I heard Auto Zone’s commercial yesterday that had this announcer with a deep raspy voice say “Get in the zone!” That charge stuck out to me, and it came right in the middle of my temptation to slack off. “It’s the weekend, it’s Halloween, the holidays are coming up, we wear clothes that cover us up anyway, comfort foods are for the cold winter months…” Ah, but the greater good trumped the excuses. The reason was because I am in the zone.
Once your blood has that particular thing in it, it becomes very difficult to stop it. It takes a minute or two to get in the zone. It takes going against the grain, climbing uphill, consistent sacrifice, realizing you are in the sowing stage (reaping with come), and patience. Then you cross over into a new threshold. You start to feel your goals coming into fruition, you see some results, your blood begins to capture the realization “it can work!” It might be a business zone, it might be a fat loss zone, it might be a financial zone, it might be a family structure zone; whatever the zone… stay in the zone! You have worked too hard to go in reverse.
That phrase may be Auto Zone’s slogan, but what is your life slogan? What do people sense when you are around? What language are you speaking (esp when you are not saying anything)? The longer you stay in your zone(s) the more positive impact you will have. For some it seems easy to get in certain zones. There are many people I admire in this building and am working toward getting in a zone like them. And I think a good reminder is that the best influence is servant leadership and a humble confidence. The gifts we have been given are not for our prestige, they are to be used for the empowerment of others.
In the fitness training world, we talk about zone training. Heart rate zone training is one example. There are 4-5 zones your heart rate can go to depending on your goals. So as you travel to deeper zones take someone with you! Show others how you got there. And stay teachable. If you are green you are growing, you begin to rot when you are ripe.
“Your preparation determines your destination.”
We can all have the potential to become scatterbrained, especially during the really busy seasons. There are no longer non-busy seasons, we have busy, very busy and the really busy season(s). I know when I hit a really busy season because I find myself asking the front reception desk for a temporary badge, we are out of laundry detergent at the house for a week, and I find myself pacing down isle 7 in Target then stop and say to myself “What in the world did I come in here for?”
Outside of an increased dosage of Adderall, what can we do to ensure our thoughts don’t travel at the speed of light in every different direction?
These five practices have helped my scatterbrain go in reverse:
1. The “Stop and Think” practice
Literally, every time I leave the house or office I pause for a few seconds to stop and think. I ask myself, “Where am I going and do I have everything I need?” That practice of pausing for a few seconds has saved me a lot of time and energy, or reminding me of that email or call I have to return. We are so consumed with the clock that we tend to rush here and there and the goal becomes to beat the clock. Typically, when we do get to the next place, after we have a second to pause, this comes to mind… “Shoot, I forgot…” I have two signs hanging up at my house by the side door (the one we always go out of). One says “Every Day is a Gift” and the other says “Stop and Think.”
2. Hide your head for 10 min every day
Hide your head in a book, some motivational material, funny quotes, something that peaks your interest and can feed your mind with positivity. Wrap your head in truth, wisdom and practical life principles. By doing this you wrap your mind up like you would a sore knee. You are placing your mind in a cocoon so that a positive metamorphosis can take place.
3. Release people and situations out of your control
Frustration can set in when we can’t dictate to our surroundings what we feel needs to happen. So, practice patience by allowing people around you to do something other than what you feel they should be doing. That’s a tall order but what it does is releases you from pressure. I don’t mean to say become passive or simply ignore reality, rather find the balance of staying engaged with people and your surroundings but not letting them control your mood, feelings or lifestyle. The bottom line is that the only things you can control are your own thoughts, attitude and responses.
4. Get outdoors
This time of year is great weather. I love the outdoors any time of year, but now certainly is great time to enjoy being outside. Making it a point to be outside has a way of naturally reducing stress. Being out in the open has a way of opening us up. The beauty of nature naturally does it for us! Even if it’s taking a walk in the evening, sitting outside at a restaurant, enjoying a Tuesday stretch for 10 minutes outside, it’s worth it! I like to look at the entire year and get my fill of the beach, the mountains and the parks.
5. Clear the clutter
I have become a big fan of the Container Store. Clearing the clutter around you helps to clear the mind of clutter. In college I used to read over my notes for 10-15 minutes every night and found that I didn’t have to spend hours cramming the night before tests. I have taken that example and applied it to my home. If I clean clutter for 10 minutes in the morning and in the evening, I rarely have to have one big clean. As a single parent, I have had to implement ways to keep the house up. I do that by getting the kids involved in all of the house not just their rooms. We have chore charts but we also make it fun. We do a nightly 10 minute “house rescue” after dinner with loud music. I get a little crazy sometimes and even tie sponges on their feet and give them spray cleaner and let them go to town.
Use these simple tips and create some of your own! You will find that even during the really busy season, your mind doesn’t have to get caught up in a whirlwind.
This is a oldie but a goodie, "In order to go up you have to recognize what you have to give up."
Do you really want more of the same or do you really want to change? That is what you must confront, decide and then do something about!
Do you want to continue your fat loss or do you want fast food? Do you want to trim your waistline or do you want beer instead? Do you want to sleep in or do you want to shape your physique? Are you going to make physical training a priority or let another season slip by? Come on! Now is your time! Build the best you!
Put these quotes on your frig:
· Looseness in your diet equals looseness around your waist
· Feeling the pinch now means you will be able to pinch less later
· Eat light, eat right, stay lean
· Shortcuts never pay off in the long run
· Stick to the 70 / 30 rule
Try to remember the 70 – 30 rule. This means that you are never stuffed and you are never starving. 100% is all you can eat stuffed, wheel me out of this feeding troth buffet. 0% is that you haven’t eaten all day and you could eat a horse. If you stay between 30% and 70% full, your metabolism is at its highest peak performance and burning fat for fuel.
· Dinner meals are to be “Lean & Green”
Meaning stick to a lean protein and vegetables. Go for fish, chicken, turkey breast (proteins) and colorful veggies (bell peppers, asparagus, spinach leaves…). Try to get your grains in for breakfast and lunch, and taper them off throughout the day.
Keep yourself energized and accountable to your team, and be the encouragement!