My coworkers and I were chatting during lunch the other day. Three of the nurses were talking about feeling tired all the time. Sandy commented that she wants to start exercising. She thinks that she would have more energy if she would exercise but she just feels too tired to start a new habit like that.  John agreed. He wants to change his diet but shopping for new foods just sounds exhausting. Maria says she is just too worn out at the end of the day to work on herself.

I noticed that they all knew what changes they wanted to make in their lives, even how to do those changes but were unable to actually make the changes they wanted. There was a gap between the knowing and the doing. The key to closing the gap between knowing and doing is mindset.

Angel Shannon, executive director at The Seva Institute, commented on this gap in her recent video:

“I’ve looked back at my successes and failures and  discovered an interesting pattern. Where I’d had huge success, I’d narrowed my concentration to one thing. And where my success varied, my focus had too. Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.”

Gary Keller, Keller Real Estate

Dr. Shannon recommends further that we don’t start with the hardest tasks. Instead, begin with the tasks that will set you up to succeed in your chosen life changes. She comments “Do the fast successes, immediate results that make everything else possible”. Focus on brain health.

“Major in the majors, not in the minors. Take on brain health, it makes everything else possible.”

This turns out to be the step that my coworkers missed.  Sandy, John, and Maria all want to improve their lives by improving their health. It turns out, though, that they are all struggling with the most basis piece: they are all sleeping poorly. 

My coworkers had identified some critical components of brain health: moving, nutrition, and sleep. For these nurses, though, the lack of a good night’s sleep prevented them from working on exercise or nutrition. They would tackle those tasks soon. First, they need to sleep well, rest, and get up with clarity of thought.

“A Good Day Starts the Night Before.”

Improved sleep begins with focusing on sleep. Prepare by turning off all video, including phones and television, before bed. A warm shower or a hot drink will help you relax into sleep.

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