PAIN & PLEASURE -USE THEM OR THEY WILL USE YOU

“Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality, he will remain subject to it all the while.” Jeremy Bentham

At the most fundamental level, PAIN and PLEASURE are the two forces that motivate us to do anything. Every motive can be boiled down to 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.

From a survival perspective, avoiding pain is a higher priority than seeking pleasure. Whenever we experience pain, our mind immediately analyzes the situation and determines the cause of the pain and creates a linkage; the same is true for pleasure. When we experience pleasure, our mind will determine the source and associate it with the pleasure it produced.

Our mind is constantly making linkages of pleasure and pain to our actions. These linkages can occur at the conscious or the subconscious level of thought. What separates us from animals is our ability to exert control over these linkages. Our success in life is dependent on how often we exert control over these linkages.

When we make linkages that go beyond our instincts to do what is immediately gratifying, we make better decisions. Over time these better decisions become habits which produce better results. Success is the accumulation of small decisions made correctly over time. We are successful in those areas of our life that we create productive routines. Our areas of weakness are where bad habits were permitted to take root. Our ratio of good habits to bad habits ultimately determines the quality of our life.

Our minds are constantly linking our behavior with either pleasure or pain, with or without your conscious input. This is critical to understand. Awareness is the beginning of transformation. Most people are unaware that this is occurring, which is why these linkages are so often made at the subconscious level. If we understand these linkages are constantly being formed, we can begin to exert our control over them; if we don’t, bad habits will form. In the absence of light, there is darkness. In the absence of diligence, is neglect. Now you know it is occurring, but knowing is not enough.

We must exert our will over these linkages. We must equate massive PAIN with poor decisions and massive PLEASURE with good decisions. Ask yourself, “what is the behavior costing you?” The more pain you can associate with the behavior, the sooner you will quit the behavior. The association of pain with the bad behavior will help you to stop doing it, while the pleasure you associate with the new behavior will help you sustain it.

Find pleasure in the new behavior. This is crucial to permanent change. Imagine your desired outcome and link it to the new habit. This linkage of pleasure is real, but it is being made at a higher level than our primitive instincts to equate pleasure to things that produce immediate gratification. Ask yourself, “how will my life be better if I did this every day?” The stronger your association, the better; the easier it will be to stay motivated. The stronger your desire to do it.

When we do something that we know is good for us, we need to congratulate ourselves for taking positive action and linking it to achieving our goals. Congratulating ourselves for a job well done; celebrating each small victory will give us a sense of accomplishment. It will cause us to link the activity to the pleasure it gives us. It releases dopamine, which motivates us to pursue our goals and is closely linked to long-term happiness.

Animals act out of instinct, but as human beings, we can choose our actions based on our ideals. When we make decisions based on our ideals, our ideals become in-line with our values. Ideals reside in our head, they are our concept of what is perfect. Our values are our standards of behavior; based on our decisions. Values can be observed and evaluated by others. It is easy for us to say we want to get promoted, but if we aren’t showing up early, working hard, and getting better at our profession every day, our values are not aligned with our ideals. Values have nothing to do with what we say. Values have everything to do with our actions. We cannot fake our values. We can’t fake showing up. We can’t fake doing the work. We cannot fake getting better.

The ability to override our instincts in pursuit of an ideal is what separates us from other creatures. We are able to project and link our behaviors with the long-term results they will produce. For example, the student that links studying hard each day to the pleasure of becoming smarter, earning higher grades, getting into a good college and eventually pursuing a fulfilling career will form the habit of studying hard every day. The student that doesn’t make these linkages will not form the habit of studying hard. They will only link studying with the discomfort involved with developing their mind. They will gravitate to activities that produce instant gratification, like playing video games.

Show me your schedule, and I will tell you what your values are. We beat ourselves up when our ideals and values aren’t in alignment, as well we should. We have neglected to live up to our ideals. We are not operating up to our potential as human beings. Getting better is a never-ending struggle. When we give up the battle, we are forever lost. No one is perfect, but we should strive for perfection if we want to be successful.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

The teams Vince Lombardi coached achieved extraordinary success. If we want to be successful, we should become our own life coach. Praise yourself each time you live up to your ideal. Promise yourself that you will work out every day for a month, even if it is just taking a 10-minute walk; then reward yourself for hitting your goal. What gets rewarded gets repeated. We must motivate ourselves like a good coach or business leader would her team.

A great coach knows when their team is giving their best effort and when it is not.  When a coach knows that their team isn’t performing to the best of its ability he lets them know that it is unacceptable. When a coach knows his players are doing their best, but not experiencing success, they tend to encourage more and criticize less. We should adopt the same mentality. We know our capabilities. We know when we are giving our best effort and when we aren’t. If we are getting better, we should recognize that we are improving. When we start repeating the same mistakes, we need to make the behavior painful. We need to put it on ourselves that this isn’t who we are; this behavior is unacceptable.

When we fall short of our ideal, we need to chastise ourselves for not giving our best effort; for letting our willpower lapse, but we should do it like a coach and not like our worst enemy. Say, “I am disappointed in me, I can do better. I will do better; starting now. Tomorrow is a new opportunity to do better and I will. I am not perfect, but I am getting better. Each day I win, I am one step closer to becoming the hero of my life. Tomorrow I will take another step.” The key is to never give up. There is a victory in the struggle. As human beings, perfection is forever out of reach, but improvement is always within our grasp. Keep striving for perfection, and you will certainly improve.

The higher our standards are, the happier we will be because we are living up to our ideals. The more our values match-up to our ideals the better we feel about ourselves. Nothing makes us happier than progress. For those that are hard on themselves, life becomes easy. We shouldn’t wish it were easier, we should wish we were better. The harder the challenge, the sweeter the reward. The best reward for achieving our goal isn’t the accomplishment itself, but the person we are forced to become in the process. Success is always intentional because getting better; becoming the person that success requires is always a result of consistent, deliberate practice that pushes the limits of our capabilities.

When linkages of pleasure and pain are made at the subconscious level, the linkages focus on the immediate pain or pleasure, the activity produces. This is the low-level thinking that allows bad habits to form. Every bad habit provides immediate gratification. If we allow this linkage to form unconsciously, without thinking, pain and pleasure become our masters. We are operating at the level of our instincts and not our ideals.

When we neglect to exert conscious control over these associations, we become a slave to pain and pleasure. Our feelings control us. We are operating at the lowest level of our existence. We are allowing our primitive programming to control us, unfettered by higher-level consciousness. Allowing these linkages to form mindlessly, is a recipe for disaster. This is how we form bad habits; through neglect.

Good habits are never formed by accident. They are always intentional. Good habits require motivation and discipline to form. We must override our minds primitive programming which results in poor decisions based on immediate pleasure and comfort. The more pain we can associate with poor decisions and the more pleasure we can link to good decisions, the easier the process will become.

In time, the good decisions will produce good results. These positive results will encourage us to keep making good decisions. Nothing makes us feel better than making progress and living up to our ideals. In time the good decisions become good habits. Good habits require much less effort to sustain than to start. We thrive on habits and routines because our minds are not forced to make decisions on the conscious level. Our conscious mind fatigues very quickly when we force it to make too many decisions at the conscious level. Habits allow our minds to make decisions at the subconscious level.

According to Charles Duhigg, author of the New York Times Best Seller, The Power of Habit; 40 to 45% of what we do each day is out of habit.[i] The basal ganglia (primitive areas of the brain) control 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. The great news is that once good habits are formed, the activity will eventually transfer from the conscious to the subconscious level. We only need to exert our willpower long enough for this to occur, approximately two months.

A useful analogy for our day is a field. Our days are filled with routines that represent the crops we plant. We are the farmer. We can plant whatever we want to grow, but if we do nothing, our field will be overrun with weeds. If we want our days to be productive and produce positive outcomes, we must sow the seeds of good habits. Productive habits require care and diligence to grow and flourish. Neglect allows weeds to grow. The longer a habit is allowed to grow, the deeper its roots will become, the harder it will be to uproot it. Even after we plant, we must work to keep our crops from being destroyed by the weeds that will surely grow if we neglect our linkages of pleasure and pain.

Productive habits are formed at the conscious level. After they take root, we perform them like any other habit, but they are always initiated at the conscious level. Good habits like waking up early, working hard, reading, studying, and working out are all formed through diligence. Once these activities become a habit, they don’t require as much motivation and discipline to maintain.

Neglect is no match for diligence. Darkness can only exist in the absence of light. Everyone can remove weeds and plant a harvest. Weeds can only survive when they can grow through neglect. Everyone forms habits and routines. The difference between success and failure is how many of these habits could form through neglect and how many were formed through diligence.

The seed of these habits are the linkages of pleasure and pain with the activity. If we want to operate at the level of our ideal, and not our nature, we must exert our will on these associations. If we want to achieve our potential, we cannot be enslaved by our feelings, we must exert conscious control over these linkages. Use pleasure and pain, don’t let them use you and rob you of your happiness.

Exert your will and break the chains. Longterm happiness stems from taking disciplined action; ignoring our weak feelings to satisfy our cravings for instant gratification. Make linkages based on the long-term results the actions will produce, not the immediate pleasure or discomfort they generate. Better linkages produce better decisions. Better decisions produce better habits. Better habits produce a better life!

Better habits, better life!

If you enjoyed this article, please LIKE and SHARE. Our Book is NOW Available on Amazon!

Best wishes and Best Health!

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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 Setpointto 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

[i]Charles, Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Random House Trade Paperbacks (January 7, 2014).

 

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Focus on your WHY – It is so much more important than your WHAT & HOW

Before we do anything, we should first ask ourselves WHY we are doing it. Our why effects everything. It affects our effort, our attitude, and our determination. If you have a bad attitude about work, chances are you don’t have a good reason; a good WHY for what you do.

The story of Three Bricklayers building a church demonstrates the importance of finding meaning in what you do. All three men were doing the same work, but when they were asked what they were doing, the first bricklayer replied, “I’m laying bricks.” The second bricklayer said, “I am feeding my family.” The third bricklayer said, “I’m building the house of God.” Which one do you think took the most pride in his work? Too many managers only think of monetary rewards to motivate people when they could motivate their employees by teaching them to find meaning in what they do. When people see how their work is making a difference to the company or to their community, it will motivate them to take more pride in what they do. Unless you are financially independent, you work to earn a salary, but I hope that isn’t the only reason you do what you do.

We are good at setting goals. We make them measurable and attach a deadline to them, to avoid procrastination, but we rarely identify WHY we care about achieving it in the first place. Or our reason will be so weak and unmotivating that it doesn’t pack an emotional punch.

If we aren’t achieving results, it is because our WHY isn’t inspiring. Our reasons have to 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.

If we are trying to lose weight, and we say, we’re doing it because we want to get fit and healthy. It isn’t going to happen. Who gets up at 5:00 AM to workout with the goal of getting fit and healthy? No one.

I’ll tell you who gets up at 5:00 AM to workout, the actor that has to lose 10 pounds for their multi-million-dollar film role. The woman that wants to show her ex that he made a mistake when he dumped her for a younger woman. The man who is going to get fired from his job, if he cannot meet the physical requirements of the job.

Without urgency. Without emotional intensity, desire has no pull. When we are put in a do or die situation, we tend to do. When we get fired from our job, we don’t hesitate to update our resume, contact multiple headhunters, and practice our interviewing skills.

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 10 pounds we are carrying around.

We have to equate pain to eating mindlessly; not logging everything on the MyFitnessPal app. We have to equate triumph with a workout completed. We have to equate every little step with the pleasure of accomplishment. We have to connect them back to our goal. We must find pleasure in the process. When We drink a bottle of Topo Chico, with a lime slice, instead of a bottle of beer, we need to savor the taste of it. That is the taste of victory.

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.

The WHAT of things is easy; anyone can set goals. The HOW isn’t complicated either. A quick google search and you will have a step by step process for accomplishing your goal. If you have an internet connection or a library card, you can find out how to do almost anything.

The reason most people don’t achieve more is that they convince themselvesthey are FINE either way. Most people don’t commit because they don’t want to disappoint themselves. Most people say I would love to lose 10 pounds and get fit. I should start exercising. That is what most people do.

Don’t let that be YOU! Do better. Spend a few minutes, right NOW, to write down your why. Not some politically correct WHY. Don’t share it with anyone because that could cause you to filter your true motive. This WHY has to be powerful. It has to stir-up the most primal motives.

If you want to get a killer body because you want to prove your ex-was wrong about you. Use that anger and frustration as gym fuel. Connect with that why every single day so you can stay committed. Decide. A decision is when a desire is married with action. Act now. Cut-off all excuses. Say I AM DOING THIS UNTIL I reach my goal. Do or die. I am not fine being trapped in this body. I am not fine with things the way they are! When you connect with your WHY, you’ll never use the word should. Everything becomes a MUST!

Change your habits, change your life. Good luck!

If you enjoyed this article, please LIKE and SHARE. Our Book is NOW Available on Amazon!

Best wishes and Best Health!

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.

Follow us on Facebook

Book Now Available on Amazon!

Book Introduction

 Print Book Cover 09.25.2017

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 Setpointto 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.

Follow us on Facebook

Book Now Available on Amazon!

Book Introduction

Why you should prioritize strength training, especially on a diet (UPDATED with FREE workout program log)

Basic Workout Program #2

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It may seem counter intuitive, but when you are losing weight, strength training, not cardio training should be your number one exercise priority. When you place your body in a caloric deficit, it is normal for your body to burn a combination of stored body fat and muscle to meet its energy needs, but you can prevent this loss of muscle mass through strength training. The human body has been conditioned to adapt to the stresses place on it by its environment by making it more resilient to the stress the next time it’s encountered. If your body is required to lift heavy objects using all the muscles of the body, on a frequent basis, it will preserve muscle and burn fat exclusively when in a caloric deficit, assuming you are consuming sufficient quantities of protein. That is why strength training should be your number one exercise priority.

A study compared diet and strength training vs diet and cardio training. The 12-week study found that the cardio group lost more weight, than the strength training group (32 pounds vs 28 pounds), but the strength training group had lost a lot less lean muscle mass. The type of weight you lose is more important than the amount of weight you lose. Strength training is the best form of training for improving body composition because it promotes fat loss while building muscle. The study concluded that “the addition of an intensive, high volume resistance training program resulted in preservation of lean body weight and resting metabolic rate during weight loss with very-low-calorie diets.”  If you are at 30% body fat level and you lose 10 pounds, but three of those pounds are muscle. You haven’t decreased your percentage body fat very much. You will look almost the same. You will just be a little smaller, weaker version of your former self. Worse, by losing muscle, you have decreased your metabolism, which will lead to a fat loss plateau.

Q10

If the muscles loss is severe enough, you will begin a downward spiral where your body composition gets worse. Every pound of muscle gained or lost will either increased or decreased you metabolism approximately 50 calories a day. Once you resume normal eating you will likely gain back the lost body fat, but not the muscle. When you lose body fat while building muscle mass, you transform your body by significantly reducing your body fat percentage.   You’ll become leaner, stronger, and fitter. Your ability to burn calories will increase instead of decrease, which will help keep the weight off after your resume a maintenance diet.

Everyone needs to change their belief that cardio burns fat and replace it with exercise burns fat.  It is also important to remember that creating a caloric deficit through calorie restriction should be your number one priority when your goal is fat loss.

Basic Workout Program

I hope you have found these suggestions helpful. Best wishes and best health!

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Book Introduction

_____________________________________________________________

 

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

Best wishes and Best Health!

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See our most recent posts.

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.

cover page done

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.

Follow us on Facebook

Book NOW Available on Amazon!

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.

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

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Make ONE REAL RESOLUTION this Year

This is the time of year where the word resolution is misused by millions of people. We will examine the formal definition. Next, we will look at how it is commonly applied to New Year’s Resolutions. Last, we will examine what it means to go after a goal with true resolve and how you can make this year different than any other year.

I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t think most people actually make resolutions. They make a list of things they would like to happen. They will usually attach a list of actions they should do to achieve it. Should is a word for the underachiever. It implies that your values aren’t in line with your actions. No one does what they should. They do what they must. They do what is in line with their true values.

That brings us to the formal definition of resolution; a firm decision to do or not to do something. The critical word in this definition is the word decision. Tony Robbins provides the best definition of the word decision.

 

“A real decision is measured by the fact that you have taken action. If there is no action, you have not really decided.” – Tony Robbins

A real resolution is when we commit to doing something until our goal is reached. Attaching deadlines to goals is important, to create a sense of urgency and avoid procrastination, but when we truly resolve to do something, we promise ourselves we will never quit until we have achieved it.

When we resolve to achieve something, we are saying, we will do it until. We will do it or die. Sounds serious. A true resolution is serious. We make resolutions because we aren’t satisfied with some aspect of our life. We aren’t going to improve it with a half-hearted desire to do better.

“How long should you try? Until.”— Jim Rohn

This year, we can choose to take a new approach.

 

Two-step process:

1)    Identify ONE Keystone Habit that will eventually produce our desired outcome.

2)    Resolve to do it daily, until our goal is reached.

strides

I don’t know what your goal is, but I have provided some typical goals and the keystone habits associated with them. The best way to improve your consistency is to track it. The Strides app allows you to create instant habits by programming action trigger reminders. The app also tracks completion of each daily task. Recording completion of these activities will naturally cause you to become more consistent. What gets measured, gets managed!

Goal

Keystone Habit

Lose body fat Log your food to create a caloric deficit
Get fit Daily exercise (find something you’ll enjoy doing)
Get out of debt Log your spending
Improve your attitude Create a gratitude list
Become an expert Read 30-60 minutes daily on the topic
Become a better writer Daily writing
Improve your relationship Learn your partner’s primary love language and take one daily action.

You’ll need to read the 5 Love Languages.

Author on Oprah

We often make the mistake of making too many changes at once. This causes us to dilute our efforts and our results. We will do better if we focus on making one change at a time. A large measure of Steve Jobs’ success at Apple, can be attributed to his ability to focus all his energy on one great idea at a time. He realized to produce phenomenal products, he had to narrow his focus.

the one thing.jpg

An entire book was written about the power and necessity of focusing our efforts on one goal at a time. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, asserts that by focusing your energy on one thing at a time, you can live a more rewarding life, build your career, and improve your personal relationships.[i]

Crucial to our success will be adopting the keystone activity long enough for it to become a habit. The latest research suggests it takes approximately 2-months to make a habit sustainable. During the initiation phase of the behavior, I highly recommend you get a daily dose of motivation.

motivational video.PNG

We are told motivation is fickle and doesn’t last. That is absolutely correct, that is why we should recharge our motivational batteries daily, especially when we are adopting a new behavior. A fantastic video to get you started is Morning Motivation by Video Advice. Here are a few of my favorite channels: Be Inspired, Success Archive, Motivation2Study, MotivationGrind, Motivational Videos, Motivation Archives, and the MulliganBrothers. Subscribe to some channels and download a few videos on your phone so you can listen to them when you need a quick pep-talk.

I hope this year we will choose to make a real resolution. We will know if we have made a real resolution if we take immediate action. Take action while the information is fresh and your feelings are strong.

 “Here is the time to act; when the idea is hot, and the emotion is strong. The problem with waiting until tomorrow is that when it finally arrives, it is called today.”— Jim Rohn

If you enjoyed this article, please LIKE and SHARE. Our Book is NOW Available on Amazon!

Change your habits, change your life!

Best wishes and Best Health!

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.

Follow us on Facebook

Book Now Available on Amazon!

Book Introduction

Print Book Cover 09.25.2017

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 Setpointto 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.

Follow us on Facebook

Book Now Available on Amazon!

Book Introduction

 

[i] Gary Keller, and Jay Papasan, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Bard Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2013)

The Habit: Week-3 (Morning Exercise) It’s for the Mind more than the Body!

Q45-B

This week’s challenge is to wake-up 30-minutes early and exercise for at least 20-minutes. Most people that resolve to wake-up early to exercise do it with the vague goal of losing some weight and getting into shape. Those are terrible goals for several reasons. First, they aren’t clearly defined. Second, they don’t contain any emotional intensity, and last, they don’t have any deadline to create a sense of urgency. I want you to wake-up early and exercise because it will prime your mind for peak performance.

This habit has more to do with the effects it will have on your mind, and much less to do with the effects it will have on your body. Most people know that exercise releases endorphin, the body’s homegrown brand of morphine, but what most people don’t realize is that it stimulates the brain.

Regular exercise has been shown to stimulate the production of Brain-derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF), a protein vital to the health and function of your brain and peripheral nervous system. BDNF has often been described by scientists as “Miracle-Gro for the brain” because it stimulates the production of new neurons. Low levels of BDNF is linked to Alzheimer’s, accelerated aging, poor neural development, neurotransmitter dysfunction, obesity, depression, and even schizophrenia. Nearly every abnormal state of cognitive function is attributed to low levels of BDNF. [1] I am not suggesting that exercise alone will make you smarter; it merely primes you for peak learning. After you have stimulated the brain, you need to take advantage of the newly formed neurons and wire-in some novel information.

After exercising, I like to begin each day by listening to an audiobook or reading a book while I commute to work on the bus. I also begin the workday with 30-minutes of professional reading before moving on to my most important task of the day. I purposely avoid checking email because it conditions you to be reactive. I want to start each day working on what is most important, and self-improvement is a never-ending priority. Researchers at the University of Muenster concluded that learning levels increased by 20 percent after strenuous exercise.[2] Exercise improves learning and brain function. Working out each morning boosts your mental and physical performance.

Exercising each morning is crucial to becoming better. If there is one thing that universally makes people happy it is progress. When we are getting better and accomplishing meaningful things it releases dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical most closely related to long-term happiness. When our dopamine system is activated, we are more positive, excited and eager to go after goals.[3]

Other benefits of regular exercise are more difficult to view under a microscope, but we all know that it improves mood, focus, energy, happiness, and creates a sense of wellbeing. There are unexpected benefits to forming healthy 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.[4]

Daily exercise will naturally improve your physical performance and make daily tasks easier. As you get fitter and stronger, everyday tasks become less effortful. If you are consistent and do it every day, eventually you will become fit. I don’t know how long it will take for you to become fit, but you will become fit. We become what we repeatedly do. If you stay committed to working out daily, you will become fit. I wish more people focused on doing whatever form of exercise they prefer and being more consistent. It is essential that you enjoy your workouts. It is vital you fall in love with the process of getting in shape.

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle

When you enjoy your workouts, you’ll naturally be more consistent. Start out slow. Don’t rush or get impatient. Gradually build up the intensity of your workouts, depending on your ultimate goals. Focus on consistency. Consistency is more potent than intensity. Success is all about taking daily action, not sporadic acts of determination. You might not lose all the weight you want to lose, but you’ll be fitter and stronger. After many years of training, I have come to the following conclusions.

If you want to improve mental and physical performance, focus primarily on exercise. If you want to improve your body composition, focus primarily on your diet, energy balance. 

So what type of activity is optimal for stimulating your brain? Research has focused primarily on aerobic exercise because scientists still haven’t been able to teach lab rats to properly execute squats or deadlifts. Their attempts at simulating weight training have consisted of hanging weights on the tails of the rats and forcing them to climb. We don’t know the ideal, but as little as 15-minutes of moderately intense exercise, 60% of your maximum heart rate, appears to be adequate. Optimal stimulation seems to be 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate sustained for 30 to 45 minutes.

Exercise that requires you to think, like learning to dance, can help stimulate BDNF because you are getting your heart rate up and forcing your mind to learn new movement patterns. Exercising outside, in the sun, also contributes to higher levels of BDNF. We were designed to move and think outdoors, not sit indoors, under artificial lights, in front of a glowing screen. Exercise frequency plays a significant role in the stimulation of BDNF. The more often, the better. Three times a week is sufficient, but daily exercise is optimal. We were designed to move daily. Modern life has sought to engineer movement out of our lives. If you want to perform at your best, you must actively engineer movement back into your day.

Good is not the enemy of great. Find something you enjoy doing because you will be more consistent. I am going to give you a few suggestions, for you to consider; helping you find something you might enjoy. The longer I exercise, the more value I see in each form of exercise. I don’t believe there are any ideal exercise programs. Each type of training has its pros and cons. I like to start each day with 10 to 15 minutes of moderate cardio on my spin bike while listening to an audiobook or motivational YouTube video. Then I finish with 5 to 10 minutes of intervals in the form of shadow boxing, calisthenics, kettlebell circuits, or intermittent sprints on the spin bike. Spin bikes are great. They are simple, offer a low impact form of exercise, require very little space, are quiet, and affordable. Because my spin bike doesn’t have any electronics, I can jump off the bike, shadow box, perform some kettlebell swings, or do calisthenics without the machine turning-off. During my lunch hour, I focus on strength training; completing three to five circuits of three to five basic compound exercises.

To make getting up easier, I charge my phone in my bathroom. It forces me to get out of bed. I lay out my workout clothing and my wireless headphones next to my cellphone each night because I want to facilitate working out. Every minute of your morning is valuable. You don’t want to waste time or energy deciding what to wear or searching for clothing. I immediately put on my headphones and start listening to something inspiring while I get dressed and grab a cup of coffee. While I sit and drink my coffee I read a few pages of my journal to reconnect with my gratitude list, goals, values, insights, etc. After about 10 to 15 minutes I am ready to work out. I grab the sports bottle I always keep in our refrigerator and head upstairs to work out.

If you don’t have a great attitude toward exercise, that’s OK. You can improve it by making a list of at least ten reasons you love to exercise and reading it every morning while you drink your coffee. Here is an example:

1) I love to exercise in the morning because it primes me for a great day.
2) I love to exercise because it improves my mood.
3) I love to exercise in the morning because it increases my energy.
4) I love to exercise because it improves my focus.
5) I love to exercise because it keeps me strong and fit.
6) I love to exercise because it improves my impulse control.
7) I love to exercise in the morning because it makes me feel like I have accomplished something important before I even get to work.
8) I love to exercise because it reconnects me with my body.
9) I love to exercise because it simply makes me feel wonderful.
10) I love to exercise in the morning because it inspires me to live a healthier lifestyle.

You don’t have to do what I do. Do what works best for you. Do whatever type of exercise you enjoy most. As long as it gets your heart rate up, it doesn’t matter. If you haven’t exercised in a while, I recommend you start with taking a 20-minute walk. When you feel ready, you can begin to work in some jogging. Pick a tree or a parked car in the distance, then jog to it. After a while, you can start jogging the entire time. If you cannot walk outside, you can walk inside, and mix in some stair climbing.

no equipment cardio capture.PNG

If you prefer to workout inside, there are a lot of options. There are tons of No Equipment Cardio Workouts on YouTube. Create a playlist of your favorites.

You could download Perigee AB’s FREE 7 Minute Workout app (Google or iTunes). For a 21-minute workout, you can elect to do three 7-minute circuits.  John Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain recommends this app. I like the app because I can do the exercises whenever I need a quick energy boost. A quick 7-minute workout will get your heart rate up, without getting you sweaty. My daughter often does it before going to school to prime herself to learn.

Another alternative to consider is shadow boxing. You’ll need an interval timer. My favorite is the Boxing Timer Pro by SIMPLETOUCH LLC (Google or iTunes). I will listen to music that pumps me up while performing 5 to 20 rounds consisting of 45-seconds of exercise followed by a 15 second recovery. You can vary your exercise to recovery ratios based on your current level of fitness. You can alternate shadow boxing with jumping rope or jumping jacks.

If you would like to incorporate some strength training into your morning workout, you can perform a few simple bodyweight exercises in a circuit every other day. For example:

1)    Inverted Row or Pull-up

A. Inverted row: They can be performed between two chairs, using TRX style straps, or under a table.

B. Pull-up: The Lifeline Power Up Chin-Up turns any door into a pull-up station for less than $15.

2)    Dip (between chairs) or push-ups

A. If you can do more than 20 push-ups with great form, you can make them more challenging by slowing down the negative portion of the movement, pausing, and then explode off the ground as high as possible.

3)    Bulgarian Split Squat (left leg)

A. If you can perform more than 20 repetitions, you can make the exercise more difficult by wearing a backpack, slowing the negative portion of the movement, and pausing before exploding up off the ground (Bulgarian Split Squat Jump)

4)    Bulgarian Split Squat (right leg)

5)    Plank(30-60 seconds)

I would recommend you warm-up for 5-minutes doing some jumping jacks or running in place before performing two or three circuits of the exercises listed above. You never want to lift or sprint with a cold muscle.

kettlebell.jpg

Last but not least, you could perform a Kettlebell circuit. Obviously, you’ll need to purchase a kettlebell if you don’t already have one. The general recommendation is a 15-pound kettlebell for women, and a 30-pound kettlebell for men.

Here are two circuits that take approximately 5-minutes to complete. They each consist of 7-exercises. Perform 30-seconds of exercise followed by a 10-second rest interval before beginning the next exercise. Feel free to increase the rest interval to 15 seconds if you feel the need. If you like to follow along to a video, here is the kettlebell workout video that is the basis of these circuits.

Circuit #1

Circuit #2

High Pull

High Pull

Goblet Squat

Figure-8

Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Punch

Kettlebell Punch

Elbow to Hand Plank

Side to Side Planks

Ab Chop-up

V-up

Jumping Jack

Mountain Climber

I have offered these workouts to provide you with a few options. Don’t get too concerned with optimal, be more concerned with finding an activity you will truly enjoy. I want you to enjoy your workouts, so you can enjoy the benefits that working out has to offer: increased cognitive and physical performance, increased vitality, increased focus, improved impulse control, improved mood, improved happiness, and improved physical appearance.

Until next week, good luck, best wishes and best health!

Change your habits, change your life!

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[1] Anita E. Autry and Lisa M. Monteggia, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Pharmacol Rev. 2012 Apr; 64(2): 238–258.

[2] Bernward Winter, Caterina Breitenstein, Frank C. Mooren, Klaus Voelker, Manfred Fobker, Anja Lechtermann , Karsten Krueger, Albert Fromme, Catharina Korsukewitz, Agnes Floel, and Stefan Knecht, High impact running improves learning, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 87 (2007) 597–609.

[3] Susan S. Lang, Dopamine linked to a personality trait and happiness, Cornell Chronicle, October 24, 1996.

[4] Oaten M, and Cheng K, “Longitudinal gains in self-regulation from regular physical exercise,” Br J Health Psychol. 2006 Nov; 11 (Pt 4):717-33.