Developing Habits To Ensure Success
At least once a week, someone in our gym asks me –
“ What else should I be doing to help me get closer to my goals…?”
Most of the individuals have started down the path to progress, but still struggle to grasp the concept of how to ‘make progress’ outside training time.
This is because they are asking the wrong question.
It’s not what else should I be “doing”, its what else should I be “changing”
The better question then becomes –
“What habits should I be changing to help me get closer to reaching my goals?”
To understand how we can alter habits, we need to understand what one is.
What exactly is a habit?
A habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Many habits become obsessive or addictive. Depending on the context, they can be good for our health or equally as bad.
At some point in time, one of our common ancestors had some form of OCD that enabled him, her or it, to survive long enough to breed and pass on the habit gene to the rest of us. Like it or not, if you are a human, you are a creature of habit.
Nature Vs Nurture
There are two predominant forces that shape us into who we are, drive the decisions we make and in turn, the habits we form.
-Your gene (nature): That voice deep in the reptilian recesses of your brain that doesn’t need to use words to freely express itself when ever it damn well chooses too.
-Your environment (nurture): That family member or friend who keeps hounding you to do something your nature needs a little more convincing to do, or that cold wind outside that keeps you wrapped up in a blanket on the couch even when your nature is to paaarty!
Here’s the exciting part. Both can be trained. Both can be harnessed and manipulated to transform us into the humans we aspire to be.
To keep it simple, we will focus on the easier of the two to manipulate. Nurture. Being human, one of your most amazing traits is your ability to adapt to almost any environment. Habits generally form within an environment. No matter how unadaptable you feel your habits are, changing your environment, will change the nature of your habits.
In our society, we are lucky enough to have the ability to radically change our environment almost instantaneously. In turn, these changes can also have a profound influence on our nature.
Below is a list of example goals, existing habits and potential replacement habits that can be altered almost instantaneously to help reach those goals WITHOUT adding extra workload to your day.
Keep in mind throughout this process; Slow progressive steps. Change one habit, get used to the adaption, change another. Take your time. You have the rest of your life to reap the benefits. Too much change too quickly can have adverse effects.
Goal: Self development
Habit: Hanging out with dead-shits.
Replacement habit: Surround yourself with people that have attributes you want and admire. There are physical and social habits formed with certain individuals that are detrimental to ones health. We all know what and who they are. Don’t worry, you don’t have to ditch that bad influence forever. Once they see how amazing you become from changing your habits, you will inspire them to do the same.
Call up that mate that stimulates your mind and makes you move. We all have one. It’s a tough phone call to make but it’s never a regretful one. Now make it a habit to call them three times a week.
Goal: Increase motivation
Habit: Sitting in front of the idiot box every evening.
Replacement habit : Hang out at Jungle Brothers Strength and Movement.
Get out of the habit of being in a rush to get home and sit on your arse. Use that time to train or just hang out where people are motivated. It’ll soon rub off.
Goal: Drop body fat percentage
Habit: Snacking on shit
Replacement habit: Eat fresh whole foods
Empty your fridge and cupboards of processed foods, fill them with fresh whole foods. When you habitually reach for something to stuff in your gob, itll be good for you. Ask us about our nutrition program for more information. Or drop us a line at email@example.com
Goal: increase mobility
Habit: Sitting on a chair or couch.
Replacement habit: Sit on the floor.
Mobility issues? Push your chairs aside and make the floor an appealing place to sit. Nice big rug, push the coffee table to a corner of the room, chuck a few trigger point tools in a basket to one side, and sit on the floor WITHOUT a back rest. It’s tough, but it’s a habit that will transform you overnight into a god damn yogi.
Goal: Increase time management efficiency
Habit: Burning the midnight oil scrolling facebook.
Replace with: Get up early, train, eat breaky, catch up on emails.
Set an evening alarm to get you into bed earlier, then set your alarm in another room so your forced to get out of bed earlier in the morning. You are still sleeping the same amount of hours just shifting them slightly to accommodate a more productive lifestyle.
As you can see, the habits pretty much stay the same. It’s the environment we have changed. You are still hanging with mates, eating at a specific time, watching your favourite sitcom yet your accelerating progress. There are a multitude of habits other than the ones above that if changed, can literally transform your life.
Replacing bad habits with good habits of a similar nature to accommodate your training, for most of us, is actually more important than the training itself. Most of us train for an absolute maximum of two hours a day. It would be safe to say its what your doing the other 22 hrs that will decipher whether you attain your goals or not.