We are who we are, mostly based on our daily automatic habits. Your current health and fitness is a direct reflection of your habits.
Habits are the things we repeatedly and automatically do, without having to think about it. Habits are the reason people eat “bad” foods and find ways to avoid exercise. Habits guide how we get dressed in the morning, communicate with loved ones, what we eat for lunch, how we save and spend, how active we are, how we fall asleep at night, and so much more. The majority of what we do every day is a result of these automatic, ingrained habits.
When we consciously repeat a particular routine, we are forming a habit. If we have to think about it to do it though, it’s not a habit yet. Habits form when we have consciously performed a routine or ritual enough times, that it becomes deeply rooted in our subconscious.
The reason the brain does it this way is because the subconscious areas of the brain require much less energy to operate than the conscious areas of the brain. The most prominent conscious area of the brain is the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which lies just behind the forehead. Since the brain and the body are all about efficiency and conserving energy whenever possible, routines get relegated to the subconscious brain (SB) and get taken out of the conscious brain (CB) as soon as possible. This could be as fast as 5-6 repeats of the same simple routine (like stamping an envelope), or as long as hundreds of repeats for a complex routine (like driving a car).
Once the SB gets a hold of it, the CB doesn’t have to expend all that energy anymore on that particular routine. It’s an automatic habit now and that saves lots of energy. It also becomes more powerful when it’s relegated to the SB because the SB has more influence over your actions than the CB does.
When you learned to drive a car, you had to think about every step, one step at a time, in the right sequence, for the whole trip. Then, once you became an experienced driver, you could get to your destination sometimes without even remembering the trip. This is because the SB was driving for you, freeing up your CB to do other things. Or, in the case of a man’s brain, it can just zone out and think about nothing. 😉
The good news is that even once habits and routines are deeply rooted in our minds, they aren’t destiny. We can choose to form new habits once we know how. We can break old habits too and there is a specific formula to make that happen easily, quickly and permanently for most people and brain types.
This course is designed to help you break unwanted habits, create new habits and reinforce the good habits you have already established in your life.
What you learn here can be applied to any part of your life that you want to change, so use these skills often and consistently to achieve your goals and resolutions.
There isn’t one perfect formula for breaking and creating habits, but scientists have found an effective framework for most brain types and this course uses those findings.
I didn’t come up with most of this on my own. There are lots of people smarter than I am when it comes to psychology and brain science, but I do have a passion for this subject, starting when my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the year 2000. I dove into brain research (which was easy because I was already an avid researcher in the fields of exercise and nutrition science) to try to find a way to help her. Since she was already in such an advanced stage, and the science was so young, there wasn’t much to do about it back then.
Now though, in 2017, we have so much more information and studies to learn from, including the recent discovery that Alzheimer’s is REVERSIBLE, giving hope to millions afflicted with this cruel disease. But that’s another topic…
I didn’t stop studying and researching brain science in 2005 when mom passed because I had learned too much fascinating information by then and knew that I could use that information to help other people in many different ways, so I kept researching it along with the exercise and nutrition science I had been researching for years already.
Some of the fascinating things I have learned include how the brain forms these automatic routines called habits. If we become aware of them, then understand how they work, then learn how to take control of them, we can form new habits and reprogram or erase old habits. Once we learn how to harness them and use them to our advantage, life changes drastically and goals, dreams and resolutions become attainable.
I learned most of what I explain in this course through many different sources. Several of the main resources are listed at the bottom of every page in this course for easy reference if you are interested in further reading. I would certainly suggest you do that, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to because I’ve done it for you and put it all together here!
This course is designed to help you move forward at your own pace, so be sure to go as slowly as you need, to absorb the information completely and master each step before clicking through to the next step. If you go too fast, your brain will be doing too many steps at the same time, will become overwhelmed and will make you want to quit.
If you feel the need to quit at any point in this course, it’s because you are either going too fast, or your brain is resisting change, so in either case, just stop to work on the present habit or even back up to work on a previous habit that might be a good catalyst for continued progress forward.
Everyone moves at a different pace, but those who move too fast ALWAYS fail. It should feel like it’s too slow of a pace. Your goal and resolution failures in the past were likely due to moving too fast and biting off more tan you could chew. Take your time. You’re worth it.
If you are a perfectionist, get over that. You will not succeed in this course (and in many other things in life) if you don’t cut yourself some slack and learn how to forgive yourself for less than 100% success. Perfectionists also have trouble getting started if they don’t think success is guaranteed, so get over that too and just start already! If you don’t try, you won’t even get to find out if you will succeed.
The world famous hockey player Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” The best baseball players strike out 2/3 of the time. Struggles, setbacks and failures are part of being human. One of the things you will learn in this course will be how to get back on track when (not if) you get off track, but it certainly is designed to be an easier and faster system than any most of you have ever experienced before.
As you go through this course, you will essentially be “hacking” your brain and figuring out how to rewrite, recode and rewire the circuits inside for successful and permanent health and fitness results. Once you do this, you will know where to go next because you will learn what’s most effective for your individual brain, so I invite you to be your own scientist and experiment with curious anticipation. Be sure to NOTICE what works, APPRECIATE the process and BELIEVE that you are the boss of your brain and your habits!
Congratulations! You just finished step one: Understanding the Concept of Habits.
Now, if you feel like you have grasped this step completely and have the time to move on right now (about another 30 minutes of undivided attention), click the button below for step two.