Hi, This is DD Devin of Deevine Intervention Lifestyle & Nutrition Health Coaching AKA Master of Habit Change….here with my Wednesday’s Walk Your Talk, Women’s Wisdom on What Works and What Doesn’t!
Today I want to share a little bit more of how to create healthy habits that last! If you want to operate at your highest level, you need to take a holistic approach to life. You are a system. When you change a part of any system, you simultaneously change the whole. Improve one area of your life, and all other areas improve in a virtuous cycle. by integrating one “keystone habit,” like exercise or reading, that the positivity of that one habits ripples into all other areas of your life, eventually transforming your whole life.
I want to share a very simple technique for building keystone habits!
You only need one keystone habit to start. If you create one, then you’ll have built the Confidence to build several more. The reason is simple: how you do anything is often how you do everything.
If you can lock in one keystone habit — particularly something that is fundamental and important like food or money or time — then you’ll have gained sufficient confidence and control in your life.
This is actually what most people don’t understand about willpower. They think willpower is about self-control when willpower is actually a matter of confidence.
If you have low willpower, it’s because you have low confidence.
You create confidence by getting small wins, which ripple into bigger wins. The more confident you are, the less willpower you need to make good choices.
So how do you build a keystone habit quick?
You create what I call “implementation intentions”. It’s extremely simple and easy to apply.
Basically, you create a planned response every time you’re either triggered or tempted to do something you don’t want to do.
For example, every time you get triggered to smoke a cigarette, you immediately call a friend. You can also have back-up plans if the friend doesn’t answer.
But the principle is simple: have an immediate response to a trigger so you don’t unconsciously react. For example, I don’t like to take vitamins, so my trigger is every time I take a shower, it’s a reminder to take my vitamins.
Your planned and immediate response takes willpower out of the equation because it takes choice out of the equation. Willpower is all about choice, or in reality, the lack of having made a choice.
Willpower is the byproduct of not knowing exactly what the outcome will be. For instance, when you get triggered to smoke or do any other negative behavior — if willpower is part of the equation, it is because you haven’t decided beforehand what you will do. You’re still undecided. Hence, 98% commitment is much harder than 100% commitment.
True decisions mean you have cut-off alternative options. Decision is the opposite of decision fatigue, and decision fatigue is the same thing as willpower. Thus, willpower is the absence of decision, and leads to an emotional tug-of-war within yourself which generally ends in failure.
Part of the genius of implementation intentions is simply their ability to distract you from your trigger for long enough for the trigger to subside. In the brief 10–60 second window where you’re going through your pre-planned and healthy response to a trigger, your re-reminded of the decision you made and the goals you’re pursuing. The trigger and desire go away as you engage in healthy behavior and re-ignite your confidence.
I applied an implementation intention while at Disneyland the other day. Instead of caving into the junk food all around me, I did a bunch of push-ups. Every time I wanted to eat snacks, I just did 10 pushups. By the end of the day, I’d done over 100.
Habit formation is about replacement more than simply removal. You can’t just create a void in your life. You need to fill it with something more congruent. Therefore, in order to build a successful implementation intention or pre-planned response— you need to establish an “if-then” response to whatever you’re trying to accomplish.
Pick the goal.
Whenever an obstacle appears, use your if-then response. Example:
· Goal: Be as healthy as possible.
· Obstacle: eating bad food.
· If-then: if I’m tempted to eat unhealthy foods in an impulsive and non-planned manner, then I will immediately drink a big glass of water and do 20 jumping-jacks.
It doesn’t really matter what your pre-planned response is, so long as you consistently do it. By consistently following through, you’ll create small wins. Small wins build self-respect and confidence, thus, lowering your need for willpower. Small wins and confidence solidify the decisions you’ve made, giving you increased inner-knowing that you absolutely will achieve your goal.
Another key reason that confidence lowers the need for willpower is that the more confident you get, the more you genuinely DESIRE better results. I don’t necessarily like working out, but I love the results! At the heart of willpower, is not actually knowing what you want. Indeed, you may actually still desire eating bad food, for example. Thus, you’re at continually battling within yourself.
This is a horrible yet common way to live.
Most people do not know what they truly want. They don’t know how to make decisions. They haven’t learned how to build genuine confidence. Most people’s lives are a constant back-and-forth of indecision and lack of clarity. Yet, decision and clarity go hand-in-hand are not actually hard to build. They are skills.
You start with one simple one. And watch the ripples grow and success compound.
As you become more confident and mature as a person, your desires fundamentally change. You stop wanting stuff you used to want. You start wanting to succeed. You start loving yourself enough to win at life. You start seeing a much bigger picture for yourself. You realize increasingly more that you are the one painting the picture and actually have been the entire time.
Rather than being disappointed by your previous choices, you’re increasingly grateful for what your life is. You see increased vision and potential in everything around you.
If this resonates with you, please leave me a comment. And if you know of anyone who could benefit from this information, please feel free to share with a friend. And if you would like more support and accountability around creating and maintaining healthy habits, that’s what I am trained to do, it’s called Transformational Health Coaching, go ahead and click on the link below this vide to schedule a free discovery session where we can talk about how I might be able to help you make the rest of your life the best of your life.
Until next week, Happy Wednesday and Namaste!