Podcast Episode 27 – Habit Hacks

Jul 1, 2023 | Podcast

I’m Diana Swillinger, and you’re listening to the Renew Your Mind podcast. Episode number 27. It’s hard to say without twisting my tongue. Habit Hacks. Enjoy. 

DIANA: Hey. Hey. What’s up, everybody? I hope you’re having an amazing day. Whatever you’re doing, driving in your car, going for a walk, folding laundry. I listen to podcasts when I’m folding laundry a lot. I guess I pretty much just listed for you all the times I listen to podcasts, so I’m assuming maybe that’s the same for you. Anyway, wherever you’re listening, whatever you’re doing, I hope you’re having an amazing day. Before I dive into today’s topic, habit hacks, which I have to say slowly every time, otherwise it just sounds like garble. Habit hacks. Okay, before we dive into that, let’s do a couple reviews from itunes. We’re getting this renew your mind movement going. Let’s keep it going. Go subscribe. Leave a review. The more people do that, the more this podcast can be found. So here’s one from Biaz. Biaz says, Great food for thought. I appreciated the challenge to evaluate my thoughts. Which ones are really true? I will try this. Loved your friendly style. Awesome. Uh, thank you, Biaz. That sounds like it’s one of my earlier episodes on Are our Thoughts Even true? Let’s see one more and then we’ll get into the topic. This is from AMBC 13 Truthful Thoughts, it’s called. I found this very helpful. 


I forget subjective thoughts create all different types of emotions. Looking at all sides of my thoughts will save me a lot of negative energy. Awesome. Yeah. Both of these must be from they were earlier reviews that I had not read before, and I wanted to make sure I got to them. When I do these podcasts, a lot of times I’ll do research, I’ll prepare. I’ll see what I’m talking about, mostly with other people, or I’ll relate it to some current content I’m creating. This week, I’m just using my notes from a podcast episode I was a guest on last week. They wanted me to talk about habits, and I’m like, you know where my expertise is in habits. It’s about keeping our thoughts, right? It’s about managing what we’re thinking. I don’t really get into the space of, like, here’s what you need to do. You need to create a list. You need to do, uh, all these actions to create change in your life. I don’t usually go there. I spend a lot of time figuring out what’s going on in our brains and then starting there because that’s the root of everything, anything you want to be better in your life, you got to start with your brain. 


So when they wanted me to talk about habits, I just made a list of the most common things that I think we either need to do or that get in our way when we’re trying to create a better habit in our life. So for some people, they want to get up earlier every day, or others want to start exercising on a regular basis. Some want to drink more water, do better at following their schedule. I don’t know what habit you want to create. There’s lots of studies that say if you do a habit for a certain amount of days, it will become part of your routine. And I think that’s true, but I’ve tried it. Like, if I just do this habit 21 days, it’ll be ingrained, and then I’ll always do it, but I don’t find that’s always the case. I think it’s easier once they’ve done it for 21 days or 30 or 60 or whichever study you’re looking at, whatever number of days it says they’re all a little different, but I’ll still quit. So why is that? I think one of the most important things we need to do with habits is get a hold of what’s going on in our brain and make decisions and be on to ourselves so we don’t sabotage ourselves from the good actions we’re trying to do in our lives. So this is just from my chicken scratch notes. In fact, I’m going to take a picture of this page of notes and put it in my Facebook group. 


So if anyone wants to see what it’s like when I scribble notes, it’s kind of fun. All right. You want to create a new habit in your life, the number one thing you need to do is understand why you’re creating the habit. When I was being interviewed for this other podcast, by the way, it’s not going to air for a little bit yet, but the other podcast that interviewed me is called In Raw Life or the In Raw Life podcast. Thanks for having me, ladies. Jessica and Sierra. Hello. The number one thing we need to do is know our why. When I was talking with them, one of them wanted to do more exercise, and I’m like, Why? What’s your why? I think she said, I want to feel better, I want to have more energy, things like that, right? We think these are very inspirational whys? But I went deeper with her. I’m like, why do you want to feel better and have more energy? When we dug deeper into the why, what she really wanted was to be able to keep up with her kids, to do more activities with her kids, to be the kind of mom she wanted to be. 


Do you see how that why is a lot more inspirational than I want to have more energy and I want to feel better. That’s kind of inspirational, but that’s not always enough to keep us on a good habit. But if we know the real deeper reason she wants to be a good mom and be more active with her kids and not run out of energy, that is a more inspirational why for her that’ll get her to stick to it. So every morning when she gets up to exercise, instead of saying, okay, I got to get up and do this because I want more energy and I want to feel better. And we’re still kind of like, uh, eh, I’ll stay in bed, the covers are warm. But as she reminds herself, the reason I’m doing this is because I want to be a mom that has more energy to hang out with her kids and do all the fun things and climb on the playground and not get tired. She’s going to want to get up and do it, or at least it’s going to be easier to pull herself out from the warm bed and go do what she wants to do. Okay, so that was the first thing that I offered them about habits. The first hack the second hack is to take in baby steps. How often are you like, all right, I need to drink more water. So you go from drinking 16oz a day to, I’ve got to drink a gallon of water a day. And it’s just too much. It’s overwhelming. It’s so much water. And you’re in the bathroom all the time, and then you just want to give up. 


Because drinking a gallon of water a day when you’re not used to it is hard work. It is. You have to remind yourself. You forget. Then you have to chug it all at once. You’re in the bathroom every 30 minutes, and then you want to give up even though you know it’s good for you. You can’t do it all at once. Dial it back. You usually drink 16oz a day, maybe for a week. You bump it up to 24, and then the next week you go to 32, and then the next week you go to 40 and 48. And you just slowly get yourself used to drinking more water. Baby steps. You want to exercise more, don’t go from, I exercise one day a week to now I exercise five days a week. Why don’t you just add an extra day for a couple of weeks and then add another day? Or go from one to three days a week and do that for a month and then up it to five? And don’t just go all in with an hour of activity each time. Maybe you start with 20 minutes. Um, if you don’t exercise at all and you want to make it a habit, just add ten minutes of exercise three days a week. Baby steps.


Because when you dive in and you go full throttle right away, you might do it for a little while or even a couple of weeks. And then your brain is going to be like, this is so much, it’s too much, and it wants to give up. And then you’re fighting that battle. Ease into it, Okay, the next hack, decide how long. Decide how long you’ll stick to it. Have you done that? Like, I want to exercise more, so I’m going to exercise three days a week and I’m going to keep working at developing this habit for a month or I’m going to keep working on this for a year or you know what? I’m going to keep working on developing this habit for as long as it freaking takes because I am going to do this. And sometimes forming habits is uncomfortable. So if we decide ahead of time, I’m going to work on this for at least six months before I give up on it, you’re going to get through all the difficult times. 


You’re going to get through when it feels uncomfortable. You’re going to get through doubting yourself. You’re going to get through being frustrated with it not working yet. You’re going to get through all the uncomfortable bits because you’re like, I’m working on this for six months no matter what I decided how long I’ll try or for as long as it takes. You’re giving yourself an idea of how long you’re going to stay committed. And again, you’ve got to have that why. You got to know your why. How long will you stick to it? Know that answer ahead of time. All right, brain hack number four, you don’t have to want to do it. Isn’t that cool? You can create a new habit, do something new in your life because you have a strong why and you decided you’re going to stick to it and you can do it even when you don’t want to. I wanted to create a habit of walking on a regular basis at least three days a week, and half the time I don’t want to do it. People, you know what, I just remind myself it’s fine. I don’t have to want to. I know why I’m doing it. I feel better when I go walking. I know how long I’m going to be working at this. I want this to be a lifelong habit. So even if I fail for a while, even if I don’t walk for a month because it’s cold, it’s January in Wisconsin and I don’t like going out, that’s okay. I’m committed to it, and I’ll keep coming back to it. And I don’t have to want to when it’s cold either. 


I cannot want to walk when it’s 30 degrees every single time because that is the case for me and I can do it anyway. I just tell myself I don’t have to want to. It’s fine. Kind of along the same lines. Brain hack number five is have to versus choose to not only do we not have to want to do it, I think we need to tell ourselves we don’t have to. We don’t have to do it at all. I don’t have to go walking. It’s true. But I will choose to go walking. This is something I get to choose to do. I don’t want to drink this gallon of water. I don’t have to drink this gallon of water, but I choose to drink this gallon of water because I know why I want to do it. Sierra from the In Raw Life podcast. She doesn’t have to exercise ever, but she wants it to be a habit because she knows why she wants to do it. She wants to show up as the kind of mom who has energy to do fun things with the kids. Because of that reason, she chooses to exercise. We don’t have to do anything, people. We don’t have to do any of it. Just own that. Because when you think of it this way, I have to exercise. How would that make you feel for me when I think I have to exercise, it feels like a burden. I don’t know what the emotion is for that, but it feels heavy. But when I think I choose to exercise because I know why I want to do this, I feel empowered. 


Big, big difference when you change that word. All right, brain hack number six. Know that your brain is going to try to convince you not to do it, because, as psychologists tell us, our brain wants to avoid pain, conserve energy, and pursue pleasure. And every time we try to create new habits in our life, that’s enough for our brain to say, whoa, whoa, whoa, we don’t like doing new things. This takes energy. It even takes thought energy to convince ourself to do something new and stick to it. That alone is going to make our brain want to give excuse after excuse after excuse. Just knowing that is a huge advantage. You’re like, yeah, yeah, brain, I know you’d rather have me sit on the couch and watch Netflix because that will send off positive Dopamine and endorphins like I’m binge watching a fun show and eating Snickers. This feels good. That’s pursuing pleasure while conserving energy and avoiding pain. You just got to be onto your brain. 


Don’t fall for the excuses. It’s just because that’s what your brain does. For some reason, our brains are wired that way now. You know, it’s just what your brain does. It’s just going to send you excuses. That’s not a problem. Then you go back to I choose to. I don’t have to want to. I know my why. I’m taking baby steps and I’ve committed to this. All right, the last tip I have for you is kind of a brain hack, I think. I mean, it’s about relationships, but ultimately these relationships help your brain with the habits you need to put Cheerleaders in your life. Instead of doubters, you need to put believers in your life instead of distractors. Are there people in your life who would rather pull you away from the new habits you want to develop instead of believing in you and cheering you on? I’ve had other people, because of their own brains, wanting to avoid pain, try to talk me out of doing good things in my life that’s based on their brain and their fear. But it can get into your head and you can be like, oh yeah, uh, maybe I shouldn’t do it. They’re right. It is hard. It does sound ridiculous, and they’re right, I should just not do that. But if you have cheerleaders and believers in your life, they’re like, that sounds amazing. I think you can totally do that. You’re giving your brain a leg up. 


You’re giving yourself an advantage when you place people in your life that speak into why you can and that, uh, you’re capable. This is just tapping into other people’s belief systems. No matter what it is you want to do in your life, there will be the people who believe you can’t do it and the people who believe you can. I don’t have the exact quote in front of me. It’s not on my notes here. But I was at a live training with Damon John in April and I remember him saying something like, surround yourself with people who think you can do it instead of the people who will give you all the reasons why you can’t. That is a very powerful tool. And if you want some people who are going to cheer you on right away, you don’t know where to find these people who will support you and believe in you. Find me on Facebook at the renew your mind community. We’re m positive in there all the time. We want good things for each other. We’re growing this place as a community to invest in each other and help us figure out how to manage our minds, hack our brains, and live the life that we truly want to live. So that’s all I have for you guys for today. But let me tell you that I did finally set up my free webinar for September. I do a free webinar every month. This month we’re going to be talking about getting unstuck. 


When I look back at all the podcast episodes I’ve done, there are a couple that are the most downloaded. The one that’s related to being stuck is my second highest downloaded one ever. So I wanted to do a webinar to help you guys a little more with getting unstuck. All you have to do to sign up for it is to head on over to Rympodcast.com and click on the link for the free monthly webinar and it will take you to the page that shows you this month’s topic. It’s going to be on September 30 at 02:00 P.m. Central Time. I love it when you show up live, because you get to ask me questions right then and there, and I’ll answer them right away. If you can’t show up live, uh, you can still sign up, and the replay will be emailed out to you when it becomes available. So that’s all I have for you guys today. I look forward to talking to you again next week. In the meantime, stay awesome. Take care of you. All right? You’re worth it. Take care of you. I’ll talk to you next week. 


As an advanced certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. I teach thought management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast.com to get my free resources or a free coaching call.

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