90-DAY BOOK PROMOTION (20% off Paperback & FREE DOWNLOAD PROMOTION 19-23 March 2018)

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I want to thank everyone for their support and positive feedback. The purpose of the promotion is to show my appreciation and ask for your continued support (BOOK REVIEWS).

I want to show my appreciation by reducing the price of the PAPERBACK by 20%, offer the KINDLE version for $2.99 (with a FREE Download Promotion beginning Monday, March 19, 2018, through Friday, March 23, 2018. The price of the Audible audiobook is set by Amazon.

You can DOWNLOAD the book’s 20-WEEK PROGRAM, LIST OF EXERCISES (with Video Demonstrations), STARTER GUIDE HERE.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could devote 5-minutes out of your busy schedule to write a BRIEF REVIEW. Reviews greatly increase visibility on AMAZON; without them, our book is invisible.

“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them far apart.” Confucius.

“We are what we repeatedly do.” Aristotle

First we form habits, then they form us; so why not engineer your habits to become the best version of yourself? Our book teaches 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.



We focus on a sustainable lifestyle because if your program isn’t sustainable, neither will be your results.

cover (jpeg) 09.29.2017



We Don’t DO Because We ARE, We ARE Because We DO

If you want to practice more……… Practice more.

If you want to stop eating crap…… Stop eating crap.

If you want to think more positively…. Think more positively.

If you want to sleep more….. Sleep more.

If you want to train more…. Train more.

If you want to be more organized…… Be more organized.

If you want to wake-up early…… Wake-up early.

If you want to be more disciplined…. Be more disciplined.

Jocko Willink

extreme ownershipjocko willinkField Manual

You might laugh at the simplicity of the advice, but you would be missing the point. We become what we do. We don’t do because we are. We are because we do. He explains his philosophy in this short 4-minute video.

jocko willink (discipline).PNG

If you want to change who you are, you must first change what you do. The advice that Jock Willink offers is not complicated. It is clear, concise, and straightforward. I highly recommend his books (click images for links to Amazon).

There are some effective strategies, like Mel Robbins 5-Second Rule which helps you overcome fear and procrastination, but ultimately you must do to become. As she puts it, “You cannot control how you feel. But you can always choose how you act.” Learn more,The 5 Second Rule – Overcoming the Habit of Procrastination

 “Do the things you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” Tom Hopkins

You must force yourself to do something long enough for it to become a habit. Once the behavior has become a habit, it will form your character. We form habits, and then they form us. First, you must act, then you will become. Here are a few more strategies to help you DO MORE and PROCRASTINATE LESS.

Discipline & Procrastination are Habits, NOT Personality Traits



The Habit: Week-9 (Identify ONE Bad Habit, Interrupt and Replace It)

The Habit: Week-10 (Develop Consistency through Accountability)

For things to change, we must change. The great news is we can change. We can begin the process right now. Apply the strategies and begin the process. Don’t let any more time slip through your fingers. We get one shot at this thing, make it count!

“We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do.” Aristotle

 Change your habits, change your life! 

Learn more More block post that promote a bias toward action and the death of procrastination.

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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 act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

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.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss  #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation

The Fat Loss Habit – Book Introduction

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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. 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.

This book is full of change strategies and provides a blueprint for how they can be applied to transforming your body. These strategies can also be used to transform your relationships, build your career, and improve your life. You will learn the importance of creating a sense of urgency around your goal, tweaking your environment to foster new habits, finding bright spots, and generating short term wins to help you sustain momentum. Motivation is fleeting, that is why you will learn techniques to keep you stoked. You will learn how to apply solution based therapy’s miracle question to subdue personal struggles. You will learn how Starbucks teaches willpower to their baristas to produce a first-class customer experience. You will learn about action triggers, and how they are the key to adopting instant habits. You will learn how to use your smart phone to lose body fat, improve your workouts, and create new habits.

You will learn how group norms help US soldiers returning from Vietnam, overcome heroin addiction. You will learn what is often perceived as a “people problem”, is often a “situation problem. It is much easier to change one’s environment, than one’s attitude and behaviors. You will learn about internal struggles between your logical brain and your emotional brain, and how you can leverage their respective strengths to achieve your goals, instead of sabotaging them. You will learn to break the habit of procrastination by applying the 5 second rule. You will learn that measuring an activity, automatically modifies your behavior because of the increased attention it is receiving.

You will learn why you should prioritize strength training while on a weight loss program. Learn how to properly design strength training program, that can burn more calories than traditional cardio. Learn how to build strength and muscle based on science, not bro-science. Learn when and how to incorporate cardio sessions into your routine to get leaner, stronger, and fitter. Learn to prevent normal loss of muscle that occurs during most fat loss programs, which results in early plateau and gaining back the weight lost, and in some cases a few extra pounds. Learn three methods to keep the weight off and reset your body’s set point body weight. No foods or alcohol are off limits. This is not an extreme 12-week quick fix program. Those programs do not often work because they are not sustainable. This program is designed to fit in to your personal lifestyle.

There is a lot of inspiration in the pages of this book. In many cases, real life examples are used to illustrate the effectiveness of the strategies being taught. You will learn how an unwelcome American advisor, with meager resources, and a limited timeframe to achieve significant results, was able to solve the problem of childhood malnutrition for millions of Vietnamese children. You will be surprised to learn that solution to complex problems, are often simple if you observe the patterns surrounding them. For example, a US Military Army Officer, in Kufa, Iraq; noticed that preceding violent riots, protesters would gather at dusk and shortly thereafter food trucks would fill the plaza. After requesting the food trucks not enter the plaza at dusk, the number of riots dramatically dropped.

Most people would agree with the statement that we are the result of the thousands of decisions we have made during the course of our lives. If you are overweight, it is a result of the many decisions you make daily; particularly eating and drinking choices. Your daily habits are what make you who you are. Confucius said that “men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them far apart”

What if I told you that most of our daily decisions are made automatically? The area of our brain responsible for cognitive thought fatigues quickly, and can become overwhelmed if it is force to make too many decisions. This condition is called “decision fatigue.” Many business leaders suggest that you tackle complex problems and make difficult decisions early in the day, when your energy is at its highest, and reserve less complex tasks for the afternoon. Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs were said to have simplified their lives by having their closets full of identical outfits, to avoid having to decide what to wear each day. President Obama said, “You will see I wear only gray or blue suits… I am trying to pare down decisions. I do not want to make decisions about what I am eating or wearing. Because I have too many other (important) decisions to make.”

The basal ganglia, sometimes called our primitive brain or reptilian brain, was once thought to only help control movement; but is now thought to play an important role in how we learn, process emotions, make decisions, and adopt habits. It is the part of our brain that takes over when you are performing repetitive daily activities. This primitive brain, frees our conscious mind from having to make countless decisions we face each day. Many of these decisions are inconsequential. Decisions like which pant leg to put on first, or putting Splenda in your coffee mug before creamer. It is a huge advantage to delegate these task to the basal ganglia, so the conscious brain can focus on more important decisions. Have you ever gotten into your car and drove towards your work instead of driving to your doctor’s office, even though your conscious mind knew you had a doctor’s appointment? That is because your conscious mind was not in the driver’s seat. It was your primitive brain directing action out of habit. What is habit? Habit is an automatic behavior.

Habits are not good or bad. We place those labels on them based on whether they are or are not in line with our goals, objectives, and in some cases, “perception of our own reality”. They are simply learned behaviors. “Bad” habits can be interrupted and replaced by “good” habits. You just need to muster up enough discipline to make the new routine stick. Fortunately, we can change our habits and do it quickly by creating action triggers. Action triggers create new habits almost instantaneously. You will learn more about that later.

Please stop believing the notion you are overweight or unfit because you lack the willpower, have a slow metabolism, your lazy, you do not have time, or any of the excuses we all make. Trust me, I was once an overweight kid. My father was never able to shed the extra pounds, try as hard as he did. He was always overweight, like his father before him, who died of a heart attack during my father’s freshman year in high school. In one of those life changing moments, I decided I was not going to be fat. No one would put that fat label on me. I committed to daily exercise, gave up all sweets, and no junk food. That was it, that was my plan. The only difference between me, my father, and his father before him, was that I decided to change. I was committed to that decision and doggedly stuck with it, day after day until I lost the weight, which led me into a life of fitness and self-awareness. Some might say, it led me to an appreciation of a healthier lifestyle without giving up on what most people were doing.

Exercising was the easiest part for me, I enjoyed exercising. My father introduced me to exercise. He let me use his Cement Weight set in our basement and let me read all his Joe Weider Muscle and Fitness magazines. I was at that age when you love spending time with your parents. He would take me with him when he would go running around the local reservoirs, or through the woods of Brookdale Park, in my hometown of Montclair, New Jersey. I enjoy the simple rhythmic nature of running, which always cleared my mind. I rode my bike everywhere and relished the feeling of exertion that came from climbing up Mount Hebron road, and the rush of going back down at high speeds. I can still remember our dark dank unfinished basement, my dungeon. It was the place where I first pushed and pulled weights, making my muscles get stronger.

Giving up desserts was the hardest part, made more difficult by my family’s love of it. We ate out often and everyone order desserts. It was hard, it was very hard to just not succumb to temptation. Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery was the restaurant we patronized most often. It is still well known for their homemade ice-creams and chocolates. Also made famous as the diner in which the last scene of The Sopranos was filmed. It was tough not making an excuse. I had to ignore that voice that said, “Everyone else is having some, why should I not?” It was rough, but I was resolute. I was not going to be fat. I was going to strengthen my body like the heroes in my comic books. Silly, but I was only ten years old. I did not know what I was doing, but I was doing it. Moreover, I was doing it enthusiastically. Over time it became easier to say no to desserts, and eventually they stop asking me if I wanted any.

You are not doomed to be overweight. You simply need to commit. Without commitment, you will never start. The program will not work unless you work. This program is unique from any other program you may have tried in the past, because it provides practical tips and tricks that make the process of change as easy as possible. The high impact change techniques coupled the books nutrition program will transform your body. You will be surprised how quickly you will burn away fat, and achieve a leaner stronger body. GOOD LUCK!


I hope you enjoyed reading this book introduction. Best wishes and best health!

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Book Available on AMAZON [Paperback, Kindle & Audible Audiobook]

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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 Habit: Week-10 (Develop Consistency through Accountability)

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen Covey

If you have been following this weekly blog, thank you! This week’s challenge is to determine if you have been successful at adopting some of the habits I have suggested or any other habits you have decided to adopt. The best way to become consistent is to track our consistency.

“What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Drucker

What gets measured gets managed, simply means that examining an activity forces us to pay more attention to it. The simple act of measuring and recording forces us to make more thoughtful choices and decisions. Budget experts have found that daily logging expenses can help people cut their spending by making them more mindful of how they spend their money.

The same is true for logging our food. A 2009 weight loss study found that participants who were asked to log their food naturally began to identify patterns, which made them want to do a better job of planning their meals ahead of time; this, in turn, led to healthier food choices. The group that kept food logs lost twice as much weight as the other study participants that did not log their foods. [i]

MyFitnessPal released an astonishing statistic that 88% of people who logged their food for seven days lost weight.[ii] The more you track, the greater your likelihood of reaching your goals. Your progress must be measurable to achieve it, and the act of measuring will automatically modify your behavior.

“If you want it, measure it. If you can’t measure it, forget it.” Peter Drucker.

Activity trackers work on the same concept of what gets measured gets managed. Monitoring your daily activity will automatically cause you to modify your behavior and become more active daily. You will start taking the stairs more often and parking your car further away from building entrances. Each time you hit your daily goal, it generates another small win. Small wins will help you stay motivated.

I think a simple notepad is one of the most powerful self-improvement tools in existence when used to log activity. Logging the activity creates awareness. Awareness is the first step in changing behavior. It is the first step toward transformation. When you log an activity, you become more mindful of your decisions, big and small.

Often it is the small, seemingly insignificant decisions that are sabotaging our success. Eating that cookie in the break room, losing valuable time by allowing yourself to become distracted while working on something important, skipping a workout, or staying up late watching TV instead of getting a good night’s sleep. Anyone of these decisions by themselves isn’t devastating, but their accumulative effects are. Whatever it is you want to improve, your time management, your leadership, your relationships, your business, your eating patterns, your exercise consistency, or your spending can be tracked. Be relentless. Track everything related to the behavior you want to improve. Awareness is the first step toward transformation. Bad habits are the result of neglect. Mindfulness prevents us from mindlessly doing things that are sabotaging us.

 I am a firm believer in Peter Drucker’s management principle “What gets measured gets managed.” Anyone that has ever kept a financial spending log or food log knows that they changed their spending or eating behavior when they kept a record of the activity. When we monitor an activity, we naturally become more mindful of our choices. We automatically modify our behavior and make better decisions. It is so simple to understand, I am always amazed how many people don’t use it to improve their personal or professional performance.

If you really want to change a behavior track it for at least a week, a month would be even better, two months optimal. If you want to improve your performance, you must track your performance. If you cannot track it, you will not achieve it. Everything and anything you want to improve can be measured. You might think some things can’t be measured, like building employee loyalty, but I would argue it can.

If a leader wants to build loyalty in their organization, they could decide that twice a week they are going to visit two employees whose managers say they have been doing a great job and paying them a compliment for their excellent work. She could then inquire as to how they are doing and ask if there are any resources they need, including training, to help them be even more effective. Tracking her consistency would be the lead indicators, and quarterly feedback from culture surveys would be the lag indicator. Loyalty is a two-way street. Showing employees that the leadership values their contribution, and is committed to their professional development is how you earn loyalty.

Awareness is the first step in transformation. If we are serious about improving any area of our life, we need some method of tracking the behavior. You could use habit-forming apps like Strides, Streaks, Fabulous, and Toodledo, help you track and develop new habits. The Strides app allows you to create instant habits by programming action triggers. You can program multiple reminders for each task, and the app tracks your consistency.

Maintaining a checklist is a simple, very effective method of tracking consistency. Sabina Nawaz wrote a great article on the subject for the Harvard Business Review, Break Bad Habits with a Simple Checklist.[iii] The author suggests you make a list of daily habits you need to abandon and the new ones you need to adopt to move your career forward. The list you create must be actionable. If you are overly critical, you will create a daily habit of showing appreciation; paying someone a compliment each day for their good work. Recognizing what people do well, instead of fault finding.

Many people have an irrational dislike for checklists, but their effectiveness is undeniable. The New York Times Best Seller, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, demonstrates the effectiveness of checklists. The author was inspired to write the book based on the amazing effectiveness a 5-point checklist had on reducing death rates in Intensive Care Units (ICU’s).[iv]

The checklist addressed one of the most preventable causes of death in ICUs, central-line-associated bloodstream infections. The checklist reduced infection rates by 66% and is estimated to have saved 1,500 lives in its first three months of implementation during the Michigan Keystone: ICU Project.[v]

What was on this amazingly effective checklist? The checklist included: washing of hands; cleaning the patient’s skin with chlorhexidine antiseptic; putting sterile drapes over the entire patient; wearing a sterile mask, hat, gown, and gloves; and putting a sterile dressing over the catheter site once the line is in.

Many doctors resisted the checklist. They felt it was just another form to complete, and that it would prevent them from spending more time attending to the patient. Some felt the list insulted their intelligence since the items were so rudimentary. Nurses had to be empowered to enforce the checklist because doctors were often the ones omitting a step. Even after the results were announced some still thought it was not necessary, but when asked whether they would want the checklist used if they were having an operation, 93 percent said yes!

I have developed two checklists you can use to help track your consistency. I hope you will accept this week’s challenge and measure your consistency. We become what we consistently do. To be better, we have to consistently do better.

The Habit Score Card (pdf)

The Habit Score Card

The Habit Score Card (Example)

Habit Score Card (pdf)

Habit Score Card (Excel)


“We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do.” – Aristotle


“We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” Richard G. Scott

Until next week, good luck!

We become what we CONSISTENTLY DO. Change your habits, change your life! 

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Best wishes and Best Health!

Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Printed Book Cover

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. 

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.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss #NewYearsResolution #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #FitnessAddict #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #FitFam #FitCouple

[i] Lora E. Burke, PhD, MPH, FAHA, FAAN, Jing Wang, PhD, MPH, RN, Graduate Student Researcher, and Mary Ann Sevick, ScD, RN, Research Scientist, “Self-Monitoring in Weight Loss: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Jan; 111(1): 92–102. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.10.008.

[ii] Mike Lee, “MyFitnessPal Works if You Use It,” MyFitnessPal, November 17, 2014.

[iii] Sabina Nawaz, “Break Bad Habits with a Simple Checklist,” Harvard Business Review, February 10, 2017.

[iv] Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, Picador; Reprint edition (January 4, 2011)

[v] Sandeep Jauhar, “One Thing After Another,” The New York Times, January 22, 2010.

The Habit: Week-9 (Identify ONE Bad Habit, Interrupt and Replace It)

 “First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits, or they’ll eventually conquer you.” – Rob Gilbert

This week’s challenge is to identify ONE bad habit and replace it. Everyone has bad habits because we are both emotional and logical beings. Bad habits exist because we rationalize the behavior with fallacious logic. For example, a person that is drowning in debt will rationalize another purchase they cannot afford with the old standby, “what the hell, I’ll never get out of debt anyway.”

Somehow this logic makes sense to us, but could you imagine Spock from Star Trek saying that, or even budgeting expert Dave Ramsey saying it? Of course not. That is the erroneous logic that created this person’s crisis in the first place. Most crises are an accumulation of bad decisions. Rarely is it one gigantic error in judgment.

Most crises in our life are the result of bad habits. Repeating the same bad decisions until their effects can no longer be dismissed or ignored. The results of bad habits aren’t immediate, so we don’t equate them with the future disaster they will bring about. Habits, good or bad, compound over time; that is why they shape our lives. “Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.” Confucius

Bad habits are easy to form if you aren’t mindful of your decisions and patterns of behavior. At the most fundamental level, PAIN and PLEASURE are the two forces that steer our decisions.  Every motive can be boiled down as an effort to avoid pain or seek pleasure. Our desire to avoid pain is powerful, even more, powerful than our desire to seek pleasure because it is more closely linked to our survival.

Knowing our desire to avoid pain is greater than our desire to seek pleasure can help us to break a bad habit. The reason bad habits form and persist is that we are linking the behavior to the PLEASURE it provides, and not the PAIN of its long-term consequences. Creating a strong linkage of pain with the behavior can help you to end the bad habit.

Negative is natural. It isn’t good, but it is normal. Weeds don’t have to be nurtured. In the absence of light, there is darkness. In the absence of diligence, neglect will pervade. Bad habits form naturally, without any effort. The linkages of pleasure to the behavior form unconsciously.

Diligence isn’t required to link eating a piece of cheesecake to the delight it brings to our taste buds. We don’t have to try to link pleasure to purchase a new tech toy we cannot afford. No, these linkages form naturally. They aren’t good, but they sure feel good, and they are so easy to do.

Interrupting a bad habit requires us to change our opinion of it. We must see it as a problem. We have to link it to the pain it is causing us. We are logical beings. We don’t like when our behaviors and attitudes are misaligned. It causes us emotional distress. The mental state of having inconsistent attitudes and behaviors is called cognitive dissonance.

Our minds seek to reduce the conflict and minimize our discomfort. We have three options for minimizing this conflict between our attitudes and behaviors. The first is to change our attitude. The second is to change our behavior. The third and most effective method is to change both.

Bad habits are natural. They are easy to form, and they usually don’t produce any immediate ill effects. It is easier to change our attitude toward a bad habit than to change our behavior because it doesn’t require any sacrifice. It allows us to continue to indulge in the instant gratification it produces. No sacrifice is required. All that is required to continue the behavior is a flawed rationalization to ourselves; a flimsy excuse.

A lazy worker will excuse their poor performance by saying, they don’t pay me enough to work that hard. They will do just enough to avoid getting fired. They will think themselves clever for getting the most benefit from the least amount of effort. This poor attitude will produce poor results over the course of their career. This poor attitude is born from a lack of gratitude.

Obviously, breaking a bad habit requires us to change our behavior, but we can make the process easier by also changing our attitude towards it. If we can linkPAINto the behavior, it will not feel like a sacrifice. The stronger we can link the harmful effects it’s having on our lives, the easier it will be to give up.

In the example I have provided, the worker could more easily change his behavior by changing his attitude toward doing the minimum. If he associated his poor attitude to poor results, he could more easily improve his attitude. If he equated doing the least amount of work with poor economic results, it would help him change his behavior. The key is linking the long-term effects with the behavior, instead of the immediate gratification. “Do more than you are being paid to do, and you’ll eventually be paid more for what you do.” Zig Ziglar

When we neglect to exert control over the linkages between our actions and outcomes, which are constantly being formed, we allow them to form on their own, at the subconscious level. At that cognitive level, the linkages are always made based on the immediate results they produce, and not the long-term results produced.

Our greatest gift as human beings is our ability to link long-term results to our short-term behaviors. When we fail to make these connections, we are not operating at the highest level of our existence. We are essentially operating at the same level as the animals.

Bad habits are natural. That is why everyone has a few. In the absence of diligence, the weeds move it and take over, but weeds cannot stand up to diligence. The longer the weeds grow, the deeper their roots will be, more determined we must be to rip them out, roots and all. If we don’t change our attitude toward the behavior, it is like leaving the roots under the surface to grow again once we let our guard down.

We must see that bad habit as the problem it really is. In this example, he must make the linkage of pain to that bad attitude as strong as possible. Lasting change requires that we change not only our behavior but our attitude toward the old behavior. In this example, he must equate minimal effort to holding his career back and hurting his family’s long-term economic prosperity. To reinforce the new behavior of doing more than he is paid for, he needs to equate it to new opportunities to advance his career. He must believe a better attitude will produce better results.

Bad habits and bad attitudes are normal. They aren’t beneficial, but they are normal. Cultivating a great attitude and productive habits require discipline and effort. They don’t happen by accident; progress is always intentional. Great achievements are never accidental. They are the results of diligent effort over time.

On the weekends, I typically indulge in a drink or two, but a year ago I developed the habit of drinking every night. It began with me having a drink after a particularly long stressful day at work, then it progressed to an everyday occurrence. What was once a weekend ritual became a nightly one.

Drinking Habit Loop


Clock image by The Clear Communication

At the core of all habits is a neurological loop consisting of three components: a CUE, a ROUTINE, and a REWARD. The cue, in this case, was me arriving home after work, tired and stressed. The routine was drinking a cold refreshing alcoholic beverage. The reward was a sense of relaxation.

When you are trying to break a bad habit, it is always a great idea to let supportive friends and family know what you are trying to do. Not only will they provide a layer of accountability and encouragement, often they can help you formulate a plan. We lack objectivity when we are solving our own problems.

My beautiful wife asked me why I drank. I told her that it helped me to relax and I enjoyed the cold refreshing beverage after a long day. She suggested that I substitute the alcoholic beverage for some Topo Chico with a slice of lime. The calorie-free mineral water would give me the sensation I was craving without the unwanted alcohol and empty calories. An additional benefit was waking hydrated, instead of slightly dehydrated from the previous night’s drinking.

Substitution is a very effective way of breaking a bad habit. Typically, the cue, in this example, me arriving home isn’t something we can change, but my routine can be. We cannot always control the cues and events in our lives, but we can always decide what they mean and how we will react to them.

The most effective substitutions are those that provide similar rewards. In this example, the Topo Chico provided a cool refreshing sensation that helped me to unwind after a stressful day of responding to the numerous demands of my job. If you don’t have someone to help you solve your problem, I recommend you brainstorm on a piece of paper. Jot down the cue, routine, and reward associated with the bad habit. Then determine what new routine can provide some of the same benefits that the bad behavior provided.

Another technique you can use is shaping your environment. In this example, eliminating alcohol from our home would have eliminated the temptation of drinking. I didn’t choose that option, but I did shape my environment by ensuring I always had lime and a couple of cold bottles of Topo Chico in the refrigerator.

Perhaps you want to replace the habit of staying up late watchingTVwith nightly reading. You could shape your environment by setting-up an ideal area to readin. Ensuring that you always have a great book, adequate lighting, a bookmarker, a highlighter, and your journal to capture your notes in would foster the new behavior.

With a little imagination, you should be able to figure out how you can interrupt a bad habit and replace it with a good one. It isn’t difficult, but it does require effort and diligence. It is easy to do, but what is easy to do is even easier to neglect. Neglect is normal. Bad habits are normal. Success isn’t common. Jim Rohn like to say “success is doing what the failures won’t do.

Reading this can potentially change your life, but knowledge isn’t power. Knowledge is potential power. Application of knowledge is power. Execution produces results. Ideation without execution is the beginning of delusion. Reading a great self-improvement book won’t change your life, but repeatedly applying what you have learned until you do it naturally will.

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Thus far I have provided you with the tools, the mechanics of breaking a bad habit, but I haven’t addressed the Elephant in the room. In the New York Times bestselling book, The Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, the authors describe the struggle we all face when we make a change in behavior.

The struggle is between the logic driven part of our brain, the Rider, and the emotion-driven part of our brain, the Elephant. The Rider is weak and prone to overthinking things, becoming overwhelmed by decision fatigue and analysis paralysis. The Elephant, on the other hand, is powerful, fueled by emotions and primal urges.[i]

The Elephant can easily overwhelm the smaller Rider, especially when the Rider is uncertain of which direction to go. Having a plan and pre-deciding what you will do when the cue presents itself will prevent your Rider from hesitating, but you still need to motivate that Elephant.

The longer you have held the bad habit, the deeper its roots. Warren Buffett compares bad habits to chains to light to feel, until they are too heavy to break. But break them we must. Our success in life is determined by our ratio of good habits to bad habits. “Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Interrupting a bad habit can be difficult, especially if you have had it for a long time. You must be mentally prepared for the struggle. It is like the military axiom, the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle. The better prepared you are, the better you will do.

Logic and reason will only get you so far. If we aren’t doing what we know we should be doing, it is because our WHY isn’t inspiring. Our reason must be bigger than our excuses. All actions flow from the head to the heart to the hand. If our hands aren’t moving; if we aren’t doing what we need to do, it is because our heart isn’t in it.

Without urgency, desire has no pull. When we are put in a do or die situation, we tend to do. The problem with most people is that their WHY is so weak, that any excuse is enough to sabotage their progress. If we are trying to lose weight, we have to equate eating that junk food in the breakroom with pain. The pain of remaining trapped in a body we aren’t proud of. The extra 20 pounds we are carrying around. “The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit.” Bryant McGill.

Success is not one giant effort. It is a lot of small decisions made correctly. A powerful WHY will give you that little nudge you need to make the right decision, time after time until it becomes a habit. Eventually, it will become a lifestyle.

“If you know the why, you can live any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche.

Fortunately, after approximately two months, the new habit will be established. Maintaining the new habit will not require nearly the same amount of energy to sustain as it did to form. Motivation is most important when forming a habit, but I think it is important to understand that the herculean effort it takes to form the habit will not be the same effort required to sustain it.

Besides reconnecting with your WHY each day, listening to a motivational video each day can provide a real boost. Cynics will tell you that motivation doesn’t last, and they are correct, but what does? Perhaps we should stop brushing our teeth and showering. They don’t last either. Being a cynic is easy.

Being negative is easy. Don’t fall into that trap. If you make motivation a habit, you’ll become a more motivated person. Motivation is the most powerful catalyst for action. Energy is more important than intelligence. Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied. Keep your motivation tank topped off and start attacking each day with more drive a determination.

motivational video

A fantastic video to get you started is Morning Motivation by Video Advice.

 Until next week, good luck!

Our success is based on our ratio of good habits to bad habits. Change your habits, change your life! 

[i] Chip Heath, and Dan Heath, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, Crown Business; 1st edition (February 16, 2010)

Learn more, Discipline & Procrastination are Habits, NOT Personality Traits

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