Bright Spot Success

Achieving new health goals can be challenging. By definition, a goal is “an aim or desired result,” not guaranteed! But think back to a time when you stuck crazy-strict to your food plan or exercised when it was the last thing you wanted to do. Whatever the circumstance, if you saw positive results, it’s worth repeating, right?

In the book Switch, a fascinating study concluded that one of the most powerful ways to excel is to focus on what really works, and then repeat it. The example given features the malnourishment of children in a Vietnamese village, which was reduced 65% by simply observing the few families whose children were thriving and then repeating what they did among all other families. Things turned around for everyone once the infants were fed more protein, more frequently.

They called this simple solution “the bright spot.” Bright spots are successful efforts that illuminate solutions and bear repeating.

Let’s take this concept and apply it to our own wellness journey. Think about specific times when, despite certain challenges, you still succeeded in making your wellness a priority by eating nutritiously and exercising regularly. What conditions contributed to your success? Those are your bright spots.

Bright spots for me include things like scheduled exercise with others (friends or a class), tracking what I eat daily, signing up for a 5K (and then training for it), and eating frozen breakfasts I have previously made that require just a moment to heat and eat. These efforts have helped me succeed. They are bright spots I can count on.

Evaluate your own habits and successful tendancies: What gets you to move when it would be easier not to? (Time of day? Type of exercise? Who you exercise with? Challenging goals?) What gets you to eat well when fast food lurks around every corner? (Pre-planning? Cooking at home? Portion control? Eliminating red-light foods?)

Doing what we know we should do is challenging enough. Set yourself up for success by pausing long enough to recognize your bright spots; then bask in finding them, knowing you have a brighter future!