Magic of Routine to Stay In Shape – #Connection with Belal Khan

Routine is one of the best methods of getting into and staying in shape. It's the idea of having systems. as opposed to leveraging willpower.

Willpower is fine and dandy, but it's not sustainable. You need habits and systems.

But, how do you go about establishing those habits and systems?

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The power of systems is in the reality that the is not dependent on you to get the job done or achieve the particular goals.

Imagine taking a long road trip without cruise control on your car. That sort of ride is in fact potentially exhausting. Especially, if your wheel alignment is off, you'll have to be paying attention with greater focus most of the time.

Consider going back in time maybe 15 years when they didn't have GPS. When going someplace new and navigating on a traditional paper map almost always resulted in getting lost. With GPS systems today, it makes getting to our destination that must easier and faster, all with the help of systems that run without us.

So, how do you apply this concept of systems to your personal health and wellness?

Let's start with first what is the destination you're trying to get to. We have to be clear on that first.

Quick story about myself. When I first arrived to Houston, I was at about 11% body-fat. Over the past seven months, that number has steadily climbed to about 15% body-fat. All because I attempted to apply the systems of life I was incorporating when I was in DC.

But in Houston my routine was different. Especially in the last month (November 2015), I was traveling a whole lot, which totally threw off my routine. Coupled with the reality of a new office, which is a cave that you enter and almost never emerge from. Next thing you know the sun has set and you realize you need to get to the gym, but you're too tired.

The human being is a cognitive miser. They'll always take the path of least resistance. Understanding this when I was in DC, I decided to make that internal cognitive miser work for me.

Before coming down to Houston, I was working out of Georgetown, DC. Not the university, but the area. I was pretty good at hitting the gym right after work, especially considering the gym was on the way to the train station.

Getting this part down, meaning hitting the gym was the hardest habit to develop. Especially considering that getting to the gym twice in one week was a good week. But, at this point in time I had a coach pushing to be going six times, and having me report back on my nutrition intake.

There was a point when when I established the pattern, my personal health gains accelerated. But not long after I plateaued. And it turned out I wasn't being as diligent with my nutrition as I should have been.

I wasn't packing my lunch, especially with the commute that I had. I also realized I was spending several hundred bucks every month eating out for lunch.

I found that there was a Trader Joe's on the way to work. I figured, why not simply reallocate what I'm spending eating out, toward groceries for the office.

I had to figure out what my actual consumption looked like. Basically numbers to actual food. In my case, if I was prescribed 200 grams of protein and 100 grams of carbs, and 50 grams of fat on a workout day, that meant I needed to eat two turkey sandwiches, a protein shake, several cups of nuts (mainly a mix of peanuts and almonds), and a slice of organic cheese.

Having a deliberate approach to nutrition like that further accelerated my progress. However, when I came down to Houston, all that was disrupted.

If you have a process in play and a routine that you follow and simply stick to it, your mind will create neural pathways that will get stronger with time and will be harder to break.

The idea of developing routine, and behavioral patters can be applied to other areas of life, including finance, health, career, etc. One just needs to figure out what those systems are. Routine is what will help you make real progress in your goals.

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