Imagine if you could go back in time and change a mistake you made in the past. It would probably be beneficial to your life and put you in a better position than you are today! Unfortunately, we live in a place called reality and there is no way to change the past. However, we can definitely affect the now and there are several ways to train decision making so you’re not regretting you mistakes 5 minutes later.
FITLIGHT® Brand Ambassador, Nick Davenport explains cognitive training and how FITLIGHT® works to improve it.
Decision-making is defined as the action or process of making decisions, especially important ones. Now whether it be quick fast decisions or ones we need to think about and marinate on for a while, the brain plays an essential role in this action. Particularly the region of the brain called the prefrontal cortex has control when it comes to decision-making. The better this region is at processing and reacting in the appropriate manner, the more likely you are to make the right decisions.
So where does FITLIGHT® come in? Well, let's break down the anatomy of a decision.
- You're presented with two or more options.
- You have a timeframe in which you must choose one or of those presented options.
- In that timeframe, you take a specified action that will dictate the result of a decision.
- The decision has been made, and you either have made a productive/beneficial/accurate decision or a detrimental/unproductive/inaccurate one.
Let's explore this concept further with an example:
- Decision Options: You're driving on the highway and unfamiliar with the area and which exit to get off on.
- Timeframe: You have about 12 seconds before you pass it, and there isn't another exit for miles.
- Action taken: Using your prior knowledge of navigation and what the GPS gives, you decide to get off.
- Result of the decision: It was the correct exit, and you arrived on time.
Now that we know how decision-making works let's talk about how we can train it. Now like with any other type of training, decision-making can be improved. The goal is to put yourself in a position to make decisions but in a less preferable state.
For example, if you had a deck of playing cards, flipped over two random cards, and asked which one was higher, you could do this quickly. If I were to pick up the higher card in less than 1 second, this could cause more pressure. If the higher card is odd, pick it up with your left hand, and if it is even or a face card, use your right hand. All these added elements play a role in challenging how the decision is made.
With FITLIGHT®, we can take these decision-making variables to a different level! By lessening the time out, varying the colors used, or even how we position the light, we can increase the difficulty of making the decision. The added benefit of being able to vary the problem is that we can measure the efficiency of the process. The average time can give us a tangible measure of how long it took you to process all the given details of the decision and execute it accurately.
This drill involves quick decision-making that ranges from the color presented, hand used or even the number on the card.
Drill requires: 3 FITLIGHTS®, 6 MindBody1 Cards (or any colored card red, yellow, green, or blue with numbers such as Uno Cards)
Participant completes drill in forearm plank position for a set amount of time.
Duration: 6-12 Hits Timeout: 1.5 secs-3 secs Delay: .5 secs-1.5 secs
- The light activates either red, yellow, green, or blue, and the participant then flips any card of their choice over.
- If the color of the card matches the color of the light, the participant deactivates with their left hand, and if the color of the card doesn't fit, they use their right hand to deactivate.
- The participant returns to the plank position and repeats these steps until the sequence is completed.
The client will remain in the plank position during the entire light sequence.
As with any training aspect, overload is vital to progressing. Varying the times or tasks to attend to you can make this drill more challenging. Below are ways to progress from simple to more complex.
To make the drill slightly more complex, you can change the directions of which hand to use to deactivate the light every set. This keeps the participant from getting used to one set of directions.
Lowering the time the participant has to react puts them in a greater "fight or flight" situation. The likeliness of error increases as they tend to overanalyze what to do.
3. Repositioning the Plank
This task requires the participant to recognize the light as a cue to change the position of the plank.
For example, blue can mean changing your forearms' positioning from an upright plank to a push-up position, and green can signal a push before deactivating with the prescribed order of directions. By adding this aspect, you get the benefit of executive functioning and body awareness, as you need to be cognizant of your position.
4. Numbers as a no-go task
This should be done at a faster timeout setting. Here the card number can play a factor in what to do. For example, if the number on the card is lower than 3, you use the left hand regardless of the color. You don't deactivate the light if the number is three or higher. While still recognizing the concepts of the drill, the participant must attend to relevant cues and ignore the irrelevant cues.
5. Adding working memory
Working memory is always an aspect of these drills, but we must stress it more here. While the participant is completing the drill with given instructions, someone can make them remember a series of numbers or words. This strains their cognitive load since they have to use it to do the task at hand while focusing on remembering words or numbers. Once the sequence is complete, they do not immediately recall the words or numbers as they are first given a simple distraction task such as recalling the alphabet or counting to fifty by five. This increases the difficulty before being told to recall the words or numbers.
So, training decision-making is possible, and the FITLIGHT™ system makes it a fun, challenging, and measurable experience that may be different in you winning the championship game, passing a test, or making the right choices on the road.
"See the Light and Get Your Mind Right!"