“If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re probably not hungry.”

“If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re probably not hungry.”

—Michael Pollan, Harvard University Professor

Image from Unsplash by Shelley Pauls

I eat an apple every morning as part of my breakfast routine. Honeycrisp and Jazz are two of my favorite varieties.

It is a bit strange to me that I rarely eat apples any other time of day. Perhaps because I am literally breaking my fast from my last meal or snack, 10-12 hours earlier.

What do you notice about you own hunger trends throughout your day?

What percent of your eating is generated by true hunger verses mindless or emotional eating?

EXERCISE:

Consider creating a hunger/food log to monitor your daily eating habits. What additional strategies can you use in addition to having a few tasty apples on hand to satisfy your optimal nutritional and hunger needs?

“It is the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.”

“It is the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.”

—Aeschylus, ancient Greek tragedian

Image from Unsplash by PCMedia

If you want to live a happier, more fulfilling life, today’s quote is filled with coaching wisdom.

Unfortunately, jealousy and envy are all too prominent in our “more, more, more” hyper-competitive world. Coming out on top is all that seems to matter.

Consider the idea that you could double or triple your life satisfaction by taking pleasure and delight in the successes of others in your personal and professional communities.

EXERCISE:

How and with whom will you sincerely acknowledge and honor the successes and accomplishments of others in your world today? What would be the impact on your life if you made this a daily habit?

“Bad company corrupts good character.”

“Bad company corrupts good character.”

—Menander, 2nd Century BC Greek dramatist

Image created in Canva

Who have been the most influential people throughout your life, helping to shape your character?

Examine your most favorable and admirable traits to see when they were developed. What made you decide, intentionally or by default, to adopt your temperament, personality, and general approach to life?

On the flip side, what are some of your bad habits and less desirable character traits? What people or other factors influenced these qualities and behaviors to become your less than optimal self?

EXERCISE:

Take a good long and objective look at the company you keep. Where is it time for an upgrade? Where might you perhaps delete some viruses or other character software running in the background?

“I’m breaking the habit of being myself.”

“I’m breaking the habit of being myself.”

—Dr. Joe Dispenza, lecturer, researcher, consultant, author

Image from All American Speakers Bureau

Describe your best future self.

What personal qualities and characteristics do you intend to develop in the years ahead?

If you find this exercise challenging, consider looking to the people you most admire and respect. You can also look to the past for individuals who set an example you wish to emulate or build upon.

EXERCISE:

Who are the people you identified?

What are their most favorable and inspiring qualities?

What current habit do you plan to break to more fully realize an even better version of yourself?

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

—Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Image of the USS Nimitz anchor

Image of USS Nimitz anchor from wikimedia

The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier needed some maintenance a few years ago. As part of this effort, the crew had to move its 60,000 pound anchor, and its 57-link chain. Each link weighs 350 pounds. Doing the math, each 90-foot “shot” of chain weighs about 20,000 pounds! By the way, it takes twelve “shots” collectively to hold this anchor.

What are the heavy chains of habit you have yet to break? Consider past New Year’s resolutions that started with enthusiasm and petered out come February.

The good news in that, as in the case with the Nimitz, when the crew came together they were able to move the heavy chains and anchor to get the job done. So can we.

EXERCISE:

Who are the supportive and helpful crew members on your personal and professional ships? How can they help you notice and become more aware of your habits early on, when they aren’t so heavy a burden?

Make today so awesome that yesterday is jealous

“Make today so awesome that yesterday is jealous.”

—Author Unknown

Most mornings when I work out, if I’m not chatting with one of my fitness friends, I find myself watching ESPN’s Sports Center. I particularly look forward to the show’s Top 10 Plays of the Day, to see the awesome feats of athletic excellence.

Consider your life a sport. What awesome events and experiences would make your Top Ten list for this week, this month, and this year?

If your list is not quite as awesome as you would like, you are not alone. On a day-to-day basis, we all get caught up in our routines and habits. One day seems to run into the next, with few, if any, highlights.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you step up the level of awesomeness today, and perhaps make this effort a new habit, to make all of your yesterdays jealous?

Do Not Bite at the Bait of Pleasure

“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.”

—Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Maria Cosway, October 1786)

Image of a brightly colored fish with an open mouth

Image from Unsplash by yu tang

Pleasure seeking and pain avoidance are two of the biggest drivers for most people.
Take a look for yourself at a typical day or maybe a full week to see just how true this may be for you.

Dig deep into your daily habits and rituals at home and work to explore your behaviors in the morning, mid-day, and into the evening. How do your habits and rituals differ heading into the weekend or even as you engage in the holidays and vacation time?

EXERCISE:

Generate a list of 5-10 behaviors or habits that have a considerable downside or hook beneath their initial pleasure. How would reducing or eliminating one or two make a meaningful difference in your life?

First we Form Habits

“First we form habits, then they form us.”

—Jim Rohn, late American Motivational Speaker

image of The Power of Habit Book Cover

How much do you like yourself?

To what degree do you give yourself the seal of approval for who you are and what you do?

These questions are intended to gain an objective perspective on your current habits because in many ways, we are our habits for both better or worse.

One way to get a clearer picture of your own habits is to observe others in your personal and professional communities. Who do you admire and respect? What habits do they exemplify in their daily pursuits?

Conversely, who are the people you dislike or feel critical toward? What habits do they have that cause you to feel this way?

EXERCISE:

What is a bad habit you want to eliminate or replace with a good habit? Which of your good habits could be even better?

Consider reading Charles Duhigg’s 2012 book, The Power of Habit, to help you form yourself into the person you aspire to be.

Leave the familiar

“Leave the familiar for a while. Change rooms in your mind for a day.”

—Hafiz, 14th Century Persian Poet

Image of a small boy walking on the beach

Image from Unsplash by Andre Mohamed

One of my favorite quotes is, “When patterns are broken, new worlds will emerge,” by Tuli Kupferberg. In a nutshell, it points to a primary reason the coaching process works to support all kinds of professional and personal change initiatives.

Unfortunately, this can be quite difficult due to entrenched ways of thinking and acting that have become habituated over many years.

The good news, supported through today’s quote, is that we all can begin to grow and change by taking baby steps rather than quantum leaps, to better our worlds.

EXERCISE:

Experiment today by intentionally deviating from the familiar in your thoughts and actions. Please consider replying to this post regarding what occurs when you change things up a bit.

The Gist of New Years Day

“The gist of New Year’s Day is: Try Again.”

Frank Crane, 20th Century American Film Director

Image of a woman holding a calendar

Image from Unsplash by Brooke Lark

If you ever established a New Year’s Resolution and came up short, you are not alone.

Statistics show over 90% of people have the same experience.

Studies have shown that even when doctors tell heart patients they will die if they don’t change their habits, only one in seven will be able to follow through successfully.

It appears that desire and motivation aren’t enough, even when it is literally a matter of life or death.

It is also clear that the status quo has a pretty tight grip on what Roger Kegan calls The Immunity to Change.

What patterns of thinking and doing would have your “Try Again” efforts work this time?

EXERCISE:

Beyond limiting your focus on fewer priority objectives, consider adding a wide variety of social and structural supports to bolster your motivation and ability to succeed this time.