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Upgrade Your Identity Through Intentional Habit Change | Part 3

Read Time - 5 minutes

A quick overview of becoming the person you want to be first through the subconscious habits that you make.

This is Part 3 of a 5 part series. I’m helping ambitious people use health and fitness, to do exactly what they need, to live a better life. Nothing more, less is best.

If you are new, I highly suggest going back and reading part 1 of this to give you the full effect.

Intro

A lot of people want to HAVE something so they DO something to then BECOME (or be) someone. Example – “I want to HAVE a beach body for the summer, so I’ll DO a work out every day and then BECOME a fit and healthy person”.

Usually having that something isn’t tangible or quantifiable and is most likely some ambitious goal that isn’t sustainable or long-lasting. It’s a vague concept, thought, or feeling. It’s like leaves and branches floating in the air and having no tree trunk and roots to keep it grounded. At first glance, it’s okay until you realise it makes no sense. It’s fleeting, vague and ambiguous.

It’s about as abstract as the last paragraph I just wrote. #MetaLulz – All lulz aside, this is, unfortunately, a trap we all have fallen into and the reason why most of us haven’t seen the results we want.

Moving forward I’ll explain why this is, how I can help you fix it and then make the changes you want in your health and fitness to last a lifetime.

The Lazy Brain

So why does our brain fall into the lazy patterns that it does?

[The below is modified from @ElvisDelirio1 on Instagram]

Think about this. Humans make a lot of decisions most days. 

If I were to ask you “Hey, what decisions did you make today?” You most likely wouldn’t be able to recall them because it’s too much damn energy to do that. Our thoughts require a lot of energy.

It just so happens that your brain needs energy for other things. Your brain is also lazy because it needs to be efficient, economical and save energy doing other things it feels are more important. Things like working, playing, or deciding what cycling kit to wear to the group ride tomorrow. These decisions require lots of energy.

To save resources your brain makes shortcuts and creates habits. Remember, habits are neutral. We only assign “Good habits” and “Bad habits” to things based on the subjectivity of our society.

Habits, like brushing your teeth, scrolling on Instagram, and commuting the same way to work each day, are things your brain does on autopilot. Most habits are neutral, and if you are fortunate, a few of these auto-pilot habits are good ones. If you are not fortunate a few of those auto-pilot habits are bad and sometimes really bad for you in the long run. Some scientists that study meditation and Buddhism could argue that habits are humans unconsciously going into Default Mode Network (DMN).

DMN involves low-frequency oscillations of about one fluctuation per second. The network is most active when the brain is at rest. When the brain is directed towards a task or goal, the default network deactivates. So DMN is usually not a good thing if you want to live a better life, focused, and more essential life.

Do you remember when you rode your first bike? Do you remember how long it took to learn all of the different actions and balance? Probably not because it’s now on auto-pilot for you, but if you see a kid learning how to ride, you will observe that it is a stressful and energy-intensive time for them and the parent. You probably fell a bunch and got scraped up. Now imagine doing that every single time you get on the bike until you were in your 90s. That’s way too much time and energy. Your brain has evolved to be on the #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat type living.

From JamesClear.com

Working With Our Brains

Let’s make sure you make your brain work when it tries to go into “default mode”. Just like you train it in the gym, you should train your brain with positive habits like reading shit that interests you, writing shit that allows you to express yourself, watching shit that helps you learn and listening to audio that intrigues you. This is where your “Data and Sensory Diet” comes into play that I write about next in the next part.

I’m going to assume people that read my stuff are smart. And most of you them (aka you) know how to eat and train. You can do a simple internet search and figure it out. Everyone is talking about macros, calories, and hypertrophy on Instagram so it’s not hard to figure out wtf is going on.

But there is a sad reality.  A lot of people are still overweight/obese and have higher risks of heart disease or heart disease related to overfat issues.

I believe we have more information than we’ve ever had and it’s causing analysis paralysis. There is now a lot of information available and it’s creating confusion. And with confusion comes questioning and doubt. Then guess what happens? You abandon that training plan and diet that you’ve been at for the last 4 weeks because… well “life just got too hard.”

This is where a proper identity transformation and habit change comes into play and where The Essential MOS COACH can help.

The ‘Be Do Have’ Exploded

As my original example stated: People think that if they do something that usually leads to having the thing they want (let’s say; workout) then they will become that person (let’s say; a healthy and fit person).

The unfortunate problem with that kind of thinking is that it’s usually not sustainable and doesn’t create the core and rock-solid foundation that is your software identity.

Example – If you want to have the things that come with waking up early, you think you need to do the things that person would do, which is wake up early. Easier said than done, right?  The reason it’s difficult is that you need to automatically drop into default mode network and do a bunch of micro-actions that lead to waking up early without actively thinking about it.

Some of those things are; 

  • Planning your night the day before around 3 or 4 pm if no sooner
  • Having a night routine
  • Sticking to it most nights for anywhere from 20-70 + days
  • Doing this at the same time
  • Going to bed at the same time
  • Sleeping long and well enough (7-9 hours depending on who you are)
  • Waking up within a few minutes of when your alarm goes off (or if you are an advanced Jedi, wake up without an alarm!)
  • And a few more nuanced things

Having to really think about these actions and motivate yourself every night, morning and day are exhaustive and a waste of energy. This is why it needs to be something you and your brain does on autopilot. This is when you actually BECOME the person who wakes up early.  See how the doing comes after the being and the having is last? #BeDoHave

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen overnight (pun intended 🙂 ) as it takes internal questioning, intentionality, and self-work. Again… not to beat a dead horse, The Essential MOS Coach would love to help you with this.

What kind of person do you want to become?

If you want to get actionable tasks on how to start the process of transformation, read part 4 (link) about auditing your sensory diet and nutrition here.