By Callum @ AvocadoNinja
By Callum @ AvocadoNinja
“If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change.”
James Clear, Founder of Habits Academy and thought leader on behavioural change
ARTICLE KEY POINTS
In my pursuit of real change, I studied the world’s top performers in a series of complementary areas and put it all together in a synergistic system. The evolution of this has become the Momentum Program.
Momentum works in practice because the research, concepts, and ideas have been translated into tangible, simple habits. And we equip you with the most effective, proven techniques to help you form these new habits and integrate them into your daily life. This is when you experience life transformation.
Tommy Baker, founder of the Resist Average Academy and author of the excellent book The 1% Rule made it his life mission to discover why some people achieve massive success in everything they do, while others can’t get out of their own way. What makes some people consistently “on fire” while others dabble and settle for average? What causes some people to make consistent progress, while others give up?
After years of searching, learning, and growing, Baker discovered some core principles that are extremely valuable when applying what you are about to learn. He found that the feeling of growth is what fuels motivation. Even a small win each day makes a huge difference to how you feel. When small wins are experienced consistently over time, the compound effect takes over and we can produce results that go far beyond even our wildest expectations.
It is important not to get carried away with just focusing on your end goals. What drives us and keeps us consistent is concentrating on the process of compiling small wins. To achieve this, we break this process down into simple daily actions. In fact, consistent small actions are the key.
You learn to appreciate and love the process of growing every day. You do it consistently every day and celebrate your commitment and progress. If we do the maths on this, you will be shocked. If you make a 1% improvement every day, you might expect to get a 365% improvement over a year, which would be a major achievement.
However, by being consistent and doing the same powerful things each day, that 1% compounds over a year to be a 3,700% improvement. That's 37 times better! Imagine your health, energy, finances, relationships, joy, happiness being 37 times better in one year!
The reason 99.99% of people don’t experience this, is due to a lack of consistency. By giving up too easily, or stopping and starting, you can end up back at ground zero just as quickly. But if you can break things down into simple actions, then do them consistently until they become habits, and eventually part of your identity, then this level of growth is entirely achievable. It explains the success of the tiny percentage of people that seem to be superhuman.
James Clear, in his best-selling book Atomic Habits, states a similar logic. Clear is an internationally renowned expert on habits and decision-making. He suffered brain damage as a teenager; however, he used the power of habits to not only recover but completely transform himself. He went on to be one of the most respected authorities on habit formation and became famous for creating the fastest-growing newsletter in history, which went from zero to 100,000 subscribers in under two years. Today, his articles are read by over 10 million people each year! His Habits Academy became the premier behavioural training platform for organizations and individuals.
He states: “Changes that seem small and unimportant at first, will compound into remarkable results if you are willing to stick to them… the quality of our lives depends on the quality of our habits. With the same habits, you’ll end up with the same results. But with better habits, anything is possible.”
That is why we have integrated all the strategies from the best in personal change with the best in habit formation in Momentum. But the real magic enters in when you become a new person through the journey. We move beyond the strategy and the tactics to become the change. When this happens (and it will) everything flows and progress towards your dream life is effortless.
We will be working with your mind, rather than against it, by utilizing some important strategies. This will make new habits much easier to do and to stick to in the long run.
Make It Obvious
We need absolute clarity on what we are doing, when we do it and where we do it. Momentum will detail the exact steps to take, and you will know that you always do this as soon as you wake up. You know in what order, and where you do each step.
We then use a concept called “habit stacking,” which means that one habit naturally leads onto the next. Therefore, we follow a specific order of doing things. Once you have finished the first step, your mind will automatically link to the next step.
Our minds also use “cues” to associate with behaviours or habits. For example, when we sit at the dinner table, our mind knows we are ready to eat. So, an easy way of automatically carrying out the habits is to create a stable and predictable environment. We will be setting up your home and work environment to associate it with your new habits.
Make It Attractive
The more attractive something is, the more likely it is to become habit-forming. Neurologically, habits are dopamine fueled. And it is the anticipation of a reward that gets us to act. That is why the steps in Momentum have been carefully chosen and structured to give you a reward on completion. You only need to be consistent for a few days to start to crave the feeling this gives you.
Another way something is powerfully attractive (or unattractive) to us is from our peers. Our ancestors relied on the support of their tribe or village for survival. If they didn’t work together, as part of the community, they would, quite literally, die. Our brains are hard-wired for the approval of the people around us. That is why it is so important to find a supportive peer group.
At Avocado Ninja, we will provide you with this peer group. Just go to www.avocado.ninja/momentum and join our community of like-minded people who are on the same journey. Not only will this help you practically, by having the approval, respect, and praise of others with a similar mindset, you will find it much easier to stick to the habits.
You can go a step further and find an accountability partner, which is yet another proven way to increase your chances of sticking to the program and making those habits automatic.
Make It Easy
Through repetition, habits form and the behaviour will become progressively more automatic. So, everything will be set up to be as easy as possible for you to follow these habits every day. Plus, we will set up your environment to also make doing the right thing is as easy as possible.
Interestingly, even though a habit may only require a few minutes, it will continue to impact your behaviour for the rest of the day. You entertain decisions like this every day: Should I eat the cookie? Should I go to the gym? Should I lay in bed for 5 more minutes? Once you make the decision, it usually leads to a cascade of similar decisions throughout the day.
So, this underscores the power of setting your day up well straight away. On executing your morning habits, you will feel confident and charged with energy, which has a profound effect on your mindset and actions for the rest of the day.
There are also some one-time actions that automate your future habits. These tools will be highlighted in each chapter, which deliver increasing returns over time. They are powerful because you only take a single action to set them up.
Make It Satisfying
Until now, getting you to take the initial step has been our goal. If we can then make the action satisfying, it increases the likelihood that you will repeat the step over and over again to form a habit. To experience satisfaction, we need a reward. Our minds inevitably prioritize immediate gratification over a delayed reward. So, we need to be intentional in how we go about this.
First, shift your mindset to focus on progress and growth rather than always focusing on an outcome of the end goal. By embracing the process, you will feel great every time you complete a step. You will feel a mental boost every time you start your day supercharged.
To further reinforce this, go to www.avocado.ninja/momentum and download the “Habit Tracker.” This is a remarkably simple but powerful way to see clear evidence of your progress. There is also another powerful force at work. You begin a chain of progress, and the more days you carry out the morning routine, the less you will want to break the streak. Because each step is orchestrated to immediately change how you feel, the resulting dopamine hit will reinforce the behaviour and keep you doing it.
The other source of satisfaction stems from the way that such a fundamental change starts a cascade of changes in other areas of your life. For example, when you bring more energy to each day, people will start to react to you in a very different, and positive, way. When you feel in control, you feel better about yourself, and you are inclined to make better decisions. And that feedback loop only reinforces your new start to the day.
These changes will bring you pleasure, and you’ll keep doing it – not because you think you should, but because you’ll want to keep feeling good. And once you feel good for more of your day, you will be much more likely to make extra refinements and stick to them.
Limit Your Losses
Every day that you stick to your positive habits, you compound gains. Interrupt those compound gains and it’s easy to find yourself back at zero. But if you can simply turn up (see the fallback tiny habit strategy below) and keep the habit going (e.g., exercise for just 2 minutes), you’ll reinforce your new identity and keep your momentum going.
You’ll become more determined, too. So, accept that everyone has bad days. But also accept that one bad day doesn’t negate all your hard work and good habits right away. If you miss a day, or you fall back into a bad habit, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back to the good habit straight away.
We will be using this, along with other cutting-edge habit formation strategies, in the online part of the Momentum system to make sure everything you learn will integrate seamlessly into your life.
In his excellent book Tiny Habits, Stanford Associate BJ Fogg found through years of research, that the most effective way to build habits is to start off small. The easier a habit is, the higher the chances that you’ll adopt it.
For example, instead of committing to run for 30 mins a day, just start off with putting your running shoes on. That’s all the goal is for the first week. You will find that this is so easy to achieve, that you do this every day. It is then much more likely that you will decide to go for a run.
First, build the habit framework with “Tiny Habits” until the framework routine is established. Only then, start to extend each habit.
More importantly, the objective here is to build a framework for your habits first by making the initial actions small and easy to do. So, to begin with, the goal will be to just go through the habit framework in the simplest, easiest way. Until you can do this without thinking. Once this framework is established, we can then extend the actions and stack other habits onto them.
In the Momentum System, you are given options for each habit, so you can customize to your overall goals and areas that need more focus. This links up really well with the optional DNA testing, which can show you precisely what to concentrate on to get the maximum results for you.
I had a eureka moment, where I realized the one thing that all the successful I had studied did. Which is, when things get tough, they ALWAYS stay consistent with what they are doing.
Believe me, every single day, my brain provides me with a list of reasons why I am totally justified in not doing X. For example, going for a run, finishing an important task… generally, doing the RIGHT thing, that I know I should do to stay on track. There are so many reasons (or excuses) to NOT do something.
Whenever this occurred, rather than starting a mental battle of willpower, I used my defined “tiny habit” as a fallback position. So, an example could be - my evening run. As I considered doing this, my mind would come up with the usual list… The weather is too bad, I'm too tired, I have too much “other stuff” to do, I might get ill through pushing myself too hard, etc., etc…
I would just agree, and say “well, instead of going for a run, I will just do a short walk”. So, I’d get my running gear on, go outside and walk. Before long, I am running again. This little tactic meant that I stay consistent in all my habits. And it is only when doing this that real progress is made. Then the reward coming in from this changed my identity and at that point I’m unstoppable
If you are interested in experiencing more energy in your own life, and unleashing your potential in every area, why not join Morning Momentum and get your FREE 160-Page book mailed to you.
A step-by-step guide to forming simple daily habits that will transform your physical and mental energy. You'll not only get the book, but how-to videos, a membership area, support and access to a private Facebook Group.
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