Well! I listened to the BEST podcast this morning! Michael Stelzner, founder of The Social Media Examiner, The Social Media Marketing Podcast, host of Social Media Marketing World, literally held as we were all shutting down at the beginning of March …. so Michael interviewed James Clear, author of Atomic Habits! It was just incredible! Great interview, great topic and so timely considering my last post on habit and where we are right now. I want to share some highlights with you that really struck me because ….these little things, habits, are so important to our optimal health in terms of how we are eating, how we are sleeping, how we are moving, and how we are really setting ourselves up to move through our day. They are important to our present and they are critical to our future – which James Clear put into words so beautifully this morning on https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/shows/ with Michael Stelzner.
Last week, I suggested that when we come out of “this”, some of our old habits may come with us, some may not make it (for better or worse), and there may be some new habits we pick up.
So first, win the day! Take the habits that were making you successful back! If you used to get up and 5am, work out, journal, have a light breakfast and go to work – get back into some sort of routine that resembles that. Now – let’s look at that – if getting up at 5am right now provides you with 5 hours of sleep because you are also staying up until midnight…. adjust accordingly. Maybe, your NEW habit is to get eight hours of sleep. So my take on “win the day” is let’s not let everything go to hell because we don’t need to be anywhere. It will leave us disheveled, distracted and not productive. Let’s pull it together people!
Another tip he offered that I loved since many of us are working and schooling from home is Environmental Design. What this means is look at your space and make it what you need it to be and when. If you work best on your laptop at your desk in your office from 9-1. Do that. Do not also take your ipad into the office – leave it where you do your ipad things. You may even want to put your phone in your desk drawer. The idea is to create a habit of doing whatever it is that you want or need to do there and from then to then. I find this tip enlightening and empowering. As someone who needs to get more articles out the door and a podcast produced, it is intriguing to me to think about carving out different spaces in my home office where I will do each of these activities. And it doesn’t have to mean I am sitting at my desk all day – because I really don’t like that! (I knew there was a reason I put my Grandma’s desk upstairs in front of the pretty windows!). Also, time. Setting a time to STOP working. (This is a hard one for me) It is so easy for us to just work all the time because we can now that we are home. Set an alarm and stop the work day. It will be there tomorrow. Make sure it’s a weekday, btw.
Because we have all had COVID-19 happen to us, we may all be working out different habit scenarios. Did we stop working out? Are we working out more and we’re not getting any work done? Have you forgotten how to put together a reasonable outfit because clothing has become optional most days? Whatever is happening, looking at the new situation and peeling back layers to get to the root cause. As Clear says, “the points of friction”, allows you to solve the problem and get to the root cause.
Lastly, he offered advice from Tiny Habits tips from BJ Fogg Director of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. This is a great concept we can all try now, if we do this, then do this. If our habit is currently A, and we know it. And we want to do B. Then do A, and then do B. We are training ourselves to do one and then do the other. It’s like baby steps that we can take more easily because we have already been doing the first step. As a Health & Wellness Coach, I appreciate this approach for clients who may not be up to cleaning out their entire pantry all at once. But maybe, if they do a few items at a time. Or maybe they open the pantry door and just survey the scene. Those are baby steps.
Finally, Clear said, “the cost of good habits is in the present. The cost of bad habits is in the future.” He could have just dropped the mic here as far as I’m concerned.
The cost of good habits is in the present. The cost of bad habits is in the future.