An Extreme Method for Improving Your Habits

I suck at a lot of things: Trying to get too much done in a day. Working out regularly. Keeping my closet clean. I try to get better but change is hard no matter how much you want to. Especially for the things you suck at.

Source: An Extreme Method for Improving Your Habits

This line in the article stood out to me:

“I was feeling only slightly better than average most days. This is no way to live.”

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you should be feeling about average most days, that’s kind of what average means (assuming a whole bunch of pointless caveats, you know what I mean). If you are disappointed in only feeling “above average most days” then you seem to have two problems.

  1. What you think of as average is actually slightly below average, those “most days” that you are feeling “slightly better than average”, those are actually your average days.
  2. You think that feeling average is bad when it is really the default state.

The Important Habit of Just Starting

Every single day we choose how we spend what few hours we have. Yet, despite the constant warnings to chase after what we believe, we often fall victim to procrastination and a fear of even just starting.

For myself, and the 95% of the American population who admit to falling prey to procrastination or even total avoidance of the things we want to do in our lives, ‘time management’ only goes so far. And when it comes to looking at why we fail to start, there are larger emotional and psychological reasons at play.

Source: The Important Habit of Just Starting

Start a 100-Day Challenge to Build Habits Without Overwhelming Yourself

Consistency transforms behaviors into habits. Adopting good daily habits can only happen if you consistently engage in those habits every day. One strategy to make good habits stick, that my first Rich Habits lab rat came up with, my son, is something called the 100 Day Challenge. Here’s how it works: for 100 days, focus on engaging in one activity for 100 days in a row. By the end of the 100 days that daily activity will become a daily habit. Engaging in an activity for 100 day helps create the neural network infrastructure necessary to forge a habit.

Source: The 100 Day Challenge

Even if you don’t stick with the new habit in the end, the discipline it takes to stay with a particular behavior for 100 days can lend itself well to building other habits in the future.

TV Binge Watching, Exercise Skipping Linked to Poor Cognitive Function

Passing on the gym to snuggle on the couch and binge watch whole seasons of your favorite show this weekend may not bode well for your brain.

Source: TV binging, exercise skipping linked to poor cognitive function

Correlation is far from demonstrating causation, especially in this case. People often “self medicate” – they tend to gravitate to leisure activities that they find rewarding. People that find mainstream TV shows painfully inane aren’t going to be spending their free time watching them.

But it is interesting about the standing desk, the war on sitting because of the mortality implications… but curling up on the couch for some TV gets a pass?

Why Mondays and January 1st Are Best for Setting New Goals

Maybe you’ve been talking about taking that professional development class for months now, or you’ve really been meaning to update your retirement savings plan. It would really help you manage your stress if only you could get yourself to go to the gym. Setting goals is easy, but actually accomplishing them tends to be a lot harder.

New research in Psychological Science suggests that we may be more likely to actually follow through with our professional goals if we start on a Monday rather than a Thursday.

Source: Why Monday is the Best Day for Setting New Goals

I wonder how much of this is due to culture.  I’d think it to be the case for those whose week starts on Monday.  Or consider those on shift work…  What about those who don’t use the Gregorian calendar?

Creating a New Habit Comes Down to Four Factors

Forming positive habits, like eating healthy or exercising regularly, is probably the most repeated new years resolution.  Many try and many fail.  Trying, and failing, to get started with exercise is particularly common and for some there is a constant cycle of working out and relapsing back into inactivity.  The reason for many of these failings is that there is no system to creating new habits.  People are literally running around without any idea of what they’re doing hoping that their will power alone will work until the behavior sticks.  Unfortunately relying on sheer will power alone will inevitably lead to burn out.  There needs to be some sort of guided approach, a system tending towards the 4 or 5 most important actionable items that will greatly increase the chance of success.

Source: Netflix or Gym: Why some habits are easier to form than others

Sometimes I have to remind myself that the reward is being thinner.  Recently I made a change for both INR considerations, money and weight loss.  I feel better about eating food that is less processed, my INR is back to the usual consistency, but the weight loss aspect works but leaves a little to be desired.

Fitness Is a Journey, and It Doesn’t Have to Suck

With every successful weight loss story, it’s hard to avoid getting hyper-focused on someone’s visual changes, or the number of pounds they lost. Unfortunately, focusing all your energy only on the end goal makes the process with health and fitness feel crappy—which makes you less likely to stay with it and find success.

Source: Fitness Is a Journey, and It Doesn’t Have to Suck

Getting fit is very hard, but people conflate the fact that it is simple (conceptually) with being easy. Eat better, move more! So easy! No, that’s simple. Executing this on a daily consistent and ultimately permanent basis is hard as hell to do if you’ve spent most of your life developing myriad bad habits.

It takes 2+ years to ensure long term weight loss.  It’s worth the effort – It’s been roughly quantified that being obese shortens your life by 8 years.

How to Finally Start Working Out (Even If You Hate It)

Hating exercise isn’t the same as being lazy. Exercise motivation is a complicated subject, but if getting off the couch is the hardest part for you, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to finally start working out, no matter how much you might hate it.

Source: How to Finally Start Working Out (Even If You Hate It)

Something that became obvious very quickly in the triathlon introduction course I did was that lots were very different so they decided to train differently.  Which meant you might not see them unless at races, if ever.  But that’s also a reality of a sport comprised of three distinct activities – the individual activities had various groups to participate in, finding training partners and such.  It’s all about finding what works for you.

6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

“I swear my pants weren’t this tight earlier today.” We’ve all said it at one time or another. That’s because bloating is one of the most common — and obvious — stomach complaints around, says David T. Rubin, M.D., fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and chief of gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition at The University of Chicago Medicine. Many of his patients even snap “bloating selfies” to show how much their waistlines fluctuate throughout the day. (We won’t blame you if you keep those off Facebook.)

Source: 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

Just posting for a friend…