Monday, March 27, 2017

Activate Your Brain

We all want to be able to count on our brains working at an excellent capacity every day, every week, and every year – into the future.  But it turns out that in order for that to happen, we need to take good care of our brains – to fully “activate” them.  This is the topic of Scott Halford’s book, Activate Your Brain, which is based on extensive secondary research. 

Here are my key takeaways on how to nurture our brains so they have the stamina we want:

*Physical Exercise: “Exercise is the single best thing we can do for brain health.  Extra oxygen and renewed blood cells help the brain do its job much better.”  Stanford’s Director of Longevity and Aging, Laura Carstensen, says “there is nothing known to us that can benefit our brain better than exercise.”  And you thought it was only helpful to help you keep looking good!

*Sleep: Problems from lack of sleep “include a decaying brain, decreased memory and learning ability.” It also affects “the executive function of the brain.”  “When we don’t sleep enough we lose our mental nimbleness.”

*Focus the Brain: Halford contends that “one hour of focused time is equal to about four hours of distracted time.”  We need to stop multi-tasking and consider practices like Mindfulness which help us keep the brain present and focused.

*Set Goals: “The brain is a completion machine.”  If we set clear, specific goals and then put our brain to the task we will maximize performance.  Anyone who reads my blogs knows that I set goals for everything.  Learn more about effective goal setting here.

*Hydrate:  Most of us need to drink more water every day and this helps refresh the brain – which is approximately 75 percent water.

*Brain Food: Here are some tips on good foods to eat for the brain from Halford and other sources (see this link): blueberries, fatty/oily fish (e.g., salmon), almonds, vegetables (especially tomatoes, broccoli, and other dark green veggies), whole grains.   

*Brain Exercise: One of the best ways to exercise the brain is to learn new things.  This should always be a part of our professional development planning.

This is a long blog, but it’s one less book you have to read!  Activate Your Brain so you can have the stamina to make a quality Mission Impact today and throughout your life.   

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

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