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.

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DISCIPLINE ISN’T SOMETHING WE ARE BORN WITH

Our behaviors and attitudes are inseparably linked. When we change one, we change the other. Get in the habit of making good decisions, and you’ll become a person that habitually makes good decisions. We don’t do because we are, we are because we do. Habits form our character. Our reputation to ourselves and others is based on our habitual patterns of behavior; our habits.

When we form disciplined habits, we become a disciplined person. We developed character through our actions, not because we innately possess the virtue. We are all born the same, naked, ignorant, unable to even lift our heads. In “The Last Days Newsletter,” Leonard Ravenhill tells the story of a small group of tourists visiting a beautiful picturesque village. One of the tourists asks an old man of the village if any great men had been born in this village. The old man replied, “Nope, only babies.”[i]

Set in place a routine that reflects a disciplined person and you’ll become a disciplined person. When we routinely do difficult things, habit makes the difficult things easy. When the difficult becomes easy, life becomes easier. If we become better, our life’s will become better. Life is designed to give us what we deserve, not what we want. The farmer that doesn’t plant in the Spring cannot expect to reap a harvest in the Fall.

A better life can’t be handed to us. If we want success, we must work hard to become the person that success requires. We must make the necessary sacrifices. Success is simple, but it is not easy. To be successful, you have to give-up what most people are unwilling to sacrifice.

To be successful, you must do all those little things, day after day, that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do. It really is that simple. Life never gets better by chance, it gets better by change. Success is always deliberate. Each day is our life in miniature. How we spend each day, determines what kind of life we are going to have.

Q67

Compound interest makes you wealthy; compound efforts make you successful. Unsuccessful people aren’t mindful of their daily patterns, so they fall into bad habits. They want success, but they don’t want to do what is required. Wanting more, without being willing to develop your skills through diligent effort; fuels disappointment. Looking for an above average job, with average skills is frustrating. Wanting to lose weight without reducing your caloric intake is frustrating. When you lose focus on your goals, you neglect the little decisions. This neglect leads to bad habits.

Bad habits are easy to form if you aren’t mindful of your decisions and patterns of behavior. Albert Einstein described compound interest as the eighth wonder of the world. He said those that understand it earn it while those that don’t pay it. The same is true of habits. Those that understand their importance put a lot of effort into cultivating good habits. The cumulative effects of our habits can be either positive or negative. The accumulated effects of bad habits lead to crisis. Those that don’t understand the importance of habits neglect them. They let them form unconsciously. They sleepwalk through their days, and by extension their lives.

The 5% of people that write down their goals and review them daily achieve more success than the other 95% combined because they keep their goals at the forefront of their consciousness. Reaffirming their goals keeps their actions in line with their values. Reconnecting with their goals activates their reticular activating system (RAS), which causes our minds to search our environment for resources to help us accomplish our goals. Their goals guide their daily decisions and actions. Unsuccessful people get lost in the daily obligations of life and immediate gratifications of making poor decisions. They have some vague ideas of what their goals are, but they don’t really think about them very often and rarely write them down.

Discipline isn’t a character trait, it is a HABIT. Change your habits, change your life! 

Learn more Discipline & Procrastination are Habits, NOT Personality Traits

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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 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

[i] Leonard Ravenhill, PRAYER The Last Days Newsletter/June 1982

 

The Habit: Week-8 (Identify ONE Keystone Habit Related to your Goal)

Last week’s challenge was to identify one wildly important goal. This week our challenge is identifying ONE Keystone Habit related to your goal. You might be wondering, what is a Keystone Habit?

In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg describes keystone habits as, “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.”

A keystone habit is powerful because it causes us to modify our behavior in other areas of our life. Habits that foster discipline and impulse control are keystone habits. Discipline in one area of our life has been demonstrated to improve self-control in other areas.

Keystone habits.PNG

When we develop the habit of discipline, and we give ourselves more evidence to cultivate the belief that we are disciplined. Affirmations like, “I am disciplined,” must be supported by evidence if we are going to convince our inner cynic. The more evidence we provide through our actions, the more we reinforce our belief, the stronger that belief becomes. This positive reinforcing-feedback loop can alter our lives.

Self-control is like a muscle, which can be developed through regular use. Exercising self-control, discipline, becomes a habit. The habit of doing what we should and not falling prey to inner weakness is the greatest habit we can cultivate. Every successful person develops the habit of discipline related to their craft. 

Psychologists Megan Oaten and Ken Cheng conducted a study in which participants stuck to a regular exercise routine. After two months, the participants performed better on other self-control tests. Outside the lab, there were unexpected benefits. The exercise habit leads 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. [i]

Mark Muraven, Ph.D., at the University of Albany in New York, conducted a study in which participants practiced small acts of self-control for two weeks. Participants demonstrated significant improvements on a laboratory measure of self-control. His results were consistent with Megan Oaten and Ken Cheng’s self-control strength model that compared the development of self-control to the development of muscular strength through lifting weights.

Each time we exercise self-control, our capacity increases. He concluded that “the results suggest that by practicing small acts of self-control, overall self-control capacity can be increased. Put another way, it is possible to strengthen the self-control muscle through exercise, leading to better outcomes.”[ii]

If you have difficulty exercising discipline in one area, you can use this halo effect to your advantage by first developing self-control in another area. This approach will improve your chances of success. While it would be best to develop the most impactful habit, related to your wildly important goal, you might want to take this indirect approach. For example, if you want to lose body fat, the most impactful activity you could do, would be logging your food to create a caloric deficit on the MyFitnessPal app (Google or iTunes), but if you find controlling your eating is too difficult, you might begin with daily exercise.

Daily exercise will make you more mindful of what you are feeding your body as fuel, and it will build your self-control muscle. I believe exercise is an easier habit to develop because it doesn’t involve sacrificing foods we enjoy and exercise itself provides its own rewards.

Exercise releases endorphins that make us feel wonderful. Completing a tough workout provides us with a sense of accomplishment which makes us feel great about ourselves, boosts our confidence, and triggers the release of dopamine. When our dopamine system is activated, we are more positive, excited and eager to go after goals.

Eventually, you could develop the habit of controlling your food portion sizes. A portion of protein is roughly the size of your palm, a portion of carbohydrates is what will fit in your cupped hand, and a portion of fat is the size of your thumb. You can eat large amounts of vegetables since they have a low caloric density, and are rich in nutrients and fiber. As your discipline muscle strengthens, you might find logging your food isn’t as difficult as it once was.

This indirect spillover benefit is akin to the advice of training your legs to develop bigger arms. Compound exercises engage two or more different joints stimulating multiple muscle groups. They place much greater stress on the body than single joint arm training. This greater stress boosts our testosterone and growth hormone levels. Exercises like the squat and deadlift make our bodies more anabolic, by improving our hormone profile, which spills over into the development of other muscle groups, like the arms.[iii]

The most effective tool for developing a new habit is creating an action trigger. An action trigger is a specific time and place when you pre-decide you will execute a specific action. In the scenario we have been discussing, you could pre-decide that you are going to work out first thing every morning.

To make sleeping in harder, and conversely getting up easier, you could shape your environment by charging your phone in the bathroom. This will force you to get out of bed to turn it off. You could also layout your workout clothing the night before. This will save time, and make exercising that much easier in the morning.

Action triggers are akin to forming an instant habit because it eliminates the need to decide. It allows your mind to essentially operate on autopilot, like when you perform a behavior out of habit.

How effective are action triggers? Peter Gollwitzer, a psychologist, at New York University that has pioneered research on the power of action triggers conducted a study involving student participation rates on an extra credit writing assignment.

Students had to write a paper describing how they spend Christmas Eve and submit the paper by December 26th. One group was required to create an action trigger for completing the assignment. For example, “I will write the paper, while sitting at the kitchen table, at 6:00 AM Christmas morning before everyone wakes up.” The participation rate for the group that did not create an action trigger was 33%, while the group that created a trigger had a remarkable 75% participation rate!

Your assignment, should you decide to accept it, is to identify and cultivate ONE Keystone Habit. You might want to brainstorm all the various habits you could form. After you have created your list of possible habits, ask yourself:

  1. Which habit would be most impactful?
  2. Can I develop this habit directly or do I need to build-up to this habit indirectly?

If the answer to the second question is NO, look for the next most impactful habit, and repeat the series of questions until the answer is YES.

Until next week, good luck!

Success requires you develop the habit of discipline. Change your habits, change your life! 

Best wishes and Best Health!

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 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 #FitGirl #FitMom #FitFam #FitCouple

[i] 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.

[ii] Mark Muraven, Building Self-Control Strength: Practicing Self-Control Leads to Improved Self-Control Performance, J Exp Soc Psychol. 2010 Mar 1; 46(2): 465–468. doi:  10.1016/j.jesp.2009.12.011

[iii] ANTHONY J. YEUNG, Want Bigger Arms? Then Keep Doing Squats , GQ.com, December 6, 2016

Q98

 

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.

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Book Introduction

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

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

DREAM BIG! Conservative Goals Don’t Inspire

We often fail to dream big because we lack self-confidence. The problem with setting small, realistic goals is that they aren’t very inspiring or motivating. To inspire means to breathe life into, and motivation is the desire to take action. You want to dream big. Big goals inspire and motivate you. Big goals are what get you jumping out of bed. Even if we don’t achieve all of our big goals, we will achieve so much more than if we set small, realistic goals. When setting goals, don’t worry about how; worry about why.

Why-power is more important than know how. When our why is big enough, we will find a way. We either find someone to model, or we’ll discover how through trial and error. It is always best to take advice from someone who has achieved our desired result and learn from them. If we duplicate their actions, we should be able to duplicate their results. Our why-power is what will get us going and keep us going until we achieve our desired result. The problem with most people isn’t that they aim too high and fail; it is that they aim to low and succeed. When self-doubt creeps in, we just need to ask ourselves, “is it possible?” If anyone else has done it, and we do what they have done, why couldn’t we duplicate their success?

Dreaming big, and working consistently toward our desired result is the key to any great achievement. If we let the length of our journey intimidate us, we’ll never begin. Any distance can be covered, if we just keep taking one step after the other. Instead of focusing on the great expanse we must cover, simply focus on the next step. Each step taken is another sign of our inevitable triumph. Don’t be intimidated by big goals, get inspired by them.

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.”

— Jim Rohn

Success isn’t one massive effort. Success is achieved through small efforts repeated daily. The largest tree will eventually fall if you simply took five swings at it each day. Focus on taking at least one action every day. Every day is the key. When we don’t do something every day and we allow ourselves to miss a day; one day becomes two days, and pretty soon we develop the habit of not doing it at all. Consistency is crucial. If you can only spend 15 minutes working toward your goal today, do it. Your daily efforts will eventually compound to produce your desired result.

Dream big, get motivated and focus on taking consistent-daily action.

Change your habits, change your life!

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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.

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Book Introduction

 

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 Now Available on Amazon!

Book Introduction