Create Instant Habits

You can create an instant habits.

new habit loop

It just takes a little motivation and discipline to start. The authors of The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results say success isn’t a marathon of disciplined action.  It is a sprint fueled by just enough discipline to build a habit. Habits are harder to start than they are to sustain. The key is to identify the behavior you need to adopt and then work at it long enough to make it a habit. Researchers at the University College of London determined that, on average, it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become habit. Once a behavior becomes habit it becomes easier and easier to sustain. The researchers concluded that after 66 days, the new behavior became as easy to sustain as it would ever become. I’ll identify the habits you’ll need to adopt and the program will last long enough to make these habits sustainable. To help you form the habit of taking action, we will use a powerful tool called action triggers.

Habits are triggered by cues, which compel you to take action, that lead to a reward that you crave or desire. We can create instant habits using action triggers. An action trigger is a particular time and place when you decide you will execute a specific action when you are faced with a specific cue. For example, a study showed that students were more successful maintaining an exercise routine when they identified a cue, such as working out as soon as they wake-up each morning and a clear reward, an evening of guilt-free TV and another step closer to a leaner you. Food can be a reward, just don’t undue your workout by over indulging. A bowl of fruit covered with whip cream or a half a cup of ice cream will not necessarily blow your caloric deficit, but a pint of ice cream will. Moderation is the key. You could reward yourself with a new heart rate monitor, fitness tracker, a kettlebell or a heavy bag for logging all your food for two weeks straight. You could reward yourself with new workout clothing, a new pair of workout shoes, or having your hair or nails done for completing all your weekly workouts.

Peter Gollwitzer, a psychologist at New York University that has pioneered research on the power of action triggers conducted a study involving student participation rates on an extra credit writing assignment. Students had to write a paper describing how they spend Christmas Eve and submit the paper by December 26th. One group was required to create an action trigger for completing the assignment. For example, “I’ll write the paper, while sitting at the kitchen table, at 6:00 AM Christmas morning before everyone wakes-up.” The participation rate for the group that didn’t create an action trigger was 33%, while the group that created a trigger had a remarkable 75% participation rate!

Your smart phone can be a powerful tool for developing action triggers and habits. The three daily habits that are critical to your success are:

  1. weighing yourself in the morning,
  2. exercising, and
  3. logging your food.

Apps like Strides (information video), Streaks, Fabulous, and Toodledo  help you develop and track new habits. The Strides app allows you to create instant habits by programing action triggers. You can program multiple reminders for each task and the app tracks your consistency. I recommend setting your food log reminder for the end of the day, so you can complete your log and mark the task as complete. Recording these activities will cause you to modify your behavior by making you more consistent. What gets measure, gets managed!

There are unexpected benefits to forming good habits. 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. Sales training guru Tom Hopkins often said “do the things you fear and the death of fear is certain.” When you routinely do difficult things, habit makes the difficult things easy. When the difficult becomes easy, everything else becomes even easier.  Jerry Rice often said, “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

PhD Steel Piers, author, of The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done  recommends you avoid procrastination by doing the worst thing first thing in the morning. Doing what is most difficult early in the day, when your energy and willpower are at their highest, will give you a better chance of success. I agree, but with one important caveat; you need to prioritize your efforts. I am a firm believer in the Pareto Principle that 80% of our results come from 20% of our actions.  Routinely doing what is difficult can become a habit. Habits become easier over time. The habit of doing what needs to be done, instead of what is easy, will grow stronger through repetition, like a muscle. For those that routinely do what others find too difficult to do, life becomes easy. Push forward. Do what needs to be done.

 “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”      – Bruce Lee

Download a few of your favorite motivational videos on your smart phone for those times when your motivation is dwindling. You just need to stay motivated and disciplined long enough to make this behavior a habit. Build your discipline muscle and life’s burdens become lighter. If you can make this behavior a habit you will transform your life. If you want to change your life, take the road less traveled and do what you should instead of what is easy. People that do what is easy live a hard life of constant struggle.

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I hope you have found these suggestions helpful. Could you please Like and Share if you enjoyed this post. Best wishes and best health!

Discipline pushes us, motivation pulls us, but good habits keep us moving towards our goals.

Best wishes and Best Health!

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Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss, but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to take action. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger.

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The book contains:

  • 7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
  • A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limit,  including Alcohol
  • 20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)
  • 3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set point to Keep the Weight Off
  • A Nutrition and Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

Our BOOK The Fat Loss Habit is NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!!! We would greatly appreciate a brief REVIEW. Your feedback is our best marketing tool and it will help us to make a better product. Your review will help other people who want to make a positive change by helping them to find our book.

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Book Introduction

 The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

Could you please Like and Share if you enjoyed this post. Best wishes and best health.

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