5 COVID Habits To Break
Over the past couple of weeks, you’ve had a coach check in with you every day. That coach then reports a summary every evening of how things are going with their athletes. Then, every Saturday morning, the coaching staff and I meet together and discuss the week; specifically, what you’re struggling with and how we can better help.
The first week of social distancing felt good. You ate pizza and ice-cream, you stayed up late watching Netflix, and you were able to sleep in (finally!). It was like you were on an indefinite summer vacation.
Then, the second week hit.
You realized that you didn’t like this so much. You made a couple of goals on Sunday for yourself – a list of do’s and don’ts.
My goal of these blog posts is to never add to the noise; but instead, tell you the facts. If there is no scientific or anecdotal data to support the claim, I refrain from writing about it.
Today, I want to highlight five habits you should stop doing during this social distancing period – one habit for each of the Five Factors of Health.
The sum total of your habits become your identity. And because I want to guide you to sleeping, eating, training, thinking, and connecting more like a healthy person, I want to highlight five habits you should stop.
Tomorrow, I’ll then go through the art and science of how to break these habits.
Habit 1: Don’t Snooze
One of the habits that I hear most often is the habit of letting your kids wake you up.
“Mom, can you make me breakfast?”
“Dad, can you log me in to the iPad?”
The reason you want to wake up on your terms, and not your kids, is because you immediately begin reacting. The most effective and fulfilled individuals live life deliberately – they are proactive in planning out their day and thinking. Don’t allow others to dictate what you are going to do.
It’s as simple as setting your alarm the night before and then waking up at that predetermined time. Setting your alarm and then planning to hit snooze ruins your deep sleep anyway.
Set the alarm and then commit to it. If you snooze the morning, you snooze the day. Become a person who never hits snooze.
Habit 2: Don’t Eat Processed Foods
The habit of having a delivery man feed your family needs to end.
This applies especially during the week. You simply perform less optimally – for your employer and for your family – when you aren’t eating real food.
I don’t think I need to talk about the pros/cons about this subject. I would be beating a dead horse.
But when it comes to real food, consider this simple rule: If it comes from the earth or a mother, it’s real food. Conversely, if it was “born” from a factory of scientists, it is not food.
Become a person who eats real food.
Habit 3: Don’t Delay Your Workout
I hear these three a lot during the week:
“Today I’ll do it during lunch because I will have more time.”
“If I work out it in the afternoon, my kids will be able to do it with me!”
“I was up late last night, so I’ll do it this evening.”
These excuses aren’t necessarily wrong. The only issue with them is that they are excuses.
Exercise needs to become a non-negotiable. Don’t change the time you exercise for anyone or anything.
The reason I always recommend doing it in the morning is because you don’t have any other commitments before 7:30 a.m. Negotiating when and where you will exercise almost never ends well.
This goes back to habit #1 – commit to a time and then do it. Become a person who works out every day at the same time.
Habit 4: Don’t Watch The News
This is my favorite habit of the five – and the one that’s going to turn the most heads. This is what I personally believe; so take it for what it’s worth. But here’s why I feel this way:
Most of the news is entertainment, not education.
Recognize that I said “most news.” I absolutely agree that you should be informed.
For example, if the Governor of Utah or President of the United States is live on the news channel, then it becomes educational.
But when a broadcaster is commenting on the virus’ ability to spread or the number of hospital admissions the state of Utah has, then it becomes entertainment.
I’d rather get information on the virus from a doctor who studies diseases; not a broadcaster who studies persuasion.
On top of this, I believe we are quite literally losing our ability to think for ourselves. Obtaining factual data and drawing conclusions becomes almost impossible when we have a broadcaster speaking in the background.
So this also ties back to habit #1. If we are only listening to the opinions of others, we become reactive. And we’re trying to become proactive in our ability to think and lead our lives.
Become a person who draws conclusions for themselves.
Habit 5: Don’t Check Social Media…
Habit 5: Don’t check social media when someone else is with you in-person.
I like instagram and facebook, especially right now when we are social distancing. But in-person social connection is far better than a device.
The recommendation I would give is to only check social media in one room of the house – and it can’t be the living room or kitchen. That way, if you really want to check something, you have to end the conversation you are currently in and move yourself into a different room.
Become a person who is present with others.
After the habits I developed during the first week of social distancing, and hearing the habits of 250 others, I set out to break the above five. That second week took a lot of hard work.
COVID has been a much more enjoyable experience since breaking these habits. I wish you luck in adopting some version of these five.
Remember, the sum total of your habits become your identity.
Become the person you want to be.