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How to Stay on Track When Life gets a little Chaotic

Recently I attended a workshop on the emergency management of severe trauma and cardiac arrest. 2 full days of scenario after scenario of severely injured trauma victims or patients in cardiac arrest. Quite stressful actually, even though it was all pretend. Move those situations into the real world and you can bump up the stress 100x. There’s just so much keep track of and deal with. Monitors, gear, distress, noise, family members, drugs, uncertainty and unexpected events unfolding rapidly. When Chaos Hits You Don’t Have Time to Make Things Up – You Just Have Time to Act During an emergency – when conditions are changing quickly and with emotions are running high – you don’t have time to make things up. You don’t have time to thoroughly consider the options. Decisions are where precious time is used up. Decisions are where mistakes are made. Many Decisions Are Better Made in Advance The main teaching point that got drilled into us at the workshop was the importance of sticking with tried and tested systems. We learnt how to systematically apply algorithms and protocols. If A then B. If that fails, then C. The algorithms help reduce the number of decisions we need to make. It becomes a matter of simple execution – less time wasted, fewer omissions, and fewer mistakes. These systems – which have been created with the luxury of expert research and consensus – save lives. When the $#!t hits the fan, we’re trained to be systematic and work stepwise through the algorithm. It works. How Does This Apply to Healthy Living? Luckily, everyday life is not usually as dramatic as in the resus bay, although sometimes it can feel like it. Life happens, regardless of what you have planned. Sickness, injury, work, money problems, car trouble, stress, family issues. The list goes on. We can get caught up in the pressure and emotion. It’s easy to lose focus and let good habits slide. You get distracted and forget about health or put it on the backburner. But these are the times that good health is most important. How to Stay Focused When Life Keeps Getting in the Way 1. Anticipate There will always be times when it will be difficult to stick with your healthy routine. Look ahead. What’s coming up on the horizon? 2. Make a plan Make a plan to fall back on. Create systems that you can work through despite the chaos. Make decisions in advance. Eat Move Chill forms a simple framework for your plan. Think about a minimum dose plan that will keep you going.

  • EAT: How will I get some good food into me. A good dose of fruit veg and protein will do the trick, even if it’s just 1 meal a day.

  • MOVE: What easy exercise can I do? I have a stretch routine that I can do anywhere. Quick walk. 7 minute workout app.

  • CHILL: 7-8 hours sleep will keep you fresh to deal with the pressure. A 5-minute time-out to sharpen the axe will do wonders for your effectiveness.

3. Work the plan When you lose perspective, willpower and motivation… a solid plan can keep you going. Work the plan. Focus on execution. When things settle down, work on re-establishing the routine. Conclusion: If you want consistent health, you need to be prepared for distraction and disruption. Planning is vital to success. It’s much better to have created a plan and made decisions in advance rather than wing it at the time. When motivation strikes, use it to create plans and systems that will hold you in good stead. When that motivation wanes or when life gets a little hectic – just stick to the plan.


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