Becoming a Master of Transformation
*WARNING: This blog post is not for those who want to be successful. It’s for those who want to dominate in every area of life.
“The gap between the haves and have nots lies in the ability to control your habits and transform yourself on a regular basis.”
My Personal transformation story
This might be hard to believe, but 6 months prior to writing this post and creating the Immersion Lifestyle strategy, I lived a very different life. I endured this alternate life for a very long 7 years. During those 7 years I lived a life full of physical pain, exhaustion, deep depression, and little to no forward movement in my personal life or my business. I had an aggressive autoimmune disease. A disease in which statistically over 50% of people go on disability and become bed ridden throughout the remainder of their life. My exhaustion had become so bad that I found myself bed ridden most days, not being able to be out of bed for more than 3-4 hours at a time. I experienced such intense levels of pain that I needed the maximum strength Vicodin pain medication 3-4 times each day. The pain was so bad that it even kept me from sleeping most nights, which further added to my level of exhaustion. With all this compounding, It didn’t take long for depression to seep in and cause my hope for a meaningful life to sink lower and lower each day. Then all of a sudden something started to change. It was my mindset that started to change. I became so disgusted with the direction I was headed that I decided I was no longer going to be the victim of this disease, but rather become a victor over it. I just needed to figure out a method for doing that. This is when I created the Immersion Lifestyle strategy. Within just a short time of creating the strategy my life changed. I went from being out of the bed for only 3 hours a day to now being up and about 12+ hours a day! I went from having complete and total exhaustion to reducing it by 70%. I went from having intense daily pain, to reducing it by 70% as well! In other words, I’m basically a completely new person! I didn’t just get better by using mind-over-matter, however. After finding out diet can affect my disease and extensive research on the subject, I chose to follow a very strict diet that few people can stick to for longer than a week or so. I needed to decide and dominate every bite I took. I wasn’t dieting for weight loss, I was dieting out of hope for healing. The discipline was well worth the reward in the end. This “diet” is actually a lifestyle change that I still follow to this day.
Within just a couple of months, I completely turned my life around through using the Immersion Lifestyle strategy combined with these steps below…
STEP 1: Identify what you would like to do, and who you would like to become.
Step 1 is to sit down, take a few minutes, hours, or afternoon if needed, and write down all of the things you would like to accomplish and the person you would like to become. These can be items in both your personal and business life.
Example 1: Lose Weight (personal)
Example 2: Become a master of productivity (business)
STEP 2: Identify where you currently are.
Now document where you currently are in your personal and business life (in reference to where you would like to be in Step 1). Be brutally honest with yourself— Don’t fool yourself into thinking your habits are less severe than they really are. If you smoke a pack a day, don’t say “I only smoke a few times a day”, say “I smoke a pack a day”.
Example 1: I am 20 lbs overweight for my height
Example 2: I am constantly and easily being distracted which kills my productivity
STEP 3: Identify the habits that stand in the way of who you want to become.
What are the habits that are keeping you stagnant where you currently are, and stand in the way of you getting everything you listed in Step 1?
Example 1: I eat whatever I want or whatever is convenient without much thought, and I don’t have a workout regimen.
Example 2: I get distracted by Facebook often. I probably check my news feed 10+ times a day. I waste approx. 1-1.5 hours daily on Facebook.
STEP 4: Identify what triggers those habits.
Now think deep, and see if you can identify the triggers that cause you to act on the habits you listed (in step 2). Feel free to ask family, friends, or co-workers for help, as some of your triggers might be hard to recognize yourself. Your habits will be triggered by one or more of the 4 W’s of Habit Triggers… What, When, Who, and Where.
Example 1: My bad eating habits are a result of multiple triggers:
- Always being on the run, and getting whatever is fastest (WHEN Trigger).
- My co-workers don’t eat healthy when we do lunch together (WHO Trigger)
- My wife and I don’t really cook, so the majority of our meals end up being to-go meals (WHAT Trigger). I don’t workout because I’m too tired by the time I get home from work (WHEN Trigger).
Example 2: Every time someone replies to one of my posts, leaves a message, or tags me in a post, my phone or computer makes a “ding” noise notifying me of the event. (WHAT trigger)
More examples of the 4 W’s of Habit Triggers…
What initiates your bad habits?
A negative event at work, Addiction to a substance (sugar, nicotine, etc), When someone makes fun of me, peer pressure, every time I pick up my phone.
When initiates your bad habits?
On Fridays, In the evenings, When i’m bored, When I’m feeling down, When I’m Hungry, When I’m tired.
Who initiates your bad habits?
When I hang out with my college buddies, When I’m with my brother-in-law, When I’m around co-workers
Where initiates your bad habits?
When I’m in the bed, When I’m in my car, When I’m at work, When I’m at home
STEP 5: Clean house and remove the triggers.
Since you’ve identified what triggers lead you to your bad habits, it’s time to eliminate those triggers. But how? By putting a system into place. A system that not even you can manipulate.
Example Habit 1:
- I will no longer schedule events so close together, in order to give me more time to chose a healthier meal.
- I will no longer eat out with my co-workers unless I am choosing the restaurant
- I will enroll my wife and myself in cooking classes so we can eat healthy meals at home.
- I will no longer wait until I get home from work to work out. I must choose a time of day when energy still exists.
Example Habit 2: I will turn off all notifications on my computer and phone to reduce the temptation.
STEP 6: Create new triggers for your new habits! (This is the most exciting part!)
Now that you’ve eliminated the old triggers that led to your bad habits, it’s time to create new triggers that will lead you to your new better habits! These triggers need to be as automated and simple as possible. This approach will make them most effective. The triggers should also be enjoyable, so they are easy to trigger. Don’t be afraid to constantly make small tweaks to perfect the effects of your triggers.
Example Habit 1: Until the habit of eating healthy meals sets in, I will make an alarm that goes off on my phone every single day at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time that says “Change Your Habits = Transform Your Life!”. This will remind me that I must eat healthy if I want to see a change in my weight.
I will also now set my alarm to wake up 1 hour earlier every morning to workout before I do anything else, while my energy is at peak capacity. I will put my phone across the room (instead of my nightstand), which will create another trigger forcing me to get out of bed to turn off the alarm. I will lay out my workout clothes the night before as another trigger (to minimize the effort it takes to prepare for a workout), and will lay my phone on top of the clothes so I go from turning off my alarm to immediately putting on my workout clothes.
Example Habit 2: I will create a dedicated “Facebook Time” everyday for 15 mins each. This “Facebook Time” will be triggered as a reward for doing 2 hours of work. I will not allow myself to check Facebook unless I have accomplished 2 straight hours of productive work.
STEP 7: Setup an accountability system
Setting up an accountability system is the most crucial part. I personally believe there is no better accountability system than public accountability. Why? Because most people won’t show up for themselves, but they will show for others, especially if they know that these others are watching and judging them in the public domain. IMPORTANT!: Make sure you are being held accountable by only those who have already achieved what you want to achieve (items you listed in Step 1). A person who lives by lower standards and lower quality habits will not be able to help keep you on track, as they can’t even keep themselves on track. I also highly recommend steering clear of having any family members or loved ones keep you accountable, as their desire to not want to see you in pain or discomfort will outweigh their desire to help you stick to your new habits. They are also much more forgiving than those who already operate at a higher level than you. Choosing the right accountability partners will give you a 75% higher chance of achieving your goal.
Example Habit 1: I will befriend that health conscious workout guy at work, explain my goal to him, and ask him for help in keeping me on track. I will start reading a book about living a healthy lifestyle, that way it’s always in my mind. I will announce on social media that I commit to losing 20lbs by a certain date or else I will authorize one of my accountability partners to give a check (which I’ve already given him) to a cause I can’t stand (Ex. abortion clinic). Since I have already given the check to the accountability partner, there is no way of turning back.
Example Habit 2: I will find someone who is more productive and more successful than I am, explain to them my productivity weakness, and ask for accountability help. I will start timing myself daily to audit how much time I am really spending on each task. I will download one of those website blocking apps (parental control apps) that only allow me to go to certain websites (such as Facebook) for a short time each day. If needed, I will even delete the Facebook app off of my phone to reduce the temptation.
“It’s sustained consistency that separates the best from the rest.”
STEP 8: Sustain… Rinse and Repeat!
Once you’ve successfully achieved your new habits that you listed in Step 1, and you can regularly execute them without much thought, it’s time to take your life up to the next level by starting the process over again and raising the bar of your habits. This is how the super achievers of our world operate. They are constantly trying to create a better and better version of themselves every day! How? Through changing their habits! Brian Tracy says “For every $1 you invest in your own personal development, it adds $30 to your bottom line.”
You are developing a Warrior!
Can’t I Get There Through Passion and Willpower?
My philosophy is that passion and willpower will not get you very far, because willpower will vary daily and hourly based on how you feel. If your habits and transformation become dependent upon how you feel, you’ll only achieve that transformation 50% of the time at best. This is why passion and willpower is not a reliable system. Do you think Kobe Bryant wakes up every day saying “I can’t wait to play basketball today”? Hell no. But because of triggers, habits, and systems of accountability that he has put into place, he wakes up everyday and says to himself “I have to make at least 400 shots before I start my day”. This is a habit of his, among many others, that has led him to be one of the greatest basketball players. As you can see, having a strategy with triggers is the only way to endure consistent long term transformation. As a society we’re quite lazy. So you have to force strategy and routine in order to achieve the transformation you desire. Remember, with willpower you have a choice, and with habits the choice has already been made ahead of time.
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