Welcome to Day 11!
This is the day that we leave Earth forever and start exploring planets unknown. The engines are blasting, the roar is deafening, and your dreams are exhilarating. This is your first step of that mission. First we go to the Moon for Off World Training. Eventually you will reach the Freedom Galaxy where you will build your own Brave New World.
Yesterday we learned about the basic RHH Healthy Plate Template.
I like everyone to start there.
Because it works.
Most people will find that if they're consistent with it—the plate decreases calories, increases protein, and decreases carbs enough for both The Boss and The Assistant to be satisfied (and as a bonus it helps you to get healthy too).
The Assistant doesn't want to go hungry, nor does she want to give up all carbs forever. She wants to eat tasty food, and the plate lets her do all that.
The Boss might want to lose weight faster and go more hard-core (Paleo, Vegan, Keto, No carbs, Count Macros, Count Points, Intermittent Fast, etc.), but I wouldn't advise it. Changing to The Healthy Plate is enough to kick start weight loss, make significant health changes, yet do it in a sustainable way for life.
Later as you get really experienced with The RHH Healthy Plate, you may want to kick it up a notch (or NOT!), and go carb-less at lunch occasionally, intermittent fast breakfast, decrease processed foods, increase clean and whole foods, or whatever— but I want you to start with the plate.
Remember Minimum Amount of Changes (MAC)--there is no reason to make 20 super hard changes if 3 moderate changes will get you to your goal and let you do so sustainably!
How to Make a Habit
Today we're going to learn how to make a habit.
There are actually six key steps to making a habit. We're going to be working through the habit worksheet to make our first habit around the plate at lunch and/ or dinner (next week we'll talk about breakfast, snacks, desserts, and beverages.) Then, you can talk this new habit over with your coach at your next session.
The RHH Healthy Plate template is a visual-based system where you divide your food into different proportions.
Most people usually have vegetables, protein, and carb sides at their meal anyway. We're just changing up the proportions.
In the future, you may want to change the quality of the food. But, for now, I just want you to focus on changing the proportions of the foods you normally eat.
Yesterday, you were a scientist. Remember the ideas you came up with for ideas of how you could make your lunch and dinner look more like the plate?
We're going to put one of those ideas into practice with some help from your coach at your next coaching session.
Print off the How to Make a Habit Worksheet. Read through the first page, and then we'll start working through the following pages together.
Six Steps to Making a Habit
Here are the six steps to making a habit that will stick:
1) Identify the Habit
A habit has to be something actionable. It needs to be something that you can do on a daily basis—with no decisions involved. Decide what that habit will be.
2) Find the Reward
The Boss wants to know what the benefit of this habit will be in the grand scheme of things, and The Assistant wants pleasure. So, there needs to be a reward.
3) Make the Habit Small
We love to make habits too big. Decide what you think you could do, and then make it one step smaller.The key to motivation is success at achieving that goal every day. You may want to focus on just one part of the plate at one meal. For example, your habit is to get 1/2 plate vegetables at dinner.
4) Link the Habit
Habits work best if you link them to something that you already do. By linking your new habit, you don’t have to remember to do it. Your previous routine is a signal to do the new habit.
For your plate habit, dishing up your food on your plate might be reminder enough of your new habit to get the recommended proportions.
5) Create a Solution Statement
We know that things won't go perfectly the first time around. By finding your biggest anticipated obstacles and coming up with a solution before they happen, you can keep The Assistant on task. She loves any excuse to get out of a new habit. But if we already have the solution laid out for her, she'll know exactly what to do.
6) Track the Habit
The Assistant loves gold stars. Every check on your Healthie Goal Log is a reward that will help to condition her to do the habit day-in and day-out.
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How to Make a Habit
Today we're going to talk about how to make a habit.
This is one of the most important things that you will learn here at Real Healthy Habits.
You need to know how to make a habit that's going to be big enough that you're going to see changes, but small enough that it's not going to make your assistant freak out (and be resistant and want to throw up your hands and give it all up.)
Steps to Making a Habit
There are actually some key steps that we need to take to make a habit.
Make it Small— the first thing we want to do is we want to make our habits small enough that The Assistant is not going to freak out.
So, no Biggest Loser type habits here. Exercising for seven hours (a day), eating a thousand calories—those just don't work long term. The Assistant will give up and say, “This is too hard. I'm not going to do it.” Let's make habits that are small enough that she's going to feel good about them.
Find the Reward— the other thing that we want to do when we are making that small habit is we want to also identify what that habit will do for us.
If we're working on a plate habit where we're getting more vegetables and less starches, we want to identify why that's important.
Remember, The Boss and The Assistant both need to be on board, so we're going to talk what would be the benefit to making that habit.
So, we want to look at the benefit and then we want to make the habits small enough that the Assistant isn't going to resist.
Link the New Habit—The next thing we need to do is we need to link it to an old habit or find a trigger. What that means is we can't do a habit until we have something that reminds the Assistant in our brain to actually do it.
So, it works really well if you link that habit to something that you're already doing. For instance, if you already take some medicine in the morning, you might add a habit to take a vitamin. Your trigger is taking your medicine.
If you want to add a couple pushups in your day, you might have a trigger. Before I get in the shower, I'm going to do 10 pushups. You always take a shower, it becomes easy to do.
When it comes to your plate, your old habit that you link to would be grabbing your plate and putting your dinner on it. That's an old habit you already have.
So, your new habit would be changing the proportions on the plate.
So, you need a trigger or a link to an old habit that you already have.
Create a Solution Statement—The next thing we need to talk about when it comes to habits is keeping on the course.
We don't want that Assistant to get derailed when there's an obstacle in your way—things are never going to be perfect. We're always going to have obstacles come up.
So, we want to identify the route or the habit that you want your Assistant to take, so she doesn't get derailed when the obstacle comes up.
So for instance, let's say that you are trying to make a habit to go walking every day. Well, you know, sometimes it's going to rain. Even in California, you might get some rain. So you need to have a backup plan for what you would do if it rained.
Same thing with your plate. Let's say you're making a habit to eat more vegetables. You might want to keep a bunch of bags of frozen vegetables in the freezer. So, then you can grab those in case you run out of fresh vegetables or you're all out of salad, or your husband took yours to work and he didn't let you know. So, you have a backup plan.
Identify that beforehand and then your Assistant will know what to do.
Track it—The last thing you want to do when you make a habit, especially at first, is to track it. We need to make sure it actually becomes a habit, and so we want to keep track of it. We want to make sure we keep doing it.
Now you can use the form that I give you here. We'll also be tracking it on our daily goals, so choose either way or both. You can do both of those.
Now when we track, we want to give ourselves a real or virtual high five. Tell The Assistant, “Good job!”
Every time we make an X (or a check), that's a little reward to our brain. Our Assistant loves meeting goals, and that is a reward that she can get.
So we want to reward her, so she'll keep doing the habit day after day.
Okay, let's get making our first habit as it comes to The Healthy Plate. The directions on how to do that will be below. Download the worksheet, work through it, and then discuss it with your coach before you implement it.