Brain Training

Spring Clean Your Mind and Body

It’s time for a vibrant, new you. Remember those New Year’s goals you set two months ago? How did those seem to slip away? Let me help you refresh and revamp your goals for a healthier, happier you this Spring!

If you’re anything like my wife and me, then you’ve got a whole list of things to do now that it’s warming up outside. One thing I’ve learned from Spring Cleaning each year is that multi-tasking, in the long run, actually takes more time. I actually accomplish less. Focusing on one task at a time helps me finish correctly, not to mention faster.

I’m here to tell you that you can Spring Clean your mind and body too. You’re going to feel fresh, vibrant, and strong, and you’re going to do it by focusing on one habit (in the case of Spring Cleaning, it’s one task) at a time. Remember how excited you were to begin the New Year and start your new, healthy lifestyle? Well, what happened?

Recall your weight loss goals. How many goals or activities did you set to lose weight? Probably several. Did you become overwhelmed? Probably. If you’re like most people who set New Year’s weight loss goals, you likely became frustrated within the first several days. The key to effective weight loss is creating only one healthy habit at a time.

Our Spring Cleaning Routine

My wife and I begin our Spring Cleaning routine by tracking everything in a list, which usually includes items that we need to clean, repair, and replace. We then rank each item based on priority. When items are ranked, we consider possible financial cost, review the list, and rank again.

Essentially, my wife and I list all our Spring Cleaning problems and then identify the very most important item we want accomplished. We ask ourselves, What would be the best solution to our Spring Cleaning issues this year? What would make the biggest difference? Prioritizing is the first of three steps. The second step is the solution portion. The final step—and most important—is to list action steps.

Why Isn’t My Weight Loss Working?

The first problem for most individuals who try to lose weight is that they fail to prioritize. Thinking they’ll lose weight faster, most of them create a long list, clump everything together into a series of daily to-do’s, and then stress and struggle their way through their diet just as long as they can manage the self-discipline required.

If you want to create your ideal shape for life, then you should only focus on one behavior. You need to give your attention to one specific behavior until it becomes a habit.

How Do You Spring Clean Your Mind and Body?

Consider your own list of Spring Cleaning for your mind and body. You probably have a lot of changes you’d like to see in your shape, diet, and fitness. Maybe you want to drink less soda, get a gym membership, and begin creating a new meal plan. Though you may find it tempting to set goals and begin working in each area, you’ll see the greatest progress when you rank your health goals in order of importance, and then choose only one to work on. For example, many of my clients choose to replace soda with water as their first behavior of choice. Let’s break down Spring Cleaning into steps:

  • Step 1: List your bad habits regarding health and weight loss.
  • Step 2: Prioritize and identify the most important habit you should change. Define the solution. What do you think is causing your weight gain? Begin there.
  • Step 3: Implement the action step. Work on incorporating only one behavior that will correct the poor habit you identified above. Only focus on that behavior.

Creating Healthy Habits That Last

When you focus on a specific healthy behavior for 28 days, you’ll find that the behavior becomes a habit that will help you create your ideal shape.

I’ve studied and applied this principle since 1999. I believe that life is all about defining the problem, coming up with a solution, and following through with a series of small, achievable action steps. Your goal is not to lose weight. Your goal is to lose weight and never put it back on again.

Don’t give up on your New Year’s goals. Resolve today to identify one behavior you can change, turn that behavior into a habit, and begin creating your ideal shape for life!

By David Meine

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Writer and expert

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