“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
— Albert Einstein
We often look to others for advice. This has been and will always be important for our lives, no matter what type of person you are. Now, who you are asking advice from may be a whole other article for another day, but let’s hope we are going to people who are trustworthy, intelligent and have experience in what you are asking advice about.
Talk To Yourself
What I want to challenge you this month is to look within yourself and ask yourself some questions. You may be surprised what you will find out and ultimately reveal. As a certified Precision Nutrition coach, we often teach our clients to ask themselves the following questions:
In regard to food:
• Are you eating the right amount for your goals?
• Does each meal have lean protein?
• Does each meal have at least one serving of vegetables and/or fruit, ideally colorful ones?
• Are you choosing “smart” carbohydrates that are high in fiber?
• Are you eating whole, relatively unprocessed foods? (Or are you relying a lot on shakes, bars, prepackaged stuff, etc.)
• Are you eating healthy fats? (avocado, almonds, eggs, olive oil, for example)
• Does everything you eat add value? Does it make your body better, stronger, and healthier? Does it nourish you? Does it give you good stuff like vitamins and minerals?
In regard to beverages:
• Does it hydrate me?
• Does it replenish nutrients I’ve lost?
• Does it add value, health and/or recovery?
• After I drink this, will I feel physically good and satisfied?
• After I drink this, will I feel happy and proud about my choice?
If the answer to all of the above is yes, then go ahead and enjoy. If the answer is no, take a few moments to think about it.
• What trade-off are you willing to make? What’s your deal? Why?
• Is there a better choice available? Why is it better?
Research shows that we do much better – and stay motivated – when we do the following:
• Identify what is working and do more of that.
• Find our strengths and figure out how to make them work for us.
• Find people who are strong and successful in this area and learn from them.
It can be simplified into this: Accentuate your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Always aim for “excellent” as opposed to “perfect,” as this all or nothing mentality often doesn’t last or end well.
Is It Working?
The last question I want you to ask yourself may be the simplest of them all and most clichéd, however the most revealing:
“How’s that working for you?”
Yep, that’s it.
You are on some type of plan. If it’s working well, great, keep doing what you are doing.
On the other hand, you’ve been doing something for a while; and the answer to “how’s that working for you?” is not that great. Well, guess what you should probably do? Either tweak what you are doing or try something else. If it hasn’t been working for you, then why would you continue to do it?
And here’s one final thought: If you ask yourself these questions and you aren’t sure of the answer, that’s OK. That’s where someone like me comes in. As always, I’ll be happy to help. I appreciate all of the emails and comments every month from each one of my columns and I always respond to every single one.
So, how’d this column work for you?