“I don’t miss a workout” is a lot more powerful than “I can’t miss a workout.” ‘I can’t is weak. It connotes an external impediment. The phrase, “I can’t miss a workout” implies you really want to skip your workout, but someone is making you. Even if that someone is you, the phrase lacks commitment. It says to anyone that hears it that you are being forced against your will. It makes us feel like we are losing our autonomy. Even if we are the ones imposing the constraint, it makes us feel like we are less in control. It makes our Elephant feel like it is being bullied by our Rider. This will cause the Elephant to rebel when it has had enough. The Rider will be powerless to stop the two-ton Elephant when this happens. When you say, “I don’t miss workouts,” you are saying that you are the type of person that works out consistently because that is who you are. When a salesman says, they can’t give you a discount you might ask to speak to his manager because the salesman is saying the decision is out of his hands. He would like to provide you with a discount, but his manager or company policy is preventing him. Continue reading The Right Words are a Powerful Agent of Change
What you are going to learn:
- Why Habits are so Powerful and Potentially Dangerous
- The Three Elements of a Habit
- How a Better Understanding of Habits can Help Us Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones
- A Simple Approach to Overcoming our Natural Resistance to Change
- Why We Often Blame our Lack of Willpower when it is usually our Lack of Commitment that is to Blame
People often say that change is difficult, and they are correct. Change is difficult, but we are all capable of change. Our lives are continually changing, learning to drive, marriage, having children, new job responsibilities, and new technological tools. Initiation is the most challenging phase of any change because when we are learning to perform new tasks, it is mentally exhausting. Learning to perform a new activity requires our cerebral cortex (“Conscious Brain”) to do the heavy lifting.
As the new task becomes routine, the more resilient basal ganglia, (“subconscious brain’), takes over. The action becomes easier and easier to perform. Our conscious brain essentially goes on autopilot, and the actions flow almost effortlessly. You undoubtedly experienced this when you were learning to drive. In the beginning, it required all of your mental focus, but now you can drive, adjust the cabin temperature, tune the radio, carry on a conversation, and heaven forbid, use your smartphone while driving.
Change is possible, but it starts with awareness. The hardest part of creating a change in behavior is just not repeating the behaviors of the past. Approximately 40 to 45% of the decisions we make are out of habit.[i] Unfortunately, these aren’t conscious decisions. These are decisions our conscious brain has delegated to the subconscious brain. Our subconscious mind controls the performance of repetitive daily activities which frees our conscious mind from making countless decisions each day, which would lead to decision fatigue and mental exhaustion. For this reason, we aren’t mindful of actions we have repeated enough times to make them habits.
Continue reading “CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT WITH THE RIGHT STRATEGIES AND A LITTLE MOTIVATION, WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF GREAT CHANGE”
I am a firm believer that willpower doesn’t work.
Pain is a potent agent of change. Our desire to avoid pain is intense. When I was a chubby kid trying to lose body fat, I was continuously tempted with desserts. The trick I used to ove Continue reading A Simple Trick to Overcome Temptation
“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 author of the Bestseller, The Power of Habit
This week’s challenge is to develop willpower. Willpower is absolutely necessary to our success. It is the one skill that allows us to develop every other skill. We all struggle with willpower, but if we are serious about growing and getting better, it needs to be a daily priority. The great news is that we can all develop it. If you don’t believe you have willpower, we will need to address that self-limiting belief because it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” Henry Ford
First, we will dispel the notion that willpower is a character trait and not a learnable skill. Next, we will learn some strategies to cultivate willpower. Last, we will learn how to reduce our need for willpower by controlling our environment. Continue reading “The Habit: Week-16 (Learn the Skill of Willpower)”