Get Out Of Your Own Way with Sam DeSalvo

How to Build Habits that LAST (Atomic Habits)

November 14, 2023 Samantha DeSalvo Season 2 Episode 3
Get Out Of Your Own Way with Sam DeSalvo
How to Build Habits that LAST (Atomic Habits)
Show Notes Transcript

Ever find yourself stuck in a cycle of trying to build habits, only to see them crash and burn? Girl, I've got your back in this episode where we spill the tea on crafting habits that actually stick. We're borrowing some wisdom from James Clear's "Atomic Habits," breaking down why those teeny changes can make a massive difference. From goal-setting to creating a vibe-friendly environment, we're dishing out real talk on how to weave habits into your life.

Atomic Habits by James Clear Book: Get It Here



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Hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast. If you are new here, welcome. I'm so glad that you are here. And if you're returning, welcome back. I really feel as if we're in the thick of winter already and I'm not ready for it just yet. Since daylight savings time. It's getting dark so early. I have to make sure I walk east in Pretty early in the day. Cause after like three 30, it's dark out, which is so crazy. And then along with that, just everything is drying out. My skin is so dry and I don't know about you guys, but I tend to just feel uglier in the winter. So I've been looking up tips of like beauty routines, makeup routines, things like that to kind of boost my confidence this winter. anD kind of embrace this season of winter. So I actually want to make a whole podcast episode just about that. I've been enjoying doing my makeup a lot more. I actually love doing makeup and beauty and things like that. It's not something I prioritize just because I don't really feel as if I always have the time for it, but every time I do take the time to sit down, do my makeup, like a full face, I always feel so much more confident about myself and it's something that brings me joy. That's something that I'm trying to prioritize in my life right now. anD along with that, we're on day 10 of the Well 30 Challenge. So if you were a part of the kickoff group, we kicked off on November 1st, but you also can join at any time. I talked about this a little bit in the first episode of Season 2. But basically the Well30 Challenge is a challenge that I created to empower women that are just like me and they want to kind of get a kickstart on their wellness journey. It is six daily habits and the habits are wake up early, read a chapter in the Bible, Do some kind of journaling and have that include gratitude. You have to eat three high protein meals a day, 90 ounces of water, and get 30 minutes of movement in. Movement of your choice. We have a good group of women doing it right now, and it's been awesome. Like, it definitely has been so good. I feel really good about how it's going for myself and checking in with all the other girls. It's been really beneficial, and to have a community of women to kind of check in with and talk to has been so good. And with that said, that inspired today's episode of building habits that last, because basically this challenge is all about building six new habits for most people. And I'll be honest with you, the habits that are part of the Well30 challenge are basically habits in my everyday life. And I don't mean that in a boastful way, but they have been substantial habits that have Helped me grow in my wellness journey and helped me be healthier and happier And I want to be able to share that with other women in a form in that in a format that could work for them I have to say for me, these are habits that have been in place Most of them for a couple of years now But I know that a lot of women that are doing this challenge, you know They struggle with some of these things and creating new habits and creating six habits at one time is a lot I kind of wanted to talk about this episode today An inspiration of the well 30 challenge, but this is going to be an overarching view of how to build habits that last. And I'm going to be talking directly from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. This is an amazing book if you haven't read it yet. I'm going to be giving you a very surface level version of it and I'm going to try to keep this episode short so it's accessible to you guys. if you want to learn more about this topic itself and more about this book, I highly recommend that you either listen to it on Audible or you can order it. I'll put it in the show notes down below and today I'm going to be talking about understanding habits, how habits are formed, and the importance of creating habits, good habits,, and then along with that, strategies, actual practical strategies that you can put into place. And then when it comes to overcoming common obstacles that you might face when creating new habits too. This is going to be a jam packed episode, I kind of want to just get right on into it. The first thing to understand is what are habits and why are they important? And I love the quote, show me your habits and I'll show you your future. I feel as if the habits in your life are the tiny architects, but silent architects, that are building your future and creating your reality. In everything that we do, Is some type of habit Good or bad. And I think when we talk about this topic, building lasting habits, it's seen in a very positive light. But anything that you do is a habit and this can go either way. Just being more aware to it, this will make you see how your habits can influence your daily life and your long term goals that you hope to set for yourself. In the book, he, James Clear, paints the picture of the habit loop. And the habit loop is the cue, the routine, The reward, and then the repeat, and the repeat is obviously the loop. starting with the cue, this is the trigger that reminds you to perform a specific action. And some examples of different cues can be locations, events, or even a time. to illustrate the picture of this, you can think of when you walk home, or when you get home from work, and you walk through the door. You might take your shoes off, and then you might head into the kitchen. And. The kitchen itself might be the cue here or the time of the event. if you get home from work exactly at 4. 30 every single day, this could be your cue that you grab something to eat. the cue triggers the routine. for this example of grabbing something to eat is your habit. whether you're hungry or not, this is the perfect example of mindless eating or eating because You, like, think you should or you are bored and it's the next thing to do in your day. Another example to illustrate this picture is to think about what you immediately do after waking up in the morning. Maybe you grab your phone and check your email or you scroll on social media. If you do this every day for a long enough period, you've Just installed this daily habit as well the routine leads to the reward and the reward is the benefit you receive after the habit or action is taking going back to the example that I just talked about eating when you get home from work or when you head into your kitchen your reward is food, which obviously makes us all happy And if you didn't know, chewing food actually releases positive hormones in your brain to make you feel good after a meal. Or going on social media releases a dopamine hit to our brains, but it's actually also negatively impacting our lives long term, but in the moment it feels so good. then after the routine takes place is when the loop part comes in. the reward is a positive reinforcement that prompts you to complete this action again and again when you're cued to do so. And the more times you repeat a certain behavior, it becomes part of your routine where you're doing it unconsciously and automatically. And it takes time to form habits just like it takes time to replace them. Repetition can be your friend or it can be your enemy as we can see from this illustration that was just pictured. just keep this in mind as you look at your own behaviors that you complete frequently. Are they helping you or are they harming you? I want you guys to do this exercise where you think of your daily habits. if you're not driving right now and if you have a moment grab a notepad. Pause this episode and I want you to write down your entire day in detail. Like write down, you wake up in the morning, what do you do? Do you snooze your alarm every single day? Like automatically? Do you get up? Do you check social media? Do you go to the bathroom? Like, I want you to write down every step you do in your day because this will paint a picture about the impact of your daily habits. are your daily habits lifting you up or are they dragging you down? And by doing this audit, you will automatically bring more awareness to the different habits that you have so that when you continue on listening to this episode, you'll be able to identify the cues and the triggers and the ways that the strategies that I'm going to talk about that you can implement to to create better habits in your life. now let's talk about why creating habits that last is a game changer. In Atomic Habits, James Clear compares them to compound interest for self improvement. small consistent changes lead to big results over time. I feel like with this, we always think that doing things that are so small aren't harmful to us. Like say when you get home from work every day and you're exhausted and you sit on the couch and you're like, I deserve this. I had a long day. And that small consistent habit is going to impact your life in the long run. But on the contrary of that, if you work out every single day after work, you might not see results right away in the gym, which is... what makes it so hard to stick with it because we want instant gratification, but the small consistent habit will pay off in the long run. When you look back and you've been working out for 10 plus years, your life's going to look a lot different than if you hadn't been working out for 10 plus years. if you compared the two lives of someone Say if you took two people, on the same day, one person starts creating the habit of being a couch potato after work every day, and the other person starts going to the gym every single day. I think you guys can kind of tell where this illustration is going, but if you looked at the two people in two weeks, you probably wouldn't notice a difference. If you looked at the people in two months, Maybe you could tell the difference. But if you looked at the two people that we just described in two years, you would absolutely be able to tell the difference. that's what this... small consistent changes lead to big results over time. I want to incorporate some scripture into this too I want to incorporate some scripture into this as well. I think some timeless wisdom could go a long way in incorporating the Lord is always beneficial. in Proverbs 16, We are advised to commit our actions to the Lord and our plans will succeed. And that's in Proverbs 16, 3 in the New Living Translation version. And basically saying, let's make God a part of this and you will do well. If you're trying to change bad habits, bringing forth your bad habits to the Lord and laying them at his feet and saying, I need help with this. I hate this habit. It's not going to help me anywhere. It's not going to help me get anywhere in life. It's not going to help me with my long term goals. God, I need your help in this situation. Please help me. Or even bringing him into, God, please reveal to me the habits that I should change and put it on my heart and convict me to see the things that aren't going to help me in the long term. I think by praying this and incorporating God, it shows that you are willing and able to change and that you're not stubborn in your own ways and that you're seeking help. And I think God will deliver on that. highly recommend, you know, if I'm Guessing if you listen to this podcast, you're a believer incorporating God into this habit building journey for sure okay, now let's get practical. We're going to lay out a roadmap of how we are going to kind of embark on this journey of creating new habits. the first step is to identify our daily habits. as I said at the beginning of this episode, take the time, pause the episode, come back to it and write down all of your daily habits and identify which habits are positive, neutral, or negative. And the easiest way to do this is to start from the time that you wake up in the morning and move throughout your day looking at all the things that you do subconsciously out of habit. again, it could look something like this. You wake up at 6 a. m. and this It could either be negative or positive depending on how that works for your day. if you need to leave the house by 645, this might be a negative for you. And then after you wake up, you go to the bathroom, neither negative or positive. It's a neutral. After you do that, you check social media and it is rated negative because it's a waste of time. And then you're instantly comparing yourself to others at the start of your day, which leads to. Your self confidence being lower and you spiral out of control. I'm just kidding, but you can see why that's not good for you. that's rated as negative. And then you take your vitamins. Then you work out. And then you do this. And then you do that. And the list goes on and on. take the time moving throughout your day, rating all the things you do consistently every single day. So research suggests that we really only change for two primary reasons. To one, avoid pain and two, to seek pleasure. let's say you really want to lose weight, but you also really love to eat out and eat unhealthy foods. Your brain doesn't really know how to handle this. It's kind of wondering Which one's more important to you? at this point, you need to make a decision. And you can think about all the reasons why it's painful to stay in your current situation and get leverage on yourself. I've talked about this in podcast episodes before of you need to be so insanely uncomfortable for you to actually change. sometimes I'm just like, you just don't want it bad enough. If you're like, Oh, you know, I would love to get healthier, but But, but, but, but, but I'm like, yeah, you just don't want it bad enough. Like go gain a little bit more weight and come back where your knees hurt. Your back hurts. You have so many other health problems and you're in so much pain that you're like, take my money. I will literally do anything that you say, because I cannot stand to live another day like this. If you don't want to get to that point, which I've also talked about in the past, you need to get some leverage on yourself and in this situation. do research about the kinds of foods that you're currently eating and then listen to some more podcasts about health and fitness and then the benefits to healthy eating and working out. And after you've found enough evidence to really support your choice to change and motivate yourself into actions, write down all the benefits in changing. Think about how confident you'll feel. Think about how much energy you'll have. Think about how much pain will go away in your body. Your clothes will fit better. And then after you identify. A habit you'd like to break, you can make the decision to change and to find a replacement for your habit. This will benefit how you view your actions and choices long term. Remember that you have the power to choose. True and lasting change comes down to your identity. who do you want to be? Who do you want to be seen as? Who does your future self look like? Think of the kind of person that you want to be, visualize the higher self version of you, how this person thinks, how this person acts and make it real. Like, I don't know if you guys see this going around on Tik Tok right now, but you got to be a little delulu. You got to be a little delusional into thinking that you are the best version of yourself and you're living as your highest version of yourself. And I feel like I listened to some crazy podcasts, but. I listened to this one guy and he's like, I talk to my future self and I think this is true with like your higher self too. So your higher self and your future self kind of are the same person, but if you were your ultimate version of yourself right now, how would she act? How would she be? Like, I truly feel as if you have all the answers already in you. You just need to access them. And then you need to get real with yourself. Like, what's stopping you from being that higher version of yourself? Just because you're comfortable, you got to pick. You got to pick what is more important to you, being uncomfortable where you're at now or being the person you want to be and taking the small steps to get there. Remember that the small steps lead to the bigger results down the road. And there's four laws of behavior change. In this piece right here, guys, this is going to be crucial for building new habits. if you take anything out of this episode, listen to this. These are the keys. now we're talking about building the actual habits. The first one is make it obvious. Lay out your work clothes, your gym shoes, and your headphones right to the bed the night before. Another example of this could be if you already brush your teeth every single night, put your multivitamins that you want to start taking. This is the new habit that you're building. Put the multivitamins next to your toothbrush, when you walk into the bathroom. The cue you'll do the action of taking the vitamins because you see them right in front of front of you. make it so obvious that it's undeniably obvious. The next one's make it attractive. Talked about this earlier on Instagram stories, but make it attractive. attached to something that you already like to do. For example, I gave one of my girls that is doing the challenge, the advice of you like to hang out with your boyfriend and you also need to start going to the gym or you. That's the habit. She wanted to create. She wanted to start working out at the gym, combine the two together. The boyfriend also wants to get healthy, make it more attractive. It's something that you guys get to do together. You guys get to chit chat in the car on the way to the gym and then at the gym, maybe you guys go do your own thing. That's totally fine. And then at least on the ride home, you could talk about your workout. What PRS did you hit this and that, like it gives you guys a little something extra in your relationship. it makes it a little bit more attractive. Law of behavior change is make it easy. don't do everything at once start small Commit to something that you're gonna do to start like building your new habits don't try and this is where this is where the challenge that we're doing is extra hard because we're doing for some people It's six new habits all at once for some people. It's only a couple new things But for some people it is all six all at once when building new habits start small so commit to doing a five minute walk every day after After work for the first week and in the second week Maybe you bump it up to 10 minutes and then week three you do 15 minutes and then week four you start going to the gym start small start building it and this is kind of what I was saying to myself Yes, I talked to myself. This is kind of what I was talking about And I relate to this because I do want to do everything all at once, but that's obviously not sustainable. Don't know if you guys have ever heard of the saying, don't compare your chapter 1 to someone's chapter 20. And I think that's so easy to do with the internet and social media nowadays, but it's literally so detrimental to us, and that's something I constantly have to remind myself of. And then the last. Law of behavior change is make it satisfying. follow up the habit with some kind of reward. This could be enjoying your morning coffee only after you've done your workout or simply acknowledging how good you feel after exercising. I definitely do this. I, I make rules with myself. And one of my rules is in the morning I wake up and I chug a full glass of water and I'm not allowed to have my coffee until I do this. And that might be silly to some people, but it works. And that is how you grow confidence in yourself is by holding yourself accountable. If you don't do the things That you say you're going to do, you break down your confidence a little bit more each time. you need to show up for yourself, you need to hold yourself accountable, and do the things that you say you're going to do. I don't think that creating rules with yourself is a bad thing, and if you add something that you really like to do after. Like, as the reward, it reinstates positive reinforcement within yourself, and that's something that we've learned since childhood. So use it on yourself. So keeping all those things in mind start small Incorporate the four laws of behavior change, which I just went through make it obvious make it attractive make it easy and make it satisfying another one is Accountability in the power of two in the Bible even lets us know this in Ecclesiastes chapter 4, verses 9 through 10, it emphasizes the strength of accountability. It says two are better than one, they can help each other succeed. I've been loving accountability lately. I think Within my coaching program, I find that's what most people are looking for is accountability. A lot of people know the things they need to do, but again, if it's just them holding themselves accountable, you can easily talk yourself, like, down from something of why you don't need to do it today or find a million excuses why, but if you know you have an extra layer of accountability and you're showing up not just for yourself, but for someone else. It really brings this to another level. And again, I've been absolutely loving, like working out with friends lately. I never used to be that person. I used to be the person of the gym was like my time for me and I got to decompress from the day, but just with life getting busier lately, I've found it really valuable to. I guess kind of kill two birds with one stone. being very intentional about setting up times to get workouts done with friends. And I mean, that's kind of smart too, because you're surrounding yourself with people that have similar goals as you. you're there encouraging each other, lifting each other up, and then you're also building a friendship at the same time. whatever habits that you are trying to build, I would definitely suggest Accountability and that's why this challenge that we're doing the well 30 challenge is really good for this because we have a group chat and we are able to encourage each other, cheer each other on, share struggles, pray for each other, anything that comes up and it's been really good. you guys can join the challenge at any time. I've kind of already said that already, but find a group. That matches your goals and where you're trying to head in life and get surrounded by those types of people And to wrap up today's podcast, I want to encourage you guys to stick with your habits along with all the good stuff that I just shared about actual practical advice about building habits remember that consistency Is going to be your best friend in all of this It takes about 66 days on average to cultivate new habits or break old ones. And if you think of it this way, anytime you see a fitness program or any like course, they're at least 30 days long. I remember doing Beachbody and I did a 21 day fix. Like it takes time to see results, don't beat yourself up if you have setbacks or You hit valleys of disappointment in yourself. I would just encourage you to not let that rule over you and be like, well, I messed up, there's no point, and keep going. The goal here is long term success. Setbacks are gonna happen, and I would encourage you to see it as just a plateau, not a failure. learn from it, adjust, and keep going. It's not about avoiding the valleys of disappointment, it's about how you move through them. And then I think another really good point is knowing that adjusting and adapting is going to be needed sometimes. being able to to have to change with your life. And the goal is to keep the habit alive and not so rigid that it almost daunts you. But I think as you head down this journey of building habits and just being more aware of your daily routine, it's going to be harder for you to avoid The truth, and to see that you are making excuses for yourself, and I feel blessed that I am a very self aware person, but sometimes I hate it at the same time because I can't avoid the fact that When I'm making excuses for myself, if I'm being lazy one day and I'm like, eh, I don't really feel like working out and I'll be like, yeah, I'm getting my period soon anyways, like I definitely should take it easy and. Even though like that is valid sometimes, but I know, I know it in my soul when I'm just like making an excuse for it to try to avoid it. it's a blessing and a curse at the same time, but as you head down this journey, you'll kind of become more aware to it. And I would also suggest that this kind of goes into the law of behavior change, but This kind of goes into the category of making it easy but like pack your stuff if you're trying to work out and you go work in an office pack your stuff with you so that you're not allowed to go home until you work out like you just hit the gym and you're right at home like of course as soon as you're home it It triggers the cue, like you're home, it's time to relax, the habit, avoid that at all costs and bring your stuff with you to go hit the gym on your way home and then before you know it, pulling into the gym will be like an automatic response, kind of like pulling into a Dunkin Donuts, you do it automatically because it's part of your life, and that's the beauty of it I encourage you to grab this book by James Clear, Atomic Habits. Take this scripture with you. Philippians 3 verses 13 and 14. You are urged to forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead. let go of who your old identity used to be and look forward to your long term goals and success of who God's called you to be. Your habits go so much further than just little routines that you do every single day. They are the weaving fabrics of your life. And I hope with today's episode and the knowledge of everything that's in Atomic Habits, It's all about small, consistent changes that lead to big results over time. And you want to be able to look at your habits and know the person that you are going to be in the future but I hope you guys enjoyed today's episode. I have some guides coming out soon, if you're looking to stay healthy over the holidays, or the holidays kind of just makes you anxious in general, I have some stuff coming out for that, an eating out guide. I have three wellness coaching one on one spots left for this month. if you're looking to work together and work on these habits on a deeper level, I encourage you to reach out to me. And if you're looking to do the Well 30 Challenge, you can join at any time. There's a link in my bio, and it'll give you a huge PDF of so much valuable resources, information, recipe guides, like high protein recipe guides. There's so much jam packed in that. It's absolutely free. You can join at any time, be part of the group chat. We would love to have you. And again, I hope you found today helpful, guys. Love you guys so much. Thank you for listening and tuning in today.