“Compound interest is the greatest invention ever.” – Albert Einstein
There’s some dispute whether Einstein actually said that, but there is no question that compounding is a powerful, powerful force.
You know what compounding interest can do for your money, right? Well, wait until you hear what it can do for your cognition. Which is what I want to talk about today.
You need to make some changes in your life, and you need to make them stick.
Hi, I’m Tony Dearing of GoCogno.com, the website for people with mild cognitive impairment.
To Go Cogno is to defend your cognition in a way that that gives you the best possible chance of slowing, halting or reversing whatever cognitive loss you’re experiencing.
It’s the basis of my book, “I Want My Mind Back,” and toward the end of the book, I break it down into the seven basic concepts that I call the Go Cogno Credo. Right now, I’m doing a series of videos where I talk a little more about each of those concepts.
This is part three, where I talk about the “C” in Go Cogno. It stands for: Compound your way to a better outcome.
Here’s what I mean by that. If you hope to change the course of your cognition for the better, you need to make some changes in your life, and you need to make them stick.
You need to embrace healthy lifestyle choices like these, and turn them into habits.
The way to get results is by making small, specific changes one week at a time.
But with health behavior change, success depends on the way you approach it.
The wrong way is the “New Year’s resolution” method, where you set out with the best of intentions, but you fail because your goal was too vague or too ambitious. So don’t do that. Do what works instead.
The right way to get results is by making small, behavior-specific changes one week at a time.
Don’t say, “I’m going to get more exercise.” Instead, say, “Tomorrow, I’m going to walk around the block once.” And then gradually increase from there.
Don’t say, “I’m going to give up soda.” Instead, say, “I’m going to drink one less soda every day and replace it with a bottle of kombucha.” Then you lock in that habit and continue to cut back a little more each week.
These changes may seem small, but they add up. They compound, the same way interest compounds on money you put in the bank.
In fact, that’s a perfect way to think about it.
You’re determined to save your brain, right? So here’s what you do. You open a cognitive savings account, and you start making regular deposits into it.
These changes may seem small, but they add up. They compound.
Those deposits are in the form of small changes in health behavior, that you turn into habits. You earn compounding interest on those deposits, and over time the dividend can be a better cognitive outcome.
In the real world, that’s how successful health behavior change happens. So put compounding to work for you. Commit to the process and start making those modest weekly deposits.
Of course, I go much deeper into all of this in my book, and if you want to learn more about that, I invite you to read the first chapter for free here.
See you next Sunday. Until then, as always, be kind to your mind.
The Go Cogno Credo
G — Grind it out: What “superpower” helps people halt memory loss? Sheer relentlessness
O — Orient yourself toward action: Why the best medicine for MCI may not be a pill
C — Compound your way to a better outcome
O — Optimize for maximum benefit
G — Go with your gut
N — Know your numbers
O — Overindulge in self-care