Team Up with California Prunes

Expert Advice

Expert Advice

Tips for Reaching Your Full Potential

By Chris DeWolfe, Mental Performance Consultant, PhD Student

“It is important to catch when your mind wanders through past and future, and direct to the present more often.”

Know Your Directions

One of the many challenges in reaching your full potential is knowing what your full potential truly is. In terms of goal setting, it is understood that “do your best” goals do not work as well as goals that are more specific. For example, setting a goal to “run 5 km within a certain period of time,” would be easier than setting a goal to “start working out more.”

Once you know where you want to go, it is important to identify what directions are needed to get there. For an individual who sets a goal to eat a healthier diet, perhaps their direction would be to include eating one serving (40g) of California Prunes per day. In this case, the directions are more controllable and will lead to the overall goal of being healthier.

Long-Term Focus

Reaching your full potential relies on setting aside immediate comfort for a more meaningful long-term outlook. Although junk food often provides instant gratification, it does not help with the long-term goal of a healthy lifestyle, which can be referred to as delayed gratification.

Know Your Why

Another challenge often faced is that individuals tend to focus on what has to be done, overlooking the reason why it is being done.

Rather than saying, “I have to pick up California Prunes,” you can add the why by saying, “I am picking up California Prunes so that I have a convenient, healthy snack to help curb my sweet tooth, while providing extra health benefits to my gut, bones and heart!”

Make Room for Negatives

Part of being “mentally strong” is to provide space for some of the challenging thoughts and emotions many experience from time to time. Everyone has negative thoughts. You can’t really stop them from jumping into your mind. However, you can be more aware of them and change the impact they can have on you. The same can be said with nerves, it makes sense to feel nerves in many different situations, often because there is uncertainty around outcomes. If you do not give yourself any space to feel nerves, the nerves can spiral—which can lead to becoming nervous about being nervous.

Be Present

You can likely think of a time you held on to a past mistake. Many also jump far into the future when making decisions and worry about things that haven’t happened yet. It is important to catch when your mind wanders through past and future, and direct to the present more often. Mindfulness practice is a great way to work towards being more present.

Embrace Challenge

Part of developing confidence is to embrace challenging situations. When you do so, you can learn how to work through it and build confidence that is needed to overcome our next challenge.

It is encouraged to be curious rather than critical following a mistake. Curiosity allows you to look for the information to be better. For example, if we are unhappy with our diet, we can be very critical and hard on ourselves. However, this will likely make it even harder for us to create positive change. Instead, we could be curious about what our diet is lacking and explore the benefits of new, healthier foods.

Mind-Body Connection

The mind and body are tightly connected, which can sometimes make it difficult to separate. Most have heard the term “hangry,” which is when you become more irritable when hungry. This occurs because nutrition plays a large role in our mood. It is also part of our energy system, which can provide the motivation needed to keep moving forward. Eating healthy snacks regularly, such as a handful of California Prunes, can help keep you satiated while keeping the brain energized.

A quick overview…

Reaching one’s full potential is about honing in on what exactly our potential is and providing ourselves with specific, attainable smaller goals to help us reach our ultimate end goal. It’s important to also have a long-term focus, with a deep understanding of why we are doing what we are doing to help guide us in seeing the big picture.

Throughout this process, it is crucial to stay mentally strong and make room for our emotions, whether positive or negative. It is also important to be present and avoid harping on the past or worrying about the future, and embrace challenges along our journey. One of the other most important aspects in staying mentally strong is putting the right foods in our body to feed our mind, as the two are connected in myriad ways.

  • Chris DeWolfe

    Chris DeWolfe

    Chris holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology with Honours, a Bachelor of Arts with Honours, a Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Science with a focus in Sport Psychology, and is currently completing his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University.

    Chris provides mental performance training to coaches and athletes in order to help them reach their full potential. He works coaches and athletes at the club, provincial, and national team levels. He loves the high motivation and dedication he sees from athletes and coaches when it comes to self-improvement. Chris pays special attention to helping coaches and athletes develop a high-performance mindset, which includes building confidence, focusing attention, managing nerves/emotions, gaining motivation, and embracing the many challenges of sport.

    Chris is also an active researcher in the areas of mental health and exercise, and psychological strategies for enhancing sport performance. In his most recent publication he showed how negative self-talk can be interpreted as a challenge to improve performance. Chris has received many academic awards for his work.

Get more expert advice

Read on for important nutritional tips to help maintain a healthy body and mind. TEAM UP with us on your journey to bone and good gut health.

Add Prunes to Your Workout

Try these feature recipes to give you an extra boost of energy after your next workout.