This is my workout cycle for the next 15-weeks. I wanted to mix things up. I based the program on Brad Schoenfeld’s Max Muscle Plan (with some tweaks by yours truly). It is an excellent book; well researched with practical guidelines and suggestions. I will probably repeat it, with minor changes, two more times before the end of the year.
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”
One of the most potent strategies for reaching a goal is to identify the obstacles ahead of time and to develop a plan to address each before they are encountered. We want to be optimistic, but we don’t want to be a naive optimist. The naive optimist ignores the obstacles in their way and believes that they will not confront any challenges while striving to accomplish their goal. The realistic optimist believes in their ability to accomplish their goal despite the obstacles in their way. They acknowledge and prepare for the obstacles which makes them much more likely to achieve their goal. We want to have faith in our ability to overcome obstacles, not naively believe we won’t encounter them.
Research shows that predicting how and when you might be tempted to break a resolution increases the chances that you will keep it.[i]When you are working on developing a daily discipline, ask yourself: “When am I most likely to be tempted to give in? What situation is most likely to get me sidetracked? What excuses will I give myself to procrastinate?” Once you have such a scenario mapped out in your mind, imagine yourself in that situation, what it will feel like, and what you might be thinking? If we are struggling to form a habit, it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine what situations will cause us to slip off our path, because these situations must have occurred for us to be struggling with forming the habit now. Continue reading “BECOME A REALISTIC OPTIMIST”
A lack of understanding of the fundamental nature of willpower helps explain why approximately 80% of those that make a New Year’s resolution will admit defeat by February. They will look at their list and blame their lack of willpower when they should be blaming their list, and their lack of focus. No one has enough willpower for that list. Our willpower is severely limited, and every demand for self-restraint draws from a single source. Sometimes a single willpower challenge will feel like one demand too many.
Here is What You Need to Know about Willpower:
- All your willpower demands draw from a single inner reservoir that depletes with use.
- The more simultaneous demands you place on your willpower, the quicker your willpower supply will evaporate and leave you naked to temptation.
- Our willpower is highest in the morning and depletes as the day wears on.
- The best use of our willpower is to eliminate temptations BEFORE our willpower reserves run out, so there is nothing to indulge our desires.
- Habits don’t drain our willpower reserves.
Our mission is to help as many people as possible to improve the quality of their lives. I believe it begins with improving our health and appearance. I found this to be true in my own life. Our health is our most valuable resource. Exercise improves our mood and focus. It can lift us out of depression. It has even been shown to stimulate our mind. When we begin to look better, we begin to feel better. I believe a better life starts with the development of healthy habits because that is where it started for me. Growing up as an overweight kid, I lacked self-confidence. Continue reading The Fat Loss Habit – Our Mission