Fit Me Forever Podcast

#29 How Do You Create Healthy Habits?

July 23, 2018 The OMNI FIT Season 2
Fit Me Forever Podcast
#29 How Do You Create Healthy Habits?
Show Notes Transcript

Today's episode is Part 1 of our two-part series called: Healthy Habit Change

Habit talk has sort of become a common way to refer to behavior change in the last few years, but we find that it's still very challenging to actually IMPLEMENT these new behaviors...no matter how badly we want to!!

In this episode, we discuss how to create healthy habits. Every habit you have — good or bad — follows the same 3–step pattern.

Here are a few points that we cover today:

  • The 3R's: Reminder, Routine & Reward
  • Habit Stacking
  • How willpower and motivation are NOT needed

Next Steps:
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AgingStrongLife.com
Send any questions or comments to: jodie@agingstronglife.com 

Jodie Vee:

Hi, welcome to the [inaudible] forever podcast, hosted by the Omni fit. We're about all things fitness. We help women get off the Diet roller coaster, define sustainable health, embracing life right where you are on the way to where you're going. Welcome to the podcast. I'm coach Jodie Vee, a certified nutrition coach who specializes in helping women become physically and mentally strong to regain energy for a life they love. I would like to welcome my cohosts Kala Duncan, owner of the Omni fit and fellow colleague and nutrition coach Taylor Bloxham. And together we are The OMNI FIT. Welcome back to another episode of The OMNI FIT. This is coach Jodie Vee, and I'm here with Kala and Taylor we're recording episode number 29. Healthy habit change. Ladies, this is going to be a two part podcast. On the first part, we're going to talk about how do you create healthy habits, and on the second part we're gonna talk about how do you break a bad habit, which we all have some of those, right ladies?

Kala Duncan:

Yes, absolutely.

Jodie Vee:

So let's jump into part one. How do we create healthy habits? What is a habit anyways?

Taylor Bloxham:

It's that consistency, what we do all the time, what we do to reach our goals, things that we need to form into and make sense of in order to actually make progress and sometimes it can actually, you know, the bad habits derail us backwards.

Kala Duncan:

Yeah. I've also heard habits being, um, very clearly defined as something that you do without thinking about it. So even if you're like for a moment, I think with us go down this trail of going, what do you do everyday that you literally don't have to think about? Often brush your teeth, grab a drink of water in the morning, like you do these mindless things almost robotically or you don't really have to expend any energy. When I talk about habits or reference these, a lot of times we put, I find, too much weight on trying to create a good habit and all this effort and thinking it's always going to take all this effort, which is one of the things we're going to be kind of going into today, which I'm really excited about.

Jodie Vee:

Yeah. It's just so interesting and there's a lot, lot of research about habits in the last couple of years. It seems like it's coming more to the forefront. More people are talking about habits. Um, uh, what we have to realize is whether a good habit or bad habit, probably 90 percent of our day is, is just things that we habitually do and whether we define them are good or bad, we get to decide how, like Taylor said, how are they pointing us towards the things that we want to accomplish or detracting us from what we don't want to do. And the thing about habits is you know, bad habits are replaced or never eliminated. So it's really important when you start assessing habits. Just kind of look at, um, what, what is the habit cycle? So we've talked about this a lot. Gals. Um, what can you tell our listeners about the habit cycle?

Kala Duncan:

Well, one of the things that I love that is mentioned a lot in research, not something I'm taking credit for, but um, the three R's, things that kind of help us remember what habits are. So number one is establishing a routine I'm having, I'm sorry, having a reminder of that trigger that creates that habit. So if the alarm clock is getting you out of bed in the morning, what is it that propels you to go to the coffee maker? You know, is that reminder of doing something that you do. Taylor, you've mentioned several times that you stumble into the kitchen to like make a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.

Taylor Bloxham:

We all have some kind of motivation to actually it's up and that sort of thing. No, it's just, it's whatever has to be consistent enough to, you know, make sure that it's not a bad habit and it's not something that's going to start impacting you negatively. So stumbling into the kitchen for coffee is totally permissible.

Kala Duncan:

A reminder or the trigger number two, um, routine. So the behavior itself, like actually taking action and doing that thing. And then three, something that every habit has that you might not realize is a reward. There is some benefit that you get from doing that behavior, from taking that sip of coffee, whether it is physically the caffeine or in the afternoon when I love to have a cup of coffee, I always drink decaf. Um, it's just the feeling of drinking it. It's the taking five minutes in the middle of my day to go make it whatever it is I could go on and on, which we're going to talk about in more detail about the rewards that come from habits. But when you're talking about the habit cycle, you're going to have those three things were, um, each part of the habit. It's going to fall into reminder routine and reward,

Jodie Vee:

right? Definitely. And I think that's the first part of it. The reminder, the trigger, the cue. Um, these are things that as we coach, we really like to dig in with women about reinforcing what are those positive triggers that are pushing you towards the routine that is more positive to get results that you want? Or what are those triggers that are caused, you know, setting you up into a loop that looks a little bit more like failure and detracting away from her goals and a lot of those triggers are really revolve around time and location, sometimes events, your emotional state and other people. And so those are really as we start to sort out, and We're going to talk about that more in episode two about how to break a bad habit, but when you think about whether it's a good habit or a bad habit, think about those triggers. I'm like, I, it's, it's 6:00 in the morning, it's time for me to get out of bed because oh boom, I have to go to the gym or boom, I've got to go to work and start my day. Like there's something that triggers you or propels you into the next step of action and when you pull back from those things, you can determine where they might be problematic or where you want to reinforce, you know, continue to reinforce that, that behavior. So yeah, when we're talking about I'm just habits in general and have it change or creating healthy habits or removing bad habits, something that is very, very important to recognize is that our habits are often just a signal of how we're feeling or what we're doing.

Speaker 1:

So if, when the best thing that we can recommend for you to do before you even start with all these ideas of what you want to accomplish is just take an inventory of some of those automatic behaviors that you already have in place. As we kind of moved through this process of creating a healthy habit and I'm removing bad habits. Going back to those, um, introspective things of going, this is something that's in my life that might not be in someone else's, really makes it a personal thing to you rather than trying to, you know, be a morning person when your natural behavior is not to be alert in the morning or to try to be a night person when your natural behaviors not at, you know, being alert at nighttime. And so take an inventory just like if you need to even just pause this while while you're in the middle of listening to it to just take a few notes about like what is it that I do all the time down to minute details. Like don't feel silly. Like when do you crave the chocolate? When do you call your parents? When is it that you like, I need to call my best friend or I need to go, I want to move my body. When, when do you get that craving to go and perform something or even the less than good habits wanting that extra glass of wine or you know, whatever it is that you have. Do you have any examples guys? Have things that you do automatic that maybe we can get the listeners kind of churning and thinking about in their life. That's such a profound thing to talk about and mention too, just because that really helps us to really hone in on and teach our listeners in the women of our intuition and just being aware of themselves and the decisions that they're making so that they can exactly pick apart this process and obviously also just being totally okay and love who they are and who they're made to be like. It's okay if you're not a morning or night person or whatever case may be. So just honing it now in that confidence. One thing in particular I tend to think of is, I think this is now, this is certainly a habit is chocolate or wanting to. When I'm upset, I'm not necessarily the chocolate part, but say when I'm upset, I think of, um, I just want to talk it out or talk with someone or pray about it or do something. I'm not one to sit it, help it sit and marinate. I'm not that type of person, but the chocolate over time I just think of is, is something that is not really anything in particular that has any emotion to it linked. It's just something I want and sometimes that's okay too, but those are, those also become habits over time, you know, um, until we wanted to kind of hone in on them a little more so. But um, I think for the most part it's good to start to see any kind of emotion attached behind behind what your trigger is.

Speaker 2:

Jody, what about you? I think about something, it's interesting. I enjoy a good glass of wine just like anybody else does, but I used to have a girlfriend and, and we don't live close to each other anymore, but when we did invariably we'd get together to talk or chat or whatever and she'd pull out a bottle of wine and so it became this thing where we had a glass of wine every time we already gather and there's nothing wrong with that, but it was almost like I just, I, we couldn't be together without that. That I know that sounds ridiculous and that meant no alcoholic syndrome, you know, any of that stuff going on here. But I recognize that when she moved away, I didn't need to have that necessarily. Every time I met with a friend, but there was just something about her place and that relationship that trigger. One of the things I mentioned too is actually at the live event, how there's a Dunkin donuts that's like six things away from my jam, six little outlets away from my gym and for three and a half years I never went there once and one day after a workout I had a protein shake with me and I didn't have anything else. I thought, oh, I'll just stop and get a donut, and literally there's something totally negative about that. I had to tell myself like it took a ton of willpower not to go through the drive through like on a routine basis and having and just go, I'm going to have a donut with my protein shake instead of pulling back and going, now put something in, in your lunchbox or your cooler so that you have it, that you don't use that as a default. You know? It's, it's silly. Things like that that kind of just will trip us up over time. I love how you mentioned in both of those scenarios, there was never an intention behind the habit being created. The habit started

Speaker 1:

out of a repetitive nature. Like you pass this all the time. You're with this friend. You were never thinking, you know, oh, we're going to be wind buddies. Let's try a different bottle of wine. It was just this casual random event. Um, it's so much power to the environment around a particular thing, whether it's positive or negative type of thing. No know. I always think I mentioned about talking to her parents because you know, some of you that may have been listening for a while, know that I live about 1500 miles from my family down in Georgia. I have up here in New Hampshire and my mom watches my great nephew, so my mom is parents age and she watches someone the same age as my son. And so it's really cool that we're kind of able to talk a lot about our days, but makes it really challenging. When before we were watching these babies, I could call her anytime now. I've literally think about calling her around his schedule because I know that she's probably the same thing. If it's nap time on a Saturday, then I know that my mom is probably available to chat versus trying to talk around a two year old toddler, like that's impossible. Or when I'm watering my plants because my mom likes plants and so I'm thinking about, oh, this made me think of my mom, let me do that. And so a lot of times, um, those normal everyday things like watering my plants are feeding my kid lunch. Um, I've created this and we were talking the other day laughing. She's like, you're always, you always call me at this time. And I'm like, I know I call you at this time because this is why I'm proceeding a different event. Seems to always kind of like, goes back, back and forth. I love how there's patterns to be recognized there. And that's really what we want you guys to do is just kind of lightheartedly think about all the things that we do that you don't really think about it. You're like, wait, why do I do that? Let's dig a little bit deeper. Well, I think to the whole idea of creating a healthy habit is when you recognize those cues and triggers you can either replace or the idea is to take something that you currently do, the trigger and a routine and replace or upset, disruptive, if you will, whatever the normal routine is. Well, instead of God only packing the protein shake and that putting something else in for post workout, I'd set myself up to set a new routine, which is let's go through the drive through and again it pancake. Don't edit knocking down it, right? If I say to myself, when I make that protein shake, I'm automatically going to put something in my bag. That is, there's the stop gap that starts a new routine and that's how you create a healthy, more healthy or healthier habit. Um, another example is here, added a Mexican restaurant and those chips are, you know, they're addictive. Instead of eating out of the basket.

Speaker 2:

When I started to do, except I didn't do this when we were all together, but what I started to do is take out myself out of the basket, a healthy handful of chips and put them on a Napkin or my plate and when that was gone, that was it. I didn't go back to the basket, you know, things like that where I stopped gapped would have been a normal routine just to eat out of the basket until I can't eat anymore or my, my plate is served. Right? So there's just, there's all kinds of little things. It's just changing up what is the routine that is going to go after that trigger and that's what, that's what we really want to encourage you ladies to think about.

Speaker 1:

Right? Right. So if there are some pretty basic healthy habits that you want to put in place, go back to that list of things that you're already doing and try to pair, like make a logical pair of if you know that you need to drink more water. Well, I made it a point. I was doing this all the time. I noticed when I would drink a cup of coffee, I could go with several hours without actually intaking a lot of water, so I made myself kind of this little deal that I would get a 16 ounce bottle water bottle and I would just chug it while my coffee's brewing and I would get in and when that pattern happens, then my thirst is like that thirst cycle start my body wants a drink of water versus if I don't drink water when I first wake up, I just can go awhile without water. Especially in the winter time when I'm not hot or I'm not talking to anybody in the morning. And so pairing something with something that you already do, I have a good habit. Pairing it with a behavior that you already do automatic. Yeah. Yeah. That's funny you say that because I think that. I mean I know I do that personally with the water thing and that's just a good a good thing to do for anybody. As soon as you wake up, start drinking some water and because that reward of something later is something you're still looking forward to, but you can do that really with, with anything that's stretching, that's warming up, that's, you know, anything, something with your kids, what the, what the client. Last week we were talking about movement and just in the season of life that she's in, it just doesn't allow for trips to the gym and this Chicago in this period of time of not having movement and going, I really don't feel good when I don't move. So the reality is is that I want to move, but I don't have the time to go to the gym like I used to. So we were talking just kind of talking out a few things and we did exactly this exercise. I said, tell me a little bit about your day, about your routine. What are the typical things that you do? Which seems just totally benign. Like why does this matter? So she's telling me about her day and then I'm like, okay, great. Now what about this part of the day? And this part of the day, which happens to be morning and night for her, um, you might be different if you're listening to this thinking about how can I induce movement. So for her, she takes a chunk, a period of time in the morning when she's feeling refreshed but not quite like I want to just run for a mile, but like I want to move my body. So I was like, okay, well let's just start with some type of movement. Five minutes, let's see how you feel. And sure enough, a week later we get on the phone and to have our followup call. And she's like, I am shocked at how more alert I feel during my quiet time just by like rolling my head around and getting my neck to move a little bit and doing a little bit of stretching. And she's like, admittedly though I felt silly. And so I tried to like, you know, exert myself a little bit more. And my body was like, no, you have not moved in months. We're not doing lunges first thing in the morning. This is not happening. And so it was kind of funny how this progressed, um, and now we're, you know, about four weeks into this particular habit that she was building and she craves it. She's like, I felt so much better. It impacted my drive to work, which she has a longer drive to work and she wanted to utilize those chunks of time in a way that would serve her and her goals. And that's simple as it is. And I use that example just to say like, how often is it that we're like, I just don't have time to induce that habit or to add another trigger to do something. But it's really as simple as like rolling your neck around when you first sit up and getting out of bed to induce a little bit of movement that when your desire is that it's going to feel better and that, you know, that reward does come. The natural pattern is to drink the water first thing in the morning and to add a little bit of movement to your day or to pack a postworkout treat. Because I mean not only the sugar but the budget. I mean, right, like people like every single day. One of the things I started doing, and this went back to our movement challenge. How long ago has that been since we did this for approximately a year? Yeah. So, um, I just was trying to work on pushups and so I get out of bed every morning, literally. I don't stumble to the coffee pot, but I stumbled to the roll out of bed onto the floor and I do pushups every morning, so I usually try to get in two or three sets of 10 and it's great. And then I'll add air squats at night. Don't do them every night. But like while I'm washing my face, I'll do some air squats or Scott now be talking to the living room and I'll be doing an air spots. Well you always have some fun youtube videos he wants to share with me, be short and sweet things and I'm like, I'm doing my squats while I'm watching this. Five or 10 minutes of shared videos and we have a good laugh, but he's like, can you ever just sit still sit at a desk all day? That's exactly what I was talking to a client and I'm like, okay, this is silly, but if you. You probably go to the bathroom a couple times a day, right? So why not do 10 air squats before, before you decide you're going to sit down, if you can hold it, the lecture sizes, I don't know, but you could

Speaker 2:

be squats and then a day when you might not necessarily have time to do that. So

Speaker 1:

firsthand I'm looking over making coffee and God starts doing pushups or you know. I say that too because it was almost a year ago. No, two years ago we were in Asheville, North Carolina, rooming together for a conference and sure enough she gets up first. Who are, you know, I'm going to serve on my phone while I try to open my eyelids. We love you, but I just love it. You have to do what is honoring to you, your schedule, your body, and you know, it's going to take a lot of tests and that's something I want to encourage you guys that are listening have, don't just like all of these things that we're, that we're tossing out lightheartedly, um, try them. But if they don't, you know, get your juices flowing. You don't feel great. Don't stop trying, looking for things and more opportunities to reach whatever that end goal is that you're hoping to do because it all starts with these tiny little bitty habits that you can input into your life.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, definitely tiny habits. And one of the things that causes failure when it relates to habit change is trying too many things at once. And, and that's a big deal. Like there's the concept of what's called habit stacking. Start with one habit that you want to change. Maybe it's you want to just go to bed a little bit earlier or, or that sort of thing. Start small instead of going, I was talking to a client this morning and started going to bed at 2:00 AM. And trying to tell yourself, if 2:00 AM to your regular habit and you want to go to bed at 10:00 AM or 11, that's probably going to be really, really difficult to start inching it up.

Speaker 1:

Know just right of the image. You're normal. You want to go to Scott.

Speaker 2:

I was talking to a client that was a two is irregular to am or like, you know, her goal is support to be a good bit earlier than that

Speaker 1:

at 10 or 11:00 PM. Yes, yes, yes.

Speaker 2:

So instead of going, I'm going to try to cut my bedtime three hours and lay awake for three hours, right? And whatever. Start with 30 minutes of start with something small and work on one thing at a time and, and reward yourself for that and rewards look differently. We can, that's part of the habit cycle. But if you get a little bit better sleep at night, that's a reward in itself. So there's just um, trying to do too many things at once. Trying to rely on willpower to make too many changes. We've talked about that in past podcasts, that willpower is an exhaustible resource. Start with just one or two and small incremental changes and built from there. It's amazing what can happen

Speaker 1:

in a relatively short period of time. It really is. And you know, a comment that I get a lot a push back against when I'm, my critique for a coaching client might be or trying a little too much at once, like let's back off a little bit, is this intense desire to change in that moment. Um, a lot of the times by the time we're on the phone with someone, they're in a place where they are really ready to change and it can kind of feel frustrating when the recommendation is go to sleep 30 minutes earlier or drink a bottle of water in the morning or roll your neck around when you like, when, when their desire is to turn this one 80 and be a different person this time next year. And there's a lot of trust and there's a lot of pushback that happens. But think about it this way. You can't afford not to because the research is clear. There's plenty of research that supports it. If, if maybe you weigh a little bit heavily on what science says about this behavior, there's plenty of research about habit change and habit stacking and how to induce change, but there's also a lot of real life experience from not just us, but plenty of clients, people that are just kind of talking in the fit me forever group about how valuable those tiny little changes are, so at the point that you're. If you're ready to kind of make that change to get to a final destination, don't waste any more time by thinking that doesn't apply to me. Like, oh, I could at least do two or three things. My encouragement to you is just try it one week and then see how you do next week and that's why we do our accountability calls. That's why we encourage community because you are going to feel kind of crazy. You're going to feel like I can definitely do more than this, and then when you don't, you're going to feel like a failure. Like coach Jodie said, because that's how we have all felt in the past. You're not alone there.

Speaker 2:

I think what is so and Taylor, he probably this too, but we have to recognize that our habits are really the sum of where we're at today. So wherever it is that we find ourselves, um, and maybe it's a less than desirable spot. It's really because of the habits that we've practiced and so, and those habits have been laid down over time and it takes time, you know, to undo them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. One thing I think of just with you ladies talking about that is with think of a house and think of the end result. You can't just have you of course, your wish for a house and then a house. Just all beautiful done everything ready to go for you to live in and move into. You have to set down the foundations, the sheet rock, the, all of the different things that have to be put into place for a beautiful home. And those, those foundations, the stakes that go into the ground, the sheet rock laying, the foundations that all. Those are all habits that are overtime built upon. And so that is what builds a firm foundation for you to be successful in your progress as man. I don't think we can say anything better than that. Ms Dot Taylor box seem to be. No, I was just going to say that's not my name for metformin. No, that's really great. And so, um, guys, we could kind of go on and on in this, in this continual loop giving examples. But the main thing that we wanted to stress with part one of today's podcast about overall healthy habit change is that there is a pattern and when there is a pattern of when there's a structure, what's good about that is that you can identify those patterns in your life. Then you can start to follow the structure of proven results. You know that when you hop right in to where you can identify a trigger and you can create a routine and then you can identify the reward, you can jump into that loop and really start to see change in your life. And that's what we want for you guys. Want to give you guys the tools to be able to do that. Um, and then also the support. Yeah, that's what's going to create sustainable change. Absolutely. So next time we're going to be talking about how do you break a bad habit. We've got a lot of great examples and some real life situations that we can help you guys identify with and give you some, some more tools and strategies to apply to your own life, but will talk to you then.

Speaker 3:

Well, there you have it guys. Thank you so much for joining in to another episode of the fit me forever podcast. If you guys have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out via email@infoattheOmnifit.com. And of course, please connect with us on social media. All of our handles are instagram and facebook are both at the Omni fit, and if you like this kind of content, if you like what we're putting out, please rate us on itunes and stitcher. That helps other people find us and it lets us know that we're putting out content that you enjoy. All right, talk to you guys soon.