This week I was honored to be part of the Designs for Health marketing webinar series, offered free of charge to Strength Coaches and other health care providers.
Mellissa delivered solid information on marketing, meal plans, and nutrition for four solid hours over two days. A true expert in her field.
My expertise is not in nutrition, as many of these strength coaches. My expertise is in the mind and fascia. The nutrition of the brain fell into my area of expertise by sheer chance. It was the one piece that I needed to heal my own concussion and ADHD; I had the support of many doctors and experts to teach me what I needed to know to support those who are also suffering.
What caught my attention was the mention of S.M.A.R.T. goals and how they don’t work. There was some mocking of this system. It seems like a new approach is necessary for the 21 century, especially in health and wellness.
There is always talk about motivation in fitness, sports, and weight loss — if you are not motivated, you will never achieve your goals. Years ago, I did a research project asking several of the country’s wealthiest men if it is possible to motivate anyone, specifically individuals over the age of 35.
The answer was that motivation has to come from within a person’s brain, they are born with it.
It cannot be shamed, coerced, and certainly not coddled. I was left with the resolution that you have to find what motivates that person. What is the secret ingredient that takes them out of complacent behaviour and catapults them into action?
There are several ways, but the list is personal and may change depending on challenge or activity:
Indeed, weight loss is not enough to motivate people to get to the gym. Neither is eating healthy to prevent cancer. Asking someone to quit smoking because they are at risk of getting cancer is not enough. Telling someone to stop eating McDonald’s every day, as it will increase the likelihood of having a heart attack, is not enough. It lacks passion. Also, the brain has a warped protection mechanism that supports the fact that they will be the exception to the rule.
SYSTEMS WORK — This is where the money is made
Let’s take a look at the S.M.A.R.T. system. Similar to the widely accepted notion that a person needs to take 10,000 steps a day, it gained popularity arbitrarily. By mistake, so to speak. The 10,000 steps per day were based on one study with no real scientific data to support this assertation based only on one published study in Japan in the 1960s.
History of S. M. A .R. T. Goals
In 1981 Mr. George T. Doran, a consultant and former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company, used this acronym for his presentation and published a paper titled “There is a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management Goals and Objectives.” The brain loves acronyms and wants to make sense of the outside world. It became a trend in the business world. If you do not have S.M.A.R.T goals, you will not be successful, and there you have it. It became the foundation for setting goals.
The belief was that goal itself would provide the motivational energy to move you forward. The goal is the symptom; you need to find the cause.
Find the Cause that Created the Need for the Goal
In fact, what goals actually do is create a possible future and provides hope and possibility. It starts by creating space in the brain to allow for the creation of the goal. The unconscious mind needs direction, simply put; it needs to be told what to do.
Let’s take a look into how the brain functions. There is a conscious mind and an unconscious mind.
The conscious mind is the ego; it believes it is in the driver’s seat. But at any given second, the conscious mind can only remember seven plus or minus two pieces of information at any given time.
The unconscious mind is where everything else is stored. All your bodily functions, breathing, the release of hormones, thoughts, and emotions occur in your unconscious mind. All this information is locked within the neural network of the brain, fascia, and nervous system. I would be bold enough to state that every cell carries this information.
Since the conscious mind can only remember a limited amount of information at one time, motivation, emotion, passion, and drive come from the unconscious.
Giving the unconscious mind’s direction — can manifest anything if no underlining belief would block the goal. This is why sometimes affirmations work for some and not others. If there is an underlying belief that the affirmation will not stick, this will lead you to go back into patterns that no longer serve you and take you further away from the goal.
The S.M.A.R.T System gives a framework for directing the unconscious mind, which is generally lazy until given instruction and will do the impossible.
S. Specific. — The unconscious mind needs details to open up the space for opportunities
M. Measurable — Numbers access a different part of the brain
A. Assign — Delegating is the key to success, so is creating the right team. Also, who can support the goal
R. Realistic — Realistic in the sense of resources, access to resources, and timelines. Is it possible to lose 50 pounds in 1 week? No. If you choose that goal, it will overwhelm the unconscious mind as it would practically kill you to achieve that. The prime directive of the unconscious mind is to keep you safe above all else.
T. Time — Creating a date is essential. The unconscious mind does not process time, which means tomorrow never comes. The unconscious mind is only in the present. So, to shift the energy to attract opportunity and change behavior, time must be given.
E. Evaluation — Goals must be adapted to progress or lack of progress. Example: The Brain Health Assessment, the test has to be re-taken every month or two to readjust supplements. I have found that people take the test once and think that is the program forever or until the supplements are done. This behavior in strength coaches and their clients led me to create specific instruction on how long certain programs will go on, and those with ADHD will be on protocols forever.
The brain and body are continually adapting to the world around them. Programs and goals have to be reassessed constantly to keep on track with motivation as well as achievability.
Write down or type all programs; writing activates the unconscious mind that sets off a cascade of events to make it real. They are starting to teach writing again in school because that part of the brain is underdeveloped in kids now and impacts learning and abilities.
Always remember, if there is a failure, the door opens another path to success, in mind and well as in the physical world.
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