Brain-changing isn’t a race.
While this sounds like it should be a positive thing, the lack of a clear finish line can actually make it harder for some people to achieve their goals. Some people struggle to make the connection between healthy habits and preventing cognitive decline, especially if old age feels far into the future.
A runner might train every day for three months for a race. Then after race day, they don’t hit the treadmill for a week. After hitting the goal, the motivation to continue is gone.
The same can happen with dieting. Once you see the number on the scale that makes you happy, you might fall back into eating patterns that don’t benefit your body.
With cognitive health, there’s no one goal in mind. Instead of training for race day, you’re training for a continual jog that will transport you happily and healthily from one destination to another.
How can you find motivation without a clear goal? Aim to make your new brain-changing habits part of your life.
So, from now on, just remember that you aren’t just going to the gym because you’re sculpting your muscles, you’re going to the gym so you can promote your brain health for the rest of your lifetime. You don’t just want to join a book club to stimulate your brain for the time being; you want to make a love of reading and socializing part of your life’s story. You’re not just adding leafy greens and fresh berries to your diet to lose weight, you’re eating better to keep your brain healthy.
Once you can make these connections, it’s easier to see that protecting your brain is about making long-lasting, sustainable change. You can do this.