EXERCISE IS A KEYSTONE HABIT

Morning movement puts your body and brain in a good place. It improves your mood for hours. Why not start the day feeling fantastic. Even a mini-workout will elevate your state and build your confidence. I keep a 35-pound kettlebell in my living room, so I can perform a mini-workout whenever I need to re-energize. My standing desk is in our home gym, so I can grab an exercise snack whenever the mood hits me. 

Exercise is one of the few good habits that produce immediate gratification. I usually suggest people begin their fat loss journey with exercise, not because I think it is the most effective at reducing body weight because it isn’t, but because daily exercise is a keystone habit that leads to a whole host of beneficial habits, like eating better, sleeping more, decreased alcohol consumption, and a reduction in smoking. Australian researchers, Megan Oaten and Ken Cheng found that healthy habits lead to significant improvements in a wide range of regulatory behaviors such as less impulsive spending; better dietary habits; decreased alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine consumption; and fewer hours watching TV.[i]  Continue reading EXERCISE IS A KEYSTONE HABIT

A Simple Habit that will Influence the Spirit of Your Day

Did you know that you can influence the spirit of your day during the first few minutes after waking? During those first 20minutes, your mind is transitioning from the low 47 cycles per second (Hz) your brain operates during light sleep to the higher, 1230 Hz that is your normal waking state of consciousness. In this state, your subconscious mind is most impressionable. Have you noticed that how your day begins tends to carry over into the rest of your day? This simple habit has dramatically increased my percentage of good days.  Continue reading A Simple Habit that will Influence the Spirit of Your Day

Big Change triggers Big Resistance

“Change is hard because people wear themselves out. And that’s the second surprise about change: What looks like laziness is often exhaustion.” Chip Heath[i]

When it comes to adopting new habits, the best advice is to always start small. Avoid the BIG Mistake most people make – that is starting BIG. Big change triggers big resistance. In a phenomenon called subjective fatigue, our mind looks ahead, estimates the work, and becomes exhausted. It is the reason so many people never get started, or if they do, they quit after a few weeks. Start small, establish the habit, then build on it. Very few people can power through the initiation phase, beginning with a big commitment – using sheer determination. In this scenario, the Rider is trying to overcome the two-ton Elephant resistance through brute force. Unless you are exceptionally motivated or have a vast resource of willpower to pull from, you will eventually fail. Continue reading Big Change triggers Big Resistance

Motivation is an Ineffective Habit-Forming Strategy

Motivation is an ineffective strategy for forming habits. First, it depends on our emotional state. Emotions are difficult to regulate, and consistency is an absolute necessity for habit formation. Repetition is the language of our basal ganglia, where all habits reside. Another reason motivation is a terrible strategy for developing habits is that it decreases over time. We don’t build motivation through repetition; we dilute it.  Continue reading Motivation is an Ineffective Habit-Forming Strategy

Accomplish More with Mini Habits

If you read for five minutes each day, you would read approximately ten books a year. That is more than double the median number of the books the average American read last year. That is ten more books than the 27% of Americans who admitted to not reading a single book in the past year.[i] Assuming you were never motivated to read more than five minutes each day, in ten years, you would still have read 100 books and amassed a small library. Every time you looked at your library, you could take pride in the knowledge that you have read all the books in it – and all it took was a five-minute a day commitment.  Continue reading Accomplish More with Mini Habits