So yesterday we talked heavily around how we react to our conditioned long term habits like stress, anger, fear and how to find awareness.
Gaining awareness can help towards as Dr Joe Dispenza says in his book – breaking the habit of being yourself
Today we will talk about starting new habits.
It is said that we can build a new habit in 21/28/30 days right?
Dr BJ Fogg (Tiny habits) says that after years of research, that it’s not repetition.
No wonder when trying to eat healthy ( a vague goal) we fail to be consistent.
BJ Fogg says we need emotion to cement the process, which we’ll talk about tomorrow in the final part, part 3.
Triggers and prompts
Triggers and prompts are the same thing, it starts of our brains conditioned response to an external stimuli.
We get out of bed and go the toilet, you walk past and see the sink, this triggers you’re response- oh yes I need to brush my teeth.
We were taught a simple toothbrush mindset tool by our nutrition Mentor Jen Broxterman of NutritionRx/Two brain coaching-
When our clients fail to do a new habit they are trying to ingrain and forget, they often beat themselves up and then quit.
But if one day you are busy and you rush out the house early in the morning or you go to bed at night early tired and don’t brush your teeth. Do you never brush your teeth again because you failed once?
I would imagine not, then why are we so harsh on ourselves when learning a new habit?
We simply try again, this time with a new trigger.
This time with a simple trigger and by making it as easy as possible.
BJ Fogg who is a behaviour scientist, struggled to floss his teeth, yes the god father of behaviour science struggled with a basic habit, it’s heavily referenced in his book.
He basically solved the puzzle by only setting his target small, he simply needed to only floss one tooth.
When he attempted to do all the teeth as a goal, the goal was to large, that may not seem large to you, or me but it was to him.
Our perception and mental energy like I said yesterday is like bandwidth, the more decisions we have to make consciously each day, the thinner our bandwidth gets spread.
And in the modern ear who wants slow download speeds!
Ever heard of decision fatigue?
A google search will bring you this
For example, major politicians and businessmen such as former United States President Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg have been known to reduce their everyday clothing down to one or two outfits in order to limit the number of decisions they make in a day.
Early Greek stoics are said to have figured this out also.
The more decisions we have to make, the more overwhelmed we get.
So BJ Fogg simply flosses 1 tooth, just one.
On the days he is feeling it and is more motivated, he does more.
But the goal is to be tiny.
Start small, keep it small and any more is a bonus, a extra credit.
You can then feel accomplished for the day, it’s probably why in the military we are taught to make our beds.
So find a trigger that works, visual works best, when we see something, it reminds us, oh yes I was meant to do X!
The trigger works best we use it with other long term habits like brush our teeth.
For me it’s wake, turn on the computer ready to write, go down stairs, coffee machine on and then meditate.
I’ve intermittently meditated on and off for years, it wasn’t me that was failing, it was my routine, or there lack off.
Now 99% of the time, unless my routine changes I meditate.
Simple behaviour design.
Want to get better at push ups? Do five when you turn on the kettle or go the fridge?
Want to improve pullups? hang a bar in the kitchen doorway and each time you go through do 1, easy right?
Even leave yourself sticky notes or notes on the whiteboard.
We have 2 whiteboards in our house to help trigger or remind me of tasks.
Again back to nutrition, if we want to eat more vegetables the simplest and easy rule is, first add the veggies, half a plate would be ideal, this leaves you only half a plate to fill.
I cant choose you’re trigger, only you can, I cant choose you’re habit, only you can.
But me or one of our coaches could guide you, we’d be happy to help set you’re day for success.
As I always say, nutrition and healthy living is simple, but not easy.