5 Hacks to Effortlessly Build Healthy Habits in 2018

In the last few weeks (or five minutes after a search on Google), you have made the resolution to change your life:

  • I’m going to exercise every day!
  • I’m going to start flossing
  • I’m going to start eating better
  • I’m going to quit!
  • I’m going to stop wearing jerseys!

It’s great, and I’m & # 39; I am very excited for you.

No, seriously! I want to see how that goes – I like a good buyback story.

Maybe you have told friends, posted on your blog, shared your experience on Instagram, or started a club with your colleagues on your goals

Although I have spoken against bold resolutions and big statements in the past, this year, I change the air.

If you set resolutions or goals this year, either in January you are on the “New Year, New Me”, or you just had a great life event (birth of your first child, scare the doctor, etc.) and decided: “It’s the year I’m training!” – I’m here to help

Everyone has goals – it gives us something to aim for.

They just need to be well done.

I want you to look back in 6 months and not recognize the “old you”, instead of looking back and wondering “what happened? Why am I back where I am? Did I start? “

With over 40,000 students in our flagship online course, the Nerd Fitness Academy, over 200 1-in-1 coaches, 1000 people in our monthly Rising Heroes adventure, and 10 years with thousands of emails and success stories, we have a good track record in helping people adopt permanent habits.

This resource delves deeply into the habits building techniques that will help you to to get in shape this year

Why do we aspire to build healthy habits?

 homer simpson twitter fail whale

“I know what I’m supposed to do, I can not do it! “ Welcome to the club – we all know what we need to do, but we can not afford to make the big changes.

We know how to get in shape: moves more and eat less!

We know how to exercise: increase your heart rate, make pumps, become stronger.

How to eat healthily: more vegetables and less sugar

And yet, we can not stick to any of these things for more than a few weeks.


Simple: Building New Healthy Habits is difficult, our lizard brains are looking for immediate gratification, we do not fully understand how habits are built, life is active and our default behavior is often unhealthy

Therefore, we do not put the good systems in place to make sure changes remain

We rely too much on wayyyyy on willpower and motivation

tend to bite more than we can chew, to go too fast too fast, and to be overwhelmed too quickly

Does this sound familiar to you?

  • I will eat 100% Paleo ET
  • I will run 5 miles a day AND
  • I will work in a gym five times a week.

If you are someone who eats a diet The diet is generally poor, he never runs and has not set foot in a gym since Mr. Wazowski changed class, and changing all means is almost a surefire way to succeed at none of them.

[19459003Unconditionedcurrentlyawaitingandreceivingimmediategratification If we want food, we can get it from a drive-in, stick a frozen meal in a microwave oven, or get it right. sit in a restaurant that is open 24 hours. If we want a game, we can download it to our computers / phones / PS4 in seconds. If we want to watch a TV show, it’s a few clicks away

Hell, Netflix even starts the next episode for you without any action required!

We expect to be fit to go the same way.

And that’s why we aspire to build healthy habits that stay stuck.

We say to ourselves, “Hey, I devoted myself for two whole weeks, why do not I still look like Ryan Reynolds?”, Not remembering that it took us decades of unhealthy life to get there where we are, which means it will take more than a few weeks to reverse the trend.

And then, we miss a training session that got sick. And we are discouraged that the exercise or dropping of candy is not as fun as Netflix and video games and peanut M & Ms.

It is there that everyone gives up:

  • too early
  • They are impatient that the results do not come faster
  • They shirk when life wraps up
  • And they return to square one

which is why we are doomed to stay overweight and suck up construction habits. It’s the equivalent of the video game to attack too many bad guys at once: game over.

We will cover the specific healthy habits and resolutions you should choose later in this article, but I have a damn question to ask yourself first: “But why?”

Be honest about your “Big Why”

Before you do anything with construction habits, you need a good reason to know why you want to build them in the first place or the changes will never stay. 19659008] Without valid reason, you died in the water:

If you are here because you have decided that you “should” get in shape, you will fail at the second life. 19659051] If you hang out at the gym because you think you “should” run on a treadmill five days a week, even if you hate it, you’re screwed!

As you determine the habits or resolutions you’re going to If you are trying to go to bed, take the habit of being part of a bigger, more worthwhile cause.

You do not just go to the gym, you build a new body that you are not ashamed of.

You do not just learn to love vegetables, you lose weight so that you can go in your dream wedding dress.

do not drag yourself out of bed early, you get up early so you can work on your side before your kids get up so you can save some money for college.

Of course, the Nerd Fitness Academy, we call it your “Big Why”. Otherwise, you force yourself to do things you do not like to do – it will never last.

Tie it to a bigger cause and you’re infinitely more likely to push through the mud and mire to do it.

So dig 3 levels and ask “why” until you get to the cause of why you want to build a new healthy habit or change a bad one. Write it. And hang it somewhere, you can see it every day.

You have your reason? Awesome. Turning Now to the Science of Habits

Healthy Building 101: The Three Parts


# 1) Cue (which triggers the action): It can be a feeling : I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m bored, I’m sad. Or it can be a moment of the day: it’s Monday at 9am, the work is done, etc.

# 2) Routine (the action itself): This can be a negative action you want to reduce: drinking soda, I’m eating cake, I’m nibbling, I’m drinking from it. alcohol, I smoke cigarettes, I watch TV – or a positive: I go to the gym, I go running, I push, I read a book. 19659051] # 3) Reward (the positive result because of the action): I am now awake. I am temporarily happy. My hands / my mind are busy. I can forget the bad day that I have had. I feel energized. I feel good to myself.

Depending on your routine / action above, habits can be challenging and unbelievable, or be part of a negative downward spiral. Your body is not smart enough to KNOW what it needs to do: it just wants to repair the pain or chase the pleasure of the signal, and the way you choose to react will become the habit when that will be done quite often.

Genius marketing factor, behavioral psychology, bad genetics, and an environment that allows us to fail – and bad habits govern us.

That’s why we are looking for certain foods, why we can not help but check our phone every time vibrates, and why we can not help but watch one more episode or grind a level higher in World of Warcraft

As Charles Duhigg points out in The Power Of Habit :

“There is nothing programmed in our brains that we to see a box of donuts and automatically wants a sweet treat.But once our brain learns that a donut box contains delicious sugar and other carbohydrates, it will begin to anticipate the high sugar Our brains will push us to the box, and then, if we do not eat the donut, we’ll be disappointed. “

We trained your brain to take a signal (you see a donut), anticipate a reward (high sugar ), and make the comp Automatically abort (name name this donut). Compare that to a benchmark (you see your running shoes), anticipate a reward (a runner top), and make automatic behavior (go running!).

The Black Knight Himself says it best: It’s not who I am below, but what I do who defines me. “

Let’s take a look at every part of the habit building process and start hacking the sh ** Out of it!

Learn Your Benchmarks: Recognize Triggers.

Whether you were trying to change an old habit, stopping an unhealthy habit, or starting a healthy habit, it starts with the first step in the process:


If you want to stop drinking soda, but you need it every afternoon to get through work, your brain has been hooked up thinking about SODA after the signal:

  • Cue: I am thirsty and I do not have energy.
  • Routine: I drink a soda around 15h. [19659042] Reward: Weeeeee caffeine! Sugar! Content! My life has a meaning!

When we identify bad habits to avoid, he begins by becoming aware of the clue that puts the habit in motion. The simple fact of being aware of the clue is a good start to break the cycle:

  • When I get bored (cue), I eat snacks (routine), and it fills the void with a happy stomach (reward).
  • When I comes home from work (cue), I lie down on the couch and play video games (routine), and that helps me forget [19659081WhenI am nervous (cue), I start biting my nails (routine), to get rid of clumsiness (reward).

So, if you are looking to break a bad habit, start by identifying the clues that make you do the action that you are trying to stop.

At the same time, you can mentally train yourself, just like Pavlov’s dog, to build a new healthy habit by identifying the habit you want to build and the tail that you want to use for the to do:

  • When I I wake up (marker), I am going for a walk (routine), and reward myself with an audio book on the walk (reward)
  • When I tired me (cue), I drink black coffee instead of soda (routine), and with the caffeine boost (reward), I will get new shoes after 30 days without soda (reward), and the satisfaction of weight loss thanks to fewer calories (reward).
  • When I came back from work (cue), I will walk directly to my computer to work on my novel for 30 minutes (routine), and reward myself with Netflix after J & # 39; wrote 500 words (reward).

So, whether you break a bad habit or start a new one, it starts by recognizing the signal that triggers the habit. Once you have recognized or chosen the signal, you can start working on repairing the routine (action).

Make routine easier: use the systems

“Steve, I understand, but I still have trouble with the part” build the routine “… for a reason that I can not bring myself to do . ”

Yup – welcome to the most difficult part of a habit:

The Routine (the action itself!).

It is here that we will begin to think and act like nerds and scientists. Whether we are trying to stop a negative routine (stop drinking soda) or start doing a healthy routine (start running), both must be tackled with a different battle plan.

To begin, we go ] stop to rely on two things :

  • Will: if you must exercise, you will give up when you are too busy or too cold.
  • Motivation: If you need to be motivated, you will give up and then fight yourself for not being more motivated!

Motivation and will are finite and fickle resources that will give you up when you need them the most. Suckers and chicks hope and pray that they have enough motivation and willingness to get used to it.

Not us! We will remove both from the equation and use external systems and forces to make the routine even easier to build (or harder to build if it ‘s a bad habit that you’ re trying to d & # 39; exchange!).

This can be done in several ways:

  • Environmental Hackers: Facilitate the routine by removing the steps necessary to complete it, or adding steps between you and a bad habit.
  • Programmingofhacks: add your habit to your daily calendar, track your daily progress with a journal and partake in your day.

We are products of our environment. We can use this information to our advantage, and facilitate the process of building a new habit or changing a bad habit by changing our environment. I ask myself in more detail in our article: “Build your Batcave for change of habit”, but I will cover the basics here.

Look at where you spend your time. Reduce the steps between you and a good habit, and increase the steps between you and a bad habit. You will be less dependent on willingness and motivation and more inclined to do the habit or ignore the bad habit.

Here are five examples of environmental hacks that you can use:

RUN EVERY MORNING: Go to sleep with your running shoes at the foot of your bed, with your running uniform already installed . Hell, you can sleep in your running / training clothes. Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

GO TO GYM AFTER WORK: Pack your gym bag BEFORE going to sleep the day before. So every morning you already have a bag to throw in your car or bring with you. From 5 pm, you are in your car on the way to the gym.

EAT HEALTHY: Do not give yourself the opportunity to not eat healthy – throw junk food into your home and start preparing meals the night before. Put a lock on your web browser by ordering pizza online (yes, you can do it now), and do not drive down the street full of fast food places.

WATCH LESS TV / LESS GAMES: laziness in your favor. Unplug the TV / system. Increase the steps between you and watch TV. Put the parental controls on your own system and ask your friend to set the time and password. I knew someone who put his TV in his closet and reduced his viewing by almost 100%. Do not rely on the will – make it more difficult!

CHECK YOUR PHONE LESS: Turn off your notifications and uninstall apps that are wasting your time. Put your phone in Do not Disturb when you’re at work and place it in your office drawer. Do not rely on the will not to check your phone when it buzzes – get rid of the buzz.

You can also use programming hacks to help build new healthy habits:

  • EXERCISE: If you want to do more exercise, adjust the Calendar alerts at the beginning of your week so that every day at 8am you receive a signal (ding! On your phone) and a reminder to do the activity. You are much more likely to stay on target when the activity has been planned in advance.
  • HEALTHY FOOD: Consider batch cooking! If cooking healthy meals every night is too tedious (I hear you), think of doing everything the same day – it’s a considerable time saver, and it will also reduce the steps between you and the healthy eating because the meal is already cooked and in the fridge!
  • WRITTEN: If you want to write a book, tell yourself that you have to write 500 words of crap every day. Buy a calendar and draw a big red X every day you finish your task. Make your singular accent each day by continuing the series [1]

Make the Momentum Reward by Building

 Change the Rubick's Cube

And finally we are at the third end of the usual:

“The Reward.”

When you are looking to replace bad habits, do a reward analysis of your bad habits:

Soda gives you a caffeine kick and an explosion of Energy in the afternoon when you are tired. Can you replicate this boost of energy for your body in a healthier way? Go to the black cafe and go for a walk.

You find that you spend too much time watching television because you like to escape to the worlds and that it affects your health. Can you listen to your favorite audio book, but only while walking?

This will require an analysis and dig into the reward that you are trying to recreate without the negative action. This can drive your brain to some difficult places, but it’s healthy to dig in.

If you find that you want to start drinking a lot less (or stop drinking completely), you might discover that the reward you are pursuing is actually “escaping a job I hate” and “avoiding”. social anxiety in bars. ”

Dig in your reward and what your brain craves, then see if you can reverse a healthier routine with the same reward.

Then use outright corruption to make yourself really healthier and choose the best action / routine

What works for science and physics is also true for construction habits: Inertia and dynamics will work against you when it comes to building habits … until it starts working for you as the habit becomes automatic.

We can repair the third part of the habits reinforcement loop, the reward, with prices or results bribe us to continue. With every healthy, positive reward, with every routine completed, we make the habit slightly more likely to become more automatic next time.

In other words, create rewards that reward you!

NOT reward your routine (run!) With an unhealthy reward (cake!). It’s “one step forward, two steps back”. And nutrition is 90% of the equation when it comes to weight loss anyway!

DO reward your routine (5 minutes a day for 30 days in a row) with a reward that makes you want to keep running (a new pair of running shoes)

Hacks for Effortless Construction of a healthy habit

 A storm trooper looks at his reflection in the mirror

Your life is going to be busy.

There will be days when you do not want to make your new habit. Or you want to go back and go back to old habits. In fact, it will be pretty much every day, especially very early.

So do not stop at yourself!

Stop counting on yourself and start counting on outside forces. Here are the best tips that you can use to really get you in with a habit:

1) RECRUIT ALLIES: Find a friend or group of friends to build habits with you. A recent study [2] showed that:

Of weight loss patients recruited alone and receiving behavioral therapy, 24% maintained their complete weight loss from Month 4 to 10.

A among those recruited with friends and receiving therapy plus social support 95% completed treatment and 66% continued to lose weight in full.

Do not have to do this construction trip of habit alone. Building a guild or recruiting a group of people to support and help you and improve you could be the difference factor in building habits!

When your friend is already at the gym waiting for you, you have to go there. If it was only up to you, skipping and watching Netflix has no negative consequences. Recruit friends and allies!

You do not have this support group at home? Remember to join ours 🙂

Remember that these first few weeks are the hardest, which means that they will require the most effort to start.

2) CULTIVATING DISCIPLINE WITH CONSEQUENCES: You can not fulfill a new healthy habit that you are desperately trying to build, make that pain of jumping the habit be more severe than the satisfaction you get by jumping it.

Let me introduce a few BRUTAL consequences:

  • Whenever I skip ______________ this month I will pay $ 50 to my wife / husband / friend who will give my money to a cause I hate
  • Whenever I decide not to _______________ this month I have to run naked around my house
  • Whenever I do ____________ when I should not I will leave my three … year old, do my makeup before work.

Does any of these results look fun? If you can not afford to pay your friend $ 50, if you run naked in your house, and get fired like a drunken clown by your child’s skills … maybe you what you need to do. The harder it is to jump something, the more you will tend to aspire and do it.

3) NEVER MISS TWO IN ONE LINE. What happens if you miss a day? We do not care! One day will not ruin you – but two days, because 2 becomes 30 in the blink of an eye. As stated in a research summary: “Missing the occasional occasion to perform the behavior has not seriously altered the process of forming habits: gains in automaticity quickly resumed after a missed performance. [3]

4) DO NOT PICK HABITS YOU HATE: “Steve, I know I should run then I’m trying to build a racing habit even though I hate running. ” Stop. Can you get the same results with a different habit, such as climbing or hiking or swing dancing? Choose a habit that is not miserable and you will have more chances to follow it.

At the same time, we have tons of success stories from people who have gone from hating exercise to enjoying what it’s all about. That’s because they’ve gotten used to a bigger picture: “I’m doing exercise at the gym because I’m building a kickass body so I can start out again! “It’s because they had enough BIG to overcome their initial dislike they learned to love the way that exercise made them feel.

5) TRY THE FIXATION OF TEMPTATION: Consider combining a habit you do not like with something you LOVE. If you hate cleaning your apartment, only allow yourself to listen to your favorite podcast when you clean or do the dishes.

Want to go to the gym more? Allow yourself an hour of viewing of Netflix, but ONLY while you are on the elliptical. This is called temptation grouping, and it can be a powerful change.

Ready to build a healthy habit? Awesome! Do less.

 Lego Storm Trooper Ladder

Now that you are educated as a boss on different parts of a habit, it’s time to build one!

I & # 39; I leave you one last tip: if you decide you want to run a marathon or save the world or lose hundreds of pounds, you’re going to screw up unless you internalize the following information:


Or in the immortal words of Kunu de Forgetting Sarah Marshall: “Less you do, the more you do”:

Choose ONE habit, make it small and make it binary. Something you can say at the end of each day “yes I did it” or “No I did not do it.”

Habits that are nebulous like “I’m going to do more exercise” or “I’m gonna start eating better” are more useless than a Soulcycle subscription for Jabba the Hutt.

Here are some great examples. To be specific. Be small. And follow him:

  • Want to start doing more exercise? Awesome. For this first week, just take a walk for just 5 minutes each morning. Littéralement 5 minutes
  • Vous voulez commencer à cuisiner vos propres repas sains? Vise juste un repas par jour ou un repas par semaine. Tout ce qui fonctionne pour vous et votre emploi du temps.
  • Vous voulez arrêter de boire 2 litres de Mountain Dew tous les jours? Ramenez-le à 1,9 litre par jour pendant une semaine. Puis 1,8 pour un wek. Alors 1,7 …
  • Vous voulez sortir de la dette et acquérir; habitude de la frugalité? Commencez par économiser cinq dollars de plus par jour, ou trouvez un moyen de gagner 5 dollars de plus par jour. ] Vous voulez apprendre une nouvelle langue? Parlez votre nouvelle langue à voix haute pendant 10 minutes par jour. That’s all!

Gardez vos objectifs PETITS et simples. Plus ils sont petits et simples, plus vous avez de chances de les garder. Et l'habitude elle-même pâlit en comparaison de l'élan que vous construisez à partir de la création d'une nouvelle habitude. Peu importe le nombre de calories que vous brûlez en 5 minutes de marche, juste pour que vous puissiez prouver au nouveau que vous pouvez prendre l'habitude de marcher, et alors seulement vous pouvez monter la difficulté.

Nous pensons en termes d'années et de décennies ici! Pensez donc petit

Mon exemple de vie réelle: Je voulais prendre l'habitude d'apprendre le violon à l'âge de 31 ans, mais je n'arrivais pas à le faire parce que je me disais que j'étais trop occupé. ce qui est un mensonge (“Je n'ai que 25 minutes, j'ai besoin de 30 minutes pour m'entraîner … je pourrais aussi ne pas m'entraîner du tout”), et donc je n'ai jamais joué! Une fois que j'ai abaissé le seuil à “Je ne dois jouer que 5 minutes par jour”, cela m'a permis de le prendre ici et là – et j'ai fini par pratiquer WAY plus souvent, et je me suis amélioré beaucoup plus vite.

encore sucer, attention, mais je suis léger devant devant où j'étais avant!


Si vous êtes novice dans le domaine de la construction, ou si vous n'avez jamais rien fait assez longtemps pour le rendre automatique, c'est parce que vous en avez trop fait. Les habitudes sont des intérêts composés. Comme vous construisez une nouvelle habitude, elle saigne à d'autres parties de votre vie et rend les futures habitudes plus faciles à construire – élan!

Vous avez essayé le tout “construire toutes les habitudes à la fois” et ça ne marche pas . Alors essayez de construire une habitude pendant 30 jours. Et puis choisissez une habitude qui se superpose à celle-ci et vous aide à construire de plus en plus de progrès et de plus en plus d'élan.

Commencez aujourd'hui: Choisissez votre habitude et allez

 panneau d'arrêt avec OP recouvert d'ART Sorts

Je vais vous laisser une dernière citation de The Power of Habit :

“Si vous croyez que vous pouvez changer – si vous le faites une habitude – le changement devient réel. C'est le vrai pouvoir de l'habitude: l'idée que vos habitudes sont ce que vous avez choisi d'être. Une fois que ce choix se produit – et devient automatique – il n'est pas seulement réel, il commence à sembler inévitable, la chose … qui nous porte irrésistiblement vers notre destin, quel que soit ce dernier. “

Vous aurez besoin de plus de cerveau pouvoir au départ, jusqu'à ce que votre comportement par défaut devienne le renforcement automatique des habitudes que vous poursuivez. Chaque jour où vous construisez votre nouvelle habitude, vous surmontez toute croyance qui se limite à vous-même, vous développez votre élan et devenez un badass qui construit des habitudes! Et puis ces habitudes deviennent automatiques

Donc aujourd'hui, je veux que vous regardiez juste UNE habitude que vous voulez changer:

  • Identifiez le signal qui éperonne le – Est-ce le moment de la journée? Ennui? Faim? Après le travail? Stress?
  • Identifier les récompenses potentielles – Bonheur? Énergie? Satisfaction
  • Identifiez une nouvelle routine que vous aimeriez établir et qui donne la même “récompense” du comportement négatif … mais d'une manière plus productive et plus saine.

I Je veux que vous laissiez un commentaire ci-dessous: choisissez une habitude que vous allez construire ce mois-ci et identifiez les trois parties de l'habitude que vous cherchez à construire.

Bonne chance – maintenant allez construire un certain élan. Et une habitude


PS: Si votre habitude devient plus saine / forte / perte de poids, nous avons des ressources premium ici à Nerd Fitness qui creusent dans l'habitude construisant la psychologie de cet article:

  • Rising Heroes – notre aventure mensuelle basée sur l'histoire, basée sur l'histoire
  • NF Academy – Notre cours en ligne auto-rythmé avec exercices, combats de boss et niveaux de nutrition
  • NF Coaching – 1-sur-1 instruction personnalisée de nos entraîneurs

photo source: souris sur la roue, homer fail baleine, storm trooper ladder, club de niveau, lego R2D2, storm trooper mirror , début, puzzle, victoire, cube de rubik, fred_v Evolution – Alternative


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