Mindset is an effective technique to help lawyers shift to a healthier diet.
It’s a challenge for lawyers to eat well. A combination of high stress, long hours, back-to-backs and tight deadlines leads to your body craving calories to maintain its energy level. This, combined with perceived time savings of grabbing quick sugary or calorie-dense junk food rather than preparing and eating a healthy meal leads to a plethora of health and mental health issues.
This problem is not restricted to lawyers. Anyone with a dense schedule can easily find themselves in this situation.
Speaking for myself, over the last few months, as I became busier, I began eating more sugary foods as a quick fix to fuel my work. A short-term high at best, and horribly unhealthy in the long run.
After spinning out on one too many sugar highs, I decided that enough was enough, I was going to return to healthy eating. The question, though, was how to do this.
Willpower alone takes requires a lot of energy
One dieting strategy is to use willpower to bulldoze through an eating plan. Many classic diets including cleanses, calorie-counting, and elimination diets, are based on this.
And although willpower-based diets can be effective short-term, over the long run they tend not to be (failed diets, anyone?). This is because maintaining willpower on a long-term basis requires a lot of ENERGY. Energy that most of us would rather be expending on our work.
Mindset is the way to go
A more effective way for lawyers to improve their eating habits is adjusting their MINDSET. Mindset requires less energy than willpower over the long run and therefore tends to be more successful.
One way to shift your mindset around healthy eating is by reframing the relationship between what you eat and your core values.
Mindset your way to healthy eating for lawyers in three easy steps
For lawyers, reframing the relationship between what you eat and your core values can be as easy as my simple, three-step process:
1. Identify your conflicting core value.
2. Clarify your conflict.
3. Reframe your relationship.
Mindset in action
Let’s look at this system in more detail.
1. Identify your conflicting core value
First, identify the core value you hold that’s conflicting with your desire to eat better. To do this, ask yourself,
“Why am I not eating more healthily? What’s standing in my way?”
Your answer to these questions will help you identify your conflicting core value.
If you’re having a hard time identifying this core value, think about when your eating tends to break down, and what you’re doing or feeling at the time. This provides clues.
In my case, I was eating unhealthy junk food because of my conflicting core value of maximizing productivity and efficiency. At some level, I believed it was more efficient to pop something quickly into my mouth than stop to prepare a proper, healthy meal.
2. Identify your conflict
This is the second step of the process is identifying your conflict between healthy eating and your core value. For this, look more deeply at the exact nature of the conflict between your core value and eating well.
Completing this sentence will help you do this:
When I’m [core value], I don’t eat well because […]
The phrase after the “because” is the conflict you feel.
For me, the relationship was:
When I’m [being productive and efficient] I don’t eat well because [I don’t like to be distracted].
In other words, when I’m working, I like to maximize productivity and efficiency. For me, this means working without as few distractions as possible. And I was viewing preparing, eating, and cleaning up after healthy meals as distracting me from being productive and efficient. Therefore, when I was busy, I would refuel with something sugary and quick rather than take the time to stop and eat properly.
3. Reframe your relationship
The third step to using mindset to improve your eating habits is to reframe eating well so that it not only ceases to conflict with your core value, but also becomes a pre-condition to it.
To do this, use this structure to create a new relationship between your core value and healthy eating:
Healthy eating is a precondition to [core value] because […]
This formula helps you shift your mindset by creating a positive relationship between healthy eating and attaining your core value. You are naturally inclined to act in ways that support your core value, so therefore it will soon become easier to eat more healthily.
This is how I built my third-stage sentence:
Healthy eating is a precondition to [me being productive and efficient] because [when I eat healthy food, it feeds my mind and my body, allowing me to get even more done]
Use detail, write it out, and repeat it as an affirmation several times a day. This combination will help you cement the connection between healthy eating and your core value.
Mindset for lawyers
This is the power of mindset!
To receive your free handout with outlining the 3 simple steps for mindsetting your way to eating healthy for lawyers, click here.