Episode 211: Habit Change Help

Today we’re going to talk about avoiding night time guilt.

I’m holding this strange looking device, basically ’cause I wanna talk about visual aides as a tool to sticking to your commitments for your own health. One of the things we talk a lot about in Z Health is this idea that behavior change is really the number one job of all health and fitness professionals, ’cause most of us, our lives decline over time because we consistently make bad choices with regards to food, movement, or other stuff. And so, we spend a lot of time in our upcoming sustenance course … we have a course on nutrition, but most of our nutritional course is about behavior change, because it’s so intrinsic to everything that we do.

So one of our basic rules I wanna share with you, is that your environment is perfectly designed to keep you just as you are. And how that really manifests for most people is this, you wake up one morning and you decide, “You know what? Today is the day. I’m gonna commit to X.” Whatever that X is; a running program, I’m gonna start lifting weights, I’m gonna start this new diet, I’m gonna start doing something for my health, I’m gonna meditate, et cetera. And we wake up very enthused, we get really committed about it, and then we remember our commitment around 9:00 p.m.; and that’s what I call the night time guilt arena kicks in. And I see this happen to people over, and over, and over again. They commit, they forget, they remember it in the evening, when they have no more energy left, and they think, “Ah, I blew it. I’ll have to restart.”

So one of the things we constantly tell people is, your environment is designed to make you function relatively automatically in everything that you do. The way that you drive to work is probably habituated. The way that you sit at work is probably habituated. How you interact with other people at work, probably habituated. What you do in your exercise program, if you have one, probably habituated. So, one of the real challenges in creating any change, is having some kind of what’s called habit linkage, or visual reminder, if you wanna think of it that way, regarding the change that you want to make.

So I pulled this thing out just as a simple example. Last weekend I was in California teaching T-Phase, which is one of our level four class, and in that class we talk a lot about the basics of respiratory assessments for clients, how do we know if people need to work on their breathing, et cetera; but one of the things that we talk a lot about, is that for people to change their respiratory habits, it requires cognitive awareness. So you can tell people, “Hey, I want you to do this cool breathing exercise,” whatever it is, but if they can’t remember to do it throughout the day, the highest likelihood is that they’ll forget it, and then they’ll get frustrated, and you get into this weird, perpetuating cycle of failure, and your brains gets better at failing, with regularity, in changing your habits.

So one of the things we recommend, is that if there is a way for you to incorporate some kind of technology, or some kind of device that is always in front of you, that reminds you of the change that you wanna make, that’s a good bet. So this is a little thing called a Breathslim; now, it’s a silly name in my opinion, it’s sold as a weight loss device. Maybe it could help you, long term, lose some weight; I’m not gonna get into the metabolics about that. But what it does do, is it gives you a program to follow to work on your respiratory capacity, and more importantly, it’s weird looking, and you can sit it on your desk, or on your kitchen counter, and every single moment you see it you’re like, “Ah, I said I was gonna work on my breathing. My trainer said I need to work on my breathing and they gave me this device, maybe I should work on my breathing.”

So, I would love for you to start thinking about ways that you can incorporate visual reminders into your life, because whenever we think about this … Like I said, you have these habits going throughout the day, if you can link a visual reminder to something that you know that you’re gonna do every single day … Let’s say you get home after work, you sit down in front of the TV for a half hour to just relax. Put it where you’re gonna see it, you can use your respiration device while you’re watching TV. It doesn’t really matter what you choose, but you need to have something to remind you; if you can remind yourself, you can do it, if you can do it, you can avoid that long term night time guilt problem.

So that’s my advice for you this week.

If you have any questions about it, let us know, otherwise good luck.

And if you have any amazing suggestions for what you do to remind yourself regularly about what’s important to you, we’d love to hear them. Thanks.

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