1 Habit, 2 Routines, and 3 Gadgets to Make You Healthier and Happier

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1 HABIT

Shoutout to the Habit Overlord James Clear for the inspiration.

Habit: What gets rewarded gets repeated (good or bad).

One of my favorite comedians and party animals, Bert Kreischer, loves giving himself “treats” to look forward to throughout the day. These “treats” typically consist of booze, cigars, marijuana, pizza, steak, and whatever else makes him burst with dopamine. There’s been countless times I’ve heard him get overjoyed on a podcast because he’s planning a treat for after his workout.

This is Bert.

The problem with Bert’s treats is that he’s also trying to lose weight. And he’s been trying to lose weight for years, but can’t figure out how to lose it and keep it off. (Weird…)

Surprisingly, Bert works out quite a bit. He’s very proud of the fact that he ran 1000 miles last year.

But he keeps failing because he’s using his “treats” incorrectly. After a hard workout, he always treats himself with a gluttonous meal fit for a king. The issue: each of these habits have conflicting identities.

  • Action: Working out (identity = taking care of his body)
  • Reward: Drinking booze and eating high calorie meal (identity = not taking care of his body)

For his end goal of getting in better shape, these two habits offset each other and encourage different priorities.

Ideally, and your lesson to be learned here, is to choose an action and a reward that both promote the same identity.

  • Action: Working out (identity = taking care of his body)
  • Reward: Taking a bubble bath after each workout or getting a massage after 2 weeks of staying on his fitness plan (identity = taking care of his body)


2 ROUTINES

Routine #1: Start your day with the smallest, easiest wins, then ramp up.

Here’s what mine looks like on an ideal day (from least amount of effort to most):

  • Wake up, don’t check social media or emails
  • Shower/morning routine
  • Grab a ready-to-drink protein shake
  • Meditation for 10 min using the Waking Up app
  • Drink caffeine and plan rough outline of day or review outline made yesterday
  • Read something “light” about mindset, life, happiness, etc. for 10-20+ min
  • Read something “tactical” about a specific problem I’m trying to solve for 10-20+ min
  • Check email
  • Deep work on highest priority

The idea is to be in control, but that’s hard to do if you demand too much from yourself too quickly. We have to warm up before we can sprint.

Routine #2: Bracket your day with shit you enjoy.

Our days are often unpredictable. Things pop-up and people are constantly grabbing at our attention. Often, our only solitude comes from early mornings or late nights. So, we need to make them count.

My advice: make them fun.

When I was doing my dietetic internship years back, there were some days where I would absolutely dread going into work. But, every morning, I found solace in the drive to work. It was about a 20-minute drive, so I would turn on a comedy podcast that I knew would make me laugh. Eventually, I would look forward to that drive knowing I would be in a better mood once it was over.

Some of you may do this by turning on shows that you’ve seen a million times, but never get old. Think Friends or The Office, or some reality TV show. We associate these activities with positive emotions and we feel comfort when they’re on.

Use this to your advantage ⏤ “hack” your well-being by cultivating a good mood on-demand every morning and every night. (Thank me later.)


3 GADGETS

Gadget #1: Digital Kitchen Timer

Why I recommend it:

  • It’s not on your phone or computer (so I’m not tempted to do other things when using it)
  • Use it for timing 60-120 minute deep work sessions with zero distractions (countdown function)
  • To track how long activities take and then attempt to beat them next time (count up function)
  • Easy to travel with

Gadget #2: Anker Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Why I recommend it:

  • Easy to travel with/minimalist design
  • High quality sound, durable, reliable Bluetooth connectivity
  • I like to move it around my house depending on what I’m doing (cooking in the kitchen, showering, in my bedroom)
  • Awesome for dinner parties/gatherings/tailgates/hiking/whatever

(Digital) Gadget #3: Apps I Like

Not exactly a gadget, but wanted to include these.

Mint (Personal Finances)

Why I recommend it:

  • Simple-to-use app to track finances
  • I can link all my banks and investments to see a broad overview
  • To gain awareness around spending and saving

Waking Up (Mindfulness Meditation)

Why I recommend it:

  • There’s a 28-day introductory course
  • There are mini lessons, theories, and conversations for more learning (these are excellent)
  • To stay proactive in managing stress and emotions instead of being reactive
  • It costs about $8/mo, but you can get 30 days free by using this link (I don’t get a kickback)

Vivino & Distiller (Alcohol Rating Apps)

Vivino

Why I recommend it:

  • You can take a picture of a wine label and it will show you the rating, price, tasting notes, food pairing ideas, and more
  • You can take a picture of the wine list at a restaurant and it will rate each one
  • You will sound like you know way more about wine than you actually do
  • You can share it with other people and they’ll get excited because they probably haven’t heard of it (promise)
  • It’s free
Distiller

Why I recommend it:

  • Very similar to Vivino, except it’s for whiskey and bourbon
  • You can see user ratings and reviews from other people who’ve tasted it
  • You can see the tasting notes and figure out which type of bourbon you like most (spicy, smokey, vanilla, etc.)
  • You can get a brief history and a description about the bourbon
  • You will sound like you know way more about bourbon than you actually do
  • You can share it with other people and they’ll get excited because they probably haven’t heard of it (especially dudes)
  • It’s free

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