Wellness Basic Training, Part 2: Tactical Training and PrioritiesAug 24, 2022
What is Wellness Basic Training?
Before we start, I must acknowledge something I missed in Part 1.
I dove into explaining the first step in a course I created for law enforcement.
However, I did that assuming everyone knew that the course existed.
Some of you may not know about this super-duper, fantastic course that can bring more happiness into your daily life!
I will fix that now!
Wellness Basic Training is a 7-step course that:
- Defines wellness and guides you through what that means, and
- It teaches you how to create a wellness training program unique to who you are and your specific needs.
(more info below)
Are You Negatively Focused?
Are you living a life focused on the problems, the disagreements, or the behavior of others? Do you feel that is where so much of your attention is going?
If this is where your thoughts are focused, it significantly contributes to you leading a life where you are very reactive, contributing to burnout and degradation of your mental health.
Is being a law enforcement officer affecting you emotionally and how you relate to others?
Are you a one-dimensional cop?
Have you lost many of the facets of who you were as a person before you became a cop? What were your interests, hobbies, and activities? Have you let some of those go? Do you completely define yourself as a cop now?
Let me be the first to admit that I was guilty of this when I was in law enforcement, and I think many law enforcement officers do when they first start the job.
The reality of being a one-dimensional cop is that your sense of self and your entire identity is tied to a role in which you have absolutely no control.
Circle of Influence v Circle of Influence
You are most likely focusing on your circle of concern, rather than focusing on your circle of influence.
You cannot control things like the toxicity of humans, the politicians, the unfortunate supervisors you work with, coronavirus, or the opinions of others.
However, you can control who you are, your attitude, enthusiasm, integrity, professionalism, and job performance.
The more you focus on the things you can control, the more your circle of influence (the white circle starts to get bigger), and you will feel you have more control over your life.
You cannot change the nature of the job of a law enforcement officer, but you CAN change (or control) how that impacts you and who you are as a person regardless of the job.
For anyone that does not already know this, I am a former Deputy Sheriff. I worked in Alachua County (Gainesville), Florida. I started on patrol, quickly transferred to the undercover narcotics unit, and joined the SWAT team.
SWAT teams repeatedly train in a style of training called tactical training. Put simply that means we repeated specific tasks over and over again so we could perform those tasks without having to think much about them. It became automatic.
Performing tasks in this way become routine, and a routine is a tool that allows your mind to settle down.
You are telling your brain what you do, and the more you tell your brain how something is going to work, the more okay your brain is with that thing.
If you are settled, that means you are not experiencing stress.
Why Habits Matter
Tactical style training creates and reinforces habits.
A habit is the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire.
Knowledge is the what to do and why, skill is the how, and the desire is the motivation, or the ‘want to.’
Why does this matter?
Here is an example.
On January 1st, you are super motivated to achieve your new year’s resolutions. However, we all know the motivation will wear off somewhere around January 7th, or 10th, or the 15th, and before you know it, you are not committed to those resolutions.
So what are you going to do to stick with it? It is the habits and routines.
Habits and routines kick in when the motivation wears off.
Tiny habit changes
It is the little things that you do, aka the tiny habits. Scientific evidence has shown that when you do tiny habits regularly, it significantly affects behavioral change.
This means that it is not about the destination or the outcome. It is not about the process of getting there.
Yes, some of the significant events in life matter greatly, like getting married, having a baby, graduating from school, or passing the sergeant’s exam.
However, finding true happiness in life is not about waiting for some big outcome; it is found in the daily process.
If you are waiting for the outcome to feel happy or joyful, you miss a lot of joy and happiness in everyday life.
It is the daily routine that really matters.
Prioritize you by doing the ‘important but not urgent’ stuff
Input affects the output.
The more that you invest in and prioritize yourself, the more you are positively performing in life.
How do you do that?
By doing the important, but not urgent stuff.
You may be thinking, ‘what does that even mean’?
That does not make sense, right?
Here is what I mean. You have to prioritize time for yourself to help negate all the bad things (listed in Part 1 of this series) that law enforcement does to you.
You can figure out a way to increase happiness by performing regular wellness routines and habits because you will schedule it.
The Four Pillars of Wellness Training
Now that we have discussed 1) the need to identify your starting point and 2) the importance of routines and prioritizing your time, we can begin to dive into what type of wellness activities you will do by identifying the four realms of wellness that compose a balanced wellness training regime.
The goal of Wellness Basic Training is for you to have a wellness training plan that you will implement for one hour a day. That may sound like a lot, but in reality, that still leaves you 161 hours a week, broken down into smaller increments that accumulate into one hour of your day.
Completing routines and habits that encompass the realms of wellness activities each day creates what I call ‘daily victories.’
You are succeeding every time you do it. Furthermore, you are happier when you feel little bits of success throughout each day.
Stay tuned for part 3: Physical Wellness Training.
Wellness Basic Training
A 7-step course that:
- Defines wellness and helps assist you through what it means to you, and
- Guides you through creating a wellness program unique to who you are and your specific needs
Learn what whole health wellness is and devise a plan to start a wellness program in your daily life that YOU create.
Click here for more information on Wellness Basic Training.
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