Module 2.

Momentum

 

For ten years I had a business partner. He was based in Stuttgart and I was in the north of Germany and then later I moved to Tenerife. We both had very different personalities. I love to get things started but I’m terrible and finishing things, while my business partner was the opposite. Fantastic at finishing things, but terrible at starting.

On the face of it sounds like a match made in heaven, unfortunately, over the course of ten years we were never really able to bring our strengths into balance and we ended up going our separate ways.

We spent endless hours and days discussing different ideas, approaches and actions. But very little action was taken. We were just going through the motions. I was extremely frustrated, because my nature is to be in action. But my business partner preferred to plan everything in detail before taking any action at all. We had the feeling that we were in motion, but in fact, we were just spinning the wheels.

In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear tells the story of a university photography class (before the digital age). It was divided into two groups. The first group would be graded on quantity, the more photos they took the higher would be the grade. The second group would be graded on quality. All that mattered was that they took one really good quality picture. After a few weeks the results were handed in.

All of the best images had been taken by the quantity group. The quality group produced very average photos. The explanation given for this is that that the quantity group went out and experimented when they made a mistake they would learn from it and correct for the next image. The quality group, in contrast, spent most of their time planning and thinking of how to take the perfect image. In the end, planning and thinking were of little else. So the lesson here is to take action. When you want to learn something new or establish a new habit, it’s far better to just throw yourself in and do it rather than spending too much time on thinking about it.

Repetition

The old saying “Practice Makes Perfect” is spot on. It’s not so much the length of time that you have been doing something, but rather the number of times that you have repeated the action.

When my wife and I started dancing Argentine Tango, we decided to join others on the dance floor who had years of experience. We were inexperienced and I was absolutely rubbish. But we persisted and went to as many dance evenings as we could, we even started travelling so that we could get more dancing in. We improved far more rapidly than other beginners who were frightened to get on the dance floor and just give it a go.

How This Is Relevant for Creating New Eating Habits

I hope you’re following this course to get as much information as you can before starting on your new adventure. That’s exactly why I made it! However, according to the laws of habit and behaviour change, you should also be taking action at the same time. In one or two of the subsequent sessions you’ll learn about the importance of just making a start and taking things slowly. For now I don’t want you to get confused about the message or repetition. While it’s true that the more you do something the better or more accustomed you become to that action or behaviour. However, unless you’re one of those people with a lot of self-discipline, I would recommend that you take things slowly. Ad you will learn in later sessions, your chances of success are far higher if you start small and gradually improve over time.

For example, I learn just 10 minutes of Spanish every day. But I never miss a session. It’s part of my morning routine. When I meet up with my Spanish friends, they often tell me how much I’m improving. This is the power of small efforts done consistently.

If we apply this principle to moving from a meat-and-dairy-based diet to a plant-based diet, it means that in most cases the best strategy will be perhaps to start with breakfast (more about breakfast in a later module). When you’ve got breakfast sorted and it’s something that you enjoy eating, you can then start to think about the next step, which logically might be lunch. In this way we grow slowly and are far more likely to reach our destination and then stay there for the long term.

Find a great breakfast. Eat it. Enjoy it. Repeat. When this has become an ingrained behaviour, you’re ready to move on to the next step.   

1. Introduction  |  2. Identity Change  |  3. Make it Rewarding  |  4. How to Build Habits  6. The Best Way to Start  |  7. Environment  |  8. More on Environment  |  9. Make it Attractive10. Make it Unattractive  |  11. Role of Friends and Family  |  12. Momentum | 13. Make it Easy  |  14. Procrastination  |  15. Commitment Devices

About Module 2:

Before we find out more about switching to a healthy diet, it will help us a lot to learn about how habits are formed and, perhaps most importantly, kept.

I’m really excited about this module because it provides us with a tool for making changes in all areas of our life, not just diet and health. I promise that you’ll discover a lot of new ways of implementing changes in your life. This module will also help you to kick bad habits and create new ones.

Module 2.

Momentum

 

For ten years I had a business partner. He was based in Stuttgart and I was in the north of Germany and then later I moved to Tenerife. We both had very different personalities. I love to get things started but I’m terrible and finishing things, while my business partner was the opposite. Fantastic at finishing things, but terrible at starting.

On the face of it sounds like a match made in heaven, unfortunately, over the course of ten years we were never really able to bring our strengths into balance and we ended up going our separate ways.

We spent endless hours and days discussing different ideas, approaches and actions. But very little action was taken. We were just going through the motions. I was extremely frustrated, because my nature is to be in action. But my business partner preferred to plan everything in detail before taking any action at all. We had the feeling that we were in motion, but in fact, we were just spinning the wheels.

In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear tells the story of a university photography class (before the digital age). It was divided into two groups. The first group would be graded on quantity, the more photos they took the higher would be the grade. The second group would be graded on quality. All that mattered was that they took one really good quality picture. After a few weeks the results were handed in.

All of the best images had been taken by the quantity group. The quality group produced very average photos. The explanation given for this is that that the quantity group went out and experimented when they made a mistake they would learn from it and correct for the next image. The quality group, in contrast, spent most of their time planning and thinking of how to take the perfect image. In the end, planning and thinking were of little else. So the lesson here is to take action. When you want to learn something new or establish a new habit, it’s far better to just throw yourself in and do it rather than spending too much time on thinking about it.

Repetition

The old saying “Practice Makes Perfect” is spot on. It’s not so much the length of time that you have been doing something, but rather the number of times that you have repeated the action.

When my wife and I started dancing Argentine Tango, we decided to join others on the dance floor who had years of experience. We were inexperienced and I was absolutely rubbish. But we persisted and went to as many dance evenings as we could, we even started travelling so that we could get more dancing in. We improved far more rapidly than other beginners who were frightened to get on the dance floor and just give it a go.

How This Is Relevant for Creating New Eating Habits

I hope you’re following this course to get as much information as you can before starting on your new adventure. That’s exactly why I made it! However, according to the laws of habit and behaviour change, you should also be taking action at the same time. In one or two of the subsequent sessions you’ll learn about the importance of just making a start and taking things slowly. For now I don’t want you to get confused about the message or repetition. While it’s true that the more you do something the better or more accustomed you become to that action or behaviour. However, unless you’re one of those people with a lot of self-discipline, I would recommend that you take things slowly. Ad you will learn in later sessions, your chances of success are far higher if you start small and gradually improve over time.

For example, I learn just 10 minutes of Spanish every day. But I never miss a session. It’s part of my morning routine. When I meet up with my Spanish friends, they often tell me how much I’m improving. This is the power of small efforts done consistently.

If we apply this principle to moving from a meat-and-dairy-based diet to a plant-based diet, it means that in most cases the best strategy will be perhaps to start with breakfast (more about breakfast in a later module). When you’ve got breakfast sorted and it’s something that you enjoy eating, you can then start to think about the next step, which logically might be lunch. In this way we grow slowly and are far more likely to reach our destination and then stay there for the long term.

Find a great breakfast. Eat it. Enjoy it. Repeat. When this has become an ingrained behaviour, you’re ready to move on to the next step.   

1. Introduction  |  2. Identity Change  |  3. Make it Rewarding  |  4. How to Build Habits  6. The Best Way to Start  |  7. Environment  |  8. More on Environment  |  9. Make it Attractive10. Make it Unattractive  |  11. Role of Friends and Family  |  12. Momentum | 13. Make it Easy  |  14. Procrastination  |  15. Commitment Devices

About Module 2:

Before we find out more about switching to a healthy diet, it will help us a lot to learn about how habits are formed and, perhaps most importantly, kept.

I’m really excited about this module because it provides us with a tool for making changes in all areas of our life, not just diet and health. I promise that you’ll discover a lot of new ways of implementing changes in your life. This module will also help you to kick bad habits and create new ones.