As a part of my continuing education, I am going through our online coaching program. I apply the lessons and practice the habits personally, but use that information for coaching all of our clients.

We call it nutrition coaching to differentiate it from the gym/fitness side of things, but really it encompasses our entire lifestyle and our overall wellness. Things like stress, sleep and mindset are also important.

Many of the lessons and habits have applicability outside of fitness and nutrition.

As I am reviewing lessons to share, more often than not I find myself thinking how good the lesson is and how it can be used more broadly for our clients.

One of the most impactful lessons is a concept called notice and name. In order for us to change, we need to know what’s going on that is blocking or slowing our progress toward our goals.

What’s going on?

What are you doing…right now?

What are you thinking…right now?

What’s around you…right now?

If you’re like most folks, you’re probably not completely sure.

Multi-tasking and juggling a number of crazy schedules has become the daily norm in our society.

Talking on the phone to schedule an appointment while driving kids to a soccer game.

Listening to the TV and kids while working through the week’s worth of email.

It is difficult to be fully engaged with just one activity.

Our brain makes thousands of small decisions every day. Most of them are automatic and unconscious.

The upside is that we can repeat patterns — like driving, tying our shoelaces, and brushing our teeth.

The downside is that we can repeat patterns — like mindless munching, using alcohol or junk food to de-stress, or grabbing another round of take-out for another rushed lunch break.

We don’t make bad food decisions because we are dumb or lazy.

We make bad food decisions because they are automatic.  Because we are distracted and in a rush to do the next thing on our list.

Notice and Name

Noticing means taking the time to pay attention.

What’s going on right now? What am I doing?

Naming means you take an extra moment to describe what’s going on or what you are doing…without judgment.

I didn’t have time to pack a lunch so that means I’m more likely to grab a not-so-healthy option.

What does this mean for you?

When you take the time to slow your actions and pay more attention to what you are doing, you can make more conscious decisions instead of letting your brain make the automatic decisions it is used to making.

You become more aware and can, therefore, make better choices regarding fitness and nutrition…or whatever it is in your life.

You take back more of the control so that you can deliberately align your actions with the goals you have set for yourself.

What are your patterns?

What do you “just find yourself” doing?

What’s happening right now?

What’s distracting you — and how can you re-focus on your goals?

How does that food taste? Smell? What’s the texture like? (Give it a few extra chews and think about it.)

Just like we have to get our body prepared for our journey, we also have to get our brain prepared as well. Identifying what’s going on around us will help us learn where we need to make changes so that we are successful in reaching our goals.

Let us know what’s going on with you so we can help you reach your fitness and nutrition goals.

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