I just recently finished the book, “The Power of Habit“, which is a fantastic read (thanks, JB!). One of the big things that this book reaffirmed for me is the benefit of starting small and being consistent when attacking goals and habits – we are much more likely to be successful in achieving our goals if we do this.
Here is a quote from the book that supports this idea:
“When people start habitually exercising, even as infrequently as once a week, they start changing other, unrelated patterns in their lives, often unknowingly. Typically, people who exercise start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. It’s not completely clear why. But for many people, exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change. ‘Exercise spills over,’ said James Prochaska, a University of Rhode Island researcher. ‘There’s something about it that makes other good habits easier.‘” (108-109)
The book goes on to reveal that it is not only exercise that causes widespread change. In fact, any positive change in your life can help you make other positive changes. Researchers believe this is due to strengthening our willpower.
“‘When you learn to force yourself to go to the gym or start your homework or eat a salad instead of a hamburger, part of what’s happening is that you’re changing how you think,’ said Todd Heatherton, a researcher at Dartmouth who has worked on willpower studies. ‘People get better at regulating their impulses. They learn how to distract themselves from temptations. And once you’ve gotten into that willpower groove, your brain is practiced at helping you focus on a goal.'” (139)
So it is not only exercise that can cause positive changes. In fact, these researchers show that one positive change in your life often manifests into positive changes in other areas of your life.
So here is my call of action to you: Make it a goal to make one new positive change in your life.
How about today or tomorrow? The sooner the better.
What change should you make?
Well, if you have watched my webinar (available for free if you subscribe to my newsletter) then you know that I am big on focusing on the basics, which I narrow down to:
Healthy social life
Most of you already know that these basic things are good for you and that they will make the biggest impact on you building your healthy, happy, and sexy body. However, many of you (and I understand, I was guilty of it myself) continue to search for the “magic pill” – that perfect plan that will give you the results you want in X days or months.
STOP doing this. Instead, spend your time and effort turning the basics I listed above into habits. If you can do that, I promise you will see amazing changes in your happiness and physique, and these changes will be long-term unlike quick-fix plans and promises.
By adopting small changes and working to be consistent, you will also develop the willpower and strength to build new positive habits in the future.
Now, some of you may be asking, “Well what is proper nutrition or sufficient exercise?” These are fair questions, but do not worry about them yet. Focus on doing better than you are now.
Do you feel like you are getting enough sleep? If not, maybe you should try to make that your positive change.
Are you constantly stressed from work or your home life? If you are, maybe you need to look into stress management tools. My vote here is for meditation.
But remember: START SMALL!! One small change is all that is needed.
In future articles, I will discuss strategies to change your habits and build new, positive ones.
In the meantime, let me know in the comments what you are going to work on. I would love to hear from you.