FIVE RULES FOR BEHAVIOR CHANGE

The Four Laws of Behavior Change developed by Atomic Habits’ author James Clear is designed to encourage good habits by reinforcing each component of the habit loop:

Cue: Make it Obvious
Craving: Make it Attractive
Routine: Make it Easy
Reward: Make it Satisfying

He reverses these four laws to break a bad habit. Make the Cue invisible, the Reward unattractive, the Routine harder to do, and the Reward unsatisfying. He does a fantastic job of providing practical suggestions for changing your habits.[i] James Clear’s book complements Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. The Power of Habit helps us understand habits, but it isn’t a manual for behavior change. Atomic Habits answers that need. I have a narrower focus; combining behavioral science with exercise science to transform your body. Continue reading FIVE RULES FOR BEHAVIOR CHANGE

USE THE REFUSAL FRAMEWORK TO REINFORCE YOUR IDENTITY

“A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words in a book or newspaper, the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt.” -Mark Twain

Have you ever told someone you can’t have a piece of cake because you’re on a diet or can’t go to lunch because you must go to the gym? If you answered in the affirmative to either of these questions, you are probably patting yourself on the back, but what if I told you that the language used in these examples is weak? Confused? Don’t be.

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IDENTITY EMERGES FROM OUR HABITS – BECOME A MODERN-DAY SPARTAN

Our identity emerges from our habits. Our actions are not a product of our character. Instead, our character is a manifestation of our habits, or as Aristotle more eloquently stated, “We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.” Repeated actions create our identity the same way a bricklayer builds a structure, one brick at a time, stacked one upon another. Each action by itself is inconsequential, but together, they make us who we are. Continue reading IDENTITY EMERGES FROM OUR HABITS – BECOME A MODERN-DAY SPARTAN

WHY HABITS CAN BE DIFFICULT TO CHANGE – BUT DON’T HAVE TO BE

“Most people are in favor of change, as long as they can continue to do things the same as they always have.”

-Bill Phillips

What you are going to learn:

  1. Why Habits are so powerful and potentially dangerous
  2. The four components of the habit loop
  3. How a better understanding of habits can help us improve them
  4. Why it is a mistake to blame our willpower

Change is difficult, but we are all capable of change. Our lives are continually changing, learning to drive, marriage, babies, new job responsibilities, and new technological tools. Initiation is the most challenging phase because it is mentally exhausting. Learning a new skill requires our cerebral cortex to do the heavy lifting, but as the new task becomes routine, the more resilient basal ganglia take over. The action becomes easier and easier. Our conscious brain goes on autopilot, and our actions flow. You undoubtedly experienced this when you were learning to drive. In the beginning, it required your total concentration, but now you can drive, adjust the cabin temperature, tune the radio, and carry on a conversation.

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THE MOTIVATION FALLACY

The belief that you need motivation to take action is going to prevent you from forming any good habits. Motivation isn’t an effective strategy for long-term behavior change for two reasons. First, motivation fluctuates from day to day, and second, it tends to decrease over time. Habits not only fly under the radar of our consciousness, but they also fly under the radar of our emotions. Just like we savor the first bite of our meal more than the last, we tend to be less motivated the more times we repeat a routine. Boredom is the biggest obstacle to excellence. Many people hit the gym for two or three weeks, then lose their motivation to go and quit. They blame their lack of motivation, but it’s the idea that they need to be motivated to go that is the problem. So, if motivation isn’t the solution, what is? Learn more,,, Continue reading THE MOTIVATION FALLACY