Pat Divilly: How 14 Days can change your mindset
“We underestimate what small changes can do over time”
In life, it is our habits that determine our results. Nurturing empowering habits can help us to feel and perform better, all of which leads back to our own happiness.
While there are many things we can do to improve ourselves, working on our nutrition, our mindset and our environment can be a great place to start. It can also have a snowball effect, helping other areas of our life along the way.
Pat Divilly is an author, podcaster, coach and wellness advocate who travels the length and breadth of the country speaking about the power of mindset and motivating people to #lifetheirbestlife.
“We underestimate what small changes can do over time, but these are simple and shouldn’t take up very much time in your day,” says Pat. “Done consistently over two weeks, people should see an initial effect and an initial change and that should give them the confidence to peruse it going forward.”
Pat, in collaboration with Udo’s Choice, is inviting the nation to ‘upgrade your mindset with a 14-day challenge’ and is offering tips and guidance on mindset, nutrition and environment in a booklet that is now available free in Pharmacies and health stores nationwide.
We spoke to Pat about the key takeaways from the challenge and asked for a few tips to get you started.
Starting with nutrition, Pat says the food we eat has a major affect on how we feel.
“I came from a fitness background for 10 years. Getting into it, I thought training was the be all and end all, but as you get older you start to see the importance of nutrition. Of all the clients I worked with, the ones who got involved with the nutritional side of things were the ones who were seeing a difference.”
“We are what we eat. When we’re not eating well, we’re often not feeling well. In terms of how we perform in general, whether it’s work or anything else, that comes down to our feelings and our energy. So, food is obviously looking after your energy and the mindset side of things is more about how you feel.”
Taking all that into consideration, he says that being conscious of your nutrition and keeping it simple is key to a healthy lifestyle.
“I always talk about going back to the diet your grandparents would have had, so keeping it simple and getting rid of additives and preservatives. Sticking to real food that comes from the ground or comes from a farm. Stick with that 80pc of the time and then letting yourself eat away the other 20pc with whatever you want.”
“Water intake is a big thing. 70pc of your body is made from water and a lot of us are going around dehydrated. Everyone is different but about one litre per 30kg body weight is the ideal amount. So, if the average person is between 60-90Kg body weight, they’d be looking at two to three litres of water per day. I think that’s a pretty fair rule. Anywhere between two to four is a good gauge. I would also suggest getting the water in first thing in the morning before anything else because we’re dehydrated at that point.”
Becoming curious about the affect nutrition has on your body, rather than feeling guilty, is important for maintaining a heathy relationship with food.
“I’d be a big proponent of there’s no good food or bad food. People talk about good food and bad food, and then when people eat a ‘bad food’ they feel bad about themselves. It’s quite judgemental. I would encourage people to slow down a little bit and just ask yourself how did that food make me feel? If we eat a lot of processed foods we don’t sleep as well, that’s a signal to maybe change something. Try to take the judgement out of it and become curious around it instead.”
“Fats were shunned for a long time, people became fearful of them. But the reality is fats are essential for hormonal production.”
Omega 3s are also essential for normal brain and heart function. Research has shown that they can help vision too.
“When you break nutrition down to its most simple, you’ve got amino acids which are proteins, you’ve got vitamins and minerals which come from your vegetables and you’ve got your essential fatty acids which come from your omegas, ” explains Pat. “That’s effectively what your body needs. But then a lot of us are taking in a lot of sugar and processed foods that actually lack in these amino acids and minerals.”
Pat’s starter nutritional tips for two weeks to a better mindset:
- Aim for two litres of water a day (Drink your first ½ litre first thing in the morning)
- Follow the 80/20 rule
- Stick to whole foods
- Avoid processed food as much as possible
- Aim for a serving of healthy fat with one to two of your meals per day – that could be nuts, seed, oily fish or Udo’s Choice Omega 3,6 and 9 Oil (one tablespoon per 25kg of body weight per day)
- Check out the Udo’s Oil 14 Day Challenge booklet in health stores and pharmacies for more of Pat’s tips.
Making self-care a priority is key to upgrading our mindset according to Pat. Having a positive mindset directly impacts our goals and even makes achieving them more possible.
“Working in the fitness industry with so many people, I came to see the difference between someone who would succeed and someone who would struggle. It was effectively down to the way they were talking to themselves internally. So, their stories about themselves and about the world, their beliefs and their thoughts.
“The beliefs we have will dictate our decisions subconsciously, so for example, if someone believes that they’ve got ‘bad genetics’ for weight loss, it’s going to be very hard for that person to stay consistent with losing weight.”
Where can we start?
“The first point on mindset, is to slow down a bit. We live a very fast paced life and when you’re on the treadmill it’s very hard to see what’s actually happening with some perspective. You can get stuck in the busyness and the noise, so when you slow down sometimes it can feel uncomfortable.
“We’re so conditioned to be on all the time, but I think you start to notice patterns of thoughts and feelings that come up when you slow down and that’s the start of having awareness around the stories that are running your life.”
“How I describe it is, when you’re very busy and immersed in the busyness of life, it’s like being in a movie and you’re just the actor in the movie. When you slow down a little bit, you get to step away from the set and be the director that says ‘well, this isn’t working’ and you can start to make changes.
“It’s kind of like when you give a friend advice, you’ve got a bit of perspective because you’re not completely immersed in the situation, you tend to give good advice. But then when it’s yourself, you can overthink things.”
Martin Seligman is a pioneer of positive psychology, and someone Pat has taken inspiration from.
“The father of popular psychology was a guy called Martin Seligman. He did this study over 15 days where he had participants track three new things they were grateful for every day and at the end of the 15 days 95pc of them reported feeling better in themselves and feeling happier.”
“When we’re comparing ourselves, particularly through social media, we tend to see what we don’t have, what’s not working or what other people are better at. Gratitude is just a case of turning the lens around and looking at what’s working really well in life, what have you got and what can you be grateful for. It could be as simple as, ‘ok well I don’t have a flat tummy, but I do have food on my table, coffee in my press and great people around me.’ It’s about looking for the good and retraining ourselves to catch the positive.”
Pats starter self-care tips for two weeks to a better mindset:
- Start small, 15 or 20 minutes a day of conscious self-care
- Go for a walk, meditate, do some yoga, anything that gets you into the present moment. It’s different for everyone
- Give yourself a bit of time without your phone in the morning. Try to leave your mobile phone off for the first 30 minutes of the day, if you can. (“We joke that people let a thousand people into their bedroom before they’ve even left the room, by switching the phone on. You’re jumping into a lot of other people’s worlds before you jump into your own.”)
- Try and give yourself a digital detox for 20 minutes later on in the day – “where there’s no noise coming in, so you can listen to the voice that’s already in you that has the answers.”
The last area that we can work on to make changes to our mindset is our environment. The places we spend most our time should be set up in such a way that they help us to achieve our goals.
“I heard a quote a couple of years ago that I think is quite strong. It said something to the effect of ‘environment will always trump willpower’. It basically means, if there’s wine in the house and you’re trying to give up alcohol, get rid of that wine. Otherwise you’re going to be fighting yourself every day.”
“We spend most of our time in a handful of places, whether it’s the office or the car or the house. So, what you see in your environment and what surrounds you is important.
“There are a couple of things that show what’s important to you in life. Your bank statement shows where you spend your money, that gives an idea of what’s important in life. What’s in your calendar will show what’s important in your life, and then what is in your space. If I’ve got healthy food and maybe some exercise equipment or incense and candles in my environment, it kind of suggests that I am prioritising self-care.”
“It’s that idea of decluttering. A lot of us have bigger houses now. I think most people have a house that’s too big for them. They say that rather than buying stuff for function anymore, we buy stuff just to fill the space. That clutter is almost like the clutter that we have in our minds.”
“Consider your goals. Whether it’s career or fitness or anything else and put things in your environment that will support those goals and keeps you true to them. That could be a whiteboard in your kitchen that has your meal plan on it or it could be a little poster on your bedroom wall that has your career goals.”
“Notice the media you are consuming and whether it’s making you feel good about yourself or like you’re not good enough. Are you listening to the radio or are you listening to an inspiring podcast or music the inspires you? Are you watching feeds on social media that upset you and depress you or are you watching feeds that make you see what’s possible.”
“In the same way we consume food, we consume information. You don’t just eat the food and it disappears. Your body has to digest it. When you take on information, your psyche has to digest it. That’s why some people can have a nightmare after watching a horrible film. Putting some good seeds in there, can germinate in a good way.”
Pats starter environment tips for two weeks to a better mindset:
- Audit your environment - go through your car, house and office and see if there are some subtle shifts you can make that can support you. e.g. Keep gym gear in the car at all times so it’s there if you need it
- Remove things that are going to make achieving your goals harder – e.g. junk food in the house or distractions on your desk
- Be conscious of the media you consume
Pick up your free ‘Upgrade Your Mindset 14 day Challenge’ booklet in health stores and pharmacies, or visit the Udo’s Choice website to find out more.