TOP 015: The Art of the Start

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Talk Notes

The Art of the Start – Talk Notes

The Art of the Start – The Overflow Podcast


Hello, and welcome to The Overflow Podcast. My name is Craig Booker. The title of this episode is the art of the start a lot of the material for this week’s episode was inspired by Craig Groeshel’s book the power to change mastering the habits that matter most note I will talk a lot about mental health but please note this is not a substitute for therapy or mental health care I am not a counselor or a physician if you need help with mental health challenges please find a qualified mental health professional this week we are talking about the title is of this episode is the art of the start we are talk again talking about habits and starting habits the first quote is a small change in what you see can lead to a big shift in what you do in this section of the book we are talking about habits and how to start habits make your habits obvious James Clear says you don’t have to be you don’t have to be the victim of your environment you can also be the architect of it so exam the first example is Craig Rochelle prioritizes taking his daily supplements or his vitamins he takes them first thing in the morning he believes that supplements provide him with a mental Edge and to ensure he takes them first thing he puts them on the counter where he cannot miss them this is a part of him making it obvious behavioral scientists and Great Britain did a study involving a couple hundred people who wanted to start exercising and the people were divided into three groups and the first group they just committed to exercising the second group Committed to exercising and reading lots of material on the benefits of exercising and the third group Committed to exercising and they chose the day time and place they were to exercise so looking at the results of this study who kept their commitment it says that groups one and two only 36 percent of the first two group the first two groups kept their commitment so that’s 36 percent of group one and two in group 3 91 percent kept their commitment and it says barely a third of the people in the first two groups succeeded but more than nine out of ten who committed to a time and place met their goals so this makes us ask why and it says they made their goals obvious by preloading their decisions and similarly you know Craig Rochelle makes his goal of taking his supplements obvious by it’s all laid out ready to go he doesn’t have to pull it out of the you know the package or the the bottles it’s probably already in the plan or ready to go and so it’s obvious all right it says you can make it even more obvious by tying your new habit into something you already do uh the example is I will blank after I blank right so if there’s something that you already do say it’s brushing your teeth right you already brush your teeth and you have a routine for that and so if you wanted to stack a similar habit with that you could say I will uh rinse my mouth with mouthwash after I brush my teeth those two habits logically go together because it’s hygiene you know for your teeth but if you were trying to add a new habit of rinsing with mouthwash you know to get healthier gums or teeth then stacking it with something you already do like brush your teeth makes it a whole lot easier for your brain to process so it says habitologists call connecting a new habit to a current habit habit stacking and this is how our brains work it says your brain built up connections between neurons that are used frequently your brain removes connections between neurons that are not used that process that process is sometimes called synaptic pruning those removed or pruned connections are why it’s so difficult to remember something your rare something you rarely do and so challenging to start doing it so something that we rarely do this is why it’s really difficult to kind of get into the pattern of doing that new habit by stacking our habits with something we already do it’s kind of like we’re um I don’t want to say cheating but we’re like using the power of the Habit we already have to gain momentum with your new habit so maybe it’s you know you’re not uh rinsing with mouse wash maybe you want to start exercising and so after you brush your teeth you do you know two push-ups two push-ups or two sit-ups or something that’s real simple to stack with that habit you already have maybe in the morning when you get up you know you you do two minutes of something whether it’s an exercise or stretches or something like that uh with your morning routine you could stack it when you get out of bed and you go to brush your teeth in the morning you could stack the maybe you do you know two push-ups after you brush your teeth whatever it is that works for you but that the idea here is to kind of borrow the momentum of the other habit that you already have existing that you remember to do and add that new habit and over time it will get harder and harder to not do that new habit uh so the example here that was in the book was talking about morning routines and um Pastor Craig goes into detail about his particular morning routine we may come back to that a little bit I want to make sure and be able to get through all the material because there’s so much this week it is there in the notes um on the website if you don’t have it in the email uh the details of his morning routine the first one was make your habit obvious the second is make your habit attractive the reason you do most of what you do is because it feels good the behavior makes your brain release dopamine which they call the feel good hormone you’re more likely to do at your habit if you don’t hate doing your habit and I believe in this section he says if you hate running and you’re trying to exercise don’t make running the thing that you try to start choose another form of exercise you know whether it’s going to play you know some kind of game or um working out in some other way find something that you don’t hate uh so the example it says if you want to establish a daily habit of praying and reading the Bible you will make it obvious set a visual action trigger so maybe you set if you have a physical Bible you use maybe you set that out wherever you have breakfast right maybe you set it out on your nightstand next to your bed um we’re gonna decide when we’re gonna do that new habit if we’re trying to to start the habit of praying reading the Bible maybe that’s in the morning or maybe that if you’re an evening person and like to do it before you go to bed you’re going to decide on the time of day that you’re going to do that habit so we said make it obvious set a visual action trigger we’re gonna decide when we’re going to stack the new habit with an established habit for praying and reading the Bible if in your morning routine you typically either make yourself breakfast or coffee or something like that you may stack this new habit with that habit you have of making your breakfast or coffee or whatever applies to you all right so we’re going to decide where you’re going to pray and read so we’ve established when we have a visual cue we’re going to decide where we’re going to go if you have kids around your house or distraction you may not want to do it at the kitchen table because they may be coming in and out distracting you and you’re just going to get frustrated so maybe you go to your porch maybe you find a place outside that’s quiet whatever works for you we’re going to decide where we’re going to do the praying and reading the Bible uh we’re gonna make your habit attractive third we want to make your habit easy so you’re starting something new and that’s already difficult and so it says as we have discussed in previous episodes our brains are wired to conserve energy and this is a reason for habits if the brain perceives something will be overly difficult it might choose to avoid it it says this is often referred to as the path of least resistance or when discussing Behavior it is frequently called The Law of least effort habits expert James Clear says that when starting a habit make your habit take less than two minutes you hear that less than two minutes that’s not very long right this also comes from another productivity expert on David Allen who is famous for getting things done it’s it’s a a system of prioritizing tasks to help you get more done in your day and that’s over simplifying it but that’s what David Allen is famous for why does this matter one minute of daily reading is better than no daily reading if you’re not a person that reads and you’re trying to become a person that reads it’s a lot better to do one or two minutes than to do nothing at all a single push-up a day outweighs never exercising uh passage of scripture here is Zechariah 4 10 in the New Living Translation says do not despise these Small Beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin fourth we’re going to make your habit communal so don’t go at your Hab your new habit alone find a group of people who already do what you want to do the example they give here is a addiction recovery or 12-step programs essentially these steps are habits that they’re the 12 steps are habits and by joining a 12-step program a person is surrounding themselves with people who have the same goal quote from Craig Rochelle living the right life is almost impossible if you have the wrong friends so we’re going to surround ourselves with people that are trying to accomplish the same goal it’s very similar to what we’re doing in this group we all want to make improvements to our mental health or we’re trying to support other people to do the same and so even though our goals for our individual things we want to improve with our mental health are different we’re all kind of moving in the same direction and by doing that uh we we can all kind of speak the same language we all have similar motivation so we can check on one another we care about you know what each feather is doing so I care about how Alex is proceeding how Peter is getting along how Stefan is doing in Austin over time we’re working together to move forward in a positive direction and we learn what each other’s goals are where we’re headed there’s just so much momentum that we can make together because we’re all trying to make some positive changes kind of in the similar area fifth we’re making uh make your habit repetitious sounds like a big word but here in this section this is a lot of stuff I applied to my life to make it more applicable than just reading from the book because this is something I can speak to so I’ve learned one of the best ways I learn just about anything is through repetition doing it over and over and over again right that’s one of the best it’s not the only way I learned but it’s one of the best ways I learn so I took the example of every week right when I’m trying to get stuff ready I go through a process that’s very similar every week at first it was really difficult it took me a long time to prepare in those initial first meetings the content was a struggle because I didn’t have a process that I could repeat each week I was it was kind of like I was starting new each week as time went on I started learning a process for preparing each week for our group meetings and so first what I would do is I would listen to a chapter or section of the audiobook that we are covering during the upcoming week so I’ve listened to that first that would be my first step to get through that second I would pick out the highlights or outline the sections of the book and what worked out really well is a lot of people wanted that outline for what I was going to talk about each week so I you know my second step would be to outline that section of the book post it online for people to follow along so that was a second step third I will re-read the section of the book using the actual physical book A lot of times I don’t actually buy both the physical book and the audiobook but because I’m you know teaching this and leading a discussion on this I really had to dig in and so I went a little bit further and I typically would and I bought both the physical book and the audiobook and so in this third step I’m re-reading the material using a physical book and doing that repetition to learn the material and then fourth I will listen to the same section of the audiobook to reinforce what I’ve already learned so these are four steps that I generally go through every week to prepare the material for our group meeting and by doing this this repetition I’m able to learn the material I don’t have to follow a script as much because a lot of it’s just sunk in like it’s in my brain so when I start a new habit what I’ve learned is I’m simply trying to get the basics down so we we talked about how I go through my routine of preparing for group each week but when I start a new habit what I’ve learned is I’m just trying to really do the very basics of that habit so I’m not looking to be fancy I I suggest the basics so I’m content with doing that habit poorly as long as I’m doing it like for me just doing the Habit is hard enough whatever it is that’s new so I’m not going to be overly picky or obsessive about how well I’m doing it I’m just trying to get into that routine of doing that habit no matter how poorly I do it as long as I keep doing it I’m good right the longer I do this new habit the easier it tends to to get whatever that is right so preparing each week the longer I you know every week the more weeks that I prepare the easier the process gets for me it takes up less of my time at first it took up a lot of my time and that’s because I wasn’t used to the new routine but as I do it more and more I’m able to do that same process in less time so likewise with the new habit the more that I do it the easier that it tends to get for Me So eventually what I’ll start doing after I get real comfortable with the new habit is I’ll start trying to improve upon that habit by making very small changes because the key here for me and what I’ve learned is uh momentum will build over time and you don’t have to change the world in your habit like all at once the more that I do it the harder it is for me to stop doing it right so it’s easier for me to keep doing it than stop doing it and so I get momentum on my side by doing it time and time again and then eventually I want to do it a little bit better so if I’m doing something for two minutes and I’ve been doing that habit over several weeks for two minutes maybe I do three and that’s a really simple example but I just looked for small ways that I can improve upon it just a little bit but whatever I do it has to be sustainable if I can’t do this a year from now I don’t add it why do I take this approach instead I know that the more I do something the easier it is for me to do eventually I’ll get bored with the Habit like it just becomes a part of my routine and so I said I don’t go overboard I just make the small improvements that are sustainable and will I when I feel comfortable doing the improved habit I look for ways to make more improvements hebbs rule that’s h e b b apostrophe s hebbs Rule and it it’s the concepts that neurons in our brain that fire together wire together make your habit obvious attractive easy communal and repetitious Greg grossel says with repetition that new habit will go from being hard from being hard to start to hard to stop and this is what I said earlier it you know after you do that habit for so long it is really hard to stop like it feels just completely wrong or off to not do it so the key in this last section is the get momentum on your side what you’re trying to do that new thing you’re trying to do is hard enough all right so we have exercise for this week and the question is what is one habit you need to start and then it says for any change you desire to make any habit you want to form any win you want to achieve personalize the five guides it says to help me make my habit more obvious I will blank after I blank this is habit stacking so whether you know you’re trying to fit in a little bit of a workout and you stack it with another habit remember we’re supposed to when we start a new habit it’s supposed to be for two minutes when you’re you’re first getting started says to make my habit attractive I can blank to make my habit easy I Can Begin by doing blank for two minutes to make my habit communal I can invite involve or join blank so you can invite someone else along if you know someone else is trying to establish maybe a similar Habit to make my habit repetition I can repetitious I can blank principle here is make your habit obvious attractive easy communal and repetitious scripture for this section is Zechariah 4 10 New Living Translation it says do not despise these Small Beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin that’s all for this episode thank you for watching if you like the video give us a thumbs up and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on future episodes


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