June 2019 CK News – One Percent Better Every Day

“I begin each day of my life with a ritual; I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, me leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hal a taxi, and tell the drive to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st street and First Avenue, where I workout for two hours…  The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual…”

~ Twyla Tharp

The above title mirrors the title of a key note presentation by James Clear at the Financial Planning Association national conference I attended in May. Twyla Tharp’s quote adds a pop of curiosity and interest. James Clear is the best-selling author of Atomic Habits, a comprehensive and practical guide on how to create good habits, break bad ones, and get 1 percent better every day. With Ben Wellenbach’s submission to our June offering, the message from James’ presentation, and Ms. Tharp’s inspiration, seemed apropos to share and connect with Ben’s.

The Four Stages of Habit Change. The Four Laws of Behavior Change.

1. Cue Law 1: Make it obvious
2. Craving Law 2. Make it attractive.
3. Response Law 3. Make it easy.
4. Reward Law 4. Make it satisfying.

Notice the presenter did not say, how to leap ahead and get results. He said, 1% better every day. The four stages and laws assist with consistency in daily improvement. Consider one area of your life you desire a better habit? Let’s look at health as a broad category with a couple of examples I am engaging. I want to floss my teeth every night. Studies show that flossing adds to healthy gums and fewer dental issues when aging. I want to eliminate phone use (and proximity) in the evening and particularly when I sleep.

Mr. Cleary offers another piece of advice, if you want a habit to be a big part of your life, make the cues a big part of your environment. One of the most overlooked drivers of habits is our physical environment.

Using the four stages and laws, here is the new practice leading to embodied habit.

  1. Place floss near my toothbrush.
  2. Put a bowl on my counter to hold my floss.
  3. Buy several and keep replacement floss in my cabinet.
  4. Smile after I floss.

Notice I added practice to this conversation? It is a practice to establish an embodied habit. I have not mastered flossing every night; however, I floss more now than I have in years. My dental tape is next to my electric toothbrush.

Mobile Phone Use:

  1. Place my phone with the charger in my bathroom after brushing before bed.
  2. Keep a “real” book by my bed for me to read rather than my kindle on my phone.
  3. Keep my counter free of clutter so my phone charger is easy to see and use.
  4. Wake up refreshed to the sound of birds and view of light on trees.

My evening phone location is improving. I still have a book I am reading on my kindle which has created a dilemma in my evening habit. To get my phone to the bathroom, I must get out of bed after reading. But I have a charging cord easy to find in my bathroom. My practice is improving and I am experiencing the 1% better invitation.

In our Year of W-Health program, Movement Connects, Ben has invited us to move in varying ways with different movement practices, like Tapping, or the MJ, or the Goose Neck. He began the year sharing The Triple Chain Theory of movement and how our body movement connects from our feet to the top of our head. When we intentionally move with awareness, our capacity to stay with our practices and strengthen our habits increase.

How can we take these valuable movement practices, or any aspirational movement practices to improve health, and make them obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying? Let’s wonder together and if you are inspired to share your insights please send us an email.  As I wonder, ideas pop… like an hourly timer, or visual sign on the wall, or a buddy system of encouragement.

In June, we are half way through the year. Let’s reconnect to our goals, habits, movement and health. Let’s supercharge all of our W-Healthy life!

Click Here to Read Article by Ben Wellenbach

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