EP91 How to Change any Habit
In todays’ episode I share information that I learned from the Book, The Power of HABIT by Charles Duhigg.
[0:00:12.9] KC: Welcome to the Business of Life Podcast. My name is Keith Callahan, your host and today we’re talking about habits and really getting deeper into that, how to change any habit. How to change any negative habit that you have formed or how to start a new habit and I want to give a little bit of an upfront warning. I’ve got a million things going on right now.
So I am drinking my morning shake, my Shakeology, so you may hear me pause a few times and take a sip of that. Usually I use notes for my podcast episodes like I outline them but today, I’m just going off on a Facebook post that I made. So I made a Facebook post about this and then decided that I wanted to turn it into a podcast episode just to expand on it.
So Facebook’s going to be open so I have to really focus because I don’t know about you but when I have Facebook open and those little red dots pop up, they’re almost like crack. You see this little red dot pop up and you’re like, “Oh my God, I’ve got to see what it is.” So as I’m speaking, as I’m talking to you, I’m drinking my shake and I am watching these little red dots pop up and I just realized what a perfect time to be doing this episode because it’s about changing habits.
Alright, let’s go ahead and let’s roll. Let’s get right into the process in today’s episode, the process of changing, altering habits or starting new habits but before I do that, I’m going to take a quick sip. You get the “ah”. Okay, so this episode really did stem from a book that I just got finished reading the first section of it. So it’s broken down into three sections. The name of the book is The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg.
So I was reading another book called the Essentialism. I forgot the author of that one. That was also a really good book that was about isolating and focusing on the most important things like identifying what it is that you want to do in life. Then really bringing things, isolating things down to, “Okay, you want to accomplish this, what are the essential things?” And then getting all the other noisy stuff, busy work out of the way.
So anyways, I’m reading that book on Essentialism, he recommends The Power of Habit and I already own The Power of Habit. It was sitting in my library. I hadn’t read it yet. I started reading it and I just totally dove in and I wound up spending an entire day reading that whole first section. I didn’t get any work done but it was a very productive day regardless of the amount of work that I got done.
So anyways, I am reading this book and I got a ton out of it. I just wanted to share with you the information that I got out of it. The take aways, sort of the cliff notes of this book. So one of the parts that I really dove into and that I really paid attention to was they started talking about AA and all of it’s spin offs. So Alcoholics Anonymous and all the different spin offs and why it is so successful.
Really, there’s all these different habit studies going on and if you are between universities and then the private sector and then sports, we want to form correct habits and all of these studies are basing the habit creation model off of AA and you know AA has it’s 12 steps and I’ve gone through a similar program. I’ve gone through and I’ve mentioned it in previous episodes this course called The Four T’s: Tithing of Time, Talent and Treasure and it’s a course on changing our consciousness. So from a lack and limitation consciousness to an abundance consciousness.
So anyway, I’ve gone through and I’ve don’t that but it’s based off of the 12 steps. It goes through all of the 12 steps. One of the first things that they talk about in the book and I’ve been studying this more and looking at it more is with a habit we don’t want to try and eliminate a habit. It’s better to replace or alter a habit than to eliminate it and let me just give a quick example. So rather than trying to quit smoking outright and quit the urge to have a cigarette, what we do when we have the urge to have a cigarette, we replace that urge with something else. So we’re replacing one with another.
And let me just dive into that a little bit deeper. What they talk about in the book and what I’ve seen in life from a bunch of other habit forming/habit changing things that I’ve studied is it’s really broken down into three categories. The first category is the trigger. I would say one of the most common habits is coffee, right? So the trigger is right when we stepped out of bed, we turn the coffee machine on, right? So that’s the trigger, the response is we get our coffee, we drink our coffee and the result is though we feel good, we feel awake.
So a way to change that like say you wanted to stop drinking coffee and one of the things they talk about is just stopping usually doesn’t do it because we have this pattern, right? We have this pattern where we wake up in the morning and the first thing that we do is we go downstairs, we turn on the coffee machine, then we drink our coffee and the result is that we feel good.
Now, let’s say that tomorrow you want to stop drinking coffee. You wake in the morning and your pattern is to go downstairs and start to turn on the coffee machine and then drink the coffee. So we have this trigger, we wake up in the morning, the trigger is waking up. Our response to that, our activity is usually drinking coffee and then we get the result. We feel good, we feel ready for the day.
If we try to just stop, then what we’re doing is we try to just stop and our system wants it and our system starts thinking about it more and focusing on it more and needing it more and we never get to the point where we have that result that we feel good. Now check this out, what if you replace coffee with going for a walk or a run outside in the morning? I have to be honest, I drink coffee every single morning and I’m not looking to change it, but I think this is a good example.
So use anything to replace it, reading, meditating, yoga, going for a run, going for a walk, going for a workout, spending time with your kids, whatever you want to do. So the trigger is you get up in the morning and you need a new activity that’s going to fill your cup. I didn’t even mean to do that, how funny is that? You need an activity that’s going to fill your cup in the morning and that’s going to help you to feel good.
Eventually, what happens overtime, you know, for the first day, you’re still going to crave that coffee, the second day you’re still going to crave it, third day you’re still going to crave it but let’s say we’re exercising. What happens after 21 days or 30 days of this, the habit of exercise overrides the habit of caffeine intake. Then eventually your body and your brain because it’s all happening in your brain, your brain starts to expect the exercise in the morning versus the coffee.
Because really, the coffee does have two things. It is a stimulant but it’s also a habit and our brains expect when we get up in the morning, we walk downstairs and we’re going to have that coffee. If we don’t have that coffee, we don’t feel good. It literally like, for coffee drinkers, you can think about it all day and you wish you had that coffee and you want the coffee. So don’t try to eliminate a habit. It’s really about replacing or altering an existing habit and again, those can be broken down into three different things.
You have the trigger, the response and then the result. Like with alcoholism, with an alcoholic they have the trigger and the trigger could be anything and actually, I want to really dive into the trigger a little bit. If you’re looking to change some type of negative pattern, finding your triggers, identifying your triggers get you 50% of the way there. This is that powerful, so just identifying the triggers and what I mean by that ,and this is using my own words. This isn’t what they dove into in the book, “you have to find the root trigger”. So there may be a few things that you think trigger you but you have to find the root trigger. Let’s say that you’re an alcoholic and you turn to alcohol when the shit hits the fan.
That’s what your response is, let’s say that you get into a fight with your spouse and all of a sudden, things start spiralling out of control, you’re furious, you’re really upset, you don’t know how to control your anger or judgment or fear or whatever it maybe, whatever that trigger is. So something triggers you, now you’re going to go and have a drink, right? And then you’re an alcoholic so you can’t stop drinking. Here’s the important thing, you’re having the drink not to get drunk but you’re having the drink to get a result and the result is usually relief or escape. We have the trigger, we get in a fight. The response is, I’ve got to go and have a drink and the result is we have relief.
Now here is how this works with Alcoholics Anonymous. You we have your trigger and everybody has their different triggers and I’m talking about alcohol here. I’m talking about Alcoholics Anonymous but just think about in your life. What are the habits that you’re looking to change? Maybe it could be to have more discipline with XYZ.
Maybe it could be you want to start a business and you have to do certain activities. You identify the trigger and then you alter the response. So rather than having a drink, the alcoholic could call their sponsor. The alcoholic could write 50 things that they’re grateful for. The alcoholic could meditate. The alcoholic could pray. The alcoholic could go to yoga or could go for a run.
Then what happens, the result of that is they have relief and again, this isn’t easy but it’s very simple. Once you understand how to change a habit, you need to identify what’s triggering the habit and then when you’re triggered, you need to have in your tool chest, you need to have ready to go a different response than your default response.
So trigger happens, we’re aware we choose a different response and we get the same results. Again, the part that we go to work in is the response. In AA, they don’t go into the dependence on alcohol and alcoholism and all of that. There’s one step for that. It’s just admitting that you have no control then what the program is really focused on is changing habits.
Instead of going and having a drink when you get triggered, kind of looking at your own shit and working through it. That’s what it’s all about and then what happens is you really start to feel good and then what happens is you start to believe in the process. I want to mention two additional things.
So we’ve got trigger, response, result right? You get that, for habits to change, there’s two other key pieces that highly increase the probability of you sticking with the change, sticking with the habit. Those two things are being part of a community and having belief. I want to dive into them a little bit more but before I do that, I want to sum up the habits.
Again, in order to change a habit, you identify your triggers, you come up with a healthy response to replace the negative habit and then you get that feeling. Again, usually it’s relief or good feeling. So that’s how to change a habit. How to create a new habit is you need to create a new trigger.
Let’s say you’re just looking to create a habit and we can take exercise, the trigger could be that right when you get up in the morning, you have your exercise clothes laid out, and you put your stuff on and then you go right to exercise. So you’re creating your own trigger right? Creating the trigger by putting the clothes out then you do the work and then you get the result that you’re looking for.
In order for this to become a habit, it’s just time. First couple of weeks and it happens even as quickly as a week. Do that consistently for a week and then your body begins to expect it. You don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to fight through that resistance. So we’ve got the trigger, the response, the result.
The reason that community is so important, and again, this goes back to studying AA and their success and how they work but the reason why community is so important is because you get two things. You get to see other people doing it and you get to see other people who have changed their lives and you start to believe that you could do it too.
Then you also have someone to lean on when the shit hits the fan like when you’re trying to make a change. I work with health and fitness and when we put people in groups to work out together, their probability of sticking with the program has drastically increased again, it’s two reasons. The first reason is because you see others that are having success but the second is just that accountability. You’ve got somebody else there with you. You’ve got somebody who has your back and then cultivating belief.
So you can cultivate belief all different ways but if you don’t cultivate the belief, you may get in the habit of doing something. But if you don’t really believe deep down inside of you that this is now a part of you, when things get tough you’re usually going to default back into an old habit. Again, when you look at Alcoholics Anonymous, there’s people who were there, there’s people in the community, there’s people who are going through the actions.
Maybe they’re sober for two, three, four, five years and then all of a sudden, they relapse and then there’s some other people who never relapse and what they’d found is the people who don’t relapse, they believe that they have control over it and there’s a power bigger than them. That’s really how Alcoholics Anonymous works. The belief doesn’t have to be a God or something like that but there has to be belief.
So for you to change anything, anything that you’re looking to change in your life, you can go through this processes. You can identify the trigger, you can set up a new response and get the result and that may work when everything’s going well in your life. But when things get tough, then alcoholism is the simplest example, right? Something bad happens, a parent passes away or something bad. Your triggers are flying, you need a drink. Those who believe — belief is such a powerful thing — those who believe are the ones that make it through. It’s tough for people, it’s tough for science to understand this but more and more and more, you can have the science and stuff but you can’t argue with reality and for me, I honestly could care less about the science. Tell me what works. Tell me what’s worked for a bunch of people and that’s what I want to do and here’s what works, Habit changing stuff.
So, I’m going to wrap up there. I will again recommend that book, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Check it out especially the first part of it, the first third of the book when it talks about changing personal habits. The other two sections are about changing habits in business and then changing habits in society. Yeah, I was just really curious about the personal part. I didn’t read the other sections but I probably will. All right, have a beautiful, beautiful day and we’ll see you on the next episode. Peace.
[00:18:06.7] KC: Hey, Keith here, and today I have a free gift for you. Listen this free gift is a list of the 12 most influential books that I’ve ever read. These are the books that have helped me to create the mindset, learn the philosophies, learn the skills to really create this big, beautiful, life that we’re living now.
I read a crazy amount of books, I really do. I’ve probably read thousands of books and these are the top 12 books that – they’re the ones that I go to, they’re the ones that I work with over, and over, and over again. They are highlighted, outlined, dog-eared. And I put this list together for you because I want it to be a shortcut.
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So I put this together for you, and made it super each for you to get this list. All you have to do is send a text to the number 33444 and then in the body of that text, type in “12books” with no space. So that’s the number “12books”. Again, send the text message to the number, address it to 33444 and then type in “12books” as the message and just send that. And that’ll get you setup to receive those top 12 most influential books that have had the biggest impact on my life.
[00:20:10.7] KC: Today’s episode is brought to you by our sister podcast, All About Beachbody Coaching. So All About Beachbody Coaching really allows us to do this podcast without having all those annoying commercials in the beginning for you. So All About Beachbody Coaching, the Beachbody business that Amy and I run, actually funds this podcast.
So yes, it does cost money to run this podcast, we do not charge you anything, we don’t throw in commercials or anything like that, it really is, it’s funded by our business and by our other podcast, All About Beachbody Coaching. And for me, I’m just eternally grateful for this opportunity because it’s allowed me to really create the life that I love to live.
It’s given me the opportunity to do what I want, when I want, with who I want, and even deeper than that, it’s allowed me to help others to create the same for themselves. It’s allowed me to help hundreds of other people become part time or full time Beachbody coaches, to leave that corporate 9 to 5 job and create passive income in their lives.
And really there’s nothing like that. It’s cool when you have success, it’s so much more rewarding when you help others. So I mention this or a few reasons, the first reason is, that’s actually the way that I work with people and mentor people. I don’t do anything outside of Beachbody coaching because I know that it’s such a powerful life changing tool.
So if you’re curious about working with me, interested in working one-on-one, interested in creating the type of life that you wanna live, I suggest swinging over there. The other reason is, even if somebody’s just curious, like you’ve heard about Beachbody, you know there’s a lot of Beachbody coaches out there. Maybe some of them you get a little annoyed with.
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Alright, much love guys. Again, that is the All About Beachbody Coaching Podcast, our sister podcast.
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