The Easiest Way to Create Lasting Habits

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Habits. I hear so many people talk to me about habits, and they always say, “If I had better habits…”, or “If I could create a habit…”, and it’s always about what could they create or something they can break. And so that’s just the whole gist of this episode. How do you break free of habits and how do you create habits, because maybe you have a habit but if I were to able to piggyback on that habit you might be able to build stronger habits in another area that you want to already do.  Listen here

How many hits?!

I want to just kick it off with a fun fact, if you will. Did you know that if you googled “How do I lose weight?” that you’ll see it’s been googled over 110 thousand times every single month for the last six months? Now, I knew that that was going to be a big number, but I was like over a hundred thousand times people are googling “How do I lose weight?” And that’s just the base level, and then… you’ve probably have never done this, look through SEO words, but if you ever were to look through SEO words it starts with that base level of how to lose weight and then it can boil it down to “How do I lose weight keto?” “How do I lose weight paleo?” “How do I lose weight belly?” And it just kind of boils it down to every iteration of “How do I lose weight” and fill in your own blank.

That isn’t the most interesting part. The next one is that once I pull up the, “How do I lose weight?” just the pages that shows up at the top of the page are pretty freaking ridiculous. Some are just advertisements camouflaged as helpful articles, and it’s really just trying to sell you Product X or Product Y and wrapping it around an advertisement or an article if you will. What this tells me is that so many people are still looking for that magic pill, that magic bullet, and I got to tell you, that magic pill isn’t out there. That magic pill is wrapped up in work. That magic pill is wrapped up in commitment. And if there was a magic pill, don’t you think that late night or early morning TV wouldn’t be riddled with these “lose weight here” infomercials or “hop on this latest and greatest machine” to get the six-pack or the booty of your dreams?

Make a decision and make it work

Now, you know I’m a no-nonsense kind of girl, so I’m going to give you the straight stuff. There’s not going to be any fluffing around here. I’m going to give you seven simple yet effective tips that can help you integrate and break out some of these great habits to get you inspired to lose weight and keep it off for good, because how many of you have been like, “Me and my weight is like that high school/college boyfriend where you break up and you make up and you break up and you make up.” Well, how about you finally break free of that cycle and you no longer are going back to that old boyfriend, that old weight?

The first thing I want to get across, and this is for anything, weight loss, life, that old boyfriend, refuse to give up on yourself, refuse. Because I get it, sometimes I get so sick of myself, I get so sick of myself repeating my patterns that I’m like, “Oh sweet Jesus, I can’t anymore.” I want you to just tell yourself that, “I’m making a decision and making it work.”

Earlier this month I went to a conference and the biggest takeaway that I got from that event was make a decision and make it work. Now, every decision isn’t going to be cataclysmic, there’s not going to be this lightning bolt that’s going to come down from the sky and be like, “This is the decision that’s going to change your life.” No. It works like this, I kept blowing off my night time workouts because I was too tired to get them. Years ago, I decided that I want to work out in the morning, now I’m not a morning person and I wasn’t a morning person. If you knew me in college, my college roommates are still flabbergasted that I workout in the morning. But I knew that if I was going to be consistent with my workouts, I had to do it before my day got away from me. So, I want you make a decision and stick with it, and that’s a decision I made, and for the last 15 years that’s what I’ve done, I’m up and out most days by 6:00 a.m., and that’s the only way I’m going to get my workouts done. So, I want you to just figure out what it is, that decision.

Why are you doing this?

Then the second piece is you need to decide why. Recently I was speaking with a new client and she really wants to get back to the gym. She’s like, “I used to be so good at the gym. I used to be so awesome at the gym.” And she goes, “Then life.”

And how many of you had that? “I used to be so good eating healthy. I used to be so good going to the gym. I used to be so good getting to bed on time, then life.” Family, work, whatever obligation happened and just kind of took you off of the track. Your life took you off the track, I get that. But you how do you get back to why do you want this goal so badly?

Going back to my client, she told me that, “I’ve been on this medication for so long, I don’t really like taking pills, and I know that when I get under a certain weight my doctor said, “I won’t need to take this anymore.” I said, “Okay, you hate taking pills, you want to get back to the gym; what if every time you took those pills you said to yourself, “I wouldn’t be taking these pills if I went to the gym”? And she was like, “What?” It was such a coconut to the head that she was like, “I never thought about it like that. I never took what I disliked and what I liked and marry them together.” And I said, “That’s your why.”

For me, I lay in bed, I don’t spring out of bed most days. The alarm went off today at quarter to [5:00], do you think I was like, “Yes! I get to go to the gym”? Oh, no. I was like, “Great gunga munga.” I said stronger language, but doing my best to keep this PG.

I was like, “All right, I’m going to give myself five extra minutes and then I’m going to get out of bed.” I said to myself, “I want to feel comfortable in my clothes. I want to go on that beach vacation and not be like, “Ugh, if I only had five less pounds on me.” I don’t want that feeling, I don’t want those thoughts to come through my mind, and I know if I lay in bed I’m not marching towards my goal.

Don’t give up on yourself

So, here is where you refuse to give up on yourself, and I need you to determine what’s your why, why do you want this lifestyle? Because that is what is going to keep you going, that’s going to help you be your own cheerleader. I know people are like, “Oh, if I was only motivated.” Sometimes at [5:30] in the morning you got to be your own motivation, and as a coach I definitely could be there to help support and motivate you, but at [5:30] in the morning I’m not going to come and wake you up out of bed. I think that service is a little out of most of my clients’ price range. Maybe if you were a superstar, maybe if you were Oprah you could be like, “Hey girl, can you move in with me?” But I think most people would be like, “I can’t afford that.” I really want you to think about how you can become your own cheerleader.

Find your flavor

The second thing I want you to do is do what you love. So many people are out there seeking like, “Hey, what do you do Kim? What’s your workout routine? Hey Suzy, what’s your workout routine? Hey Sally, what’s your workout routine?” I want you to say what you like. Do you like riding a bike? Great, get yourself on a bike, go to a spin class, get one of those Pelotons, whatever. Do you like dancing? Go to Zumba, take adult hip-hop classes, whatever it is, find something that you like, start there.

Don’t start with, “So and so is going to CrossFit, so and so is going to boot camp, I got to do that too.” No. You got to do you. You got to do what you like, because if you do something that you like, you stick with it.

My husband, I love him to pieces but he’s very competitive, he is competitive AF. And so, when I try to get him to do things it has to be in a competitive nature. One of the things I do is we take a spin class, in the spin class, it’s called Flywheel, in this spin class up on the board you can compete against everybody else in class; he lives for that, it is his thing. He has a certain number that he tries to hit every time we go to class; he has a certain rank that he wants to beat in the class. For five years he has continued to go the class, he looks forward to it, he makes sure that we have a reservation every single week because that is what he likes. He also likes Orange Theory, same thing, on the board where he is compared to everyone else. He could have his own personal benchmark but then he also sees, “Am I beating everyone else in class?” 

I want you to know what motivates you, what is that like oomph. Do you like to dance? Then great. Do you need to be social? Then great. Find a great group fitness class, find a yoga class, whatever it is. And it doesn’t have to be expensive, you could do something at home. Everyone from Target to T.J. Maxx sell some form of workout equipment that you could do at home, there are zillions of YouTube videos that you can just do, Pinterest is riddled with workouts, so just find something that you like. It doesn’t have to be hours long, no, you could get a good killer workout 12 minutes.

I don’t know if you ever saw that movie, Something About Mary, and if you haven’t, it’s really funny if you like kind of raunchy comedy. It’s never going to be an Oscar, let’s just say that. In the movie the guy was talking about an invention and he said, “Do you know that video, 8-minute abs? I came up with 7-minute abs.” I want you think about there’s always a certain number of workouts that can work for you. I just encourage all my clients to just move, move at least three to four days a week and move at least 30 minutes, and like I said, I said move, I didn’t say kick your own butt, I said move. So, think about what you love and what could you probably do for at least three to four days a week.

Be real with yourself

The other thing is be real. Be real with yourself. No one is your toughest critic more than you. I know my inner voice probably should be doing time as a former gang member. She can get all up in my face, get all up in my head and make me feel like everything I do is crap. If you have that same girl up in your head, I get you. You already know what it takes to get healthy, you know it. Everyone that’s listening here you know there’s one or two things. You’re like, “If I could only stop having that sweet treat at 4:00 pm. If I could only get to bed on time. If I could only get to the gym. We all have that, “If I only _____” we all have it. I get it. What I want you to do is go into those old habits and accept that this is going to be a gradual process. It’s not going to be like,” I flipped the light switch, the light is off, now it’s on and everything is great. I’m going to just roll up and be this healthy, fit person. I’m going to roll up and be awesome at whatever it is I decide that I’m going to start working out at.” No.

I go to yoga, probably once every three to four months. I am the worst person in yoga;

1) I can only be there for an hour

2) I’m looking at the clock like I’m in prison on the last day before parole
3) I feel like she’s always around me fixing me,

Yes, these are all factors but this not why I don’t go.

I don’t go regularly because it’s not my jam! I go because every once while I feel like I need to take a nice deep breath. I go because I get a Groupon. That’s what I want you to know,
I go there, and I don’t go expecting to be the one throwing up a handstand and being like, Oh, look at this amazing downward dog”, because that’s not me. I go and I do me. And I really want to get across, in anything you do, go and do you.

Don’t go in and expect to be this big, bold badass because it’s not going to happen. Maybe. But what if you just went in and just lowered your expectation and said, “I just want to get through the class, I just want to get through the class and not fall off something”? That’s all I go through, I’m like, “I want to get through the class and not fall off that block or tip over in eagle pose. I want to get through the class and not be the sweatiest person in there. I usually don’t let it live up to that one, but I always hope that there is someone who is more of a sweat ball than I am when I go to class.

Start where you are

I really want you to start where you are, just start where you are. My favorite, favorite, favorite quote is by Arthur Ashe and Arthur Ashe says start where you are, use what you have and do what you can, just start. It’s not going to be pretty, beginnings suck, own it.

I want to think about Wayne Gretzky. If you don’t know who he is, he was a great hockey player, and he was interviewed and they asked, “How many hours did you practice?” And he said, “Back in the day I didn’t call it practice. I was just a kid who went outside, and I just did it, and I kept doing it and doing it and doing it until I got really good.”

That’s what I want you to think about, I want you to think about whatever you choose, “I’m just going to go out there, I’m going to keep doing it and doing it and doing it until I get good.” And it’s not going to be on the first try, it might be not be on the tenth try. It might be on the hundredth try.

They say an expert takes 10,000 hours, so on the 10,001-hour, expert. Give up the need to be perfect, give up the need to be good. I see it all the time.

I teach group fitness classes, and I see it all the time. 90% of my classes are repeats, and if you’re new I know who you are, and I see them and I always say in my pre workout talk, “Hey, if you’re new there’s a lot of veterans in the room, you do you. Don’t worry about anyone else, we don’t care unless you pass out on the floor and I need to give you CPR. Other than that, no one is paying attention to you.” But I see it all the time, they try to keep up and I’m like, “I want you to come back, but I don’t want you to try to keep up, I want you just to do you.” I can’t say that enough, do you.

Change the focus of your eating

I want you to focus on not eating less but eating right. I’m an 80/20 kind of person, 80% of your food is going to be great, clean lean proteins, vegetables, great healthy fats; 20% of your food is going to be fun. There’s going to be some Swedish fish, there’s going to be some Kim Crawford, there’s going to be some whatever that you love, have it and don’t have this guilt about having it. Make a plan, “This is what I’m going to have. I’m going to a party tomorrow night, I’m going to have a glass of wine, yeah that’s going to happen, I’m going to have a class of wine. And guess what? I’m going to wake up tomorrow, I’m going to wake up the next day and I had it, moving on.” I really want you to focus in on that it’s not about every meal has to be perfect, because it’s not.

I believe in the 80/20, but I also believe in good, better, best. Depending on where you are, what is the best choice, what is a good choice, and what’s an okay choice? And sometimes we got to be okay with the okay choice given the situation that we’re in. And here’s the thing, I know that not every day everywhere you go is going to be okay, I know sometimes you’re going to be like, “Yeah, I can get the best choice.” But I also know that if I go to McDonald’s I can get a salad. Is it going to be the best produce in the world? Probably not. Is it going to be the organically grown chicken and all that? No. But it’s going to be better than getting a fried burger with their amazing French fries that you have to dip into the sweet and sour sauce, just saying. But I know that, so it’s really figuring out the good, better and best for you and knowing that you’re going to try to do your best, that’s all I ask people to do, try to do your best.

In any situation, where are you in the moment, and what is the best for that situation, not the perfect because let’s just say perfect is going to leave you on the side of the road hitchhiking, waiting with willpower right next to you, that’s what perfection is going to do for you.

Focus on the goal

I also want you to stay focused, know what your goal is, be like, “This is my goal, my goal is I’m going to lose 12 pounds by the end of the year. My goal is I want to be able to do 10 push-ups on my toes.

My goal is I want to decrease the amount of time I can run a mile in, and you’re just so vapor locked in that goal that you’re not looking to, “Oh, well maybe I should try CrossFit or maybe I should think about running a marathon.” You’re like, “Boom, this is my goal, and I’m not going to be moved from that goal.” But, like I said, not every day is going to be amazing.

One day you’re going to be maybe 30 seconds off of the mile that you want, maybe you’re going to be stuck at eight push-ups for a really long time, maybe you’re going to be stuck at one pull-up or maybe hanging there trying to get that one pull-up to eventually you throw it over. But you’re still chipping away at it. I want you to think about the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon wasn’t built overnight, it was years and years and years of the Colorado River just carving away at that rock, and eventually, five miles down we got the Grand Canyon. So, take your time, patience is a virtue. Trust me, I don’t have it either, so I totally get that you’re going to be like, “Oh sweet Jesus, patience, ugh, I can’t”, but you can. I know that you can. It’s just knowing where you want to go and continue to make small changes each and every week and you’re going to get there. 


Fit Girl Magic

One of the things I want to wrap this around is people always say to me, “What is the key to success?”  I call it the fit girl magic framework.

We all know those magical unicorn people who always seem to be knowing the right workouts, knowing what to eat all the time, they just look amazing, they wear matching outfits to the gym, those people, and you’re like, “That’s not me.” That’s not me either. You can still get some of that fit girl magic, and how you get that is you have consistent habits.

Why do you think I’m talking about it right now, habits? You get consistent habits because once you get those habits down now you get a routine; once you get those routines then you get the consistency; once you get the consistency you get the results. That’s the equation, so when one of those things are out of balance, you’re not getting the results. If I work my way backwards, I want to say, “What am I not consistent with? What’s the routine? What’s the habit?” Stephen Covey says begin with the end in mind. Well, I want results, so it means I got to be consistent. What am I not being consistent with? Then I’m going to say, “What’s the first place I can start?” I always ask people, “Where are you most challenged, food or workout?” Most people say both or some people say food, some people will say working out. Wherever is the hardest for you, I’m not going to start there, so if food is the hardest for you, we’re going to start with your workout; if food is your easiest, we’re going to start with food and then we’ll hit the workout. Do you see where I’m going? I want to get a win, I want to be a winner, so I always want to start with wins.


If you only prep one meal…

One of the things that always tell people is to pack a lunch. I work from home and I still pack a lunch. I still make my lunch every single week. That’s the only meal that I prep. All week long I prep a lunch. It’s one of the main meals that we don’t eat at home. Not only is it money-saving, it’s also calorie-saving because I know what I’m going to eat.

I know that when I was in Corporate one of the meals that was always skipped was because I was in a meeting, and then the cafeteria closed so then I had to go to the vending machine with my dollar and it was 25 cents per snack, so I pretty much could have a buffet, and a buffet of M&Ms, Twizzlers, pretzels, come on, that’s not really healthy at all. So, I really want you to focus on creating a habit of bringing your lunch, and that is something that most people can do; double cook your dinner, get a whole week on meal prep. If that’s something you’re interested in, hit me up and I can give you access to that.


I just want you to think about just follow one of these simple tips and your chances of success is going to skyrocket. And I’d love to hear which one of these sounds like music to your ears.

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