The one with the Habits

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Sandy has a trigger… it’s goals. Goals are everywhere. In physical therapy school she is learning about how to make client goals and S.M.A.R.T. goals (if you haven’t heard of these you might be living under a rock). There is a ton of great research on it but in real life, goals are kind of this far away unachievable and she wants to live in the real. Habits is what will do it.

Clients come to her with goals and her response is, “that’s great, but what’s going to be your habit?” You can have a goal and make it achievable and specific, all the good things, but it breaks down to habits and practices.

It’s a new year and January = goal setting. This podcast included, we decided our goal was to make a podcast. Alex’s approach was “our goal is to launch in January”. Sandy told Alex to get over it, not to be a downer, but own the fact that we have a ton going on and focus on how to chip away. They reflect on the fact that this podcast is a passion project and meant to be fun so let’s not tie all these stressful goals to it. Adjust expectations to fit life right now.

There are goals that are appropriate for different seasons. After her divorce and her brother’s death Sandy’s goals were simple – get out of bed, feed herself and make sure her child was cared for. She had nothing else to give, other goals weren’t an option. When Alex first came to Sandy as a trainer, she had hit her “goal weight”. Not necessarily in the healthiest ways, lack of proper meals taking care of 3 under 3 was most of it but regardless, she had hit her “goal” but it did not bring happiness and fulfillment. Getting uncomfortable admitting the vain thing you aren’t “supposed to say” Alex admits she wanted to get rid of the belly pooch and her belly was sticking our farther than her boobs. Being very flat chested, this was a serious challenge, a reach goal.

Habit changing was the way that Alex could reach her goal. Adjusting posture, the way her hips were stacked under her ribs, breathing into and engaging her core properly. It was the little things to incorporate into a day. I didn’t have to be in a gym for hours, I could spend 2 seconds practicing in the line at Starbucks to engage the lower abdominals and flatten out the belly. The habits built in to reaching that goal.

When a new client comes to Sandy with a goal, such as losing the baby weight, she pushes them to think about how. Most of the time they think she will do it for them. But in one hour a week with a trainer, it’s what you do in all the other hours that will move the needle. It starts with breaking it down to one habit, daily practices and actions. If you can make habits, your goals just become something that is a result or outcome.

Big goals like going back to school as a 33-year-old with all 20 somethings was a scary goal but Sandy broke it down in to achievable steps – 2 classes to complete to even apply, first habit is to go to the website… chipping away at the challenge. What do you have to do daily to get there to take a small step forward.

We want you to pick one habit, a tiny one, and if you do it over and over again, it’s going to stick. It’s so simple, it’s not easy. It’s repetition, building muscle memory. Whether it’s physical like breathing and posture or mental, getting past the overwhelming list. And btw, muscles don’t have memories, thank you Sandy ;). It becomes your subconscious.

Example goal: drink 100oz of water a day is intimidating. Daily action, 8-16oz right after you brush your teeth in the morning. Habit stacking, finding the thing you are already doing and adding another good habit.

Waking up happy or active isn’t a great goal for us so Sandy’s habit is to open the curtains. Alex puts her phone across the room.

Challenge for the week: Share with us a habit that helps you keep going or something you are beginning to incorporate to make your day better.

Shout out to The Goal Digger, a podcast we do love.