Your habits determine everything you do

I was at a business coaching event on Thursday (Pro Coach Systems), and I go to this particular course every three months where we are given the focus of the next three months. This quarter is: The Power of Habits!

I have been part of this group for 15 years and this is one of my favourite Quarterly Focus points.

We all have so many habits in our lives, and so many we never really even pay attention to. How you walk, what hand you use to open the door, how you brush your teeth, where you sit in a restaurant, etc.

I personally don’t really believe that habits are good or bad. (I feel the same about food). Habits either serve you, or don’t serve you, that is all.

Some habits are obvious:

Boot Camp and Personal Training – those are great habits that will get you to your goals faster! They are set up so serve you because they are consistent, reliable, and established. There are rewards, friends and external things in place to ensure your success.

Eating convenient, tasty junk food – that is habit will not serve you for more than 30 seconds right? We know this….yet we still crave it and eat it.

Some habits are not obvious:

The habit of being given a compliment and deflecting it:

“You look great today!”

“Me? no, I have no make up on, these workout clothes are old, my hair isn’t done.” Yuck! Non supportive habit! When someone gives you a compliment – stop, smile, let it soak in, and just say thanks. Do this, I promise it feels way better, not only for you, but also for the person giving the compliment! Who wants to give a compliment only to have it brushed off?

Which brings us to: the habit of being too hard on yourself or comparing yourself to others. Again, often incorrect and unsupportive. Be good to yourself – you deserve it.

There are also ‘not doing’ habits. Things we really could do, that would be awesome, but we don’t do them.

A ‘not doing habit’ like eating healthy and following a sensible meal plan. A ‘not doing habit’ like flossing your teeth – we know we are supposed to right?

The day I started flossing regularly was the day I met my new hygienist in 2002. She was a client at our newly opened gym and she asked if I flossed. “No, it takes too long and it’s annoying.”

She showed me the two cavities I had, and said that if she could make time to come to my gym every day, I could make time to floss. Game, set and match. I have flossed every single day since, no joke.

A ‘not doing habit’ like having a good meal within 45 minutes of your workout.

That helps your body restore used energy, build healthy muscles, bones and tissue and starts the recovery process immediately. How many of you do something strenuous like a good workout and then just go back to work or being a mom etc. and eat ‘later’?

Some habits are called ‘Keystone Habits’ which means they will change everything!

Exercise is a keystone habit. When you start exercising, everything gets better, doesn’t it? You sleep better, you move better, you have more energy, you enjoy food more, you wear better clothes, and you can live with more ease. You require less medicine, less doctor visits, less sick days.

Eating well is another Keystone Habit. Your body is a very complex machine, and if you feed it garbage, it will not run well, like an old beat up rust bucket of a car. If you feed it great nutrients, and give it some rest, your body will serve you like a new Ferrari!

I encourage you to take your food to the next level, and think of other key habits you could take on.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.