TRAP WORDS & LOW EXPECTATIONS

We all know what we should do. Not a huge fan of that word. It’s a weak word used by people that have developed the habit of being undisciplined. Should, try, only, and just are trap words. When someone says, “I’ll try” they are politely saying no, I am not going to do it. When we say to ourselves, “it’s just one cookie,” we are giving in to weakness and temptation. When we say, “It is only one workout,” we are obeying weakness. Eliminate these words from your vocabulary, especially your self-talk. They weaken your resolve by making the transgression seem inconsequential. They make weakness more palatable.

Every time we use these trap words we are feeding weakness. Everything matters. Everything we do shapes our character, and either feeds our discipline or our weakness. Everything we do can be categorized as disciplined or undisciplined action. We are either doing what is in line with our goals, or we are not. Eliminating these words will raise our expectations and standards. When we say, “I will eat better and log my food,” we are making a promise to ourselves. When we say, “I will work out each morning,” we are making a commitment to ourselves to do it.

When we say “I should eat less and log my food,” we aren’t committed. We are acknowledging that our values aren’t in-line with our goals. We are not making a promise to change our behavior. When we fail to do what we should do, we are a little disappointed. We get upset with ourselves when we break a promise we make to ourselves. Trap words avoid disappointment by avoiding commitment. We want to make a promise to ourselves. We want failure to be painful. Trap words lessen the pain by lowering your expectations. To improve the quality of our life, we must raise our standards.Trap words lower our standards.

Make a promise to yourself. Write it down on a piece of paper, and read it each day. When we give in to weakness, we should put it on ourselves. We must make failure painful so we will do what it takes to avoid disappointing ourselves. Our desire to do anything is driven by our desire to avoid pain and seek pleasure. If you want to change your behavior, you must make the old behavior painful. People will go to great lengths to avoid pain.

Early in his career, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s calf development lagged behind the rest of his physique, so he decided to cut off the pant legs on his training sweats. He did this so that everyone could see them. By exposing his calves, and thus himself, to painful ridicule at the gym, it helped him work harder to bring-up this lagging body part. He knew that if he couldn’t improve his calves, he would never become a champion, so he made having puny calves as painful as possible.

When I was an overweight adolescent, striving to get lean, and I was tempted to eat dessert, I developed the habit of pinching my waist. It was an unpleasant reminder of being overweight. It wasn’t pleasant, but it helped me to connect eating dessert with the pain of remaining trapped in a body I didn’t want. We must make maintaining the status quo more painful than the sacrifices that must be made to raise our standards.

The reason we fail to raise our standards in any area of our life is that we find the status quo tolerable, or at least more tolerable than doing what is required to raise our standards. Trap words like should are used to avoid the pain of disappointment. They help us to lower our expectations and standards. Trap words make weakness more tolerable.

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you. People will do more to avoid pain than they will do to gain pleasure. – Tony Robbins

If we are habitually using trap words, it means that we aren’t ready to make the necessary changes to our decisions and behaviors that are required. When we use these words, we are expressing that our resolve is lacking. We are saying, our values are not in line with our goals. We are FINE with the way things are.

If we want to stop using trap words; if we want to raise our standards, we must begin by making the status quo intolerable. We must find a way to make a strong connection between our decisions and the resulting pain they cause us. We must make low expectation and standards unbearable. It isn’t complicated. It is simple, but most of us are so averse to pain that we won’t do it. Pain is a powerful tool for self-mastery. Pain can use us, or we can use it. Use pain to raise your standards.

“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”— Tony Robbins

If you really want to raise your standards, grab a piece of paper, make ONE promise to yourself. Choose the most impactful change you can make to raise your standards. After you have completed that, brainstorm ways of making the old behavior painful. One way is to add a layer of accountability.

Tell someone about the promise you have made to yourself. This will make breaking our commitment a little more disappointing. This added layer of accountability could be the little extra push you need. Often times we are more willing to disappoint ourselves than someone else. Telling someone about our commitment will make breaking our promise that much more painful. I recommend we use our desire to avoid pain to our advantage. Use pain to raise our standards.

Best wishes and Best Health!

Change your habits, change your life!

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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.

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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.

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The Habit: Week-6 (Find Pleasure in the Process)

This week’s challenge is to find pleasure in the process. Discipline is the ability to force ourselves to do what we should do when we should do it. It is something we all struggle with and must develop, but motivation can be a more powerful driver of action. What if you could find pleasure in the tasks you must do. If you can equate pleasure with the task, you’ll be a lot more successful. “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle

If you don’t enjoy what you do, you aren’t really successful. Finding pleasure in the job is our responsibility. Our attitude toward what we do is a choice we make each day. We are responsible for our own happiness. We are responsible for our attitude toward our work, toward our relationships, and toward our life. If we cannot find happiness in our daily routine, we aren’t really successful.

“If you love your work, if you enjoy it, you’re already a success.” – Jack Canfiel

Lasting happiness doesn’t come from our achievements. Happiness comes from finding pleasure in our daily routine. Happiness requires frequent refreshing. It is a tree that requires daily watering to grow and flourish. It is our responsibility to find these pleasures in our daily routines to be happy. So how do we find pleasure in performing work that on the surface isn’t enjoyable?

Our attitude is a choice.This choice begins with a decision. The decision is to decide what things mean. What meaning do you attach to the task? Everything we do has a purpose, a meaning. We must find out what that is. Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked why he smiled during his long, 5-hour workouts.

Arnold’s attitude toward his training separated him from the other bodybuilders. While they seem to dread the long grueling workouts that were required to achieve a massive physique, he enjoyed them. He said he enjoyed the heavy lifting. He looked forward to every heavy set because he knew that each set was bringing him one step closer to his goal of becoming the greatest bodybuilder of all time.

Arnold was able to connect what he was doing with his desired outcome. That is why his attitude was so much better than the other bodybuilders. His attitude towards his training made him one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.

Pain is weakness leaving the body. I heard this mantra numerous times at West Point and during my career in the military. I knew it was a tool to get us to push harder during physical training, but it wasn’t until years later that I truly understood the psychology behind the mantra. The mantra changed our neuro-association of pain with the pleasure of toughening the body and polishing the spirit. Pain becomes a pleasure.

CT Fletcher - Pain.PNG

CT Fletcher, former powerlifting champion, and fitness motivational speaker can often be heard in the gym saying, “I look for you pain.” He invites pain. He says it is his friend because he equates pain with growth. Muhammad Ali said, “I do not count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. That is when I start counting because then it really counts.”

To achieve extraordinary results, you must have an extraordinary attitude toward your work. Discipline can only get you so far. Motivation is a greater catalyst for action. If you can find meaning and pleasure in what you do on a daily basis, you’ll achieve excellence. When you find pleasure in the daily disciplines that are required to be successful, success is all but assured.

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn

 If you cannot find pleasure in what you do, I suggest you find something that you can. Our attitude affects our performance. Poor attitude, poor performance. Great attitude, great performance. Most people neglect to cultivate a great attitude. Don’t let that be you. Your attitude affects everything you do. It effects your effort. It affects your smile. It affects your handshake.

Success requires hard work, but it doesn’t have to be drudgery. When you love what you do, work isn’t agony, it’s a pleasure. We achieve more success when we enjoy what we do, but more importantly, you’ll live a more fulfilling life.

If you cannot find happiness in the process of achieving your goals, you aren’t really successful. Achievements that don’t produce sustained happiness produce an unsatisfying life. Most people don’t enjoy what they do. Most people say, “Thank God it’s Friday.” This poor attitude is normal, but you don’t have to be average. “Success is doing what the failures won’t” – Jim Rohn. We should all enjoy our weekends, but we should also enjoy our weekdays. We should enjoy our lives.

The average worker will tell you it is called work for a reason. The prevailing attitude is that work shouldn’t be pleasurable. I suggest that we take another approach to our work. If we want to achieve above average results, we have to cultivate an above average attitude towards our work. If we can make work more enjoyable, why shouldn’t we?

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

One thing that universally makes all of us happy is progress. When we are getting better, in any area of our lives, we feel great. We feel like a winner. “

Progress equals happiness. Progress is the game.” Tony Robbins

 Every small win, every item checked off our to-do list makes us feel great. 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.

The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work explains how progress improves the inner work life of employees and teams. Improvements in inner work life drive higher levels of performance and engagement; which in turn leads to better progress and enhanced inner work life. The author calls these reinforcing benefits, the “progress loop.” As you make progress, you rack-up small wins. These small wins make us feel great about ourselves, which stimulates the release of dopamine. When we are making progress in any area of our life, it gives us a sense of accomplishment. It gives us a sense of worth.

Hopefully, we can all agree that we have the power to change how we feel about our work by changing our attitude toward it. Here are some simple strategies to take more pleasure in what you do:

1)    Create a list, in your journal, of the reasons you LOVE doing something that the average person would find unpleasant. For example, I have formed the habit of starting each day with 30-minutes of technical reading, by creating a list of reasons. I love starting each day with technical reading because:

  1. It will make me an expert in my field
  2. It will make me more valuable to my company and to myself
  3. It will help me get promoted
  4. It will help me earn more money
  5. It will prepare me for future opportunities

2)    Create a system for tracking small wins. Small wins help us to sustain motivation. Creating a daily to-do list and crossing off items as they are accomplished makes us feel great about ourselves. If you really want to do well at work, make sure you start each day with your most important task. The more impactful the task, the more it will contribute to your success. Don’t mistake being busy with being productive.

3)    Track your consistency. We are naturally more consistent when we track our consistency. If your goal is to make 10 cold calls a day. You could use a habit-forming app like Strides, Streaks, Fabulous, and Toodledo to track your consistency. Each time you record another successful day with the app, congratulate yourself. Celebrate this small victory. Say, “I am proud of myself today, good job!” Every small win activates our dopamine system and motivates us to go after our goals with greater vigor.

4)    When you feel your enthusiasm starting to wane, listen to something inspiring. Cynical people deride motivation because it doesn’t last. Tell me what lasts? Bathing doesn’t last, so should we stop doing it? Brushing our teeth doesn’t last, so maybe we should quit doing it? Coaches give their teams motivational speeches on a regular basis. Why do you think that is? Because it is effective. Motivation is the desire to do. When our desire to do is waining, we need to take action. You can find a ton of great motivational videos on YouTube. These videos are FREE. It doesn’t get much easier than FREE. Download your favorite to your smartphone and reach for it every time your motivation begins to wane.

5)    Force yourself to smile while you’re performing the task. Forcing yourself to smile, will improve your mood. Physiology has been shown to influence our psychology. Some have suggested that the paradigm we have been taught all our lives, that we smile when we are happy is backward. I don’t believe it is backward. I believe that it works both ways. I believe that our psychology and physiology are linked together in a push-pull relationship, with each affecting the other.

In the military, I was taught that false motivation was better than no motivation. I thought it was just a means of getting us to push ourselves harder during tough training, which it did, but I also discovered that it changed my attitude. Pretend motivation, leads to genuine motivation. Our mind seeks alignment between our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. The psychological term that describes a disharmony between attitude and behavior is called cognitive dissonance. When there is a lack of harmony between our attitudes and behaviors we seek to reduce that cognitive dissonance. When you force a smile, it signals to the mind that you are happy. Your body reduces levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and increases levels of endorphins and dopamine.[i]

We should enjoy our work. As Steve Jobs said, it is going to fill a large part of our lives. We shouldn’t wait to enjoy our lives. We should enjoy each day, our workdays as well as our weekends. If we can’t find daily pleasure in our life, what is the point? If we achieve great results but don’t find any fulfillment in their accomplishment, are we truly successful?

I hope that you will take what you have learned this week and apply it. We are all responsible for our own happiness. Happiness is a choice we all make, and it begins with what we focus on each day. I hope you will choose to focus on what brings you pleasure.

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

Attitude is a habitual way of thinking. Change your habits, change your life! 

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 09.25.2017The 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

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[i] JULIETTE SIEGFRIED, Want to Be Happier? Smile More!,