THE HABIT: Week-2 (Motivation)

THE HABIT focuses on how you start each day; your morning routine. Each day is your life in miniature. As you take control of your morning, you’ll take control of your life. Tiny improvements to our daily routine put our lives on a better trajectory.

Instead of waiting for January 1st to arrive, begin adopting a few small habits so that when the ball drops, you’ll already have built up some momentum. I will present a series of small habits you can adopt each week to improve your life.

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WILLPOWER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

“Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.” Charles Duhigg

FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WILLPOWER

Almost every New Year’s Resolution ends in failure because people don’t understand the nature of habits, willpower, or how to improve them. People make a list of things they will do, lose weight, drink less, exercise more, reduce their credit card debt, and stop smoking.

They will look at their list and blame their lack of willpower when they should blame their list and their lack of focus. Our willpower is severely limited, and every demand for self-restraint draws from a single source. No one has enough willpower for that list. Sometimes a single willpower challenge will feel like one demand too many. “The man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” Confucius

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DON’T OVERESTIMATE YOUR RESOLVE – BECOME A REALISTIC OPTIMIST

“Research shows that people who think they have the most willpower are actually the most likely to lose control when tempted. For example, smokers who are the most optimistic about their ability to resist temptation are the most likely to relapse four months later, and overoptimistic dieters are the least likely to lose weight. Why? They fail to predict when, where, and why they will give in. They expose themselves to more temptation,” Kelly McGonigal.

One of the most potent strategies for reaching a goal is to identify the obstacles ahead of time and develop a plan to address each before they are encountered. We want to be optimistic, but we don’t want to be a naive optimists. The naive optimist ignores the obstacles in their way and believes that they will not confront any challenges. The realistic optimist believes in their ability to accomplish their goal despite the obstacles in their way. They acknowledge and prepare for the challenges, which makes them much more likely to succeed. We want to have faith in our ability to overcome obstacles, not naively believe we won’t encounter them.

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ENVIRONMENT TRUMPS WILLPOWER

“Environment is of supreme importance. It is greater than willpower.” Paramahansa Yogananda

Motivation and willpower are valuable qualities, but they are too capricious to build habits. Any habit-forming strategy that relies too heavily on either is like trying to build a house on shifting sand.

A properly designed environment is a rock-solid foundation for behavior change. That’s because once we engineer our environment, it remains constant. It provides the stability that habits require to flourish. Environmental prompts initiate most of our habits, which is why environmental design is so powerful.

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2021 Strength Training Program (Free Download)

2021 Strength Training Program (FREE DOWNLOAD)

This is my workout cycle for the next 26-weeks. It is ideal for intermediate to advance lifters. I based the program on Brad Schoenfeld’s Max Muscle Plan, with some tweaks by yours truly. It is an excellent book; well researched with practical guidelines and suggestions.

The attached spreadsheet takes all the guesswork out of selecting the proper weights for each exercise. This training program is designed to vary your weights and repetitions from week to week (Undulating Periodization). Your training intensity will ramp up over the course of several weeks in an attempt to set a new personal record (PR). Each time you set a new PR, I recommend you re-calculate your 1RM and reprint the spreadsheet.

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