The Success Secret To New Year Resolutions – Habits
In 2013 I began putting thoughts and ideas together for starting my Body Wellness Center. In thinking of names I decided to go with the name Body By Choice. I understood at a young age that the choices you make today will always contribute to where you end up in the years to come, which is why it’s so important to learn to develop good habits. Habits are the foundation of self-improvement. Getting 1% better than you were yesterday counts for a lot in the long run. Conversely, bad habits that have been ingrained in your life for a long time are almost always the reason for failed health and performance attempts.
You will not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your habits and systems. If you want better results, forget about goals, rather focus on your habits and systems. According to James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, habit formation is the process by which a behavior becomes progressively more automatic through repetition. Depending on the author, I’ve heard all sorts of answers on how long it takes to create a habit. I realized that the amount of time you have been performing a habit is not as important as the number of times you have performed it. Taking action and accumulating reps is the key to engraining new habits in your life.
We tend to imitate the habits of three social groups: family, friends/our tribe, and the powerful (those with status and prestige). The most effective way to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the norm. If a behavior can get us approval, respect, and praise, we find it attractive. This is why the importance of setting your environment up for success is so important. Humans are herd animals. We want to fit in and earn the respect and approval of our peers. We soak up the qualities and practices of those around us.
Success is a choice and your environment will dictate your consistency for excellence. Strive to surround yourself with people that lift you up and make you better. It’s been proven that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with, so it makes sense to surround yourself with like-minded individuals that will bring the best out of you. I enjoy reading and learning from people who are successful and I have been fortunate to service many successful individuals in our community. I’m always observing and listening, I noticed many successful people have the habit of a morning and evening routine. My morning routine is outlined below. I am fortunate to work at a gym, so squeezing in my weekly training is not a necessity first thing in the morning 😉
My Morning Routine
- Wake, emails, Eye Posture Calibration, Cold shower (5:30-6:00 am). I batch my email time to twice per day, once every morning and again to conclude my work day. Eye recalibrating is an interesting technique I learned to instantly improve posture for the day by completing 2-3 minutes of eye exercises. Our eyes gather information from the environment and tells our brain and nervous system how to maintain better posture. Better posture = less daily pain and lower risk of injury. Cold showers improve hormonal health and set the table for a healthy cortisol curve throughout the day. Research has shown they increase circulation, reduce muscle soreness, boost weight loss, decrease depression and increase immunity. Yes, it’s awful, but I want to be my best in the early hours of the day.
- Hydrate, Coffee and Prayer (6:00-6:30 am). I always start my day with 16 oz of water mixed with electrolytes and a greens supplement to alkalize my body in the morning. I then brew some coffee and enjoy it as I read scripture. A relationship with God is important to me, so daily prayer is a staple of my morning routine.
- 30 Minute Treadmill Walk / Personal development (6:30-7:00 am). As my career has progressed to a business owner, I am required to sit more then I prefer, so starting the day with 3,000-4,000 steps is a must in order to hit my movement goals. During this walk, I focus on personal development, which in career-focused in the morning hours. My focus is on changing lives and cultivating the gift of life, so I’m usually reading or listening to podcasts about strength and conditioning, business, performance nutrition concepts, and functional medicine research.
- Breakfast (7:00-7:30 am). I am a dopamine-sensitive individual meaning I am very motivated and goal-driven. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for drive and motivation. The amino acid tyrosine is a precursor to up-regulating dopamine production, so I eat tyrosine-rich foods in the morning – Lean Protein. I also stack this with a healthy fat to increase acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter responsible for focus and mental acuity. My goal in the morning is to set my physiology up for success. Cravings are real and very hard to overcome, so I remove carbs from the morning meal to keep insulin low, which will dramatically lower cravings as the day progresses. This breakfast also increases thermogenesis as it takes our body more calories to digest lean meat than it does for a bowl of cereal. It also increases satiety leading to better food choices alongside increases in immune health markers and detoxification pathways.
- Commute/podcast (7:30-8:00 am). I have a 30-minute commute to work each day and always listen to some type of informative podcast or a Blinkist. Blinkist is an app containing audio cliff notes of books. It gives a summary of the main points and an idea of what books I would want to read cover to cover.
- Cars morning / Activation routine (8:00-8:30 am). CARS is short for “controlled articulate rotations”. It’s a certain way to move each joint to prevent degeneration of the joint. Movement is life and is the best anti-inflammatory. I follow the CARS routine with an activation routine for core strength. I value my health and fitness and know daily movement is essential for longevity.
- Daily big 3/legacy journal (8:30-9:00am). The daily big three is a journaling process I learned through Michale Hyatt. I write down my top 3 most important objectives I want to accomplish for the day. I finish the journaling process with a gratitude log and some statements on how I want to leave a legacy.
Please know, you do not have to create a crazy morning routine like the one outlined above. My suggestion is to start slow trying to master a couple morning habits, as reps accumulate and habits begin, try adding more.. Just remember, a good morning routine starts with a great evening routine. I would encourage you to begin thinking about what your evening must look like to be consistent with your morning ritual.
Good luck with your health & fitness Resolutions! If you want to achieve them and not be one of the 95% that give up after the 3rd week, then you must create habits and systems. True success lies in creating an ethos, a purposeful lifestyle supporting health & longevity!
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- Wheeler, M., et al. Distinct effects of acute exercise and breaks in sitting on working memory and executive function in older adults: a three-arm, randomized cross-over trial to evaluate the effects of exercise with and without breaks in sitting on cognition. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2020. 54(13):776-781.
- Pub med: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Cold%20showers
- James Clear. Atomic Habits