What's the MINIMUM you feel you NEED to do in order to make your habit "count"?Oct 09, 2022
Heya! Chris here. I want to talk about creating new HABITS today. You see, most of our clients are high-achievers who are used to doing things (usually work) at 110% (yep, living life/working at 110% is a sure recipe for body burnout at some point, especially if you chuck some kids into the mix! To get that extra 10% you’re literally eating away at energy from inside your body, and therefore stealing your future energy).
So when it comes to changing habits to healthy rituals and routines that allow healing to happen, often high-achievers will go 110% trying to make changes.
How does this play out? Well, it usually goes one of two ways. They either go gung-hung, doing ALL the things, making great wins for…like…the first week or two…and then everything hits the fan because it all gets too hard and they quit (sound familiar?!). Or, they religiously follow their new habit goals. Ticking off all their wins. They stick at it, out of ‘sheer will-power’. But the energy of creating new habits is all wrong. They are literally FORCING their way to change, which leads to further stress, overwhelm and, yep, more body burnout.
Before I got into life coaching, I was a strength and conditioning coach. I also competed in sports, including Strongman. While many other competitors trained to their MAX I always trained to my MINIMUM. If I could get stronger doing 3 reps of X weight, why would I do 4 reps? Training at my MINIMUM allowed me to get stronger, fitter, faster - without the added risk of injury or burning myself out.
Applying the MINIMUM to Habits
So this got me thinking. What if we applied this strategy to creating new habits? Rather than trying to be 100% perfect (and increase the risk of new-habit-formation-burnout), what is the MINIMUM you feel you NEED to do in order to make your habit "count"?
Let me give you an example…
Before I went on holidays with my family to QLD, for 3 weeks I got 41% of my desired new habits done.
That could be better...but it's pretty good I'm stoked that I did something really beneficial to me and made progress towards my goals.
I'm choosing to not be hard on myself, and I'm genuinely really excited and a bit chuffed
But...I am curious...how can I make my new habits even more appealing and achievable.
I had some reflection time, and asked myself - "WHAT IS THE MINIMUM I CAN DO TO STILL GET A "TICK", IF MY GOAL IS 100%"
Some of my habit goals are personal, but here's a couple of generic ones that serve me and my wellbeing.
I had a goal to do the following daily (and in brackets the percentage of adherence I got for the period):
- Walk (25%)
- Breathe (50%)
- Stretch (15%)
- Workout (55%)
- Swim (65%)
- Read (50%)
- Clean my desk (45%)
- Business development (20%)
As I said, progress could be better...but definitely could be worse!
Here's how I made my habit goals a little more achievable - these are MINIMUM daily goals I intend to make a habit:
- 10min walk
- 7mins of slow breathing
- 3mins of stretching
- 50 pushups or a beach WOD
- Plunge or cold water shower
- 10min reading
- Neaten up my desk before going to bed
- Send 2 texts to people I am either working with/want to work with/or who I care about and want to check in on them
I'm going to really try and stick to the minimum...weird huh?
See, my experience with myself, and my many burned out clients, is that I/we/they often have more trouble starting or doing something if there is a perfection expectation.
Doing the minimum allows me to really hone in on the habit I need to build.
For example, in order to meet my reading goal, I leave my phone at home when I go to the beach every morning. I use my watch to keep time and I have a couple of nice Solfeggio tracks downloaded to listen to while I read and breathe and stretch. I have a couple of pump up tracks to listen to when I do my workout on the beach.
See, I wonder, if you didn't shoot so high, if you didn't aim so perfect, I wonder, what could you achieve?
Wanna try it out?
I'm curious how much progress you can make if you...
Some Handy Habit-Forming Tools
If you want an awesome tool to assess WHERE YOU ARE NOW as a benchmark, so you can track your progress overtime with doing the things you need to do to get (and stay) healthy, take our Ending Body Burnout Assessment.
We also have some handy (free) habit-forming tools ready to download on our website. The first is the AM/PM Routine Systems which helps you to prioritise the important things into your day first thing in the morning and/or before you go to bed.
And second tool is the If/Then…Planning System. Most people are quick to abandon a habit/goal when the going gets tough. Learn how to stay on track and troubleshoot your game plan by being proactive, NOT reactive. With the If, Then...Planning System, you can see into the future by planning all the ways you could fall off track with your goals, and create a proactive plan of attack IF it were to happen...leading you to success!
Chris Bellette is Co-Owner of Chris & Filly Functional Medicine. He is a Life Coach & Master of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner. He specialises in helping high-performance parents in leadership & business to prevent and recover from burnout, injury, pain & mental health.
Chris has had his own fair share of burnout. After 20 years of hustling in the health & fitness industry (founding PT businesses & gyms), as well as achieving national-level sportsmanship in several sports, his body & mind got to a point of burning out. Retiring from elite level sport & pivoting into life coaching, Chris knows how it feels to be burned-out, juggling family & business (and one’s own sanity!) AND, more importantly...he knows how to fix it!
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