Happy New Year!! 2017 has been an amazing year filled with CrossFit Games festivities, visits from some of the biggest names in CrossFit, a move to a new building, introductions of new friends, and so many amazing self-improvements by Connex athletes. We look forward to new adventures, new faces, new PRs, new memories, and new excitement for this new year.
We will have one class today at 10am. Come out and celebrate with mimosas afterwards!
Before your workout today, take a few minutes to read and digest Coach Jared’s take on Habits.
With the new year comes new year resolutions. Some of those resolutions may be changing certain habits. Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.
But what if you want to improve? What if you want to form new habits? How would you go about it?
Let’s look at the framework of habits. Every habit you have good or bad follows the same 3–step pattern.
Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)
Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)
Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)
A very simple version of this would be your phone ringing and you answering it to see who’s calling. The reminder is the sound of the phone ringing. The routine is physically answering the phone. Lastly the reward is figuring out who is calling you. If the reward is positive, then you’ll want to repeat the routine again the next time the reminder happens. Repeat the same action enough times and it becomes a habit. Every habit follows this basic 3–step structure.
So here is a way to create new habits. Step one: set a reminder for your new habit. A good reminder makes it easy to start by encoding your new behavior in something that you already do. The best way I know to discover a good reminder for your new habit is to write down two lists. In the first list, write down the things that you do each day without fail. Examples would be taking a shower, eating breakfast, or brushing your teeth. In the second list, write down the things that happen to you each day without fail. Examples would be getting a text, a song ending, or a tv commercial. With these two lists, you’ll have a wide range of things that you already do and already respond to each day. Those are the perfect reminders for new habits.
Step two: choose a habit that is incredibly easy to start. Habit and goals are not the same thing. Don’t get caught up in making massive changes. If you need help setting goals and creating habits that impact your ability to reach your goals, talk to Coach Alison. You can also check out the audio recording of the Goal Setting Workshop. If you want to start a new habit and begin living healthier and happier, then I have one suggestion that I cannot emphasis enough: start small. How small? BJ Fogg suggests that people who want to start flossing begin by only flossing one tooth. Just one. In the beginning, performance doesn’t matter. Become the type of person who always sticks to your new habit. You can build up to the level of performance that you want once the behavior becomes consistent. Here’s your action step: Decide what you want your new habit to be. Now ask yourself, “How can I make this new behavior so easy to do that I can’t say no?”
Step three: the reward! It’s important to celebrate. We want to continue doing things that make us feel good. And because an action needs to be repeated for it to become a habit, it’s especially important that you reward yourself each time you practice your new habit. For example I’m trying to cut back on sweets. Every time I don’t eat a cookie or treat I say to myself “that’s a small victory.” Or “awesome job!” Give yourself some credit and enjoy each success. Only go after habits that are important to you. It’s tough to find a reward when you’re simply doing things because other people say they are important.
Where to go from here? In general, you’ll find that these three steps fit almost any habit. The specifics, however, may take some work. You might have to experiment before you find the right cue that reminds you to start a new habit. You might have to think a bit before figuring out how to make your new habit so easy that you can’t say no. And rewarding yourself with positive self talk can take some getting used to if you’re not someone who typically does that.
I hope you found this helpful Connex! Here’s to another great year with all you amazing humans. Dilly Dilly!