Share your desire to become a “healthy thinker” with others (Becoming a “Healthy Thinker Trait #5)

The final Trait in becoming a “healthy thinker” is sharing your goals & desires with others. You have taken the necessary steps to begin your new life as a healthy thinker, now share your plan with people that will fuel your fire, and support you on this journey.

The journey will not come without stumbling blocks. Having a support system in place can help to motivate you when things get tough.

When you announce to people your intentions it will definitely drive you toward success. For many people it is very easy to take a day off from exercise, or eat that bowl of ice cream, when you only have yourself to answer too. When you have supportive, non judgemental people in your corner, most people will think twice before sabotaging their plan.

Also know that words lead to actions. When you announce your desire to become a “healthy thinker,” you are much more likely to take action.

Please read through the 5 traits again. Take each trait one at a time and begin to put the principles in place. When you feel comfortable with one trait, move on to the next.

It has taken me nearly 8 months to blog the 5 traits to becoming a healthy thinker. During the past 8 months I have done a bunch of reading and studying on behavior change. What I have discovered during these 8 months is that these traits are very, very effective if you are trying to make a change.

With the new year approaching many of you may decide to make some changes in your health and fitness. Please go in to your journey keeping these 5 traits in the forefront of your programming.

Stay Strong- Travis

Have A Plan (becoming a “healthy thinker” trait #4)

“Fail to plan, plan to fail.” We have all heard the quote. If you are serious about becoming a healthy thinker there is nothing more important than your plan.

Over the years you have built habits. Some good, some bad. The only way you are going to change these habits, and become a forever healthy thinker, is by planning ahead. If you don’t plan for tomorrow, and the next day. and the day after that, you will surely fall back to bad habits. If you get caught in a situation where you do not have a plan, it will be way to easy to fall back to your bad habits.

Sunday evenings are a good time to plan for your week. Take a look at the schedule. When can you exercise? What are you going to eat? Do you have the proper foods in the house? What hurdles are you going to have to overcome? Do not let fate run your week.

Each evening you should think about the next day. When are you going to eat? What are you going to eat? When are you going to exercise? What hurdles are you going to have to overcome?

People seem to think if they wait long enough at some point time will free up so that they can eat right and make more time to exercise. That is what we call b.s.. It ain’t gonna happen. You need to start now. You need to make a plan for your eating and your exercise.

I can’t think of anything positive that I have ever done that I didn’t have a plan for, can you? Well there was kid #2, but that worked out great anyway. It takes work to become a healthy thinker. It takes planning. The longer you go following your daily and weekly plan, the more it will sink in and become a part of who you are. You will become a healthy thinker.

Stay Strong,

Surround yourself with like minded people (trait #3 to becoming a healthy thinker)

There will be ups and downs in your journey to becoming a healthy thinker. You will need a healthy support system for your journey.

We all have them, those friends, co-workers, or family members that steer us in the wrong direction. Over the years you probably have created a support system of unhealthy thinkers. It makes it easier for us to live our unhealthy lives when we have unhealthy people around us, they tend to make us feel comfortable with who we are. It will make it easier to follow healthy habits when you surround yourself with people that are healthy thinkers.

The first step on a healthier path is to figure out what habits you need to change. The second step is to figure out who you surround yourself with when you take part in these unhealthy habits. And the third step is to either create new healthy habits with this group of people, or to disassociate yourself from these people. Yes, this can be very tough. How important is to you to become a healthy thinker?

You should also search out healthy minded people. Surround yourself with healthy thinkers. You are who you associate yourself with. Join a gym. Find people at work that enjoy healthy foods. Join a running group. Join a biking group. Ask healthy thinkers lots of questions. What do they do for fun?

Please understand that making changes in your lifestyle is not easy. You have spent 30, 40, 50, 60 years creating these habits. You need support! Search out people that will support you!

Stay Strong.

Set Process Goals (becoming a “Healthy Thinker” trait #2)

To quickly recap-
I believe there are 5 traits that you should work at if you are trying to become a “healthy thinker.” These traits are:
1. Choose process over outcome.
2. Set process goals.
3. Surround yourself with like minded people.
4. Have a plan.
5. Share your desire to become a “healthy thinker.”

In this post I will discuss trait #2, setting process goals.

Process goals are the goals that you must set if you want to have any chance of reaching your outcome goals. An example of a process goal would be setting a goal of exercising 30 minutes per day 5 days per week. In order to reach your outcome goal (weight loss, being in better shape, etc.) you must set, and follow, your process goals. Do you think you can become a millionaire without having a process in which you will make your million? Yet people seem to set weight loss goals without truly and realistically committing to the process that it takes to lose weight. Do you think you could compete in an Ironman Triathlon without setting process goals that will allow you to tackle such an event? Yet people think losing 5 pounds a week should be as easy as pie.

As I discussed in my “process over outcome” blog, you should put your commitment and faith in the process. If you commit to the process, and you are not reaching your outcome goals, you should reassess your process goals and outcome goals. Did the successful business person that made a million get it right the first time, probably not. Did the Ironman have his or her best time their first time doing an Ironman, probably not.

So why do we give in so fast when we are trying to reach our health and fitness goals?

The reason we do not reach our health and fitness goals is because our process goals do not line up with our outcome goals. We may set an outcome goal of losing 2 pounds per week, but do we know what it takes to lose 2 pounds of FAT per week? In order to lose 1 pound of fat we must exercise off and/or reduce our calories by approximately 3,500. That’s right, there is approximately 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat. So if our goal is to lose 2 pounds of fat we must exercise off and/or reduce our calories by 7,000. If my math is correct that is a 1,000 calorie per day deficit we must create. Yikes!!! Can you realistically create that much of a calorie deficit, probably not.

So we must set realistic outcome goals that are in tune with our process goals. If I can realistically exercise 5 days per week for the 30 minutes per day (approximately burning 250 calories per session x 5 = 1,250 calories per week), and reduce my bad calories by 200 per day (200 x 7 = 1,400 per week), I can have a goal of creating a caloric deficit of 2,650 calories per week, so not quite 1 pound per week.

The reason I discuss the equation above is not to discourage or frustrate. We must be realistic. Set your process goals based on what you realistically can commit to, and stick with. Set your process goals based on healthy thoughts and behaviors, not on unrealistic outcome goals. Set your process goals first, then figure out what the outcome will be.

Here are some examples of process goals:
-Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night.
-Drink 16 more ounces of water every day.
-Take 15 minutes at work to go for a walk.
-Eat breakfast every day.
-Eat one more healthy snack every day.
-Eat one more piece of fruit every day.

Think about process goals that you can live with for the rest of your life. What can you begin to incorporate into your life that will make a long lasting difference.

Stay Strong,

Becoming a “Healthy Thinker”

I talk to my clients often about becoming “healthy thinkers.”  “Healthy thinkers” are conscious about what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.  They have less stress, sleep better, exercise regularly, eat well, and are sick less often.  ”Healthy thinkers” are able to fit exercise and good nutrition into the fabric of their lives.

“Healthy thinkers” are not constantly chasing the carrot that is weight loss.

There are 5 traits that I believe all “healthy thinkers” have.  I will list these 5 traits, talk about them briefly, and expand on each of the traits further in upcoming blogs.  You are not born with these traits.  These traits can become a part of who you are.  If you are conscious of these traits, and work to make them a part of who are, you can become a “healthy thinker.”

I was not always a “healthy thinker.”  At one point I weighed 240 pounds.  I am currently about 180 pounds.  As I look back at my journey to becoming a “healthy thinker” these are the 5 traits that have made the biggest impact-

1.  Process Over Outcome:  You must embrace the process of becoming healthy.  Too many people set a mark, generally a weight loss goal, and strive only to reach that mark.  Then what?  If you begin to enjoy the process of becoming healthier, pat yourself on the back when you make healthy decisions, and focus on the day-to-day process, you will be one step closer to becoming a “healthy thinker.”

2.  Set Process Goals:  Process goals are the things that you will do daily, weekly, and monthly that will get you to where you want to be.  Make these goals tough, but achievable.  Give yourself a pat on the back each time you hit one of your process goals.

3.  Surround Yourself With Like Minded People:  “Healthy thinkers” draw on the strength of other “healthy thinkers.”  There will no doubt be ups and downs.  If you have “healthy thinkers” that you can call on for advice, a push, or a pat on the back, you will be able to battle through the ups and downs that are sure to arise.

4.  Have A Plan:  Plan your day.  Plan your week.  “Healthy thinkers” do not fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to training and diet.  Fail to plan, plan to fail.

5.  Share With People Your Desire To Become A “Healthy Thinker”:  Choose a select group of people that you know will support you in your journey to better health.  A strong support system is invaluable in your journey to becoming a “healthy thinker.”

As I stated early on, you can become a “healthy thinker.”  Begin using the 5 traits.  Have patience.

In my next blog I will discuss Process Over Outcome in more detail.

Stay Strong, Travis

Process Over Outcome (Becoming a “Healthy Thinker” Trait #1)

To become a “healthy thinker” you must choose Process Over Outcome.  You must put more emphasis on the process of becoming healthy, and less emphasis on the outcome.

In today’s society we are incredibly outcome driven.  We hear about fast and easy ways to make money.  We are led to believe that you you can drop 25 pounds in a month.  We discuss our goals in life, and in health, and we only talk about the outcome.  I want to be a millionaire.  I want to weigh 150 pounds.  We set goals based on the outcome.  But, how do we reach our goals?  What do we actually have to do to reach our goals?  What do we have to give up to reach our goals?  Have we made any lifestyle changes that will allow us to maintain our goals?

Goals are great.  Goals keep us headed in the right direction.  But, without process goals, it is nearly impossible to reach, much less maintain our outcome goals.  We have to figure out the process that will allow us to reach our goals, and maintain them.  We have to be able to work the process into our daily lives.  Weight loss is the greatest example of this vicious cycle.  We set a goal.  We do anything (including the latest crazy fad diet) to reach that goal.  Sometimes we reach the goal.  We suffer through the crazy diet.  We feel like crap because we are missing nutrients that our bodies need.  We don’t sleep well.  But, we have reached the goal.  Now what?  We haven’t made any lifestyle changes.  We certainly haven’t enjoyed the process.  Boom, we start gaining the weight right back.  And that’s if you actually reach your goal!  More times that not we do not reach our goal.  We get frustrated by the lack of results.  ”I am eating less and exercising, but I’m only losing one pound a week.”  ”This sucks!”  ”I have to lose 25 pounds and I hate every minute of this this!”

What if we stop worrying so much about the outcome and start enjoying the process?  What if we start exercising and eating healthier because we will feel better?  We do it because we can, not because we have to?  We do it for the daily satisfaction of doing something good for ourselves?  It’s more of a mental shift than it is physical.  Once you start to change your attitude, your body will follow.  Do it because you want to feel better about yourself, not because of what anyone else thinks.

Now that we have the right mental approach, we must set our goals based on the process-  What can I work into my schedule tomorrow that will get me one step closer to my outcome goal?  Is this something that I can make a part of my life?  When I reach this goal tomorrow I will pat myself on the back.  I will know that I did something healthy for myself.   What are my process goals for the week?  What can I do this week that will get me closer to my outcome goal?  Are these process goals realistic with what I have going on this week?  Can I maintain these goals for the long term?

Now obviously time isn’t going to appear out of nowhere.  Your kids, and your job are still going to be there tomorrow.  Tomorrow is still only going to last 24 hours.  I wish I could give you 2 free hours tomorrow, but I can’t.  So let’s not b.s. ourselves.  This is going to take some work.  You are going to have to make some changes to work health into your everyday process.  But, I know you can do it!

Enjoy the process and you will be one step closer to becoming a “Healthy thinker.”

Stay Strong, Travis


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