Tim contacted us because he wants to go running. He has a training schedule worked out and time slots scheduled, but somehow, when the moment comes, he always finds an excuse not to go.
The brain’s default setting is to preserve energy whenever possible. Sport, by definition, is pushing one’s body beyond the point its comfort point, and that will generate protest, or even complete mutiny, like we can see in Tim’s case.
First, we have to see if the body has a point. Is there a real problem? We sent Tim to our sports physio and after a look at Tim’s recuperation versus planned training time, the conclusion is clear. If Tim were to follow his plan, he would end up injuring himself.
After carrying out a running analysis, the correct power exercises to strengthen his knees and a realistic building up schedule, we can now focus on the mindset part.
Your mindset is the part of your brain that decides whether something is worth investing energy into. If we believe we will not reach a goal, it will tell us not to waste energy on it.
One way our brain does this, is by looking at all the other goals we have set ourselves and see if we have reached those. Quickly, it becomes clear the Tim has way more goals then energy. When he lists up all his goals and the amount of energy/time/money they would cost, we end up with him needing at least 47 hours a day. That means every time he would go running, his brain would tell him he is failing all his other plans, like spending more time with the kids, or studying for his promotion.
So, using the GTD methodology, Tim lists and decides the things he wants to focus on now. With the rest pushed back to later, we make a less ambitious but more realistic planning but with one caveat: if he sets himself a goal now, he has to reach it!
Because he always tends to bring himself down (why can I not, why did I not, I could have done…), we give him one extra assignment: for 4 weeks, he is not allowed to say anything negative about himself. After all, one of the other ways the brain checks if something is worth trying, is by what we are thinking and saying.
Over the following 3 months, with some setbacks, Tim starts to reach his goals. He makes slow but steady progress with the running (without injuries), and with that comes an ILC-mindset. He reports looking more positively on life, being more assertive and sleeping a lot better.