Let’s look at habits! how we use them, how we create them, ones that work well for us, ones that don\’t work well for us, and how to take those habits and create things that really align with our big why.
I want to ask, does anybody out there have a sweet tooth? I have a massive sweet tooth. I like pastries and cookies and really anything sweet, soft and gooey. It is like my go to thing for years. And I also know that I can eat a lot, but I\’ve also learned that I don\’t feel good when I do.
This is often how things would go for me. I\’d be at a grocery store and I do most of the shopping for us, so fairly common occurrence. Each week I\’d see some cookies and so I\’d buy some thinking, hey, this would be great for the kids, it would be fun. Then I\’d get in the car and think, Oh, be nice to have a cookie on the ride home. By the time I get home, I\’d have eaten half the container. I couldn\’t tell you how many cookies I ate and basically just kind of went on autopilot.
Now I say this and I hear it and it doesn\’t actually make me sad or frustrated. Well, maybe a little bit. But what I see is that our bodies, your body, in your mind, in my body and my mind are incredibly efficient. And that if I can create a situation where I crash a box of cookies without even thinking about it, on the flip side, I can also create a situation where I crush things in my business, my relationships, my personal wellbeing that equally go incredibly smoothly. Because what happens when we do this is that our subconscious takes over what we are feeding it and runs with it.
You don\’t grab a stack of five cookies and eat them all at once in one huge bite. You take one and then you take another and then eventually you\’ve eaten five cookies.
So what pattern can you shift and create for yourself to make a positive habit? Maybe it\’s putting on a podcast as soon as you get into the car. Maybe it\’s clearing through emails or writing to your friends to reconnect. Every time you sit down on the sofa after dinner, figure out what and where you want to add into your life and start allowing the power of your efficient mind to serve you in all the good ways.
And I will say I have since shifted. It actually happened a couple of weeks ago. I had actually picked up the habit of drinking the occasional cup of coffee in the morning. It\’s something that I\’ve talked about here on the podcast previously.
I enjoy the taste of coffee. I thought, I\’ll just do this. What I know, though, is that caffeine gives me a similar feeling to being anxious. Interestingly, I\’ve found out that large amounts of sugar hello, eating cookies also does a similar thing. And so I made a very conscious decision to shift after talking about it with my wife.
In this process, I fully acknowledge to myself that I was actively making choices that were not benefiting me and did not actually feel good to me and I deserve to feel good. And so I dropped the coffee and while I go for the occasional frappuccino, if I\’m out with the family, I\’ve really dropped the coffee and I\’ve dropped the cookies and I feel way better.
I substituted drinking water for coffee and snacks and all that. And I have paired that with a really clear list of things that I need to work on every day. And so I\’m getting way more done. I\’m snacking way less, and the things that I\’m eating are much more fruit and vegetables. It\’s been a win win win! It\’s an awesome feeling.
When we shift into a new habit, that habit is connected to what we think on the inside. We first have a thought and then we take action. For me, snacking can be connected to putting things off. It\’s a reason to not do work, do not do things. So not only does the shift that I made helped me feel better physically, it\’s actually connected to my bigger vision \”Why?\” And I\’m using my time now in a way that is more aligned with what I want to be doing and where I want things to head.
So what about for you? What new habit are you looking to create in your life that supports your bigger goals? Or big or why?
One of the most effective ways to add a new habit is called stacking, you add a new behavior on to one that you\’re currently doing. Say you just wanted to do ten push ups morning and night. You might connect this with brushing your teeth. And so you do 10 pushups before you brush your teeth.
You also want to make what you add on really easy. And this is an area where I have a tendency to overestimate my abilities. I\’m going to stick with the example of a push up because it\’s just kind of a simple way to talk about these things. But this really applies to any any habit that you\’re looking to add in to say you make a goal to do 50 push ups to start out when you haven\’t really done them right. Like your ego and your brain can quickly get in the way with all the reasons why it\’s hard, why you can\’t do it or you won\’t be able to do it. It\’ll push you do all these other things. I need to floss, so I got to go and take out the trash. You\’ll just start coming up with reasons to avoid it. Plus, depending on how that actually goes, if you haven\’t been exercising a lot, your body might object to it too and suddenly create physical impossibility by way of injury.
Been there, done that. It\’s not fun. On the flip side, if you simply make the goal one push up, chances are when you get down there for that one, you\’ll do two or three because you\’re already down there. The majority of that resistance as to why you can\’t do it is gone.
Another helpful piece when choosing a habit is to choose something that you can do every day. Repetition is a wonderful teacher and really powerful when it comes to creating change. It\’s much easier to create a small habit that you engage with every day than a large habit. You do say once a week, then make sure that you track what you\’re doing and reward yourself.
I\’ve been working on celebrating my wins each day. I\’m actually doing this at night with my son too. Before we read, I asked him if there\’s anything he wants to let go of him day and then for him to share three things that he feels really proud of. And we\’ve done it enough times now that if I tried to speed up bedtime in any way and jump right into the story, he\’s like, wait, what? I want to let go of him. What are the three things? Right, Papa? Absolutely, big guy. Like, let\’s make it happen. And I love that he\’s latched on to that.
If you can, when you are rewarding yourself, make sure that that is something that is connected to the habit. So if you have a habit that\’s exercise related, maybe get a new pair of shorts after you\’ve done this for three weeks straight or something, or a shirt or maybe some new running shoes.
If it\’s finance, think about buying yourself something or making the investment in yourself in that chorus or that coach that you\’ve been saving for whatever it is, make the connection that you are rewarding yourself for the way you follow through on your commitment.
Our brains are massively efficient. When you choose intentional actions, you can harness that power and use it to create amazing lives.
Connect your new habit to a current one,
Start small and make it easy.
Choose something to do every day and
Measure and reward yourself.
I have a great tracking sheet and a bonus training video on creating habits for success that you can easily download. You can just visit. sharpteamdesign.com/commit to grab a copy.
Thank you so much for listening, everybody.
I am excited to hear the habits you implement, the way that you choose to shift and the way that you choose to welcome in even better good things to your life.
Now go out there and do great things.
How recognizing your bad habits can help you make a shift into good habits that serve your goals and the larger \”why\” in your life.
Grab your habit tracking sheet and mini training on creating successful habits here.
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