Are you sure you are ready and have enough time right now for this step? If not, just click the button below to go back to the safety and comfort of the last step. If you are sure that you want to move on because you feel 100% confident that you have learned and mastered the last step, then welcome and read on!
Because reviewing everything you have learned so far will drive it deep into your automatic brain to get your toddler on board!
Step 1: Understanding and accepting that we are our habits: what we repeatedly do, mostly automatically, throughout the day. The toddler brain (our subconscious and emotional sections like the amygdala, basal ganglia, etc.) is in charge of our habits and always will be, but there is hope! The parent brain (our conscious brain, namely the prefrontal cortex) can teach the toddler how to form new, healthy habits and forget the old, unhealthy habits.
Step 2: Filling out the grid, with 2-4 daily habits. This is the hardest step and the one most people get hung up on because it is also a PFC exercise. In this step, your PFC is doing 99% of the work and because it is a high-energy exercise, those people with highly functioning PFCs (parent brains) tend to have an easier time with it. Those with low functioning PFCs tend to get hung up and stop the whole habits course. Their toddler brain sabotages them and keeps them stuck in their old habit loops. If you are reading this step, congratulations for making it this far! Your PFC is stronger than most and you will most likely succeed in this course! For your toddler-brain friends and family, be sure to coach them, encourage them, and guide them through step two because it is also a PFC workout and will make theirs stronger, helping them to get to this step along with you!
Step 3: Understanding the habit loop: trigger, routine, reward. All habits have a trigger to get it started. Then the routine or action part happens (recognized by most as the habit itself). Then the reinforcement for that routine has to happen in the form of some reward. Step two helps you see this in your own habits and opens your eyes so you can start your own bio-hacking process to change habits you want to change and to form new habits much faster and easier than ever before.
Step 4: Talk to your toddler! Call out your habit loops and give them a name. This takes their power away and draws them out of the shadows. They can’t hide anymore or be automatic and unnoticed, in the shadows of your subconscious brain. Once they are drawn out into the light, they can be changed much more easily. Denial is dead and your parent brain can now see which habits to change.
Step 5: How to change your state to put yourself in your PFC (parent brain) and get yourself out of your toddler brain (emotions, instant gratification, etc.). This is vital for teaching your inner toddler. You must be in your PFC for effective teaching to happen. Period. When the toddler is in charge, you tend to fall back into the old habits, eating and drinking the things you know make you less healthy and fit. When the parent is in charge, willpower is abundant and teaching is possible.
Step 6: Put it all together with the following four steps:
- Change or make sure you are in the right state.
- Use an existing trigger or create a new trigger.
- Perform the new routine – and make it EASY!
- Use an existing reward or create a new reward to close the habit loop. Then repeat this process for each habit (just pick 2-4 for now) for at least 42 days.
Bottom line: Your toddler brain is, and will always be, in charge. He/she will make you do stuff for the rest of your life, through your automatic habits. Once you realize this and accept this, you then have two options:
A.) You can let your toddler create all your automatic habits, through repetition, based on instant gratification, what’s easiest now (i.e. to not do exercise), and what food or drink will medicate your brain into the state he/she wants to be in,
B.) Use your parent brain to create all your automatic habits, by training your toddler to make you do the right stuff, through repetition, delayed gratification, what’s healthiest now, and what food or drink will make you healthier now and in the future.
You get to choose – A or B.
Either way, your toddler remains in charge and will always be the boss of you. Your choice between A or B dictates whether your boss ends up addicted to cheese puffs on the couch, in front of the TV, or addicted to green veggies and exercise.
And now for something new! Watch the video below to find out how important proper sleep is to your PFC (the parent). Plus, you will learn how sleep increases your metabolism, reduces body fat and more!