My Daily Observation: 1/4/18

Danny

I am rereading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg for the sixth or seventh time; honestly I’ve lost count at this point.  If you have not read it I highly recommend as I believe it is the most important book ever written that puts habits in layman’s terms.  Most books on habit come across more psychological and medical that I simply cannot keep up.  Duhigg is not a psychologist, nor a doctor, but quite the contrary; he was a writer for the New York Times.  At any rate I recommend you read, but that’s not the point of this post.

My point is that I notice every year when the calendar switches from old year to new year, it takes me almost 2 weeks so stop writing the old year when signing dates and to go into auto mode in writing the new year.  It’s not as if I don’t know it’s 2018 versus 2017.   If anyone on the street stopped me and asked the year I would easily and quickly respond, “Oh, it’s 2018, why do you ask?”

My observation is how powerful habits are in our life.  Although I have the knowledge of the year being 2018, the power of my writing and typing habits is more powerful than said knowledge of knowing the year.  This happens to people when we move from an address we’ve lived at for many years.  It happens when we change zip codes.  I once answered the phone incorrectly at a job and identified myself as an employee of my former employer while standing in the building of my new employer.  Have you ever driven home, but for the life of you you cannot recall how in the world you got home?

The Power of Habit.

Habit

This is a great poem talking about habits. Check it out!

Success Inspirers' World

Habit;
What a grip you have on me!
My destiny you determine;
My joys of success come from you;
So too my bruises of failure;
Powerful,
Indeed, you are,
Habit;
But I’ll make you work for me;
I’ll make you give me what I like;
I will make friends with the best of you;
The best habits.

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Habits

Habit is overcome by habit…perfect quote for today’s discussion!

A Simple, Village Undertaker

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Habit is a cable;  we weave a thread of it every day, and at last we cannot break it— Horace Mann

Curious things, habits. People themselves never knew they had them   — Agatha Christie

Habit is overcome by habit— Thomas a Kempis

Thanks to my friends at FranklinCovey where I’ve been a good customer since 1992.

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Learn From My Mistakes

When it comes to changing habits I also recommend the KISS method. Sometimes the simplest way is the best way!

Persist to Fit

startsimple

Oftentimes, I find that one of the most common things amongst new clients and those just beginning their journey of health is the over complication of simple things, mostly diet. I remember about 5 years ago when I first set out to lose the weight, I tried just about everything.  I could not comprehend that a ‘lifestyle’ change would help me lose the weight.

I did hot yoga viciously for about 2 years whilst eating an incredibly low carb diet, still binge drinking on weekends mind you.

I tried one of those stupid pyramid scheme shake deals and would spend over $200 a month on this ‘fat-loss’ supplement.

I took up running, I would run at least 6-8 miles a day, I remember my shins and hips being so sore that it felt like someone was jabbing a knife into my side as my feet hit the pavement.

I did a…

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How to Help Yourself Solve Your Own Problems

IMG_7125This article I found on LifeHacker talks about recognizing behavioral patterns and understanding pattern recognition.  Sounds a little more complicated than it really is.  This article outlines exactly how I recognized patterns in my life, constructed a new pattern list and changed my entire mindset in a year!

http://lifehacker.com/5854633/how-to-be-your-own-therapist-and-solve-the-more-manageable-problems-in-your-life?utm_expid=66866090-49.VYy4WCNHSyuP6EmjnM93MQ.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me In School

Another great list!  The one item that drew my attention was the point about reticular activation.  If you have never read about this system in the brain, then do so today.  It is a part of your brain that brings your imaginations and thoughts to existence.   Amazing stuff!

http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2008/04/02/16-things-i-wish-they-had-taught-me-in-school/comment-page-4

Big Dreamer

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Change Your Life In 100 Days

I was scanning StumbleUpon today and came across this article.  It has great tips on changing your life in 100 days.  Although many of these we have covered ad nauseam I believe you will find the list interesting.  You should live your life in a constant struggle against complacency; always improving in at least one area.  Contemplate life every day and refuse to accept the norm.

Keep the comments coming and remember to share, share, share this article with your friends and family. 

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/60-small-ways-to-improve-your-life-in-the-next-100-days.html
  
Big Dreamer

My 1 Mental Key for Dropping Weight

I have been focusing lately on two areas that I believe hold the key to unlocking anyone’s potential and allowing for the freedom to dream chase: living a healthier lifestyle and paying down debt.  I have received tremendous feedback from a lot of you about losing weight or as I prefer to say, living a healthier lifestyle.  Several emails have asked me what I have found to be one key that has helped me shed a few el bees.  I gave it some thought and I have found one key that helped me along the way.

As most of you know I am a huge fan of religious history and I stole this saying from my college professor: “Make the familiar strange and the strange familiar.”  He would say this to encourage students to stop and look at ancient texts from a new perspective.  After a document or topic has been discussed, read, discussed, read and discussed again, it can be difficult to see in a new light.  So the observer must step back, pause and develop a new “eye”, so to speak.  The topic of weight loss has been beat to death and I will bet there are thousands of “diets” being advertised and Shared on Facebook, with people jumping from one to another.  The word “diet” has come to be used for a temporary change in an eating regimen to shed pounds in a short amount of time.  Few provide success, with the majority being fads that join the rest in the pile of failed ventures.  It is time for us to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar.

I decided in December to change or Transform my mind as it related to my weight loss and stop worrying about the numbers on the scale! Instead, I was determined to develop and live a healthier lifestyle.  I decided to embrace the times that I wanted to eat Oreos and enjoy the times that I wanted a Culvers burger.  BUT, those times could not represent my lifestyle.  I focused on eating clean and healthy 80% of the time while not destroying my hardwork the other 20% of the time.  I used my Monday weigh-in as motivation only, not as the goal.  My goal was to develop a habit of making better food choices most of the time while limiting the junk food calories over the span of 1 year.  I know our failure as it relates to weight loss is our fixation on the scale so I pretty much neutralized its power.

healthy-lifestyle-tipsBecause my plan was long-term (by long-term I mean forever) I knew my body would gradually find its natural balance over a period of time.  My conversations with experts led me to realize that I should expect to lose 1 lb per week eating from a reasonable, healthy menu.  So as long as I hit my 1 pound mark each week, I know I am on the right track.  If I have a bad week I learn from it and get back to making better choices.  It is that simple.

I think too many of us get caught up in diets and fads and pounds lost.  And when we are not quickly excelling we get frustrated and quit.  Transform your thinking to focusing on living a healthier lifestyle and let your weight loss be a secondary benefit and motivator.  Develop the habit of eating more fruits, vegetables, fish and turkey.  Think about weight loss in terms of healthy living and as a marathon not a sprint.  Drop the fad diets, juicing, low carb, paleo, blah, blah, blah.  The problem with these fads is they are not sustainable over a very long period of time, nor were they designed to be implemented in your life for the long haul.  So inevitably the fad dieter is left with a “what do I do now” problem upon its conclusion!   How many can relate to that problem?  I am guessing most.

Remember my post on how we make life more difficult sometimes?  Well, I always try to take complex ideas or problems and treat them like fractions in math.  First you must reduce down to the most common denominator.  Don’t let the information overwhelm you.  What percentage of carbs versus protein multiplied by the inverse of nonsaturated fat minus body mass index divided by the population of Nevada…good lord my brain wants to explode reading some articles on the subject.  No wonder so many of you are confused and frustrated!  Eating right is as simple as shopping on the exterior portion of the grocery store, limiting grains/pastas, eat lean turkey and fish and buy fresh veggies and fruit.  Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever step foot in the center aisles unless you are buying spices.  Just to reiterate…never, ever, ever, ever!  Got it?  Fruits…good.  Frozen dinners…bad.  Fresh veggies…good.  Boxed foods…bad.  Ground turkey…good.  Chips Ahoy (although good)…bad!

photogallery_afib_friendly_exercises_walking_fullOh, and don’t forget to eliminate sugar drinks and replace with lots of H2O!!

I hope you find my view on the subject helpful as I truly want everyone to live life healthy, void of preventable disease, medical problems and premature death. I believe in you and am always available for support, just leave a comment and I will reply.  Be sure to remember my 3 rules: LIKE my FB page, SHARE with your friends and family and Subscribe to WordPress.  The more you share the more people we can help live long, prosperous, healthy lives!

Big Dreamer

I’m Just Keeping the Faith

A long, long time ago, in a writer’s galaxy far, far away I wrote an article entitled “Taking Action.”   The article dealt with an approach to achieving goals and finding more success in life using the following steps: 1. determine what it is that you want and state it, 2. determine what you are willing to sacrifice to get what you want, 3. develop a persistent attitude, 4. have faith, 5. develop organized planning and 6. execute.  Once you have these details you write out a short paragraph and read it several times per day religiously until goal attainment.  I first learned of this by reading “Think And Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill many years ago.  I modified his approach by simplifying down to 6 steps and it has worked for me in every instance I had desire for something.  I have talked about having true desire, not wishing or kind of wanting, but a true burning, unquenchable desire to obtain something.  We have touched on having a persistent attitude and talked about working through difficulties.   The one element of the system that I struggle with is having faith and it is faith that supports desire, persistence, planning and execution! (Side note: Try reading this article title without hummimg the Billy Joel song “Keeping the Faith!” That tune can get stuck in your head…you’re welcome!)

Merriam-Webster defines faith as “a firm belief or complete trust in something for which there is no proof.”  When most people think of faith they immediately begin thinking in religious or spiritual terms.  And most of the time the word faith is used in this context.  But, people exhibit faith each and every day.  There is no definitive proof that employees will receive a raise or promotion, yet they work hard all year believing that their hard work will be rewarded.  I drive my car each day believing that I will be safe, whereas, there is no definitive proof to this belief.  Entrepreneurs start up businesses having faith people will buy their product or use their service, without knowing how the future will unfold.  Orville and Wilbur Wright worked to design a vehicle that would fly when there was zero evidence that it would ever leave the ground.  A kid living in poverty lives his life believing in his heart that one day he will play football in the NFL.  He devotes his entire youth to this goal, with no proof that he will ever get drafted.  Yet, he has faith that his hardwork will pay off and perseveres.  The NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL are littered with these types of stories.   Sports achievement helps me to understand faith as the statistical data would discourage most from even trying.  Here’s context: a high school athlete has a .03% chance of playing in the NBA, .2% chance to be drafted in the NFL, .5% chance of putting on a MLB jersey and a .000006667 chance of playing on the PGA Tour.  But with all that said athletes play in these leagues every day so somebody is taking the challenge, having faith and reaching their goal!! 

Recently, I have challenged myself to let go of worry and develop the habit of practicing faith that life will take care of itself.  Notice I said “develop the habit” of practicing faith!  Like other skills used in designing a successful life, practicing faith takes diligence, focus and hard work.  (When I say life will manage itself I do not imply that this will occur while you ride the couch to victory each day watching Maury munching on corn chips!)  I struggle sometimes with wanting to control every aspect of my life and when things don’t work out or follow my plan I get stressed.  Then when I get stressed I become very un-fun to be around.  A recent bill issue is a perfect example.  Evelina and I had a bill come in that was unexpected and had a fast approaching deadline for payment, for which I had not properly budgeted.  I immediately went into my “how in the world am I going to pay this in 10 days??” mindset.  Usually, my mind starts running crazy with worry and fret as if the world is about to end.  Running through scenarios, crunching numbers, demanding we stop spending money…I basically become a mess.   In this instance I looked at my wife and I explained to her that I was going to change this habit of worry immediately.  I decided that my focus would be to believe beyond doubt that somehow, some way, we would pay this bill on time and in full.  I would work diligently on the things I could control and trust that things would work out.  In the end, we paid the bill on time and in full and life continued to roll along.  I must be honest in explaining how difficult it was for me to change my thinking.  Every single time my mind started reminding me of the impending doom, I said to myself  “I can only control those things that I can control and I believe things will work out.  I must focus my energy on working hard, being diligent every day and working my plan.  If I do so and practice faith I will achieve my goal.”  I said this to myself 50 times per day for a week and a half and my belief, faith, was confirmed when the bill was paid on time and in full!

I truly did not know how we would pay, I just believed beyond doubt that we would.  The college footballer may not know how he will make the NFL, he just believes beyond doubt that he will.  Faith requires more of me than does trying to control every detail of the outcome.  It requires me to let go of the end result; and for me that is difficult sometimes.  I think many people spend valuable energy focused on the wrong end of the equation.  We spend our time worrying about the final result instead of developing a plan and executing the steps necessary to achieve success.  Control what you can control. 

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One thing that I appreciate about the experience is the liberation I feel being relieved of the burden of the outcome.  I realize now that the result will be what the result will be and my responsibility is to develop my plan, maintain my daily to-do list, remain determined and work with focus.  To some letting go might be common knowledge,  but for me it is a foreign mindset.  Letting go can be tough as we hold to worrying as a badge of honor, as if the more we worry means the more we care.  The real truth is worry is a sign of “process focus” failure!

I thought I would have some deeply insightful conclusion, as the topic of faith would seem to deserve.  But sometimes life is not fireworks and roller coaster rides of adrenaline and excitement.  There are moments when you are presented with a fact of life and you either accept it, integrate it in your life and succeed or you ignore it, avoid changing, complain and continue your life struggle.  The fact is faith must be exercised to find success.  You must decide to change your lifestyle habits and change your mindset in order to begin using faith in your life. I highly recommend you read more about the necessity of faith in achieving success, and more specifically, Napolean Hill’s description of faith.  He provides great insight to how faith works and the power of auto-suggestion. Remember, when worry rears its ugly head, remind yourself,  “I can only control those things that I can control and I believe things will work out.  I must focus my energy on working hard, being diligent every day and working my plan.  If I do so and practice faith I will achieve my goal.” 

Faithfully…Dream Big, Dream Often.