I know, I know, you’re thinking there’s no love for you anymore. Elizabeth, you’re thinking, we visit you and suffer through your digestive ailments and exercise odor woes… can’t you at least blog regularly?
Yes. I am sorry. I’ve added more classes to my schedule lately and taken on some new projects (and I’m giving up some old projects). So that transition makes things difficult and pretty much turns my brains to mush and my attempts to blog come out like this “Blue. Sun! See? Garp.”
So I’m back and the grey matter is snapping (I originally wrote “napping,” which is close but not quite), cracking and popping on all cylinders. Which is surprising because I’ve had, like, 3 hours of sleep.
Dunno. I guess I just couldn’t stay away.
Also, I’m trying to balance out one of my firm’s accounts and it ain’t looking good.
Also I am 150 words into this post and I have yet to cut to the chase.
Also I think a ghost lives in the vent over my oven, it’s been making the weirdest noises since I got up.
So the AntiRat and I read this entrepreneurial/global nomad blogger, Sebastian Marshall. It’s good stuff. Tough. No nonsense. That link takes you to a post about priming, a concept set forth in Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. Here’s the short version:
Research shows that when subjects are given cues that imply things like tiredness, politeness, rudeness and the like, the cues will trigger accompanying behavior in the subjects. So when research subjects perform a jumble with words that are associated with physical decline, the subjects act older. This phenomenon is called priming and it’s crucial for those of us who are trying to make behavioral changes.
This takes that old adage about not thinking anything you don’t want to come true (ie, I’m too slow to do this exercise, I’m just naturally fat, I’m dumb, I’m broke, I’m not good enough and other negative self-talk that I know we all engage in from time to time) a step further. Don’t surround yourself with images and messages that you don’t want to mirror.
I’ve mentioned before how social media allows you to surround yourself with people who model the behavior you want. I think that reading healthy living blogs really changed how I thought about health, fitness, cooking and eating. Building a network of positive Facebook and Twitter comrades changes how I think and what I believe I am capable of.
Listening to audio books in the morning (or even just listening to uplifting music instead of gloom and doom economic forecasts) helps keep me focused, positive, energetic and proactive.
Avoiding Negative Neds, Sad Sallies and Defeated Debbies is absolutely crucial if you want to get anything useful done in your life. One of Chalene’s Powder Blue rock stars, Toni Cook (she of 7 kid and 6 pack ab fame) calls such people “Excusinators.” It’s kind of like a Terminator, but the opposite. Their excuses prevent them from getting things done. I had a bad day. It was raining. It was nice out. I had a headache. My car wouldn’t start. I couldn’t find my homework. My power went out and all the clocks were wrong. My dog gave me mono. You name it and there is a perfectly good reason why they can’t perform positive, healthy, useful activity.
That’s fine. It’s their life, it’s their right to choose to waste it. But don’t let them suck the utility out of your life. Listen to a litany of “I can’t because…” and guess what you’re primed to do? Find reasons why you can’t.
Surround yourself with the images of what you want your life to look like. What kind of parent do you want to be? Hang out with those parents. Read their books. Watch tv shows that show healthy parenting (hint: you probably won’t find one. Dysfunction makes good tv these days). So maybe avoid tv!
What kind of health do you want to have? Hang out with people who look, act and live like you want to act. Do you wish you were one of those Yoginis who can levitate while meditating? Well, maybe chain smoking outside with your work buddies isn’t the best place for you then.
What kind of food do you want to eat? Are you trying to avoid fast food? Organizing playdates at McDonald’s might not be a smart idea. What are you priming yourself to do? Are you watching tv shows where fast food chains heavily advertise? You’re priming yourself to find an order of curly fries.
What kind of financial life do you want to lead? Are you trying to get out of debt? Save for a vacation? Maybe shopping with your credit card queen buddies isn’t the best idea. Go to Target with me instead! 😉 Just kidding.
You get the picture. I know priming definitely works for me because I see the difference in my behavior when I’m proactive about priming and when I’m not. What about you? How do you prime yourself? Music? Motivational tapes? I’d love to hear your tips!