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

PAIN & PLEASURE -USE THEM OR THEY WILL USE YOU

THE SURPRIZING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOR

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

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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

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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.

Don’t Let Your Mind Become a Prison

We all get stuck in our head. Psychologists theorize that every time we hesitate to act, our minds begin to magnify our fears and rationalize why we shouldn’t move. Many Christians believe that the devil fights us in our mind because if he can defeat us there, he has won.

Wither you attribute it to the devil, or the cognitive bias called the spotlight effect fear and doubts, can immobilize us. It can trap us in our heads and cause us to give up before we have even tried.

Successful people feel fear, but they don’t let it stop them. They suffer failures because they are pushing themselves to do things that are uncomfortable. Successful people will tell you that if you aren’t failing occasionally, you aren’t even in the game.

If you haven’t experienced any failures, you are most likely a victim of fear. Do you hesitate to take actions you know could propel your life forward? Do you stay in a relationship that is dysfunctional only because you are scared to be alone? Do you rationalize why it is too late, or you just don’t have the time to pursue a lifelong dream?

If you feel you are a victim of your fears, there is a solution. It is very simple, but it isn’t easy.The coward and the hero both experience fear, but the hero acts, while the coward lets the fear paralyze them. The same is true of life. You must overcome your fear through action. We cannot control our emotions, but we can control our actions.

When you feel yourself beginning to hesitate you must move, literally. Our physiology and psychology are linked. The best way to get out of your head is to initiate movement. In the military, we were taught to move towards the sounds of guns in the absence of orders.

When you initiate physical movement, you are getting out of your head. You are programming yourself to act in the face of fear. A funny thing happens when you habitually act in the face of fear, you become fearless. So often we are worried about what others will think of us, only to realize later in life how little we should have cared about their opinions. Life is risky. How risky? So risky that no one gets out alive. That’s risky!

Steve Jobs

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs

I hope you will not let fear stop you from reaching your full potential and pursuing your dreams. For those pursuing their dreams life holds special meaning. If you aren’t pursuing your dreams, you aren’t truly living, you are simply existing.

 Adopt the habit of taking action, despite your fears, and the death of fear is certain. Change your habits, change your life! 

LEARN MORE, The 5 Second Rule – Overcoming the Habit of Procrastination

If you enjoyed this article, please LIKE and SHARE.

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Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Printed Book Cover (09.08.17)

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 #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

Knowledge is NOT Power

“Knowledge is power.” — Francis Bacon

Francis was WRONG. Knowledge is potential power. It must be applied. Reading a fitness or self-help book isn’t going to improve your life. Using the principles, you learn, will.

“Knowledge is NOT power. Action is power.” – Tony Robbins

Action produces results. Knowledge and intentions, unapplied produce NOTHING. In fact, while I highly encourage people to read as much as possible, it can be a form of procrastination. Learning cannot replace action.

Discipline is more potent than knowledge because discipline requires action. Actions produce results. Disciplined people have a bias toward action. Disciplined people avoid the trap of getting stuck in their head.

Disciplined people balance learning and doing. Disciplined people show-up consistently and work hard. They don’t have to have the best solution. Often the path forward isn’t clear until you move forward. Disciplined people move forward.

Disciplined people hammer away on their project, they stay focused on their goals, and they put in the work, day after day, week after week. They accomplish much more than the geniuses that overthink things.

Today, most of us have smartphones; vast amounts of information in the palm of our hands. If knowledge were power, we would all be powerful. Learning is important. We want to apply the best strategy for achieving our goals, just don’t let your search for the best strategy become a form of active procrastination.

We don’t need more information, we need more discipline. In many ways, our smartphone is a curse. It is a constant source of distraction. One of the first disciplines we need to adapt to be more efficient is to ignore our smartphone. When I want to get work done, I charge it on a desk behind me.

cadet-texing.jpg

I learned discipline in the army. I enlisted as an infantryman, and while at Fort Benning, I was told that discipline is doing what you should do, whether anyone is watching or not. Later I became an officer after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Like many graduates, I was appalled to see the breakdown in discipline when a graduating cadet was texting while marching in formation.

I am sure that cadet is very intelligent, but I doubt she will be successful, based on the poor discipline and judgment she displayed. She knew, knowledge; that what she was doing was wrong, but she lacked the discipline to do the right thing. Education without the discipline to apply it produces poor results.

This lapse in discipline might not seem severe, but it is. Everything matters. Do you think this is the first time she had done it? Do you think this was an isolated incident? If you said yes to any of these questions, you would be naïve. Everything matters. Everything is a reflection of our character.

We should all read and learn, but we can not forget that learning is not doing. When we apply what we know, knowledge becomes power.

Best wishes and best health.

Change your habits, change your life! 

If you enjoyed this article, please LIKE and SHARE.

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Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to 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 #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

Discipline & Procrastination are Habits, NOT Personality Traits

Often times we label ourselves. This can be empowering or disempowering because the labels become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We act in accordance with our beliefs about ourselves. If we tell ourselves we are disciplined, we act disciplined. If we tell ourselves we are a procrastinator, we will procrastinate. We become what we repeatedly do. It is important we all understand these are really just habitual behaviors and not personality traits.

Realizing that these are habits, and not personality traits are empowering. Habits are malleable. We can replace a bad habit with a good one. This gives us a greater sense of hope for a better future. You are not a procrastinator, you simply developed the habit of procrastination. You can break that habit, like any other habit. You can develop the habit of discipline; doing what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.

Habits, good or bad, allow our minds to operate on autopilot. Our minds prefer autopilot because making decisions at the conscious level is exhausting. The cerebral cortex fatigues quickly and is prone to exhaustion. Constantly making decisions at the conscious level is mentally exhausting because it requires our cerebral cortex to do the heavy lifting. This is why everyone forms daily rituals.

It takes time and effort to wire in a new habit, but once it is installed, it will take minimal effort to sustain. The initiation phase takes approximately two months. This is longer than the 30 days most of us were taught. It is perhaps why many people failed to form lasting habits in the past. The two most powerful tactics for changing your behavior are shifting your beliefs and identifying your reason for adopting the new behavior.

You might not be able to say you are a disciplined person right now, but you can say, “I am going to become more disciplined. I am going to make an effort each day to get better.” The more often you say this, and back it up with action, the sooner you will be able to say, “I am a disciplined person.”

Another important strategy for adopting a productive habit is to identify your reason for wanting to improve. What is procrastination costing you? What will you gain by becoming more disciplined? You have to link disciplined action to the reward and procrastination with what it costs you. If the cost of procrastination is greater than the discomfort of taking disciplined action, you will change. If it isn’t you will not. If your reason isn’t strong enough, your excuses will be.

Develop the habit of discipline by starting your day doing your most impactful task. Track your consistency. Mark your calendar each day you succeed at beginning your day with your most impactful task or use a habit-forming app, like Strides to track your consistency. Tracking your consistency will make you more consistent based on the principle of what gets measured gets managed. Tracking a behavior makes us more mindful of it.

As new tasks become routine, the more resilient basal ganglia take over. The action becomes easier and easier to perform. The actions flow almost effortlessly. Routines make life less stressful. Routine feels good; we thrive on routine. We all fall into a routine, and we all develop daily rituals.

Taking positive action when we don’t feel like doing it is one of the most powerful habits we can form. It is the habit of discipline; doing what we should do, when we should do it, whether we feel like it or not. The disciplined person doesn’t hesitate. Hesitation can become a habit. Hesitating to take positive action leads to the habit of procrastination.

When we hesitate to do something, our minds will magnify the anticipated pain or discomfort and begin to provide a myriad of excuses not to do it. Hesitation signals to the brain that we are about to do something dangerous; something that could threaten our survival. Our brain magnifies the danger to kill the idea.

This cognitive bias, called the spotlight effect is designed to kill any action that could threaten our survival. This is great when we are thinking about doing something stupid like risking our lives performing acrobatics on a 50-story building ledge to get views and likes on social media, but it isn’t helpful when it prevents you from taking positive action like speaking up in a meeting or working out.

Our mind is hardwired for our survival. Our ancient programming doesn’t look at the long-term consequence of action or inaction. It is only able to evaluate doing or not doing something based on the immediate pain or pleasure it produces. Hesitation sends a red flag to the brain that the action you are contemplating is dangerous. It cannot distinguish real physical danger from fear born out of insecurity.

When you begin to feel yourself hesitate, MOVE. This is a decisive moment; a moment of huge power. Force yourself to move. The mind and body are linked together; one affects the other. Even if the activity is to study a text, grab the book, turn on your desk light, grab your highlighter, initiate movement. The longer you hesitate to act, the more likely you are to get trapped in your head. Force yourself to move. It will help you to overcome your instincts and feelings so you can operate at the level of your ideas and higher self.

Good luck!  Best wishes and best health.

Change your habits, change your life! 

If you enjoyed this article, please LIKE and SHARE.

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Best wishes and Best Health!

Print Book Cover 09.25.2017

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 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 #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