How to Resist a Distraction

Here’s a mental strategy for when you want to say “no” to your Facebook newsfeed, your personal email, or the flatscreen TV that's calling to you. Focus on what you’re saying “yes” to, instead.

Prevent Mutiny of the Brain

When you think in terms of what you “have to” do – get this boring work done, face a dreaded task, be less sedentary – or what you “can’t” do – get on FB, hear news from friends, binge watch the series everyone’s talking about – your deprivation language awakens the rebel in you. Your brain declares mutiny and you’re stuck in a struggle.

When you say, “I choose” – to get this work done, conquer this odious task, get this body in motion – you’re in charge and unified. You're doing the right thing. Your brain cooperates.

Stay in the Driver’s Seat

How to Resist a distraction

Once you say, “I choose this, not that,” you shift your attention to your higher goal: “I want to feel accomplished today” . . . “I want to feel proud of myself.” . . . “I want a healthy, fit body.”

This mental action is called strategic allocation of attention. Turn inward when you use it and you can feel its power. Once you get started, you’ll find that you like how you feel. Goals attract us. You’ll notice the difference between driving in circles vs. getting where you want to go.