’re finding yourself disappointed and dedicated to wanting more, something needs adjusting.

Brain Workout

Too many of us give up on making long-lasting changes because it takes too much work. Day in and day out, I find myself exhausted to the point of crashing. I want to do absolutely nothing, and more than anything else, it just feels like my brain needs a break. Understandably, that means I resort to auto-pilot…. I grab some typical take-out, flip on a mindless TV show or DVD and just lay there like a worthless slob.

Destress Time

Thinking back, I realize this pattern began a long time ago and only got worse as I grew up. Being raised by a single mom who worked her ass off meant I spent time alone at home, and as the youngest child I spent all of high school without my siblings who were already off at college….. I remember this is where my passion for hot pockets and daytime television drama began. In college, I spent most of my time outside of class either partying or recovering from partying…. I’m sure this is where my slob behavior got to a whole new level of unnecessary. Since then, I’ve been working hard to change my ways and live a healthier, happier and more productive lifestyle…. however, living alone and working myself to the point of exhaustion means I crash more often than not.

Crossword

During this time of reflection and change is where I must try my hardest to re-train my brain so my auto-pilot is transformed. Brain training is the most challenging process, in my opinion. It’s tiny little things, done consistently enough that they become routine….

Use the “other” hand whenever possible… eat with your less dominant hand, brush your teeth with the hand you’re not used to using, change how you hold the steering wheel, etc…

Spend at least 15 minutes a day learning something new and exploring new territory.

Learn how to be bored…. do nothing except sit there with no distractions, just thinking about yourself, your life and how f-ing bored you are doing nothing…

Pay more attention to the little things like landmarks as you drive around town, the color of your surroundings, how people behave, how you respond to situations, what mindless tendencies you have throughout the day like picking your nails or twirling your hair…

Listen to your intuition and follow your instincts – when you know or feel like you shouldn’t get fast food, DON’T! If you’re too tired to go do something, REST! If there’s nothing on TV and you think you could just turn it off and read instead, DO IT!

Replace just for fun computer and cell phone games with actual brain training games that are still fun and seemingly mindless but will actually help you grow and develop!

Spend time doing the opposite of what you would normally do… just for a night, don’t watch any TV, change up your meal plan, try a new workout, plan an adventure to a new place…

Laugh more and express your feelings…. writing down your thoughts will help!

Choices

To the magic that will unfold with a new way of life,
Rachel

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