Updated: Aug 8
Getting out of the zone of comfort can be, uncomfortable. But I think that’s the threshold that when most people hit, it acts as a catalyst for change.
Change can be scary. Change can be adventurous and fun. Change is necessary. We need change to grow and evolve. I find the best way to start crawling or jumping out of our comfort zone is by making small bite sized steps moving towards what you want.
How can I be better today than I was yesterday?
When we focus on small changes or a micro habit, eventually that #microhabit grows into a new self fulfilling #habit. In a nutshell, it means how can I be better today than I was yesterday? It reminds me of that saying “I love you more today than yesterday, but less than tomorrow”
Moving one small step at a time, and yes using consistency we can move mountains, eat frogs, talk about elephants and make shit happen.
I have always been envious of body builders. It’s the #challenge and #selfdiscipline that I admire most. The #muscles are a bonus but most athletes overcome so many obstacles, self doubt, insecurities, self defeating or sabotaging thoughts. They have to carve out a strict #fitness and meal routine along with #mentaltoughness to reach achieve their #goals. I find this so admirable. Someone who can be that dedicated to transform their body, and stick to such an intense training regime. Experts say that 1% of the population are stage body builders. While I don’t want to be judged and stand on stage, I do want to be apart of that 1% - so I thought to myself, how can I translate this into #healthcoaching? I coach people to live healthier happier lives. I coach people to step into the best version of themselves and hit personal goals, and really anyone can master the 1% rule. This is my 1%!
The goal here is to remove wasted time and energy in your productive day.
Since I am such a big advocate of tapping into your #personalpower and listening to your body, this actually comes into play when mastering the 1% rule. You see, our bodies actually love #routine. We are creatures of habit and the challenge here is to find the best supporting habits in order to help you become the best version of you.
So we start by making a list of all of the tasks that you complete regularly in a day. This should include everything you do in your home and everything you do in your business. Then you’re going to assess how long each of these activity's take, and whether or not it could be made quicker. What can you delegate or delete? Once you’ve identified all of these time consuming tasks, the next step is to make each task faster or more efficient – maybe this means building a home gym to cut out the commute time of driving to the gym and then waiting for equipment. Or working out a carpool system with some moms if you need to drive or pick up your kids from school or dance class. What can you start to do to make your day run more efficiently? Once you’ve answered this question and applied it to each of your tasks on the daily, I ask you to consider how to make sure that you maintain these new productivity rules?
Start saying "It's just not a priority"
We fall in love with Priority check lists – Gary Vee says "Stop saying you don’t have enough time in the day". You don’t have enough time to exercise, you don’t have enough time to meal prep, you don’t have enough time to have a side hustle and start saying it’s not a priority. Be honest with yourself. We all have the same about of time, and if it’s really important to you – you will find and make the time. You will make it a priority. The art of prioritizing is a learned skill. That might be using the Top 6 Check List or I recently heard on a podcast, to write down every morning your BIG THREE. Those top three things need to get done today. And then you can write the next three things that would be great if you got to it, but not as big of a deal as your BIG THREE and then start accomplishing each task.
So, how do we start mastering the 1%?
Lets break this down into 3 easy steps:
1. Change your habits – start with micro habits. Little things that lead up to a new healthy habit
2. Master Scheduling and Prioritizing your Task List
3. Created and Execute your Routine
1. Change your habits. Your habits are actions that you do on a daily basis. And as I've mentioned before, pleasure is a major habit driver. We won’t do things if it’s not pleasurable. So we need to find pleasure in order to change. A micro habit may be to start making your bed every morning. And the second micro habit might be drinking a full liter of water, and another micro habit may be 10 minutes of stretching or a brisk walk, and another micro habit may be a cold shower – and this is all done before you brush your teeth (another micro habit) and before you know it you’ve created all of these new #healthy morning habits which has not turned into a #morningroutine.
And what’s the pleasure driving force behind all each of these? Well, if you make your bed in the morning, it automatically tidies' up your bedroom right away so you have a clean and tidy space in your room and come bed time there is something so comforting about climbing into a neatly made bed. Starting out with water first thing re hydrates you, watch how your energy increases and your skin starts to look and feel fresher just from downing water first thing. Stretching or walking invigorates your body, wakes you up and your muscles will feel better all day because you took the time to wake up your entire body. A cold shower sets your nervous system into severe wake up mode and heightens your mental alertness for the day and then brushing your teeth...well if you don’t do that then your mouth will feel gross. So all of these little things add up to feeling happy and energized the longer you do them for.
Same with exercise, it is pleasurable to workout consistently. My body hurts worse when I stop. It also took me quite a while to find the type of exercise that is most pleasurable for me. I used to run, running was okay, but I didn’t love it. Sometimes I would hit that runners high, but it didn’t last long. And I know some people run to clear their mind – I’ll tell you a secret, cleaning the house does that for me. If I want to stop thinking and just let my mind wonder – I clean my house. So while running was okay for me, it didn’t drive me as much as #weight lifting does. I love getting #stronger and sweating in the #gym by #lifting. I’ve tried cross fit work outs, cardio videos, Zumba, yoga, kick boxing you name it. For me, #weightlifting is where it’s at. This doesn’t mean that I won’t try something new or do a yoga class here or there, but my heart is in the lift. And that’s what you need to figure out. What movement drives you?
Another example is the alarm clock. Some people hate early mornings. They slam their hand on the alarm clock and roll back over. Let’s say that you hate being late. Being late is a sign of disrespect and being unorganized. So, if we were to change the way we look at this, and maybe go to bed a little earlier, the pain of being late is more powerful than waking up early to that alarm clock. It becomes more pleasurable to wake up and be on time than it is to be running out the door in a frenzy. So mastering our habits and using pleasure as the driving force is what will help to keep these changes locked in.
2. Master your schedule and prioritize your task list.
The 1% rule is all about improvement.
Adding improvement to your day, every day. Whenever I start coaching a new client I always begin with a de-clutter. This may need to be the kitchen or your closet. When we are looking at mastering the 1% rule, this can be applied to anywhere – the kitchen, the bedroom, our emails, the garage. For right now, I want to start with your schedule. What can you declutter in your schedule? What can you delegate? How can you make your day, week, month flow with grace and ease?
If we look at small daily improvements and decide that we want to be better in our health and fitness, most fitness goals are far too ambitious. If we are starting from ground zero. Training four hours a week often means spending 2-4 hours a week driving to and from the gym. And then lets add on a shower and getting ready time, and then prepping your clothes and gym bag for the following day. Most of us don’t have 6-8 hours to give up each week, especially if we are tired. How can mastering the 1% rule work with adding in fitness? You could start with a micro workout – so a Tabata or a HIIT workout session. Or going for a brisk walk up a hill while you wait for your child at dance class. Could you invest in some workout videos to do at home instead of spending time commuting to and from a gym? Could you set up a home gym? That has been a time saver for me. I dabbled going to the gym, but waiting for equipment irritated me. I wanted to be in and out in one hour tops. And sometimes I would have to modify my exercises because I couldn’t get to a machine or bench. So I’ve build my own little home gym in my garage and it works just as well. I am able to train at anytime of the day and I don’t have to wait for equipment. I made it easy for myself.
3. Create and execute your routine. All of the little micro habits will lead into new healthy habits which then become your daily routine. Instead of looking for time savers, what can we discover by looking at your entire routine and assessing what is making you unfit? Is it just about adding in exercise or do you need to change your eating habits too? Are you eating for out of hunger or are you eating from emotions? What small changes can you make to reduce your caloric intake? If you want to improve your health and fitness, then you need to look at ways to make your day more efficient so that you’ll have more opportunity to improve your health in other ways. Time to exercise, time to meal plan and prep. Bringing this back into full circle, what can you eliminate? How can you spare some energy and use that for a work out instead? Don’t keep trying to add more to your daily routine, ask what can you cut out or de clutter? And then ask, when is the best time for me to exercise? Is it first thing in the morning, a lunch time workout or an evening work out?
I invite you to look at your day to day tasks, your habits and how your daily routine plays out. Is there any place where you are #wastingtime? Is there any space that you are spending too much time and energy that could be better spent else where? Where can you find opportunities in your day to improve it by adding in small amounts of exercise? These small changes add up to bigger effects, but they are also forcing adaptations in your body. From your perspective your day will look very similar because you have fit the movement into your day in logical ways.
If you are out of shape right now, that’s probably symptomatic of an overly busy and overly stressful routine. That means your lifestyle is probably inefficient, and there are likely things you can do to win back time and energy.
At the very least you can find smarter ways to fit the new things in that you want to do.
#LifeHacks - Because when you feel better, you do better.
In relation to the airplane analogy, you must always give yourself oxygen first because you will be of no help to anyone dead – or tired – or giving your family, you spouse or your business the tired burnt out worst version of you. How do you fill your cup? Lets start with the basics. #Sleep. Our bodies need routine and will adapt quite nicely once you have mastered a routine that works well for you. A small side story here, I have always been a morning person. Even as a child, all through high school and college and even today, I absolutely love mornings. I also love hot coffee and there is something magical about waking up to that coffee pot when the house is quiet, and the coffee is all mine, simply waiting for me. But it wasn’t always this way. Of course as a young adult I partied and during college would stay up late studying or getting projects completed. I started to notice that the later I stayed up, or the more I partied, the worse it was the next day. I hated wasting my tomorrow. I did not like sleeping in. I did not like feeling ill or hung over or tired and then ruining my weekend just so I could feel normal again come Monday. The older I got the more I stuck to a dedicated routine and found that my body responded way better when I focused on that C word – consistency.
We are creatures of habit and our bodies love routine
A quick trick to balance out your sleep is to go to bed at the same time every night. Your natural rhythm wants this. Even on the weekends. You will become more productive during the day, have better quality sleep and wake up without an alarm clock if you are consistent with your bed time and wake up time. Another #sleephack on getting a better night’s sleep is to check the temperature of your room.
Recent research has shown that the one thing that remained constant in sleep studies was that people would start to wake up as their body temperature bottomed out and began to rise. This may be a important cue when it comes to sleep quality. Can you crack your window or turn on a fan to cool the room? Or sleep in lighter clothing or even nude? Something as simple as this may just mean you’ll wake up feeling fresher and able to get more done as a result.
#DailySupplements. Supplements are an effective way to elevate your mood, your brain health and your energy levels. Here is a recommended daily stack:
Vitamin D – take in the morning
Magnesium – take in the evening before bed
#inspirationhacks. My favorite way is listening to podcasts or audio book or going for a walk – outside. This puts your brain into a more focused state and if the podcast is interesting, then you will be more focused and creative as a result afterwards. The mistake we make is too often we binge out on TV or get sucked into social media. It turns on our dopamine which makes it harder to disconnect or unplug.
#DresstoImpress – a simple life hack just by changing the way you dress, can have huge repercussions in the way you feel and the way others respond to you. I learned all about this when I was a beauty consultant in Mary Kay. We were taught to obviously use the product and every time we left the house we were to make sure that we looked presentable and had our make up done. I did get compliments and customers that way, so when I was in direct sales, it worked but it also made me feel good. To this day even though I’m not in Mary Kay anymore, I am still 100% committed to the product and I still won’t leave the house without my make up on. Dressing for success definitely allows me to feel productive and accomplished. I notice it with my kids too – they are productive and excited to take on their day when they are dressing “cute” as my daughter says.
#Unplug. When you take the time to unplug from social media and technology you allow your body and mind to get grounded. Try to unplug daily for at least 20 minutes. Read a book – a real book, or sit outside, meditate, bake, or garden. Doing something that is enjoyable allows your brain to recalibrate and you may just find new creativity, inspiration and motivation for other areas in life.
Applying the 1% Rule to Finances
Do you have a budget? Do you actually stick to your budget? Let me take a wild guess here, every year or every few months you come up with a budget that you intend to stick to and you expect this to help you get back on top of your finances. You limit how much you are going to spend on food, on going out and on gifts for yourself, and you make a real hard effort not to go above these figures. For the first few days this probably works just fine, but then a few days later you find unexpected expenses coming up and you are cashing out the money you were trying to save. Before you know it all is blown to hell, you are not following the budget and by the end of the month you’ve spent just as normal.
Don’t feel bad. You are not unusual. In fact, you are much like the majority on the planet. That doesn’t of course mean that it’s not a problem and we should take a look at how to solve this. So here are some tips to help you come up with a budget that you will actually stick to.
Last time you wrote down how much you could spend on food did you just pluck this figure out of thin air? Most people do, and surprise, surprise, it doesn’t work. If you are going to come up with a #budget that can actually work then you need to think about the how not just the how much, and that means tracking your spending and then thinking about how much you can spend and how much you can realistically reduce that amount by. Don’t just think that you are going to spend $20 less a week on shopping, but think about how you could go about doing this – maybe buying cheaper milk or eating out only once a month instead of once a week.
What’s important here is that you are working towards a #goal rather simply making random assumptions about how you’re going to spend your money. This will then let you assess your account and spending habits honestly so that you are making smart decisions to achieve that goal. There are always small changes you can make to your spending to make big impacts, but you won’t be able to do that until you have a concrete visualization of your income and outgoings – hmmm quite similar to weight loss too hey. Have a body goal, track your calories (your income) and then spend your energy with exercise. A little food for thought there…
You can make rewards too. Notice how you get better at budgeting when you’re saving towards something? You can mimic this effect all year long if you give yourself little rewards for budgeting well. If there’s something you really want for instance and you only allow yourself to buy it if you have saved a certain about by the end of the month. A little added motivation can make a big difference, so work that “shiny” thing into your budget and you might find you’re a little more inclined to stick with it.
Moving 1% forward with finances is once again, get honest with yourself, don’t guess at how much you should be saving or spending, calculate it out. Know how much is coming in, how much is going out and how much you will be saving. Be smart about it and make it accurate.
Who are you being when you are alone with your thoughts? Who are you showing up as? Slow and steady wins the race. When we work on changing our habits 1% at a time, and pay attention to our beliefs as we start to look at our scheduling, our tasks and our daily routine and who we are being in the process can ensure that we are moving forward 1% every single day making things happen.
It's important to carve out family time
While all of this is all warm and fuzzy to get you started on an organized road to living life fully, I also want to draw your attention to your Input and Output of energy. If your only focus is your work, then you’ll lose inspiration. It’s just as important to carve out family time or relaxation time, it’s a source of inspiration and creativity. If you only output, then you’ll eventually run out of steam and run out of creative juices. However being able to switch off and knowing how to recharge is a crucial survival skill. We are happiest when we do find a balance that works for us. And it’s very individual for each person. Understanding that is half the challenge – know how to replenish if you are a big spender. Working towards a goal gives us a purpose – the journey is often more exciting than the destination anyways. Spend time with family, take a moment to read a good book, unplug, take time off, keep yourself grounded. Don’t get lost in striving for that goal and you miss the opportunity to be happy right now.
The Journey is more exciting than the Destination
In conclusion – you can completely transform your life by taking the time to carve out the most important tasks each day, to stop wasting time and energy on small things. You can improve your budget, your health, your physique and your productivity.
Just remember to unplug and rejuvenate every now and again.