Ever look around at life and wonder, how did I get exactly here? What shaped this reality that I live in, minute by minute? Why the f* do new years resolutions and stuff typically not work?
Have you ever wondered, what makes you who you are?
I really wanted to know why we pick the same type of person to date over and over again, even if they are not good for us? Have you wondered, why we continue to eat junk food when all we want is a healthier body and lifestyle overall? Why can’t we stop our Self from doing certain things, like picking up our phone to unconsciously scroll on social media or even the better things in life like automatically brushing our teeth every day? Why the F* do we do what we do!?
We are our habits. I know, it does not sound all that glamorous. But what makes us who we are, are the mechanism inside of us; our chemicals, neural pathways, hormones, etc.
Get this: we have major control over this mechanism, even if they become unconscious behaviors.
A great example of habits being who we are is me at the age of 33. I am who I am because of what I chose to do, notably all through out my twenties. In regards to my childhood, a lot of my behaviors and habits are now maladaptive as an adult and if anything I look ridiculous and like a wreck when I try to act in ways that served me as a child living in trauma now as an adult in a reality that I very much can control beyond immediate behaviors that children more so have to lean on. Honestly, I am at the point in my life where I am finishing cleaning up a lot of messes. A lot of useless habits. Emotional messes, physical messes, gut health messes, arrested development messes, and cognitive behavioral messes. Our choices can make or break who we become. Our choices form habits. I have made many choices and formed many habits that did not serve me in the short term as well as the long term. It is amaze how distracted I can become when I want to feel good instantly because of sh*tty things going on. What’s more amazing, is that usually sh*tty things would be going on in life because of previous lower level choices I made. My lower level mind wants pleasure and fun basically all the time. I would drink alcohol until falling asleep, I would wake up and smoke pot, I would stay up until 2 or 4am, and of course I loved having out with late night humans of various sorts. None of this choices served the person that I truly wanted and fundamentally needed to become. My choices and habits were not even offering the type of friendships and partnerships I needed to feel safe, happy, and secure in life.
I inform you of things the way that I do, in hopes to shine a bright light on that fact that we can take back control of our life, our feelings, our overall reality at anytime if we choose to. Life is all about choices. Our habits were created based on choices we made over and over again, whether we realized it or not.
I do not use the word bad in this episode and I will continue to not use that word. I am not playing god here.
In regards to what most call bad habits, I am going to refer to them as useless. Because, they obviously were not of service to whomever was engaging with them, whether it be you, me, or some one we do not know. The habit just was not useful. Going back to things that are typically referred to as bad, we can at the very least refer to them as not good. Right? It is obvious that the habit was not good, and it is likely the habit was other things, too. Calling something bad is subjective and a mere opinion, if you ask me. What is bad for me may be fabulous for you.
With an adaptive growth mindset, is anything bad? With an adaptive growth mindset, we appreciate lessons learned and view challenges as opportunity for growth and better outcomes. An adaptive growth mindset is 1 of life’s 6 fundamental components to living better & feeling better everyday. When we pair an adaptive growth mindset with goal setting, another fundamental life component, we mightily strengthen the likelihood of creating a new habit via setting short (and possibly long term) goals.
So wtf are habits?
Habits are what we do. Habits are our actions that were once chosen and now quite unconscious. We do habits in particular contexts, not just any time and any place because we want to. Habits come from our environment. This is why I have said it before and will say it again, those struggling with any type of addition, such as low grade addiction to your phone or sever addiction to substances, need to alter their environment and remove what is triggering the behavior. Very shortly we are going to learn about triggers and what causes us to do what we do AKA cues. We have to control our environment if we want to control our internal world. What happens outside of us impacts our insides. What happens outside of us can convince us to do certain things and behave in particular ways.
Our lives are the result of our habits. How we feel about life is in large part because of our habits, because of what we do every day and night. The things we do regularly contribute to the person we are and the goals we achieve. It is an essential part of life to establish healthy and helpful habits. You have immense control over how life will feel by taking control of your habits and daily choices.
For so many years I thought it was impossible or for only the deeply spiritual to implement long-lasting change life. I wanted to stop feeling depressed and like life was not worth getting out of bed for. I wanted to become the person I saw in my head. It ate me alive, every day, to not be going towards the vision I had of my Self.
A lot of issues we face are because e do not have a 100% clear Life Vision. If you do not have one, I walk you through the steps in a future podcast, but I urge you to get the 2 FREE courses on the website as well as exploring what your total life blueprint looks like while you are there, too. The ‘Reclaim More Than Your Sleep’ Course is thickly dedicated to habit formation and breaking old habits, by the way. At least 30 pages of the workbook hone in on habits formation and elimination. Sleep is the total result of every day life choices, and so the focus is on every aspect of your life when we try to solve a problem and upgrade areas. This is why your life blueprint is fundamental and consist of 5 fundamental components.
When we form a new habit, it means we have done something enough that it has become reflexive or automatic. This includes thought patterns. Over analyzing and ruminating can be a habit formed in ways that do not feel good to you or serve you. Same goes for being in a sh*tty relationship. It is one reason why I stayed in an abusive relationship; my codependency became a terribly unhelpful habit to my Self. I can personally say that making some one else the main priority over my Self is surely a bad habit I chose to strengthen. Another bad habit of mine here? People pleasing beyond my needs. I had no f*ing boundaries when my depression tried to take over my life for a handful of years. I now know that creating and strongly implementing boundaries would have not only helped ease my depression, but would have totally helped my actually life become far better feeling and closer to my needs.
When we make some one else a priority or when we continue to go after our short term wants & desires rather than our fundamental and longterm needs, it means we do not have clarity on our Life Vision as well as we are overstepping our own boundaries…if we even have any in the first place.
When I was at my lowest point in life I said “F* it all” to my boundaries. My depression and extreme lack of self belief left me believing that I deserved very little from other humans. So that is what I decided to give my Self - I chose to spend time with what I call bottom of the barrel humans.
We have to have rock solid boundaries and a 100% clear vision if we ever want to guarantee a better tomorrow, not to mention a totally better life longterm.
Never forget that dopamine is what drives us to Do. Dopamine will drive you towards chosen pleasures. This is why we get clear on what is necessary and life, and revise our habits so our dopamine drives us towards the good things we need rather than other things we just want.
Mismanaged dopamine and doing things over and over again can also become an addiction.
Research shows 18 days to 254 days for different humans to form a habit.
Specific habits targeted in this research were taking walks after dinner.
Heads up: Because you can't form 1 specific habit easily, it does not mean you can't learn and adopt others with ease. Some things are just far more difficult, especially if it involves learning.
Habits are one animal, trying to learn something new is an entirely different animal. Usually, learning something new involves forming a new habit to engage with the necessary repetitive learning.
Tiny changes in our habits and daily choices can change the entire trajectory of our life.
When we make small changes, usually we are not able to see the impact of that right away. Over days and years do we see if that choice to change has a positive or negative result.
Creating or changing habits feels difficult because we are up against friction, 2 types of friction.
Internal friction of feelings (chemicals) as well as external friction of difficulties and challenges.
You will notice that these frictions interact with one another, and we can ease the pain and displeasure we tend to feel when trying to form new habits by implementing particular tools and practices. We can use friction as an actual cue to implement a lifestyle tool or protocol.
Ah yes, the power of an Adaptive Growth Mindset - we see all things, including habit formation friction, as an opportunity to become more and feel better.
There is a lot of habit research and information out there. I feel as though I have combined some of the best work there is in culmination with not only my own experiences, but my own successful habit forming & breaking practices I have used for almost 20 years. Indeed, my struggles have resulted in habit successes.
For internal friction, I’d like to thank neuroscientist Andrew Huberman for his Limbic Friction work as well as the 3-Phase approach honoring our internal 24 hour cycle. When I talk about internal friction, I am talking about the mechanism inside of us and how best to leverage what is going on internally for better outcomes out in the real world. I immensely summarize the neural processes as well as the 3 phases as they are rather extensive and I’m keen to cover what we can do in our day to day life after understanding our internal world just a bit.
For external friction, I’d like to thank my tenacity and never-ending grit for discovering so many ways to reach goals and become a better person through dedicated habit formation the past 2 decades of my adult life. The research on habit formation and breaking is extensive and can get confusing; I clear things up and created 6healthy habit-supporting lifestyle tools. When I talk about external friction, I am talking about the challenges we face when we move forward with behavior and action.
Before we can take direct action in the real world and in our life, we need to understand and unlock the power within us. Our neural pathways and nervous system have a lot to do with how we move through life, what we choose to do, and what habits we adopt as our own.
Andrew Huberman’s concept of “Limbic friction” determines how well we take on a habit due to the strain required to overcome 1 of 2 states in your body.
These 2 states are: too anxious or too tired.
The limbic system is the part of the brain involved in our behavioral and emotional responses, especially when it comes to behaviors we need for survival: feeding, reproduction and caring for our young, and fight or flight responses. Basically, the limbic system has a lot to do with our behaviors AKA what we do or how we respond to something.
First we are going to determine our Habit Strength, a neat-o psychological concept.
Context dependent: If you go from 1 environment to the next do you tend to do the same things in the same way? For example, only in the bedroom do you stretch and read.
Context independent: Do you engage in the same habits regardless of where you are? For example, do you brush your teeth at night no matter where you are? Do you always shower after waking up even when traveling across the country?
Habit strength ultimately predicts how likely we are to continue carrying out a habit even when circumstances change; our environment changes. For instance, if the weather is junky and wet before we go on a jog, would we pack away our running shoes or brave the storm? A key feature of habit strength involves shifting our habits from being context-dependent to context-independent. Context dependence occurs when we carry out behaviors only within certain time frames and situations, whereas context-independent behavior can freely occur without constraints, and it is these behaviors that stick and form habits in the long run.
We want context independence people. This is when we do the things we need to do without it feeling sh*tty, boring, or lesser than some other shiny habit such as watching tv.
When it takes more limbic friction to execute habits that means it requires more energy via our autonomic nervous system. It’s important our lifestyle serves us and our choices are aligned with our needs, this is why a clear Life Vision brings better things in to our life. When we talk of or live with a dysregulated nervous system, we are referring to the autonomic nervous system, which causes us to think, feel and behave in ways that are driven by unconscious patterns and which generate automatic responses. When we have a dysregulated nervous system we are likely engaging in behaviors and choices that further unregulate us. We look around at our life and wonder wtf and feel like sh*t, usually failing to see it is our choices and habits that did us dirty. We can take back control and clean up the accidental mess at any time by regulating our nervous system and upgrading our daily choices that form into habits.
Here's an example:
If stressed after work and a lot going on, there's a lot of limbic friction to get to a calm state.
You may feel like you want fast-acting relief asap. Over the years, you may have taught your Self that a glass of wine or cracking a beer is a well deserved stress buster. There were a few year soft my life where I thought I darner needed a glass of wine in the evening. Nope, just a very strongly formed useless habit that arguably was a low grade addiction, too.
Unfortunately, there are underlying mechanisms excited to be activated and they do not care that the activation is toward unhelpful alcoholic substances or video games, for example. Dopamine just wants to be activated and once it sees what activates us, it will motivate us to go towards that self chosen pleasure night after night, day after day. We become what we choose.
Overriding that friction to transcend our Wants and act on our Needs can feel painful and almost impossible at times.
We want to leverage our natural rhythms of brain and body to make it more likely to engage or maintain our habits. This is made easy by dividing each 24-hour day-night cycle into three phases.
Here is a 3 Phase approach to Taking Back Internal Control for Habit Formation:
The first 0-8 hours after waking. Your brain and body are more action and focus oriented in Phase 1 due to elevated dopamine, adrenaline and cortisol levels. It’s easier to overcome limbic friction during this time period. That being said, we are also more prone to distraction and reflexive multitasking at this time. I will show you via our external friction how to best manage this and leverage to our advantage. This is where a solid morning routine can really serve you, too.
These habits should require energy and focus. Setting a window for completion rather than a precise start and stop time lends flexibility to your schedule and we explore that in a bit when we talk about Duration & Location. For example, you might elect to exercise or write or study “after waking but before 11am,” meaning it can be done at 8 a.m., 6 a.m. or 10 a.m. but definitely in Phase 1 timeframe. Of course, if you can do it at the same time each day, great, but setting a broader window of opportunity can help given busy lives. We are better off not creating feelings of disappointment because we were too strict with our habits.
When I set out to reclaim my life via my sleep schedule and behaviors, I immediately began to overhaul my morning routine. It started with saying F* You to waking up at 4am every night, and not being able to get back to sleep. I now know this is mainly due to 2 things: high late day cortisol as well as low serotonin, that I now use melatonin to mildly assist with but definitely not for sleep. Anyways, I made the decision to say to my Self “well fine, if you want to be up at this hour then let me show you what this is actually like and what this will mean for how I feel.” After 2 weeks, my body did a major reset and I began instantly falling asleep before 10pm and would wake up around 6 to 7am naturally.
I needed to have a lot to do for the mornings that I was awake for many hours, though! I also loathed my non-existent morning routine because of how it made me feel everyday and obviously needed to create one that included both self care as well as brain passions. I am a brainiac, and I wanted nothing more than to study for hours everyday. This was actually hard to implement at first. After all, I am seeking to do what I complained about for so many years that I would never do again after college - study and daily homework. Nowadays, believe it or not, I research and study for a minimum of 5 hours everyday. When I do not engage in this behavior and self created habit, I feel lesser than as well as cognitively dim. I created a habit that makes me feel awful when I do not do it every morning, and that's a strong habit formed and I will show you how to do that in a bit. To be clear, every morning after honoring aforementioned Light Exposure rules and completing my self care routine, I then begin my morning note taking and research. YouTube videos were a brilliant first step to leaning into daily research and development, especially when I was waking up at 4am with pitch dark skies and hours before any natural light appears. Sometimes I multi-task with a podcast and do reflexive workshop tasks, which you will learn soon can be very helpful to habit pair or stack.
In the 9-15 hours after waking. We want to leverage our naturally higher serotonin levels and lower adrenaline, and engage in habits that don’t require much limbic friction. This time of day I am doing order fulfillment, customer service, back end edits, listing revisions, and my movement practice.
This is an excellent time for behaviors and thinking that can be completed with less focus. Engaging in things that involve creative exploration is great. Things such as: free flow movement, writing fiction and rough drafts, playing of any kind, experimenting (cooking a new recipe or dying bed sheets). Phase 1 is helpful for habits where precise execution is needed, Phase 2 is best for creative and common things—trying a new recipe, brainstorming, exploring a new approach to some aspect of work, a physical pursuit, relationships or learning. I really can not urge the powerful benefits of free flow movement and play. Free expression of dance within the flow state (AKA being in the zone) through hoop dance absolutely saved my life. The flow state can change your life, fyi.
“A lot of habit formation has to do with being in the right state of mind and being able to control your body and mind.” - Andrew Huberman
Within the 16-24 hours after waking. This is a crucial period that determines your life foundation. This is when we reset our ability to overcome limbic friction by, you guessed it, resting and sleeping. We deeply covered this content in previous posts and podcast episodes and it is not to be taken “lightly” ;)
Avoid bright lights; low to no lights
Avoid mind altering substances such as alcohol and marijuana
Sleep in a cool, dark room
Explore supplementation (not melatonin) if needed
There is a lot we can do to help us achieve our necessary habits.
What is awesome about habit formation and deletion is that it directly helps us achieve our goals.
We are going to learn how to overcome external friction via the following habit tools:
Habit Pairing and Stacking
Duration & Location
Controlling the Loop (Dopamine)
You might think this is wu-wu. Well, it is an actual tool for application within the ‘Psychology of Habit’ found in the Annual Review of Psychology.
For anyone trying to adopt new habits, getting into procedural memory is very helpful.
In order to form a new habit, we now know limbic friction must be reduced so we do not get overwhelmed by the resistance that often lays waste to our good intentions. One way to do this is to tap into our procedural memory, which stores information on how to perform certain tasks. With each repetition, small cognitive and neural changes occur in our procedural memory which strengthens our habit formation. Performing a mental visualization just one time can engage our procedural memory and increase the probability that we keep repeating the habit’s actions in the future. This includes thinking about the sequence of steps required to complete a task in a systematic manner. In this way, our brain fires the same neurons when we imagine completing a habit as when we actually do it. Ultimately, the corresponding neurons are more likely to ‘wire together’ and help us achieve establishing the habit with greater ease.
First, we want to visualize and think about the very specific sequence of steps required to execute a habit. Second, we live through it time and time again in our mind. Again, doing this one time can shift the likelihood of executing to very likely.
Visualization helps bring down the limbic friction. If visualization is not a word that works for you, then think of this as a Procedural Memory Exercise.
Our nervous system is not stupid. It knows the difference between thought and action.
When we visualize, we have already introduced the habit into our body and when it is time to take action on it in the real world it is easier to execute through the behaviors that come from our body.
What about old habits?
We can visualize them away, too.
Below, write or draw what no longer serves you.
This can be people, places, or things.
Habit Pairing and Stacking
I think of habit stacking and habit pairing as two sides to the same coin. Same but slightly different.
How to stack habits:
After [current habit] I will [new habit]
After brushing my teeth (reflexive) I will stretch for 10 minutes.
After making my bed (automatic) I will clean my room for 5 minutes.
I like to pair my habit of listening to podcasts with a new habit, such as food prepping produce.
Always plan your day and take care of your self before checking social media. The black hole that is the very creepily designed social media very purposefully knows how to lock you in. Social media is designed to get you to do what it wants you to do. Stay in control!
It’s definitely beneficial for you to open blinds, curtains, and allow as much natural light in as possible every morning. This is a very healthy habit that can support so many others.
Remember light exposure 101: viewing your phone first thing in the morning is screwing up your neural chemicals, your internal 24 hour clock, and how you feel about your life every single day.
Is checking your phone worth your total life wellbeing? I think not. And I own multiple businesses that certainly require me to be present online everyday! Every day does not equate to all day.
What is important to you? Dopamine or your wellbeing?
Habit pairing is about increasing enjoyment while doing what we need to do.
We have to make new habits attractive. Dopamine can help us do that.
How to do this: Combine an action you need to do with one you want to do.
For example and a popular one I have also used: Watch something enjoyable + do a workout. Or in my case, a long slow flow restorative yoga AKA holding one stretch pose for a long period of time.
If viewing a screen, please be super f*ing mindful of light exposure.
One habit is not meant to make another new bad habit.
We habit stack and habit pair because we are conditioned to do new habits as we get to do the things we already enjoy.
I created the habit of stretching every morning by pairing it with my absolute need and super-feel-good action of going out in the morning sun. I also stacked it by placing it before I walk my little dog. Stacking really motivates me to stretch before walking because I truly have an extremely bad hip.
The habit pairing creates more enjoyment for me to stretch and the stacking ensures I do necessary steps in their needed order. Notice I am not entirely strict on when I do these morning habits.
Duration & Location
The more strict we are with our habit formation, the more difficult it will be to form.
Humans do not learn best by putting their Self under intense daily pressure. Life is unpredictable and things come up. It is always in our best interest to ease the stress we can put on our Self when going towards something new. Consistent forward motion is the goal here, not strictness or perfectionism.
It is best if you get in the habit *wink* of setting time durations and locations for your habit to be performed or executed.
Which one sounds more manageable:
“I will read at 9:30am every morning for 30 minutes until 10am which is when I need to do my next thing.” or “I will read for 15 min everyday in the bedroom.”
Here is another:
“I will wake up at 6am and be running by 6:30 am. I will run for 45 minutes minimum.”
or “I will run 3 times a week in the morning for at least 20 minutes.”
It’s about making your habits (and the goals within them) actually accessible.
Do not strive to be a superwoman. Instead, strive to be a bit better and a bit more regulated everyday.
Your identity's backbone is within your habits. When we continually fail on our habits, we feel like a failure to our self. Envision habits that you can actually do everyday. Be realistic about your life. Your habits are to be aligned with your Life Vision. If you do not have a life vision, get those 2 free courses on the website and stick around for an upcoming episode on Visualization, Vision Work, and creating a clear Life Vision.
A discovery I made as a teenager was to create simple goals that absolutely could be accomplished if I put forth minimal effort. As long as I engaged it was basically a win. Kind of like touching it for a few minutes helps you lean into more everyday. We will cover that magic in section 5 of Touching Base.
Controlling the Loop
Overall lifestyle success doesn't come from one overarching action. Rather, total lifestyle success comes from tiny improvements, life tweaks, redirects, and better choices made on the daily. It’s not about one thing being the answer to everything. It’s about doing the better things every day to get the life we need. We get the life we need by upgrading our daily habits and revising how we set goals.
Goals can be tricky. Ultimately, goals are why we do what we do everyday. Goals guide us. We are achieving something to get to something else or somewhere different. Our Life Vision is one big mother f*ing goal, got it?
What are your goals in life?
The more we align our habits with our goals, the greater life will be and the better it will feel.
In other words, the more we align our choices with what we need in life, the better it all is.
Habits can be formed on a negative or positive loop. What we do can be good or not good for us.
Cue/Prompt - Behavior/Reaction - Reward/Outcome
The Cue: The cue is whatever prompts the behavior.
The Reaction: The reaction is the behavior that has become second-nature.
The Reward: Lastly is the reward from our behavior.
Cues can be feelings you have, sounds, what you see.
Reaction or behavior is an action or an emotional response.
Reward is the desired outcome, and I typically find this to be a feeling rather than a tangible reward.
Here is a great example:
Bored - Checks Phone - Neural Chemical Dump (likely dopamine from the Doing Behavior of checking phone and then Serotonin from watching something enjoyable)
We have to become aware of what we are doing and what habits make us who we are.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
There are so many things controlling us. We need to consciously take back control. And get honest.
We need to be clear on who we want to be and what habits we need to become.
Equally, when we get clear on our needs we realize what needs to be eliminated.
This might be things such as food, video games, places such as bars, and people including whom we may have chosen as a life partner. (please note I never say romantic or intimate partner in this context as I do not believe you find a lifelong partnership within short term emotional feelings and sex)
Something major about taking back control and hacking this habit loop is the cue/prompt.
I know this sounds intense, but it is a great example, as these humans have let their dopamine and short term desires take absolutely control of their behaviors and habits:
For addicts, it is pertinent to change the environment.
It is darn near impossible to create long lasting change if surrounded by the objects, people, and establishments that supported your lower level choices and non beneficial habits (AKA bad habits).
Most humans operate best with visual cues.
This is why we are advertised to all day long! We are being cued to act on certain things!
I REALLY needed to drink more water when rounding the corner to age 30. I’m older now..and drinking water hourly by the way.
How did I accomplish cueing for more water?
I put nice glass water bottles in every room and made lemons readily available to slice up.
Putting lemons in my water somehow turns it into a very desirable beverage. I also created a fridge note as well as downloaded a free water reminder App.
To note, most reminders from phones and notes only work for the first week or two.
Want to read more: Lay a book where you see all the time or have a podcast auto pop up daily.
Need more sleep: Set up automatic light controls to dim and brighten at best times.
Think of your environment or your home as full of useful cues and functional items, rather than just full of objects. Furthermore, remove all cues that encourage old / bad / unbeneficial habits.
Trouble drinking before bed every night? Toss the sauce.
Always checking your phone in bed at night or when waking up? Take the phone out of your bedroom. All that wifi and blue light are apparently not beneficial for health, anyways.
Support your Self by doing what you need to do.
You will survive without your phone, and if anything, begin to feel better everyday living life connected to your body, natural rhythms, and daily experiences.
You can also think about areas of your home as zones. I do not think I would be as successful as I am if I used my bedroom beyond sleep, clothes changing, sex, and relaxation (cupping and massage).
If doing the van life or living in small quarters, truly consider if that life works for your needs.
Be mindful of where sunlight enters your home and at what time.
I realized I needed to rearrange my entire house after a few months of living in it. Thanks to my adaptive growth mindset I did not f*ing mind the effort towards upgrading my everyday life while in my home. My man work desk now faces the brightest window with ample foliage surrounding.
If you see something that is not working, you are remiss to ignore it.
Remember, leaking pipes only get worse over time. Take care now rather than repair later.
It's all about being present and welcoming the new habit with intention. Even if it's 5 minutes.
We can reduce external friction by reducing the required duration. When we are trying to form and become a new habit, sometimes it is easiest to take ultra baby steps at first.
For example, if you want to become a dancer then you may begin by putting on your dancewear and looking at your self in a mirror. Maybe you are moving around freely or prancing around.
If you want to become a daily reader, read 2 pages a day. Instead of setting a small goal of a chapter a day, just a couple pages makes you feel accomplished and gives you the option to read more.
Other ways we touch base and reduce friction is by prepping.
We can meal prep for the week, which can help us reduce time constraints in our night time routine.
Working out at a local gym is easier if the location is very close to home or on the way to work.
It is easier to stick to habits if we reduce friction rather than try to solve problems by accepting high-friction challenges and bending until breaking the desired habit.
This next approach has the potential to turn you into a different person. This option allows you to lean all the way into your Life Vision and Self Belief that you are becoming the very habit you are forming. Joining 30 day challenges on Instagram or at a gym throws you deep into a new reality where you must engage in your new habit everyday for at least 30 days.
We must be careful to not rely on location or context for this newly forming habit to be cued every time. Challenges are a great launch pad foundation for new habits, but it is up to us after the designated time frame to continue with that behavior once the preliminary cue is gone.
Go where your [good] habits exist.
book club, gym, meetups, FB groups, etc
Stop going where bad habits exist. You are making life difficult by subjecting your Self to old cues.
Highlight benefits of the habit to make it more appealing or find your identity in it.
Saving money = financial freedom rather than sacrifice.
Breaking up = experiencing a partnership that doesn't cause you to feel sad every other day rather than oh no now I’m alone for a bit.
Working out = feeling physically better rather than exhausted.
The more we believe in a habit, the easier it will be to form. We will want it. And when humans want something, they fight for it. It’s amazing that our desires seem to outweigh our needs and we do not mean to behave in life this way. Alas, it is our dopamine being tricky in this modern advanced world.
“What is immediately rewarded, we repeat.
What is immediately punished or does not feel good, is avoided.”
By now, a lot of us are realizing we need to make multiple changes in various areas of life if we are to ever get the life we need. This is totally f*ing okay and your life upgrade is supported as well as CELEBRATED. Change can be scary, but when we do what we need to do, we start living a life far better than we ever could have within our old habits and lower level choices.
How we best accomplish changing our habits is by making the process enjoyable along the way. After all, it's the feeling of pleasure and enjoying stuff that continues to distract us from doing what is needed and has us making choices to do things that honor our lower level mind and Self. To live a higher level life we have to make higher level choices as to have higher level habits for a lifetime.
A higher level life offers a higher quality of sleep and vice versa.
Reward your Self and feel successful doing the little, necessary things everyday to form better habits:
Check a box
Add a dollar to a jar
Text your accountabilibuddy
Sticker on a chart
Download progress bars
Habit tracker app
Habit contract with Self
Write a daily fb status
Start an online group
What is at least 1 thing from the list above or from your creative mind that you will do to create visual progress for habit(s) formation?
Have you found certain practices or visual objects to not be helpful?
Personally, I find that I start ignoring app notifications and alarms after about 5 days.
It is very common for humans to ignore notes and reminders after a few days as that visual cue is not stimulating as well as it does not change in any way to further get our attention.
Habits will make or break our every day reality and how we feel about it all.
Habits make us who we are. My habits, for many years, were mainly creating thoughts and feelings that crushed me. I felt awful everyday. I wanted so much to change, and it took a long time to realize that the necessary change I needed reside din my Self. I needed to change how I made choices, what I welcomed into my life, and what I found pleasurable. I created countless useless and bad habits that catapulted my living reality to dark and uncomfortable places. Most of my life, I struggled with insomnia and could barely sleep because of my unending bad habits that I felt I needed to constantly engage in as to make life feel just bit better in the short term moments. I was forever missing the point of living a better life, and that was to make better choices. The choices I needed to make looked very different than the ones I grew familiar with making. I can’t say I was comfortable making them, as my nervous system was immensely dysregulated and my health was blatantly declining.
What are you going to choose after learning about habits and the fact that we can control what we do?
For me, I am keen to challenge my short term desires always. I am determined to achieve my total Life Vision and enjoy the smaller goals along the way to the bigger ones. I want a lot out of life, and to get what I want, and absolutely have to honor my needs and put them front and center in my own life.
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All the best today beebs!
YOU GOT THIS Breezi