Tiny Habits Can Lead to Big Changes

Why do we always think because we don’t have time for an hour workout, there’s no point. Man, I hope I am not alone here. Well, I used to think that working out meant a specific amount of time focusing on just that. If I didn’t have X amount of time, I shouldn’t even bother.

Thankfully, I have changed my ways. Exercise doesn’t have to fit in to that pre-conceived framework. It really is the small stuff that counts, and taking those small steps toward a better and healthier life.

It is all about Tiny Habits

So how can and do we change our thinking around exercise? It helps me to have tiny habits. Matt and I have listened to a man named Dr. BJ Fogg on this topic. He is a professor at Stanford University, in the Persuasive Tech Lab (interesting stuff going on in there). Dr. Fogg talks about how we can change our habits and form new ones. Conventional advice has been that if we stick with something for 21 days, its a habit.

Dr. Fogg disagrees, he suggests tiny habits that take less than 30 seconds have a much higher success rate. At first. I thought this was a crazy! How could this change into a full blown habit? Dr. Fogg’s example was flossing. Let’s say you would like to start the habit of flossing. Instead of cleaning all the teeth, he suggests flossing one tooth. That’s right, just one.

Tiny Habits - Flossing

I must say this is much less daunting than to all of a sudden decide to do all of them! This habit will take less than 30 seconds and will last longer and actually become a habit.

How about we try it? Pick three tiny habits you would like to pursue. Start small. It’s not enough to think, “I’d like to exercise more”. Well, sure, we all would. Instead think,

I’m going to do three push ups as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning.

That will certainly take less than 30 seconds, and you’re attaching your tiny habit to something that is GOING to happen. You are GOING to get out of bed (I hope you will) which is an easy transition to the tiny habit. Getting out of bed is the anchor for your tiny habit. Before you know it, you can work your way up to 5, 10, 15 push ups before you even have your morning cuppa’ joe. Think of the possibilities!

An important part of the process is your celebration! That’s right, celebrate your three pushups! Stand up, pump your fist, pat your back, say “way to go!” or do the ol’ Steve Holt!

Ok, lets try another one. I’ll let you in on  a little secret, I can barley touch my toes. I know, right! It’s horrible. So one of my tiny habits is after I pour my coffee in the morning (the anchor), I forward fold. I stay there for only about 10-20 seconds, but it is my tiny habit I’m working on. Your anchor should precede the tiny habit, not follow it! Try to pick anchors that normally fall in the same time fram each day. This is why meals don’t work well as anchors for me, the times are too random.

Examples of Anchors

  • Getting out of bed
  • Pouring coffee or tea
  • Letting the pets out
  • Feeding the pets
  • Going to the bathroom
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Getting dressed

I urge you to re-think what it means to be active, and strive for three tiny habits, no matter what they might be! Don’t judge your choices, simply begin! Your tiny habits can be stretching, flossing, meditating, or cleaning. It helps to start small and build from there. Remember every journey starts with a single step. I hope this helps motivate you to conquer a few tiny habits!

Join the Tiny Habits movement here.

All out Abs – Workout #68

Hey Everyone! So glad you are doing something good for yourselves today. This workout is going to be intense! It’s nothing but abs, oh boy! Ab workouts are always interesting to me because I feel like 90% of abs are made in the kitchen, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to do our part when we exercise. And this workout should surely have them begging for mercy! Try doing the movements 1x thru if you are new, 2-3x thru for you more experienced. Do each group 1x or 2-3x before moving to the next group. Have a great workout!!

45 seconds of work/15 seconds of rest.

  • Right Side Plank
  • Left Side Plank
  • Bridge

30 second rest in between

45 seconds of work/15 seconds of rest

  • Bike abs
  • Tuck abs
  • Reverse abs

30 second rest in between

45 seconds of work/15 seconds of rest

  • 6″ Scissor abs
  • Dancer abs
  • Snow angels

My Favorite Paleo Diet Recipes

Simple Gym community, I’m really excited to share a few of my favorite paleo diet recipes! So last week I recapped on how the Paleo diet was going. To my wonderful surprise this week has been even better. It is still hard to say “no thanks” to sweets when offered, but it’s actually because I don’t want to be rude, rather than I miss the taste.  Tonight I am going to have a couple of amazing tacos at my favorite taco joint. I no longer worry if people watch me eat the insides and leave the shell. They still taste wonderful!

This week I wanted to pass off a few of the Paleo diet recipes I have come to know and love. When I first started the Paleo diet, I did not think it would be as simple as it is. You don’t have to jump through hoops to eat this way, you just need to be creative and open-minded.

So the first recipe I want to tell you about is one I kind of made up. Well, I got the idea from someone, but tweaked it a bit.

My 4 Favorite Paleo Diet Recipes

Zucchini a la mode – All I did was cut a zucchini in half, long ways. Scraped out the seeds and then threw what ever I had on top. I used a little bit of olive oil, minced garlic, kale, small pieces of chicken, and salsa. I baked in the oven on 350* for 15 minutes or until the zucchini is soft. So good!

paleo diet recipe stuffed zucchini

Paleo Diet Stuffed Zucchini. Unfortunately, I ate mine too quick. This is from pinterest.

My most prized knowledge of any Paleo diet recipe has to be this next one. From Eat-Drink Paleo, its the Show off Paleo Lasagna. I have made this twice and it gets better and better.

Another one of my staple meals is Paleo Pasta. Simply use Spaghetti squash instead of regular noodles. It adds an extra crunchiness that you will love.

Some times you just need something sweet. The brownie cake bites from Health-Bent can satisfy that sweet tooth. I continue to find new ways of cooking and preparing meals. I hope you can try some of these amazing recipes soon.

Yes, You Can Workout Lying Down! Workout #63

workout lying downWe all have those days where you just feel like lying down all day. Well, fortunately, you can still get in a good workout lying down! You can do the movements in whatever order you like, there’s no rule for the order I gave them in. Hopefully you can workout lying down while looking at the blue sky! Have a great Monday, we’ll see you tomorrow!

5 Movements

5 Rounds

  • 10 Pushups
  • 20 Supermans
  • 10 Leg raises
  • 15 Floor Presses
  • 15 Situps

Workout #62 – Welcome to the Jungle

motivation - workout #62 - The Simple GymI had so much fun coming up with this workout, it has a little bit of everything. I wanted to do a workout that really tested every muscle group, while keeping the tempo up!

Workout #62

This is a time challenge workout, so just do the best you can!

6 Movements

3 Rounds Total

  • 10 Leap Frogs weighted, no weights, try 15
  • 8 Staggered push ups
  • 20 Boxer abs
  • 7 1/2 Burpees weighted, no weight, try 10
  • 15 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Towel pulls

I hope everyone has a great weekend!! See you on Monday.

Have To Tabata Workout #61

The Simple Gym - Tabata Workout #61Hi Everyone! Hope you are having a fun fitness week. Today we are going to do a Tabata workout. We are doing 4 different movements for a total of 16 minutes of work.

In a Tabata workout, we work for 20 seconds and rest for 10, with 8 rounds for each movement. Work through one movement before moving on to the next. It’s a high intensity workout! I just finished mine and I can barely type these words out. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

Tabata Workout

16 minutes

8 rounds for each movement

20 seconds on / 10 seconds off

  • Abs
  • Scorpion push ups
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Squat ->Push press

*Bonus: 50 seconds on 10 seconds rest. All these movements are on the website if you want to see it.

1x thru

  • Bike abs
  • Star fish abs
  • Superman
  • Plank