How to create your powerful habit train.

It was either Aristotle or The 7 Dwarfs who said ‘We are what we repeatedly do.’ Which means that just as your DNA creates your body, your habits create your identity. So while you may feel as if your identity was written in the stars, in reality, it is written on your calendar.

When you do something every day it transforms you.

  • Exercise every day and you become fit.
  • Read every day and you become intelligent.
  • Write every day and you become an author.
  • Save money every day and you become rich.
  • Meet new people every day and you become popular.
  • Refuse to wear clothes every day and you become a nudist. And tan.

Personal Revelation

Most of the great things that have happened to me are because I first established strong habits.

  • I have exercised regularly since I was a freshman in high school. Several decades later I am still as strong as I was when I was 18. And although I am slower, my complexion is better.
  • I have a strong reading habit. I read physical books at home. And I listen to audiobooks while I drive. As a result I arrive at work smarter than I was when I left home. And I arrive home smarter than I was when I left work. If you do that every day for decades you will end up a lot smarter than you look.
  • I make a point of developing and maintaining relationships. I make a habit of reaching out to people regularly by phone, text, email or through social media. I invite people to get together and add another chapter to our friendship or familyship. One of the common regrets in life is not creating or maintaining your relationships. I will not have that regret.

The Habit Train

If you want to establish a strong new habit it is easier than you think. Because your day is already packed with habits. And the best way to establish a strong new habit is to attach it to an existing one, like cars on a freight train.

Example:

1. When your alarm clock sounds you turn it off (Habit)

2. You get up. (Habit)

3. Unless you have a bionic bladder you go to the bathroom. (Habit)

Now you have a 3-Habit Train headed down the track every morning. The key is to add more cars to your habit train.

Here’s how:

After you get up, and before you go to the bathroom, make your bed. This new habit is pretty easy to establish because you simply declare that before you go to the bathroom you will make you bed. You already know you are going to perform the habits directly before and after making the bed. Linking your new habits to your established and automatic habits quickly makes the new habit automatic too.

But Don’t Stop There.

After you go to the bathroom (and wash your hands, please), attach another habit.

My next habit is to drink a large glass of water to jumpstart a healthy day. This is where you might have coffee or tea. (Habit)

Then add another positive habit it your train.

Make this one a power habit. Think of it like adding another engine to your train. Power habits could be exercise, reading, or meditation. Something that adds real power to you as a human.

After my initial power habit (getting up at 6 am), my next power habit it is writing.  By 6:10 am I am either writing a blog post or a chapter for a new book.

I write for at least an hour at least 5 days every week. By the time I close my laptop to move on to the next habit in my morning routine my habit train is flying down the track, and I am making progress towards larger life goals.

You can create several habit trains that run at different times of day. Or you can make your entire day a nonstop habit train for maximum impact. They say that if you want something done give it to a busy person. It’s because their habit train is already rolling. And any task that gets added to the train will naturally head down the track with them. It’s a powerful way to progress through life. Choo Choo.

Key Takeaway

Habits have a transformational power. Like interest on a financial investment, repeated postive actions create compounding rewards that create massive personal and professional advantages. Link your habits into habit trains. Feel them build momentum every day. They will take you farther than you can even imagine.

*If you know somone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+If you like this lesson you’ll enjoy my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

To see me on TV talking about habits check out this fun clip from the Morning Blend morning show.

How to deal with the unavoidable turbulence of life.

A great life is built by establishing great routines. When you establish a strong routine you feel like a train picking up momentum as you roll down the track. Like Casey Jones, driving that train, high on… life.

Stacking several days, weeks or months of exercise, reading, writing, work or practice together is like laying brick after brick of progress. The cumulative effect turns into something substantial, noticeable and differentiating.

However, life isn’t easy on your routines. You will regularly encounter obstacles, events, and conflicts that disrupt your flow, Jo. This turbulence knocks you around and attempts to dislodge you from your productive habits.

But remember, turbulence is temporary. A plane flies in and out of turbulence, which shakes the plane, throws the passengers about and halts the beverage and peanut service. That’s why God invented barf bags.

But turbulence is simply a pocket of disruption. One of the greatest skills you can develop is the resilience to snap back into your routine on the other side of the turbulence. After the travel, the cold, the work crunch, the Covid, the kid’s needs, or the big test you need to get right back into your best habits.

Don’t allow the turbulence to ruin your mindset. Continue to lean into your habit mentally, even when the turbulence compromises your ability to keep your commitment. Keeping the connection to the commitment is critical to maintaining the momentum. (Which is like two alliterations in one.)

Key Takeaway

Turbulence is an unavoidable part of life. It will throw off your routine and threaten your habits. But hold tight to your commitments. And jump right back into your routine as soon as the turbulence passes. It’s how you ensure that your commitments always conquer your excuses. That’s how you win at life.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+ For more positive messages check out my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

How habits help you do things you don’t feel like doing.

Excuses are easy to find. They are everywhere. Like Subway sandwich shops. And they can get you out of doing just about anything if you let them. But like James Taylor said, don’t you let them.

For years now I have committed to writing and sharing 3 blog posts per week, every week, for however many weeks there are in a year. (Which is like, 76 right? Or is that how many trombones lead the big parade?)

But today is Easter. And it’s a Sunday. (It seems like Easter falls on a Sunday a lot. Like Chick-fil-A cravings.)

Plus, I am on vacation. And I have a hundred other things I could be doing.

But, here I am, writing anyway. And you’re reading my Easter morning post. (Thank you!) Because I’ve developed a habit.

Habits destroy excuses. Because habits make actions automatic. They help you build momentum. Because once you get the flywheel turning you don’t need willpower, or discipline. You just do it. Like Nike. Or like one of Pavlov’s drooling dogs.

Key Takeaway

Turn your most important actions into habits. Science shows that by the 60th repetition an action becomes a habit. After that it is easy to keep your commitment. So develop your habits. Keep showing up. Keep coming back. Keep working, or writing, or exercising, or chopping wood, or whatever you have committed to do.

And special thanks today to my man Jesus. I appreciate you Bro! I’ve been using the Forgiveness of Sins you gave me everyday too.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.