CREATURES OF HABIT

 

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.

IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how sick are you of setting goals and falling short? Habits are little bits of auto-pilot behavior that get burned into your neurology. They account for over 50% of our behaviors on a given day. Understanding how our current habits work and how to build new ones is essential for making progress on your health, happiness and your life.

Habits aren’t developed overnight and living a healthy lifestyle can be challenging to figure out. With this program, you get to be part of a learning experience that educates you to get the sustainable results you have always wanted. Change can be difficult. Changing your beliefs and behaviors in living a healthy lifestyle is like having a map to the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow!

The more you do something, the easier that new routine becomes for you and the deeper the new habits form. Healthy people are those with healthy habits. You are what you do on a regular basis. Thus, your success is not random, it's simply the sum of your good habits!

BREAK THE CHAIN.

Figuring out why your bad habit exists in the first place is where you want to begin. There is a formula behind almost any habit called the Habit Loop. Every habit has three basic parts:

1. The trigger - the feeling, time or location that triggers your habit
2. The routine - physical, mental or emotional response; the habit itself
3. The reward - the craving the habit satisfies; the prize.

Figuring out these pieces is the first step to breaking your habit chain. Here's how: pay attention the next few times your routine (habit) happens, and try to notice the trigger and reward that caused it. 

Diagnosing your bad habits will help you become more aware. Awareness will transform your habit from an automatic, subconscious routine to a deliberate, conscious behavior that you will be able to control.

GO ALL IN.

The length of time to create a habit varies, but it typically takes a few weeks at minimum. Some habits are easy to build while others require more effort, commitment and sacrifice. 

When you pick a task or habit to accomplish, go all in on it. Harness all your energy and focus on the plan, the execution and think about what you will do to make sure that you will absolutely succeed. 

FORM ONE NEW HABIT AT A TIME.

Motivation gets you started; habit keeps you going.

One of the most common reasons people fail at reaching their goals is because they set too many to begin with. Start with one habit at a time to increase the odds of success. When most people try to build new habits, they try to use willpower. This is the wrong approach. Willpower is like a muscle and gets fatigued over time. It relies on motivation, which ebbs and flows. 

MAKE IT SO EASY YOU CAN'T MESS IT UP.

Start small and chip away at your goals, inch by inch. For example, if you are currently walking under 4,000 steps per day, don't make your new goal 8,000 steps. This is too big of a change. Make it a goal to add 1,000 steps per day and think about ways you will be able to reach that. For example, maybe you take 5 laps around your house in the morning to begin. Make it easy enough that you can get it done without motivation and willpower.

To build a new habit, make the activity as easy as possible and repeat it over and over. If you have water near you, you will drink it more often. To change a poor habit, make your old habits more difficult to perform. If you don't have pop in the house, you're less likely to drink it.

AIM TO GET 1% BETTER EVERYDAY.

1% improvements add up quickly. So do 1% declines. 

1% better everyday:  1.01 X 365 days = 37.78
1% worse everyday:  0.99 X 365 days = 0.03

Rather than trying to do something big from the beginning, start small and gradually improve. Along the way, your willpower and motivation will increase, which will make it easier to stick to your habit for good. If you’re going to bed at 11:30 every night, do not set your new goal to be a new 9pm bedtime. This is too big of a leap. Set your nightly routine back by something small like 30 minutes and slowly chip away at the bigger goal.

BREAK IT UP.

If you continue adding 1% each day, you will find yourself increasing very quickly over a few weeks. It is important to keep each habit realistic, so you can maintain momentum and make the behavior as easy as possible to accomplish.

One of our daily tasks is to drink 64 ounces of water per day. It is easier to break this up in half and try to drink 32 oz in the first half of the day, and 32 oz by the end of the day. The same strategy is wise to do for your step goal too. 

WHEN YOU SLIP, GET BACK ON TRACK QUICKLY.

We are all human. We will make mistakes. We all slip off track. Bad days and bad weekends happen to all of us. Research shows that missing a habit once or twice has no measurable impact on your long-term progress. Rather than trying to be perfect, ditch your all-or-nothing mentality.

You shouldn’t plan on slipping, but when you do, make certain you follow it up with a plan to get back on track. It is more about being consistent than perfect. Focus on having the mentality of being somebody who never breaks a habit twice rather than slipping up once in a while.

ATTACH NEW HABITS TO AN ESTABLISHED ONE.

Simply find a habit you already consistently do and anchor your new habit to it. Leverage the momentum of current success to spur future success. For example, if you want to drink more water, try drinking one glass of water before you eat each meal. Eventually, it will simply become part of your new routine.

BE PATIENT OR YOU WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME ONE.

Learning to be patient is one of the most critical skills to have. We all want results to happen overnight, but remember: inch by inch! You can make incredible progress if you are consistent and patient. 

REFRAME TO POSITIVE

Often, we put our goals in a negative frame. We say we're going to stop eating like crap, stop staying up so late, stop drinking pop, quit smoking and so on.

Our brains don't comprehend negative goals so well. They learn better by working towards positive goals such as "I will start eating healthy". We are more likely to achieve a goal that involves reaching a desired outcome (eating healthy) than eliminating an undesired outing (eating junk food).

Pursuing negative goals is associated with feelings of incompetence, decreased self-esteem and less satisfaction with progress. These emotions deter us from taking action. On the other hand, it's much easier to become excited by the thought of reaching a positive goal, which will increase your chances of achieving it.

So, rather than setting out to stop staying up so late, make it your goal to get better sleep. Or rather than trying to stop drinking pop, make it your goal to drink 64 oz of water.

REPLACE YOUR HABIT

Another reason our brains don't grasp negative goals is because it's really hard to stop a habit altogether. Once a habit forms, it becomes subconscious for us to complete it when we recognize the trigger and crave the reward. So telling yourself you'll stop drinking pop just won't cut it.

Rather than trying to eliminate the habit (which almost never works) the trick is to give your brain a new routine to replace the old one. How? Keep the old trigger, and deliver the reward, but insert a new routine.

Sometime you will need to change your beliefs on how the habit makes you feel or take a leap of faith. For example, did you know that you might be feeling tired because you are slightly dehydrated? Drinking a cup of coffee will only temporarily give you energy via the caffeine, but drinking water will hydrate you and give you long-lasting energy and could take away the fatigue altogether. 

Once you find your new routine, make a conscious effort to do it each time the trigger and craving hit. Since this new habit will fulfill your brain's craving, you won't feel much physical or psychological pushback. The more you do it, the easier it will be for you to complete the habit and pressure soon, it'll become second nature.

TRUST OUR TASKS.

We provide the tasks that promote Metabolic Efficiency and will lead to positive results and feelings. Fill out the Metabolism Assessment every day and turn the tasks into habits that will give you the results you are dreaming of.  

Start with one task, turn it into a habit, and move to the next one. In the upcoming modules you will read more about the daily tasks we provide, learn why they are important, and get tips to help integrate them into your new, healthy regimen.