creating-habits

The Bill Belichick Method of Creating a Habit


The collective jaws of everyone I know just dropped.

 

Let me preface this before we go any further, I am not a Patriots fan.   Even though I’ve lived no more than an hour from Foxborough/Gillette Stadium my entire life.  The only reason I can come up with is because everyone around me is.

 

I know it makes a ton of sense.  I’ve always unknowingly followed the Mark Twain quote “If you find yourself on the side of the majority it’s time to stop and reflect.”      

 

Despite the fact that I can’t stand the Pats, I respect the hell out of them – more specifically Bill Belichick.  Without a doubt the best coach in football history and arguably any sport period.

 

His preparation is second to none.  He has strategies and contingency plans for every situation (except for Eli Manning) that might present itself during the game.  That’s one of the reasons why he is so successful.  He plans for the what ifs.

 

So what does this have to do with you and more specifically creating habits?  First, let’s look at some research…

 

THE RADISH OR THE COOKIE

 

In the mid 90’s, researchers did an experiment with willpower.  The first group were told to ignore the cookies and only eat the radishes while the second group were told to do the opposite. 

 

After the researchers gave each group an impossible puzzle to solve to test their willpower.  The longer you stuck with the puzzle the more willpower you had.  The group that ate the cookies averaged about 19 minutes on the puzzle before they quit.  The radish eaters quit around 8 minutes!

 

Wait what?!

 

The group that were told to eat the cookies went into solving the puzzle with their willpower meters were full.  The radish eaters used up all of their will power resisting the cookie so their willpower meters were low.

 

This showed that willpower is a finite resource.  Use it up in one aspect and the other gets the short end of the willpower stick.

 

Sound a lot like trying to work out or cooking a healthy dinner after work?  The stress from working all day is draining your willpower.

 

 

CAFFEINE INFUSED LAZYNESS

 

I am no stranger to being a lazy ass.  Over the summer I was struggling to stay productive consistently.  Some caffeine infused nights would be ultra-productive while others would consist of me getting lost down the YouTube rabbit hole. 

 

I’d have this whole list of things I wanted to do in the morning, but by the time I got around to them 12+ hours later, I would find a way to do anything else rather than what I was on the morning plan.

 

Then the football season started with the Patriots playing sans Brady.  I had high hopes of them going 0-4.  And son-of-a-b they were still winning!  They were winning with 2nd and 3rd string quarterbacks!  The reason…Bill Belichick and his planning.

 

Which got me thinking about my lack of productivity. 

 

ENTER THE BILL BELICHICK METHOD OF CREATING HABITS

 

GAME PLANNING FOR SUCCESS

 

The secret to winning, whether it be Super Bowls, working on your website or eating healthy all come down to preparation.  Rather than going into a week hoping for the best, we’re going to come up with a game plan to ensure we know what the goal is, what we are going to do and contingency plans for when shit hits the fan.

 

At the beginning of each week, usually Sunday, I come up with a Aesthetic Physiques game plan.  Tuesday and Friday I research and I write on Wednesday and Saturday which are in stone.  After that, the rest of the week is a crap shoot. 

 

I have my goal of increasing traffic to the website so that means all my tasks relate to that.  So Monday I’ll spec out some other websites for a guest post, Thursday I’ll come up with some ideas for the research I did Monday.  Sunday will be all the little things I couldn’t do during the week. 

 

Since I implemented this Bill Belichick-esque game plan every week, I feel in control and I’m getting stuff done consistently.

 

So what does this mean for you? 

 

SET UP YOUR PLAY CALL SHEET

 

Identify your goal. 

Eating healthy, going to the gym whatever it might be.

 

Write out the things you want to get done.  

Eating healthy: On Monday I’m going to make steak tips with broccoli for dinner.  Tuesday I’ll make veggie pasta and meatballs.

Going to the gym:  On Monday I’ll work chest by doing X, Y and Z exercises.  On Tuesday I’ll do legs with A, B and C exercises.

 

Come up with answers to the what ifs.  

Eating Healthy: If I get out of work late, I’ll pick up a roasted chicken on the way home.

Going to the Gym: If it’s snowing and I can’t make it to the gym, I’ll do the 15-minute fat burning workout at home.

 

Write all this down and keep it visible.  The pros have play call sheets; you need one too.  Mine is on the bottom of my whiteboard in my office.

 

COVERING THE WHAT IFS

 

If everyone’s life was the same day in and day out this post would be irrelevant.  Thankfully no one’s life is the same every day.  Different stress, different circumstances make every day a unique challenge.  This is why game planning is so important.

 

Late nights at the office, driving the kids to practice or unforeseen home ownership problems all seem to be the genesis of bad habits. 

 

Have some quick healthy food options in the house or at nearby supermarkets that you can quickly grab.  This way if you have to drive all over town bringing the kids to practice you won’t have to stop at McDonald’s for dinner because you have no other options.   

 

Have a plan for when you go out to eat.  Skip the pastas, burgers and starchy sides.  Stick to steak and basic salads with the dressing on the side.  Ask to switch the mashed potatoes for double vegetables.

 

Likewise, have a few workouts you can do at home in the case of inclement weather or car trouble.  There is always time to fit in a workout even if it’s 15 minutes.  Plan for this.

 

In Joe’s success story he keeps frozen turkey burgers handy for late night dinners.

 

YOUR TURN

 

What’s the one thing you’re going to start planning for?

 

What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2017?

 

Struggling with motivation?  Join us for an added motivation in out private Facebook group.

 

Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah!  Happy Kwanzaa!  And most importantly, Happy Festivus! 

If you know someone who could benefit from this article, please share it on Facebook or Twitter.  2 out of 3 people are obese today, let’s start a change.

Dave