The power of habits is truly amazing. I am reading (well listening) a new book about habits and how they can impact you life. The book is called the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. What sparked my interest in this book was trying to research some info on how I could help people I coach better stick to your their goals and have long-lasting health results. Also the science geek in me loves to find scientific based info! There is science behind why people stick to change and making habits happen longterm so I thought some research could help you. This is one of my favorite quotes from the book as it is really true, the power of habits starts with belief!
Here are a few tips I picked up, which I think could help you. You first need to determine the new habit you want to start. Every habit you have — good or bad — follows the same 3–step pattern.
- Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)
- Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)
- Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)
Reminder + Routine + Reward = Habit.
Here are a few quick steps to get you started:
Step 1 of Power of Habits: Set a Reminder for Your New Habit
It is NOT about motivation. Its about doing it no matter what. This is why the reminder is such a critical part of forming new habits. It does not rely on motivation and it does not require you to remember to do your new habit. It becomes automatic because you encode your new behavior in something that you already do. Making a habit of flossing your teeth is an example of this type of habit. Your reminder is doing is after you brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth is something that you already do and it acts as the reminder to do your new behavior (flossing teeth). Make sense?
Since you are reading this you likely made a goal of working out and eating healthier. One way to do this is to setup a time to workout after something else. Something you already d0! My routine is as soon as I get up, I put my workout clothes on right away (I set them out the night before) and brush my teeth. Then I get my water and preworkout energize in while checking in my challengers, posting to my private premier challenge group on facebook, finding an inspirational quote to share and checking in with our family of coaches on Team Inspire. That takes 10-15 min and by then I am ready to do my workout. Then I shower, make my shakeology and off to work I go. That is how I get my workout in without thinking about it. The plus side is that it energizes me for my day.
Setting up a visible reminder (laying out my workout clothes) and linking my new habit with a current behavior (getting up, brushing my teeth, checking in with the people I coach) made it much easier to make this a habit I have stuck with for over 4 years. No need to be motivated. No need to remember. It is automatic. Think about the system you can make. For example for the days I cannot workout in the morning, l leave my workout clothes where I see them when I get home and I change right away.
Here is a way to start thinking about things you can link working out to…make a list and write down the things that you do each day without fail.
- Get in the shower.
- Put your shoes on.
- Brush your teeth.
- Flush the toilet.
- Sit down for dinner.
- Turn the lights off.
- Get into bed.
Are many of these items daily health habits like washing your face, drinking morning tea, brushing your teeth, and so on? Those actions can act as reminders for new health habits. For example, “After I drink my morning water, I do my 30 minute workout”
Step 2 of Power of Habits: Choose a Habit That’s Incredibly Easy to Start
Small changes lead to big changes. It is SO EASY to get overwhelmed. It’s easy to get caught up in the desire to make massive changes in your life. We watch incredible weight loss transformations and think that we need to lose 50 pounds in the next 4 weeks. You DO NOT need to do this (plus it is super unhealthy!) I’ve felt those things too, so I get it. But it’s important to remember that lasting change is a product of daily habits, not once–in–a–lifetime transformations.
If you want to start a new habit and begin living healthier and happier, then I have one suggestion: START small. In the beginning, performance doesn’t matter. Just focus on becoming the type of person who always sticks to your new habit. You can build up to the level of performance that you want once the behavior becomes consistent.
Here is your action step: Decide what want your new habit to be. Now ask yourself, “How can I make this new behavior so easy to do that I can’t say no?” This will lead to small win. Small wins are essential!!
So start with a day at a time, then move to 3 days, a week, a month. What I love about our workout programs is that we have a schedule that is super easy to follow. It GIVES us a PLAN that WORKS!! With limited time I am loving 22 minute hard corps because 22 minutes is a SMALL ACHIEVABLE Goal for me right now with a crazy schedule. Another reason I also love 21 day Fix/21 Day Fix Extreme as they are only 30 minutes. If you have not look at the nutrition plan with your program, do that now. It is all spelled out and each day is a plan that equals a small win!
Did you know this? The science geek in me loves it!
Many reasons to workout and eat healthier!! Change your life!! I am here to help!
Step 3 of Power of Habits: Determine Your Reward
It’s important to celebrate. YEA!! One of the reasons I provide prizes in my premier accountability groups. It helps motivate people to change their habits. We want to continue doing things that make us feel good. And because an action needs to be repeated for it to become a habit, it’s especially important that you reward yourself each time you practice your new habit.
For example, as you are working towards a new fitness goal, you should tell yourelf at the end of a workout, “That was good day.” Or, “Good job. I made progress today.” If you feel like it, you could even tell yourself “Victory!” or “Success!” each time you do your new habit.
- Eat a healthy meal. “Success!”
- Do five pushups. “Good work!”
- Lift more weights. “Victory!”
Have fun with it! Give yourself some credit and enjoy each success.
Power of Habits: Final Action Step
Take some time now to write down ONE Habit (i.e working out). Ask yourself WHY this is important to you and WRITE it down. Then figure out your reminder, a SMALL Goal and then your reward at the end of week (a new workout top, a massage, a tool you wanted; NOT FOOD). I would love to help you stay accountable so feel free to contact me by email or on my many social media channels below! Want one on one Structured Help? Come join my Premier Accountability Group!
This is a process. The only way to fail it to give up so keep going. I believe in YOU! I hope these tips and action steps on the Power of Habits helped and please feel free to share with anyone else you think would benefit.