How do I develop healthier habits?
What you will learn from this article:
- How to create lasting healthy habits
- The best way to start living proactively
- How identifying your outcome and rating your experiences can lead to incredible growth
- That you can create the conditions you need to achieve success, regardless of external factors
- The Quality Quantifier, an urge management tool
Why do we engage in habits, urges and tendencies that we know do not serve us? What makes it so difficult to make real, lasting change?
Most people settle for whatever life gives them, and then they make excuses for why they can’t get the results they desire. But why choose complacency when there is a way to increase and enhance the quality of your life?
Whether it’s finding a way to kick bad habits like smoking, drugs or alcohol; developing healthier habits like eating right and exercising; reigniting more passion in your relationship; or taking massive action along your career path, there is a powerful tool called the Quality Quantifier that can help you when it comes to developing healthy habits and creating lasting change in your life.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is how you approach life.
Consider this example. John has decided to get some exercise and take a 3-mile run. It’s a healthy decision that serves his mind, body and soul. So he heads out for 30 minutes, gets his run in and heads back. Then he thinks to himself, “Well, that felt nice.”
You may think that John did himself a service by taking a run. And for all intents and purposes, he did. Exercise is extremely important and healthy habits like running are critical to our health and well-being. But the way he approached the run is the way that 99% of people out there approach everything in life. They do things, maybe hoping for certain results, and see what happens.
The other 1% – the leaders in this world – they approach life differently. They live life proactively. That means they define what they want first, then take the actions to achieve that outcome.
How would this look? Consider Julie. Julie thinks to herself, I want to take a run. And on a scale of 0 to 10, I want it to be a level 10 run. Then she thinks, “What do I need to achieve that?” Well, maybe she needs to beat her last pace by 10 seconds. Maybe she needs a new playlist. Maybe she needs to run through nature. Maybe she needs to think of 3 empowering thoughts during her run that make her feel stronger and more confident.
By envisioning the result that you want in advance, like Julie did before taking off on her run, you are taking control over the outcome. You can develop a strong purpose to motivate you throughout your task, and will have a harder time making excuses that prevent you from achieving your goal. And you will be able to develop a massive action plan – being able to know what you are going to do to make it happen. You aren’t taking a passive approach to life, just hoping it will happen or expecting it to happen. You are regaining control and taking a proactive approach to achieving your goals.
Quantifying Objects and Experiences
If you want a quality life, then you have to start by quantifying what you want out of life. If you don’t decide in advance to have a level 10 experience, then you aren’t going to get one. Think about it: What’s your chance of having the most optimal experience without you designing it in advance? Highly unlikely. Sure, you may get lucky, but if you want consistent quality in your life, then you have to decide what outcome you want.
Ask yourself where you are right now, and then visualize where you want to be in comparison. Because wherever you are, you can change that. If you are sitting on the couch and feeling tired, a run may not sound that appealing. Maybe you give it a 3 on a scale of a 0 to 10. Be honest with yourself, and honest with where you’d need that number to be to get off of the couch and take that run. What do you need to do to get excited about your run?
Use this as a benchmark system to take a proactive approach towards any goal. Even a relationship goal. How would that work? Consider a relationship that you have been in that has grown stale. You make the decision to plan a date night with your partner. And you want it to be a great date that could spark some passion between you and your partner. Well, if you don’t take a proactive approach to making that date a level 10, odds are it won’t be. You can’t simply hope that the date will get you out of the rut – you have to put the effort into it. Flowers, a special dinner, a thoughtful gesture, writing a message expressing your emotions, doing something that reminds you both of the passion you used to have, making it a point to say three kind things, opening up about something new – these are all factors that are within your control that can contribute to having a great date and reigniting some of that missing spark in your relationship.
Qualifying Objects and Experiences
There’s a part of you that knows what it would take to make an object or experience irresistible and there’s a part of you that knows what it would take to make an object or experience something you couldn’t stand.
Think about a pizza on the table, right in front of you. How much do you want the pizza in this moment? How appealing is that pizza? A 5, a 7 or a 10? Now, what would you have to focus on for it to be a 10? Would you have to heat it up, would you have to notice a flakey crust and extra cheese? Now, ask yourself what you would have to focus on to make it a 0. Would it have to be old, have fallen on the floor and be covered with dirt?
Consider taking a run. What would you have to do to make that run a level 10 in your eyes? Would you have to run at dusk when you find the temperature and lighting more appealing? Would you have to run with a friend? Would you have to laugh three times, just thinking of something that cracks you up? Consider what conditions you need to create for yourself to feel that level of an experience.
The goal is to change the emotion you tie to objects and experiences. Ask yourself what you would have to appreciate, believe, feel, and focus on to achieve that. And anything you ask must be within your own control for this to work. If you say that to have a level 10 run it can’t rain, then that is not in your control. But if you say, “I have to stop during the run and look around and just enjoy my surroundings,” then you are taking direct control of your outcome. Then your life becomes outstanding because you are always thinking in advance – you have decided that this is what you are committed to. You have decided that this is the result you want. You aren’t waiting and hoping that it happens; you are creating the conditions that make it happen.
Creating what works for you
Quantifying and qualifying what is and is not important to you comes down to creating your version of a fulfilling life. To do this, you have to look beyond your surface-level objective. Yes, you want to quit smoking, sleep more, develop healthier relationships or move ahead in your career, but why? It’s not just because you do or don’t want to do these things, it’s about identifying your outcome and moving toward that end goal. Then you’ll be able to view and shape your habits accordingly. Once you commit to your outcome, you’ll find the drive you need to take action, which will result in healthier habits overall. Use what you know about quantifying and qualifying to create the conditions you need to succeed. Do you want to strengthen your marriage because you’re looking for a more joyful existence? Create the environment that allows you to do this. Pay attention to your spouse’s needs and express your own. Bring flowers home, make a romantic dinner and create a place in which you can more easily connect to feelings of stability, love and warmth. Ultimately, continuing these behaviors will lead to your ultimate goal – finding joy and companionship in a romantic partner and creating a beautiful life with someone you love.
The Quality Quantifier
Every object and every experience in life has a quality and a quantity to it. But it’s up to you to decide what level you are at, where you want to be, the sensations associated with that shift, and finally, the strategy for how you can achieve that.
This tool, the Quality Quantifier, is also a powerful urge management tool. Because when you understand how to change the level of urgency in your body, you can shift away from your desire for things that you know are bad for you, and instill a new desire for healthy habits that are good for you.
Whether it’s stopping smoking, consuming alcohol or drugs, losing weight, working out more, or taking your relationship to the next level, the Quality Quantifier can help you take back the control over your life, and motivate you and empower you in an entirely new, proactive way to reach your goals.
Change your routine, change your life
Discover how to adopt healthy habits that will set you up for daily success. Read Tony Robbins’ Ultimate Health Guide to discover his five rules for lasting energy and vitality.