For those of you currently on a fat fighting mission, what if I told you to forget about the calories, the carbohydrates and the hormonal environment for just one second and instead put all of your focus on the one thing that may be holding you back from your ultimate goal?
Have you ever wondered why you can make good choices for your health throughout most of the day only to crash and burn later by skipping the gym and having a second dessert? Or why you might be able to control your emotions and how you communicate them earlier in the day, but later feel more out of control or unable to express things as smoothly? It is more than just being tired. Enter the world of emotional currency.
Mindset is often the most forgotten element to address when it comes to training and ultimately achieving the very success you desire but it plays such a crucial role.
Three powerful traits that in my mind are essential to your success in just about any area of your life include:
Willpower –The trait of resolutely controlling your own behaviour
Discipline – The ability to obey rules or a code of behaviour
Self Control – The ability to control one’s emotions, behaviour and desires in order to obtain some reward.
I will refer to these as emotional currency hereon. Through this article we will learn how emotional currency can be shared, invested and wasted all to the positive or negative consequences of your ultimate goal.
Think about when you use your debit card.
You pop it in the machine.
Stand for a second debating whether you will ever see the card again.
Minutes later to your delight the machine registers the card and you enter your pin.
From here you select the amount you wish to withdraw and BANG. In a flash the cash is yours to do whatever you wish to do with it.
Some of us live within our means…
Others would be shocked and surprised to see their balance in credit.
According to The Gaurdian the ‘UK’s average debt per person is at a record high’. The average British citizen has £7,504.08 of personal debt against their name. People are living on money that they simply do not have!
Yet each an everyday they reach into their wallets and purses, remove the ‘magical money card’ and off they go again racking up even more debt.
It only takes a few minutes of watching the current television adverts on circulation nationally to realise the growth and expansion of money lending companies. This gives a rather large hint that matters are only getting worse.
Well many of us are not only in debt financially. Many of us are also in debt emotionally!
We agreed above that the big traits that separate those who conquer their fat loss foes to those that don’t are:
- Self Control
We only have certain amounts of the above available to us at any one time. Much like at any ATM, our maximum withdrawal day to day is only ‘X’ amount.
This ultimately means that each of us only has so much to spend/use within a 24 hour period.
Hey Big Spender!
Each and every day you spend your emotional currency on various things. Often things that you don’t even intend spending it on!
You may spend a little on the drive to work – You had to utilise self-control not to get out of the car and hit the ‘ahem’ that cut you up in the traffic this morning.
You may then spend a little at work – Slogging through spreadsheets for hours on end just to get it signed off.
You may then spend a little at home – Convincing Jonny that not every kid in his class has that power ranger doll he wants so badly.
You may then spend a little time before sleep – Worrying about other bills, deadlines and Tommy the cat.
Little scenarios…insignificant scenarios just like this presented above add up.
If you figuratively tot up your bill of emotional currency spent at the end of a rough day you may well find your balance in negative figures. And with your emotional savings ‘invested’ you’ve exhausted your willpower, squashed your discipline and abolished nearly all self-control which could possibly be applied to anything else you are trying to put your mind to….including that fat loss goal.
Psychologists are using the term ‘Ego depletion’ to describe how our ability to make good decisions and self-regulate (manage thoughts and feelings) wears out over time.
The theory states that we all have a finite pool of resources (energy) that allows us to navigate life, regulate emotions, make choices and control our behaviour.
A goal that is approached whilst an individual is in a state of ego depletion is a goal that sadly is not going to be conquered any time soon. The funds are simply is not there to pay the charges that the goal is demanding.
This is why you would never tell a smoking alcoholic to quit drinking at the same time as quitting smoking. They do not have enough ‘emotional currency’ to spend on those two equally expensive goals. Focus on both at the same time and you can only expect failure.
That’s right! Your failure to adhere to your current fitness regime or diet may simply be due to stretching yourself too far in other areas of life meaning you simply haven’t got enough currency to spend on adherence to your health plan.
The Good News
When it comes to offering you a solution to your ego depletion (love that word) there are essentially two paths:
1. Kerb your spending habits
Obviously the primary way to relieve financial debt is to start spending less! By focussing on buying ‘only the essentials’ for a few months and bypassing expensive money draining nights out, you would probably find you could raise a substantial sum to begin paying off your owances.
Well this is the same with your life. You need to spend less emotional currency each day.
Take five minutes. Sit and write down the things that drain you of your ‘get up and go’. What are the moments that drag? What brings you down? Who are the people who are sucking the energy out of you (we all can identify the energy vampires and ‘problem page addicts’ in our friendship groups)? Write it all down. Identification is the first step.
Your job in the next 30 days is to one by one begin finding ways in which you can spend less emotional currency at these events and on these people. You can use positive thinking, you can use avoidance or you can just re-evaluate situations and place their true priority on them.
More emotional currency free’d from poor reactions = more emotional currency to spend upon your fat loss plan!
It’s that easy.
2. Borrow some emotional currency (from the right people….Not Wonga.com)
Someone said to me the other day that people who use personal trainers are ‘lazy’. Well I actually have to disagree. The members of Xcelerate Fitness are some of the hardest working people I know in the area. Not one of my clients comes in for a ‘coasting session’. They all have goals, and they know what needs to be done.
Many of them however are lacking in emotional currency.
Personal training is a perfect way of borrowing some emotional currency. People with busy lives and large ‘emotional debts’ haven’t got the time or ‘currency’ available to spend on trawling through books and scientific studies to work out the most effective plans to bring sustained and life changing fat loss. They need a road map, they need guidance. Providing they work with a trainer they trust, they borrow some emotional currency so that the stuff they have left from their long days can be utilised effectively on the bit that matters the most: EXECUTION AND ACTION.
Now go forth, head held high and rid yourself of emotional debt!
Come and check out Xcelerate Fitness – Marlow’s leading personal trainers….I know we can help YOU! We are currently offering FREE consultations for all new recruits!
Personal Trainer Marlow