I’m not talking about Max and Paddy’s famous quote from Phoenix Nights.


Talking about something called ‘Psychological distance’.


We’ve all seen it action.


We’ve said we’re not going to drink at a party in a few weeks and it’s an easy decision you’re confident of sticking with.


But as the day approaches you feel like it more and more.


And you end up drinking.


Or you’ve agreed to some extra work in a few months.


And feel very differently about it as it draws near.


Brain scans show that the ‘further’ away something is the more the ‘cool system’ parts of the brain are activated and used to consider it.


The bits of the brain that have developed relatively recently (in evolutionary terms).


The bits that can make rational, long sighted decisions.


The closer something gets the more the ‘hot system’ kicks in.


The older bits of the brain that make the more primal, basic decisions.


The more impulsive, ‘here and now’ type decisions we make.


The ones that would have saved us when the Sabre Toothed Tiger attacked.


And it’s not just ‘distance’ in time.


It can be ‘Space’ (near versus far) – making a decision about something you’ll be doing on holiday in another country.


Or ‘Social’ (self versus stranger) – deciding whether someone else should or should do something.


Or ‘Certainty’  (definite versus hypothetical) – thinking that cake might make you gain weight or that it definitely will.


Imagine if I asked you if someone you don’t know in another country who is unhappy with their weight should order that pizza that will definitely make them fatter and more unhappier?


A very easy “No” I should imagine.


So, that’s the trick.


When faced with decisions related to your health……..


You know, what food and drink to buy and to eat……..


Whether or not to exercise, etc.


Try thinking of it ‘further away’.


If you’re not fancying going for that workout, ask yourself “Should some French guy who is unhappy with their body go for a workout a month on Tuesday?”


Even just one of the ‘distances’ makes a difference.


When you’re doing your weekly shop and you’re tempted to add some crap into the trolley ask “Would I do this next weekend?”


Literally stop to make the conscious effort to think of the decision in a more ‘distant’ way.


Different parts of your brain will kick in.


Brain scans shows this to be true – not just our opinion.


Try it and see how you get on 🙂



Much love,


Jon ‘I know a pissed horse when I see one. Get it a kebab’ Hall and Matt ‘You wanna try and get an Alsatian to testify?’ Nicholson


P.S. Spaces for the find-out-more meeting for the January ’20lbs weight loss’ and ‘Beach Body’ challenges are already going fast. Finally learned that re-joining another gym or slimming club, that hasn’t worked long term for the last however many years, isn’t going to work this time? Come and find out more about how we do it – myrise.co.uk/briefing-meeting.


Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at myrise.co.uk - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.