Onramp Week 1
Your habits over time are who you are. That’s it- no mystery at all. People ‘say’ they’re committed to all sorts of things but I’ll tell you what– show me a man’s checkbook and his calendar and I’LL TELL YOU what his priorities are. Successful people have habits that unsuccessful people do not. Fit people have habits that unfit people do not have. The beauty of it is that you get to choose your habits, and you can develop them over time with practice. The only question is, who do you want to be? Draw me a picture.What kind of body do you want? What kind of career? What kind of social life?
A habit is an automatic behavior, a routine that can be done with our brain on autopilot- no effort whatsoever. The routine starts with a cue, and ends with a reward. If your habit is biting your nails for instance, the cue may be stress, the routine is the biting, and the reward is a small release of tension.
It’s VERY IMPORTANT to understand that the reward is ALWAYS a feeling, and emotion, and not a thing. If your cue is stress, and your routine is to eat a associated with the donuts–a sugar high, in this case.
And another thing that it’s VERY IMPORTANT to understand is the Golden Rule of habit change: it is nearly impossible to extinguish a habit, and entirely possible to change the routine. So in the nail-biting example, you would change the routing from nail-biting to something else that releases tension. Since I’m a fitness guy, I would say replace nail-biting with pushups, but whatever works, works.
That’s really all you need to know about habits to change them. Want to form a new habit? Want to change a habit? Figure out the cue, notice the routine and figure out a replacement, and make sure to keep the reward, the feeling you get from carrying out the routine, intact in some way or another.
Creating a new habit is similar, except you have the opportunity to start from scratch. Create a cue, figure out the routine, and give yourself a reward. Want to be an early riser? Set your alarm (alarm going off = cue), find your routine (getting out of bed without hitting snooze) and give yourself a good reward (the peaceful feeling of sitting quietly with a cup of coffee and a newspaper for 15 minutes). That will lock your habit in.
Another key to habit changes it to repeat it day after day for about 30 days.
Want to make it to our morning class? Set your alarm, have your clothes laid out the night before to simplify your routine, then show up to class. Your reward could be a protein shake after class, although you’ll find that class is a reward all by itself.
We’re experts in habit change and re-routes. You don’t need to learn a thing. JUST SHOW UP and we’ll take care of the rest.
This post on habits is part of my free Onramp Program, a weekly post to get you prepped for my 8-week Full Body Transformation personal training program, which starts January 1st. Reserve your spot now and get 20% off, plus an additional 15% thru the end of October with the promo code ‘justshowup’.
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