Five Elemental Levels to
Building Positive Habits
Being someone who was born into a family line riddled with bad habits, unserving addictions and narcissistic abuse, I have personal expierence on many levels building positive habits in a way that is fun, easy to replicate and sustainable. In fact, I even published a Guide Book on it if you want the additional resources.
The most Elemental Step to building positive habits is being willing to take responsibility for the way you are choosing to spend your time, your life – 111% responsibility for actions. In the words of Bruce Lee “what you aren’t changing, you are choosing”.
In my early 20s I took it upon myself to change my family karma, to transmute the energy I was using to feed negative habits and use it to help me cultivate positive habits that serve to bring me health, wealth and happiness in abundance. In this article and Instagram Live Series I will coach you through following 5 Elemental steps to building positive habits naturally.
Level 1 – Decide
Every moment of every day, we make decisions. Sometimes those decisions are small and inconsequential, and sometimes those decisions are life-altering. In a case, the outcome of your day and your entire life are mostly defined by your decisions and the actions that you take along the way. The problem is that many people, including myself is that we have a “deer in the headlights” moment when faced with decisions. Paralyzed with fear of making the wrong decision. If, however, you can push past the fear and doubts associated with decision making, you can start taking control of your life’s outcomes.
When you make decisions quickly, you leave no room for doubt, worry, and confusion. Instead of wasting time worrying and overthinking, making a quick decision enables you to immediately begin transmuting your energy into following through on that decision. Following the Rule of 5 means doing five things every day that will bring you closer to your goal. Major goals are accomplished one small step at a time, which is why the Rule of 5 is so effective. So, decide what you want and write it down along with the five action steps your going to take. Like Jack Canfield teaches “If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp axe, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down”.
If you’re starting a business for example, you could email five new prospects a day, create a data tracker on Excel and update it daily; making one cold call; copy writing; updating your website or reading 1 chapter of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. You may also want to try habit stacking. A simple hack that can help fast track your personal and professional development where you take an activity you do every day without conscious thought, such as brushing your teeth and then adding a positive habit to that. Studies show it takes around thirty to ninety days for a habit become sovereign, so choosing an already solidified habit to add to naturally increases the likelihood of you succeeding. Habit stacking can without a doubt help fast track your personal development according to mindset experts and coaches.
Level 2 – Connect & Track
Being disconnected is the source of almost all human problems such as what is called mental illness, drug addiction, violence, crime, failing at school and abuse, to mention a few. Dr. Glasser suggests that almost all human behaviour is chosen to satisfy the five basic needs for survival, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun. These five basic needs are written into our genetic structure and from birth to death, they drive all our behaviours. Because our genes do not provide us with behaviours to meet these needs, as infants we start learning how to behave in order to get our needs met.
If you had an upbringing like mine things may get confusing because maybe some needs were never met until those teen years when having sex and getting wasted provided a band aid solution. Its our job however to continue learning and refining healthy ways to fill these needs for the rest of our lives. To better enable us to learn we are provided with the ability to feel both pleasure and pain. Anything we do that feels good, feels that way because it is satisfying to one or more of our basic needs and anything, we do that feels bad, incompetently satisfies our needs.
To connect and track in your own life, you could list out in three columns the five basic needs for survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, fun, plus some of your own. In the second column the negative habits you want to eliminate and in the third column the positive habits you want to cultivate. Now that you have a clear visual of what you need, want and is currently not working you can create a data sheet to tack your progress. I will be diving more into this on the live feed this Tuesday to guide you through this.
Level 3: – Reward Yourself
It’s important to reward yourself, as soon as you hit a milestone. Why? By rewarding yourself in the moment, your brain produces positive emotions, leading to the realization that your efforts result in a positive reward. By doing this continuously, your brain will start to link pleasure to the positive habit your developing. Even a small reward is a great motivator, rewarding yourself for wins, big and small, will make a world of difference!
Rewards help to boost your energy levels too and this is backed by science. Every time you receive a reward, your body releases dopamine which creates a sense of pleasure. Your body secretes the same chemical when you are falling in love, having sex, gambling, smoking and so on. Dopamine is highly addictive; we crave for more and more dopamine. By building a reward system for yourself, you are turning your dopamine addiction to your superpower. The key thing is making sure you work for the reward so that when you get the reward, you believe you deserve it.
You must additionally make sure the reward makes you happy. For example, if you get a book as a reward but you do not enjoy reading, it does not help. The goal is to get your reward, but also a dopamine hit so you will naturally want to do more for another reward. If you buy yourself things or do what you like doing whenever you like it, you are losing the opportunity to condition yourself to do better. Rewarding is an age-old mechanism of getting things done.
You might think rewards sound expensive. The truth is rewarding yourself can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t neglect treating yourself just because you think you can’t afford it. There are plenty of ways to reward yourself that won’t bust your budget. And because you know I have been there, here are a few solid ideas of thrifty ways you can reward yourself; dance it out, take a bath with healing crystals and essential oils, rent a movie on YouTube, forage for free foods and medicine, subscribe for a meal box (first week is always discounted and you can cancel anytime), order a London fog from a fancy coffee shop you had your eye on, take a hike, google FREE NEAR ME, buy that save for later item in your amazon shopping cart, plan a backyard bonfire and invite some friends, DIY something you liked on Pinterest or order that book from your local library.
Level 4 – Stay Accountability
In my Guide Book I share the Elemental Growth Protocol for holding yourself accountable to building and breaking habits by using nature to nurture the process of change. If, however you have access to a coach, accountability partner or confidant that is also into personal development then your ahead of where I was when I started my journey. It took me years before I could even communicate what I wanted, let alone finding friends to help me stay accountable. Since I tapped into the world of accountability partners, I learned a lot, became more focused and even connected with some of the most miraculous people and resources I could have imagined – two minds truly are better then one.
If you have a family history of narcissism or co-dependency, you may subconsciously choose someone that will do you more harm than good, that is okay – it will play as a lesson, one that I hope you handle with grace and learn fast. When I started, I had to ask for help from a professional, coaches have great resources and in contact with experts in many fields that you can be referred to. Maybe your lucky and one of your close friends is clearly the best fit. Choosing an accountability partner is all about a clear common objective. Ideally, you will choose someone who is non-judgmental and with whom you feel comfortable to share authentically. If you hide things from your accountability partner, it defeats the purpose of having one. If your accountability partner is too validating, you might not be pushed hard enough for the change piece to work. If your accountability partner is too demanding, it can backfire and you might not feel understood or even give up altogether.
I love the idea of choosing someone who is successful in the area you are working on. Working with someone with your best interests at heart and who will motivate you is important too. A peer could be good if they are as dedicated and motivated as you are. You want someone who is nonjudgmental, who understands relapse is part of the process and allows these times to be learning experiences instead of embarrassments. You want to make sure that you have a thorough, open, and honest discussion at the start, covering time of day, frequency of appointments and method for checking in. Make a plan together and make sure you both sign off on it. Accountability partners are here to help you achieve your goals and keep you on track when life gets tough. That’s why finding an accountability partner can be a challenge. Once you have found a partner, remember that this is a partnership, you are there to help each other be successful and you need to make a PACT as far as the milestones are concerned. The PACT acronym means: P-Possible, A-Action-based, C- Clear and T- Time-bound
I have had many accountability partners in my career so far. I am telling you this because different habits may require different partners. Here are some things to consider when choosing your accountability partner: Is the prospect dependable? Can you depend on them to follow through and respect you? Can you provide direct feedback? Will you have to deal with unnecessary excuses or defensiveness? Does this individual have a bigger vision about his or her life? Do they possess aspirations that you resonate with? Is this individual ready to act? Do they have a sense of commitment and are prepared to go beyond the status quo?
Level 5 – Embrace Failure
I struggled with co-dependency issues until recent years when I learned to honor failure as part of the process. This mindset shift allowed me to break free from the fears associated like – fear of having someone hold my failures over me, or worse me holding accountable for my own failures which often comes with a painful. I was then able to persevere beyond the failure and into excitement, consistent action and ultimacy success. Gaining control over your habits is easier said than done. Some go their whole lives without considering the fact that they can construct their own positive habits, while others never succeed in breaking their soul sucking habits past down from their elders.
We are merely products of our behavior, its in our human nature to seek routines in our daily lives because they’re predictable, and predictable means safe. Its our job to experiment and find the right formula for us – its all very bio-individual which is why there end up being drama and inconsistent research. Consistency however is a piece of the puzzle that we can all have; we just have to find it. Consistency is something you have direct control over and one of the key elements to success is putting in the work over time. Staying consistent leads to more gains overtime and limits the chance of you losing what you have built so you can reach your full potential.
Our total time on this planet averages 30,000 days―an alarmingly small number which is why its elemental that you value each day and make every second count. Go after what you want. Take calculated risks, aware that with every risk could come failure, but without great risk there is no reward. The hardest part of failure can be admitting to yourself that you have failed. Acceptance makes it easier to move forward; it brings completion to the life cycle so that you can be free to discover what would be next. This is why you have to refuse to play a victim and become a strategist. When you try something and it doesn’t work, it can be easy to adopt a woe-is-me attitude, but its actually an opportunity to correct your strategy, examine where you went wrong and get systems in place to prevent those errors from occurring again.
Get your routines in place and make them sexy. Stay focused on what it will feel like when your vision becomes reality and remember “life is school” a quote from my own mentor Dr. Dan Engle. By embracing failure, you are accepting yourself and your situation as a part of life. It is an opportunity for Elemental Growth. Failure and success often go hand-in-hand — success usually comes as a result of past failures. Embracing failure can lead to success down the road. If you are someone who is feels they have learned all of the lessons then let me also remind you that failure teaches us humility. We feel humble after losing and recognize that we are indeed human. We have a better appreciation of success having failed a few times on the way up the ladder.
Level Up Even More
It’s been great to see so many people taking their health and lifestyle back into their own hands. The global lock down and health crisis has opened the door for transformation.
This is the time for you to make a difference and its going to take every single one of us to change the way things are today. The world needs you to get your s*** together. IF YOU ARE READY, I AM HERE TO GUIDE YOU!
Personal development is a lot like climbing a mountain. It’s SIMPLE, but not EASY. You just need a roadmap, a determined mountain climber (that’s YOU), and a Sherpa, that’s me, your mentor.
If you’re willing to do the work, then I’m going to teach you the proven processes and principles you must implement in your life to get to achieve your health & happiness goals (and beyond) FAST.
In fact, I personally used these exact strategies to quit my shitty habits 7 years ago, get published and launch my high impact coaching business.
I promise, if you take the lessons and put in the work, you can and will create a life filled with love, success and freedom faster than you actually believed possible.
If you’re ready to take the first step, message me directly ASHLEY@ELEMENTALGROWTH.ORG so I can get you those next steps!
This will be the least complicated thing about 2020. You’re going to love it!