One of my favorite books of all time and one that has helped me tremendously for the day to day minutia that leads to great lifestyle changes is James Clear’s Atomic Habits. It’s a fantastic read, short and easy to follow with real actionable steps. If you just want the “Big Rocks” then click here for a great synopsis of the book by Samuel Thomas Davies.
After reading this book my day to day actions and feedback loop with many things changed for the positive. To utilize this book for fitness improvement I went ahead and took some of the main ideas and broke them down into actionable steps.
How can I make it obvious?
When you walk into your kitchen and want to eat, you typically pick a few common places – having your better options in those places is a great start. Make it obvious by having your healthy food at the front of your fridge when you open it, at eye level as you walk into the room and in the cabinet/pantry you open most. If you have any less ideal foods in your fridge still and can’t donate or throw them away (you should try to), then hide them in the back part of the fridge, freezer or pantry so they’re less obvious.
How can I make it attractive?
Buy fresh fruits and veggies that are bright and colorful while also making it more appetizing and full of taste by using better flavoring options (citrus, Mrs. Dash, etc).
Another good option would be surrounding yourself with other people who already have the identity you want to create for yourself, the more you see these people reinforcing their identity through their habits the more attractive it will be to you.
How can I make it easy?
Always have snacks and foods available that are ready to be eaten immediately or taken on the go. These being easily available and always in your kitchen, at the office and in the car will help you create better habits long term.
Also, never miss twice, if you have a bad meal or snack, no problem! Just make the next one better and immediately reverse the habit.
How can I make it satisfying?
Utilizing foods you enjoy will be of the utmost importance, remember that there are no “good or bad” foods, just ones that will help you get towards your goal faster than others. Keep the satisfaction of long term results in the back of your head when making decisions and also reward yourself after a few good days of eating in a row with something small that reinforces the habit.
Create Your Identity
This may sound deep and extreme, but at their core, habits you create and repeat daily are what shapes the person you are. Each time you accomplish a task, which becomes a habit, it leads you towards the person you will become. Put best by the author “It is a simple two-step process: Decide the type of person you want to be. Prove it to yourself with small wins”. Once you go through your values work sheet and know what kind of person you want to become, how do you now create habits to lead you to that? This will be best served by taking stock of your actions and realizing what you need to fix. One thing that will help with that is a free consultation with our PP staff who will give you an intake questionnaire that will allow you to notice more of the small habits that may be affecting your fitness and lifestyle. Another great thing to do is to keep a journal of your day, not just your eating and working out, but also the small actions you take that may affect each of those and eventually even log your emotions attached with each one.
Motivation is overrated, Environment often Matters More
In the first article about habit change, we discussed how motivation is NOT usually what separates successful people from unsuccessful, but it is often the ability to create environments, habits and situations where they are guaranteed success.
Common Habit Questions -
Can I utilize habits to make change?
Of course! One of our most important teaching habits from our staff here at Powell Performance is to help you do that with small manageable change.
What habits should I work on?
That’s a great question! It depends on what you are struggling with, we’ve had clients who have worked on just about every habit imaginable to see positive results. Some common examples are:
Eat more veggies
Walk daily for 10-20 minutes
Drink more water
Prepare 2 of your meals for the day and only eat out once
Meal prep your lunches for the week using the PP cookbook
Again, as you look at this you see these aren’t massive changes and are all very manageable. The secret is perfecting only 1-2 of them at a time. Once they become a part of your daily routine and habit we can add more and after only a few months you have a completely different outlook on and relationship with your health.
Another great quote from the books says, “Most people don’t lack discipline, they lack clarity.” So let us, the Powell Performance staff, help you clear your vision and take out roadblocks that get in the way. When you sign up we will help you with your habit building and it will allow you to start building on the important tasks to become who you want to be… just an even more amazing version of yourself.
Habit Quotes to Use
“Ask yourself, “Who is the type of person that could get the outcome I want?”
“Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
“Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat.”