by Dana Cavalea May 22, 2017

In today's health conscious World, we are surrounded by healthy food options, gyms, specialized training centers, dietary suggestions ranging from high meat intake to no meat intake. All this blended within a culture that is playing the ultimate game of tug of war between better health and more output/ work hours.

So how do we win this game? How do we allow the ourselves to take advantage of all the positive options that are out there for us, dismiss the bad and maximize performance at work by actually increasing effectiveness while lessening "time on the job?"

I believe in a principle that I call: STREAMLINING.

This is a fancy way of saying, "get organized" so you can increase your output, your free time and better your health.

Since we spend most of our waking hours at work, the first health hijack starts by "freeing yourself up" from the tedious tasks and nonsense that does not give you a return on your time or effort. So how do we do this?

When it comes to our work, we start by making 3- Lists:

List 1: What I love to do at work
List 2: What I can't stand doing at work
List 3: Who would be the best person to delegate my "can't stand doing" list to. ( you must select a person who's column 1 matches your column 2- meaning what you dislike, they love)

When you do this- you are empowering somebody else, reducing your load of "dislikes" and therefore freeing up time and energy for you to make column 1 extremely dynamic.

How does health come into play? Simple. The more you do in column 2, the greater your stress and frustration will be and as that compounds, your choices will begin to lean towards the negative side of the playing field.

With increased stress and frustration comes a complete drop off of positive habits and choices. Hence what I call, Stress Belly. Most people that experience higher day to day stress are often walking around with 10-15lbs of abdominal mass as a result of higher cortisol levels and compromised digestion.

Now lets think about how we can hijack our dietary and fitness choices.

When it comes to our diet and exercise, we start by making 3- Lists:

List 1: What do I love to do for exercise? What are the fruits/vegetables/ lean meats/ fish do I love to eat?

List 2: What do I dislike doing for exercise? What fruits/ vegetables/ lean meats/ fish do I strongly dislike?

List 3: If you had to exercise 30 minutes per day, what would be the perfect time of day, mode of exercise and place to do it? If you had to design your favorite 3 meals using ingredients above, what would they be?

If you look at List 3, you will find a custom program that you designed based on your preferences.

On the contrary, you can think of it like this: " If you select training modes that you dislike, what are the chances of you sticking with them? If you select fruits and vegetables you do not like, what are the chances of you eating them?" The answer: Very poor. You will constantly be looking and looking until you find column 3 in a publication or segment on local tv- but the reality is, you can do it right now.

Whenever I work with a client, the process always starts with what they love. When you start there, you can build a custom plan based on their habits, desires and "enjoy-ables" rather than on the "ideal prescription."

If you do not like kale, why put it in the diet? Just because Dr. OZ said it is best? That is the fastest way to negatively hijack your health.

Streamlining your work, food choices and exercise will allow for the greatest compliance. Compliance leads you towards long term success when it comes to your health.

Often times I see health professionals make some very rookie mistakes. This typically begins with abandoning the preferences of clients in favor of "norms" and "published data" while completely aborting individualization. We must always remember to get a result, it must be personalized.

We all come from different upbringings, mindsets and traditions that formulate our habits, views and palates- so let's honor those differences so we can align with the most favorable plan.

Hijacking your health is easy when you make it personal and start doing what you "enjoy" doing. Your body comes with a very smart operating system. If you can eliminate the "have-to-do's" and exchange those for "want-to-do's" you can start winning again in your health and life. #livelikeapro

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Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!


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