Day 43--Writing Your Script

Welcome to Day 43!




Writing Your Script


If you were to write a Hollywood blockbuster, what would your steps be?

First, you’d make an outline and decide how you want the story to end.

Then, you’d jump in and start filming.  

Oh, wait. I forgot about the script!

What if that’s how filmmakers made movies? They just grabbed their favorite stars, told them a story, and then told the stars to wing it.  

“What do you need a script for? You know how the story is supposed to go. Now do it.” 

How do you think that film would turn out?  

Pretty sure it would be a box office bomb.

The stars might get the point across with improvisation, but it wouldn’t be very smooth, they’d forget stuff, and there’d be a lot of do-overs.

Writing Your Script with a Plan

And, that’s what it’s like if you don’t do a weekly and daily plan for your health and weight loss habits and goals.

It’s like a movie without a script.

It won’t go as smoothly and there’d be a lot of mess-ups and do-overs. 

Just getting by on habits, rules, and strategies is possible, but think how much better it would be if there was a script or plan for your days and weeks.  

A schedule or plan allows your days to unfold smoothly and polished. And, you’ll get to your goals faster and in a more enjoyable way.

So, this week we’ll learn why planning works and how to do it.

Planning and Your Brain

Meanwhile back in the Assistant Retraining Program…

The Boss part of your brain is in charge of plans.  She decides what she wants for the future and lays a plan to get there. But, she’s only in charge when you think about the future.  

When it comes to who’s in charge in the present, it’s usually the Assistant. And, that’s where most of your problems stem from when trying to reaching your goals.  

Researchers have done experiments where they told people to make a shopping list for what they’d buy in a week versus what they’d buy for now. And it wasn’t pretty.  

The shopping cart a week from now was filled with fruits and veggies whereas today’s shopping cart was full of chips and snacks. 

Get the Boss in Charge with a Schedule

The Assistant is in charge of the present. And, we all know what she’s like.  She wants pleasure, to avoid pain, and to be lazy.  

But, there’s a way to hack that power structure and get the boss in charge of the present--Get the Boss to make a plan and then teach the Assistant to follow it.

This will help you to avoid a significant amount of willpower problems.

Schedule Happiness

When people have down time, they tend to do what is easiest (like scrolling through social media or watching TV) rather than what actually makes them happiest.

The Assistant will go to default downtime habits (which are often social media, scrolling on your phone, or watching TV) when you’ve got freetime.

But, by scheduling play and connection, you can make sure that when downtime rolls around you do what matters (even the fun stuff).

Stress Less with a Plan

In addition, planning (by writing down) what you have to do tomorrow helps you to relax and stress less. 

The Assistant is continually scanning the environment to make sure that you are taking care of all threats. That includes stuff that you’re concerned about and you’re afraid you may forget. 

She’ll remind you like 5 times in a night about something (like rescheduling a doctor’s appointment). This is called a rehearsal loop which causes you to worry and keep remembering it.  

When you write down your thoughts and make a plan for tomorrow, this switches off that rehearsal loop (and you can forget about calling your doctor until a time when her office is actually open). 

Planning and scheduling is an essential piece to retraining your brain.  

Planning Benefits

Planning allows you to 

  1. See potential problems and plan around them, so you always reach your goals. 

  2. Keeps you from having to make decisions when your energy is low and temptations are high. 

  3. Fit your schedule to work with your energy levels and natural circadian rhythm patterns (early bird or night owl).  

  4. Set-up and prepare beforehand (like meal prep) to help make the healthy choice the lazy choice.

  5. Get better over time--be a scientist and do more of what works and come up with a plan for what doesn’t.

  6. Schedule connection and fun activities that are important for a happier life.

  7. Worry less and decrease your stress because you have a plan.

How Planning Works 

Reverse Engineer your Goals

Planning is basically reverse engineering, which is when you identify your end goals and then work backward to see what you need to do each day, week, month, and year to get there.

So, planning helps you to reach your goals by helping you figure out what habits, rules, and strategies you need and how to actually fit them into your day and week. With a plan, you stop being a victim of your circumstances and gain control of your schedule.

Teaches the Assistant to Do What the Boss Says

However, the most important thing that planning allows you to do is to teach the Assistant to do what the Boss says.  

When it comes down to it, if I don’t make a plan for exercise it won’t happen. And, after a long day working, I don’t want to decide what to make for dinner.  And after a stressful day, I really shouldn’t decide if its dessert day (because it will always be dessert day).  

I want to offload those willpower issues and decisions to the Boss instead of my Assistant by planning ahead.  I want to decide something in my weekly planning session and then follow through.  

Tomorrow we’ll talk about the 10 things to keep in mind when making a plan.

Mission Freedom!