There is no debate about the benefits of good habits. We’ve all heard ‘it’ a thousand times. Some of us have even read books about developing good habits. We all KNOW them, yet most of us rarely develop them.
KNOWING HOW to do or develop them isn’t enough. Developing goods habits goes beyond knowing (information) and understanding them. It requires doing them (application or wisdom). It takes doing them all the time (regular and routine) and the more automatic the habit, the easier it is to do it, and conversely, the harder it is to break.
From birth, all of us have been developing the habit of handling our bodily waste. We do it so automatically that we don’t even think about it. But only think about peeing yourself or shitting your pants and strange things happen. Or, when we see an adult who has done it, we feel either shame or compassion. That’s because it’s unnatural.
In the most general sense, the core (anatomy) refers to the body minus the legs and arms. The functional movements of our body (voluntary), as well as the automatic, movements (involuntary), are highly dependent on the core, and lack of core development can result in, amongst other issues, a predisposition to injury and both short- and long-term reductions in the quality of our lives (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social).Poor Posture
Good or bad, posture has a major influence in our lives. It affects our musculoskeletal system, but it also influences the function of every organ in the body. Additionally, research has shown that poor posture impacts our emotions, mental state, brain activity, and even hormone production. Lastly, poor posture is a major influence in our self-perception, our perception of the world, and the perception others have of us. But to EP3.dk, posture is not a CORE habit, but a habit of the core.
When I talk about The CORE, I'm talking about core habits that affect a number of different areas of our lives simultaneously. For example, time management is a CORE Habit. When I help my clients understand time, we specifically analyze their consumption of time but also the utility (economics) and efficiency of its consumption. I also work with them to reinvest their time so that none is wasted in the past or the future. I help them invest all their time in their present, and develop a plan focusing on progression towards their goals.Back to Top
Of course, it takes time to develop a habit and depending on its nature, such as degree of automaticity, the level of its impact, orientation depth (e.g. foundational or surface), the more imbedded the old habit, or even its complexity, the longer it will take to form the new habit. No matter how valuable, every new habit will ALWAYS feel unnatural and the more impacting the habit, the greater the feeling of “I can’t do this! It’s impossible!”
Learning to ride a bike or drive a car took time, a lot of mistakes and a lot of practice to get it right. There also different skill levels of biking or driving too. And with each level of proficiency, it takes more time to develop and perfect, often requiring a natural ability (e.g. professional racers). Even these habits take continuous practice to stay sharp. If it’s been a long time since you’ve driven or ridden, you know the feeling. It feels unnatural. The same is true with any other habit.
We don’t know how long it will take you to develop a CORE habit but we do know that it will take time. Nevertheless, the more concentrated and committed the effort, the shorter the time and the greater the impact.
Everyone knows the benefit of good habits but even the slightest change in a CORE habit has a cumulative effect.
Increasing your protein consumption means greater muscle mass, leaner tissue, greater lifespan and quality of life, better sleep and brain function, less hunger, binging, snacking, and belly fat, lower calorie intake and blood pressure, and easier fat loss on a calorie-restricted diet. Because protein requires energy to metabolize, a high protein diet can increase calorie burn by up to 80 to 100 calories per day. One study showed that people who ate 30% of calories as protein automatically ate 441 fewer calories per day. A 500 calorie per day restriction from a combination of calorie reduction and increased fitness causes a half kilogram weight loss per week. Protein can also help fight cravings, which are the dieter’s worst enemy. In one study, 25% of calories as protein reduced obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and cut the desire for late-night snacking by 50%.
The Power of 1 hour
In the course of a year, one hour a day is almost ten weeks or 2½ months of full-time work. Even as little as 30 minutes a day is still more than a month! What could you do with a whole month of full-time dedication? If it was an extra month of income, how does that change your bank account, dreams, holidays, or lifestyle? What about 2½ months?
How about sleep? Do you get one hour less of sleep than you should? In your life (80.5 years in Denmark), that works out to be about 3⅓ years. A lack of sleep leads to a number of negative temporary and long-term problems such as premature aging, weight gain, depression, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, lowered sex drive, and impaired cognitive abilities. Even if you have gotten used to it, your mental alertness and performance continues to decline.
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EP3.dk CORE is a set of eight habits that I feel have the biggest cumulative effect on the overall health of both the individual and the company. When my clients change these habits, I've seen a measurable change. Nevertheless, I've also seen a comparable struggle since transforming habits follows a similar psychological response to grieving (Kübler-Ross, 1969). We see denial, frustration/anger, bargaining (“I’m kind of doing it” instead of “Yes, I am doing it” or “No, I’m not doing it”), depression (“I can’t do it” or “This is too difficult”), to acceptance (positive – success or negative – failure).
But this isn't what I want my clients to focus on. Rather, I want them to realize that what they are experiencing is natural and expected; that as they move through the grief of losing their old reality, what they are experiencing are indicators of change.
Everything in our lives is designed for us to FAIL at changing our core habits; everything. Our daily routines, thoughts, feelings, social groups, and personal outlook all contribute and create a reality that is based on our former or present core habits. When we start messing with them, it affects the way that we see reality. Whenever others hear us make the commitment to change and begin the daily hard work of changing, they remind us of “who you really are.” They put us in the box, the reality that we've always lived in, the one that they have grown accustomed to.
But if we go to our gym of our habits every day, even if it’s for 30 minutes or an hour, we'll begin to see a change no matter how small the effort. The impact of even the smallest change is cumulative and we WILL see long-term benefits. 30 minutes walking, coupled with halving only one meal of the day equals the magical number of calories and creates the possibility of a half kilo weight loss/week. But the benefits go beyond fitness and health.
EP3.dk CORE (8 Habits)
- Time management
- Relationship management
- Resource management
- Health management
- Integrity (both consistency and reliability)
- Possibility (i.e. Vision)