How to Upgrade Your HabitsMar 30, 2023
With so many folks claiming that there is "no time" for exercise, I figured it was appropriate to address the “elephant” hanging out in the back of the room:
Take a moment to answer these two quick questions.
Question #1: How likely are you to exercise at 6AM if you stay up past midnight eating microwave popcorn and watching Netflix?
In this example, you've prioritized the fleeting "happy feeling" of eating salty snacks and relaxing in front of a screen.
In other words, you're emphasizing unimportant things over getting eight hours of quality sleep and the positive feelings you get after completing your morning workout.
Skipping your workout means you also miss the metabolic boost, heart benefits, and reduction in preventable disease.
My guess is that, if you've never experienced positive feelings after consistent training, you need to have a 20-minute chat with me.
The issue could be as simple as getting more consistent with your strength-and-conditioning program.
Perhaps you could use a mental reboot with a shift in mindset. Maybe you need a regular bedtime ritual.
Question #2: (True/False) If you've been carrying at least 10 pounds of extra bodyfat for the last 12 months, and you maintain your current habits, you are likely to lose the excess bodyfat.
Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting new results.
How to Upgrade Your Habits
As you see, the cure for missed workouts and excess bodyfat may be as simple as updating your habits.
But how do you change your habits, when you're already working at maximum capacity?
How do you take more time off to get the rejuvenation you need, when you have so much to do?
How do you deal with the increasing distractions and interruptions that are taking your attention away from the high-value work that helps you boost fat burning and muscle building?
How do you systemize your productivity, and create habits that work for you naturally and automatically every day?
How do you identify the activities in your life that will give you the highest possible return on your health investments (training, nutrition, coaching, etc)?
Truth is, you only get a little bit of "willpower" each day, and you "spend" most of it making decisions - using it up before you even know what happened to it.
Big shifts happened for me when I stopped checking email and voice messages first thing, and instead, invested the first hour of my day in quiet time.
During this early-morning time, I also look at the three items I plan to accomplish on that particular day. I also reflect on the things I'm thankful for.
Next, I began working in focused, uninterrupted blocks of time on my highest value activities.
This shift resulted in a massive increase in productivity.
Steven Covey, an efficiency expert, says to put the "big rocks" into your day first, otherwise they'll never get in.
Consider opportunity cost first:
Is there a better way for me to be investing my time?
What is my highest value activity?
How could I do more of it?
Mistake to avoid:
Getting into actions without knowing what the value is of the action to you long-term.
In other words, not knowing the difference between an activity that's only going to give you a little result (late-night Netflix = temporary pleasure).
Compare this to an activity that's going to increase the quality of your life and pay you dividends for the long-term (training smart for 45-minutes in the morning).
If you're like most folks, you haven't gotten crystal clear on the handful of activities that bring you the highest fat-burning and age-slowing returns.
So prioritize activities that profit you the most. And then organize your days, weeks and life around making sure those things get done first.
Take a minute, right now, to identify those activities that generate the highest value for you in the short and long-term.
Do this exercise regularly to refine and clarify what your highest-value activities are, so you can do them first thing in the morning.
If you've been carrying at least 10 pounds of extra bodyfat, yet "nothing works" to reduce your bodyfat, may I suggest that you take an honest look at your daily habits.
You'll find the answer in plain sight.
It's the "elephant" in the room.
The short of it is, it's tough to help others if you can't help yourself.
So follow these four strategies to ensure you make the world a better place.
1. Awareness: Know who you are
This is the first wall that must be built and is the most important.
Self-awareness is the ability to know who you are, what makes you tick, what your values are, what makes you happy, etc.
This strategy, like the others, is never-ending, but you must get started.
Self-awareness is one of the largest skills you can develop if you want to live a more fulfilling and happier life.
It takes time but can be done through meditation, journaling, and just really taking the time to ask yourself deep questions about what's important to you, what's your character, and what are your motives and desires.
2. Vision: Knowing what you want
Although I think self-awareness is the most important, this one is my favorite.
Why do you exist?
What are you trying to accomplish in your short time here?
Where do you want to go?
What do you want to do?
Ten years from now we’re sitting together over a cup of coffee, what did it mean to be you?
What difference did you make in the world?
Or did you just go through the motions, complaining about whatever you saw on your news feed that morning?
The answers to those questions and more are all a part of your vision.
Just like it's important for a company to have a strong vision, I think it's vital for each of us to have a really clear vision.
A vision creates two things: Clarity and Drive.
With a clear vision, you'll have an enormous amount of drive towards something that is bigger than yourself.
3. Achievement: Know how to get it.
So the first two strategies are the most important, but they're kind of "fluffy."
They're not concrete and may be difficult to put on paper, but the achievement is very tactical.
Achievement is where you start learning how to go after your vision.
Kaizen is the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement.
Getting a bit better every day.
Find something in your vision, learn it, and be the best at it.
What are you the best in the world at?
There's an extreme amount of fulfillment in learning how to do something well.
You had to learn how to walk, you had to learn how to read, you had to learn how to be a good spouse, a good parent, etc.
Knowledge keeps you fulfilled and happy.
So whether it's learning a new career, learning how to be a dad, or learning how to squat properly, the achievement is an essential part of a well-lived life.
4. Fulfillment: Know how to enjoy it
Alright, let's back up for a second.
You know who you are, self-awareness.
You know where you want to go, vision.
You know how to do it, achievement.
Now it's time to enjoy it.
Fulfillment is about finding the things that are a part of your vision, that you learn how to do, and now need to find a way to enjoy it.
My challenge for you is to constantly ask the question…
What does it mean to be you, and what does it mean to have a life well-lived?
Amidst the current chaos, it might be worth going through some of these questions.
To your success,
Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online personal trainer, or you want to visit the best personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.