H(f) = (C + Ro + Re)rep
Wait! Don’t freak out! … I was nearly scared away too when I first found out personal development was all about math.
“ugh… Ella… personal development is not math. It’s totally subjective – that’s why it’s called personal development!”
Well, you are on the right track, but you’re missing a vital connection. Personal development is personal to you which makes it subjective to other people. But personal development is still optimized using mathematical formulas like the one at the beginning of this post.
Easy, Habitual, or Both?
I discovered the power of habit for the first at some point during high school.
See, when I was 14, I had a hemorrhagic stroke which set-back my personal development. But more specifically, my injury set me back when it came to the development of my athletics and academics.
Long story short, sometime after my stroke I physically rehabilitated and started playing soccer again. And when I did, I realized there were certain skills and tactics I could still do, because I had created habits of doing those things before I had my stroke. That is mainly because the area of my brain where those habits were stored (the basal ganglia) remained intact and undamaged.
The second time I recognized the profound effects of habit was in university when a started working in the service industry for the second time. Because I previously worked in the service industry throughout high school, I had created good habits of talking to customers and moving as quickly as I could between tasks and while cashing-out customers at the register. And now that I am even older and working in the service industry again, those particular habits have become even stronger.
At first, it almost seemed like certain movements on the soccer field and at the cash register are easier for me to do. But then I realized the real reason those movements seemed easier is because I created habits out of them. Then my a-ha moment: how much easier could I make my personal development if I turned specific personal development tasks into habits?
Habit(f) = (Cue + Routine + Reward)repetition
Now let’s figure out the math of habit.
Habit is a standard formula (the one you see above). And although cues, routines, and rewards will be different for everyone, the basic formula says the same. So figuring out how to create a habit out of your diet, job, or hobby is pretty much like doing math that only makes sense in your world (a concept that totally would’ve helped me ace my Grade 11 Functions course).
Now the important part: since habits are a simple mathematical formula, it is much more beneficial to figure out how your current habits can be broken and how new habits can be learned, rather than teaching people exactly which habits they should adopt.
You see, things work different habits work differently for different people. That said, habits surrounding diets, workout regimens, self-care regimens, study regimens, etc, will differ from person to person. So instead of me telling you to start habits like keto or vegan, or hot yoga or bodybuilding, I’ve instead decided to coach people on how exactly they can implement the habits they want in their life.
When we have a bad diet or poor eating habits, a bad or non-existent workout regime, or a bad or non-existent self-care regimen, that is usually because we have bad habits. When we have bad habits that is because we subconsciously commit to things that are not beneficial to us in the long term such as overeating, not working out, and poor self talk. So my job is to help you experiment with the habit formula to break those bad commitments and then, again use the habit formula to re-commit to things that are beneficial to your mental and physical health.
Have you ever said something like “I want to work out or I want to eat healthily, but I just can’t seem to do that”? Usually, when a fitness coach or a diet coach hears that, they will help you develop your self-discipline or willpower only in order to start a particular workout regimen or start eating a particular diet. But building self-discipline without working on habit is incredibly difficult. And depending on (1) if the bad habit has become an addiction (2) if the bad habit has continued for many years, it will become increasingly difficult to break simply by working on self-discipline.
So for example, instead of telling you what I think you should eat for a particular diet, I will help you figure exactly why you are eating poorly and how exactly you can make the switch over to eating something healthier. OR instead of telling you what workouts you should be doing in the gym, I will actually help you figure out exactly why you haven’t been working out and what you can do to start working out again.
*So when people ask me why habits are so important, I tell them it is because they can either be the absolute root of success or the root decline.
So whatever your problems might be, if you want to tackle the root of them, you have to start reflecting on your habits.
If you want to start learning about habits today, why not sign-up for my 5-day #YearofYou Course? It is completely free and teaches you the ins and outs of habits in your life! And if you want to work with me one-on-one whether it be for 1 free consultation, a handful or sessions, or even unlimited 24/7 coaching over a three or 6 month time period, I am more than happy to commit to improving you.
If you guys enjoyed this post, don’t forget to share it with at least 1 friend. Your support is always appreciated!
As always, I hope you have a great day and don’t forget to make this the #YearofYou!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional health advice.