Tag Archive for: habit change

Every month at the HERO Project, we drill incremental habit change and gather accountability groups to help you connect with others and become the best version of yourself!

August was the father/son pushup challenge.

Throughout September, we did cold showers EVERY SINGLE day.

This month, we’ll be joining comedians Joe Rogan, Bert Kreischer, Tom Segura, Ari Shaffir, and friends for a no-booze October, plus fitness challenge.

Sober OctoBert Announcement from the JRE

The rules for the #SoberOctoBert Challenge as described by its participants:

I personally will be taking one single 24-hour pass on my wedding day on the 8th, but with that exception, I’m committing to 30 days alcohol-free, plus 15 days of fitness in October.

So that’s a workout every other day basically.

I’ll be hitting the gym as much as possible, but also using at-home routines as my backup plan. You can do your cardio workout, you can do HIIT routine, you can do yoga classes, or whatever you want, but if you want to join us for the 30-day HERO Challenge and have some folks alongside to cheer you on all month, we will host the group inside my private group The HERO Project.

After our pushup challenge, my fellow father Brandyn Shoemaker had this to say: “What are you struggling with right now? What do you want to teach your kids? Whatever it is, do it. Do it everyday and soon enough it will change from a struggle to a habit.”

It’s completely free to join on Facebook. Join me and a group of fellow heroes all through October for a Sober October and 30-day fitness challenge.

If you post your workout on Instagram or FB, use the hashtags #SoberOctobert and #30DayHERO

Over the last month, several fellow fathers joined me participating in the 30-day HERO Challenge, where we witnessed the value of committing to one simple, daily practice. We got to watch first hand the exponential growth possible with small iterative habit improvements, and the power of routine practice.

Whatever goal you want to reach, or behavior you want to improve, PRACTICE the things you want to get good at — even if you have to start in very small ways. If you commit to it every single day, you are bound to see transformation over time.

Take it one step at a time, and eventually you’ll find yourself in a whole new world.

One person who has really proven this for me recently is Andrew (watch below) who shares his journey sof habit change and personal transformation on his video channel Sorting Myself Out. He’s been incredibly transparent and very inspiring.

Andrew helped inspire me to set a monthly behavior change goal EACH MONTH, to drill a 30-day habit change challenge around it, and gather an accountability group of guys around me to help keep me pointed at my target each month.

So August became the Heroic Dad Pushup Challenge. Throughout September, I’ll be waking up bright and early for a cold shower each day at 7am! (Have the discipline to join me?)

But before we start our next 30 day challenge, my friend and fellow HERO Project member Brandyn Shoemaker and I promised to award the dad who made the most progress on this pushup challenge with a little gift from the Heroic Dad store. So, with that, please welcome Brandyn to the blog:

And the Winner Is…

August 18th marked the end of the #30DayHero Challenge. It was 30 days of sore arms, squirmy kids, frustration, and joy. We also did a ton of pushups.

The challenge was simple: for 30 days do pushups with your kids, or with your kids on top of you. Some of the dads even did pushups with their wives on their backs. Props to those guys.

On the surface it was a pushup and physical fitness challenge, but it went much deeper than that. While physical fitness is extremely important, the challenge was really a way to build good habits with our kids.

Traditional wisdom says “Your kids won’t listen to what you say, they’ll do what you do.” We’ve all heard it, and it’s become one of those cliche sayings we don’t even pay attention to, but it’s true. We’re all guilty of telling our kids to go out and play and be active while we’re sprawled out on the couch binge watching Rick and Morty, or to clean their room while we have piles of laundry sprawled all over our room. (I might not be speaking from experience, don’t judge me.)

So with the challenge we aimed to create something that would force us to build good habits, teach our kids the importance of building good habits, and bond with our kids all at the same time.

I think it worked.

The challenge ended about a week ago, but the pushups haven’t. Earlier today my three year old hopped on my back and told me to do pushups. My one year old got next to us and started doing his own version of the pushup. You should see it, his form is AMAZING. We all had fun while doing something productive. The best part of the 30 days was watching the habit form in my little man. There were days I would forget but he was right there to remind me.

We had a good group of great dads that stuck it out with us the entire 30 days. All of us had good days and bad days. We all had days that we didn’t want to have anything to do with a pushup, but we did them anyway. It felt great fighting through the struggle.

It was extremely inspiring to watch all of the dad’s daily photos and video check-ins. Everyone worked hard and everyone gave it their all. At the end though, one father stood above the rest. He’s even starting his own pushup challenge to build off of what he accomplished in the #30DayHero Challenge.

Christopher Wolf worked hard all month, built a strong new habit, bonded with his kids, and maybe most importantly, he won a comfortable new Heroic Dad tshirt!

heroic dad

(If you want a Heroic Dad shirt, head on over to the store. At checkout just use the code “HERO” for free shipping on anything. I won’t even make you do pushups every day for a month.)

When the challenge started I struggled to do 5 pushups. STRUGGLED. It was embarrassing. It still is. But by the end of the 30 days I was doing 25 pushups with a 40-pound wiggleworm on my back.

I hated pushups. Pushups were the enemy. I’ll be honest, they still are, but I’m not afraid to do them anymore. I can drop down with my little man and knock some out anytime, anywhere.

What are you struggling with right now? What do you want to teach your kids? Whatever it is, do it. Do it everyday and soon enough it will change from a struggle to a habit.

“I hadn’t really done any exercise in about 2 to 3 years,” said winner Christopher Wolf. “I’ve been following a ketogenic diet since October of last year, and I’ve lost about 50 pounds. But all of that was due to food, none due to exercise.”

“I’ve had a real serious battle for about 10 years with anxiety, most of it being health anxiety, that culminated in 10 to 15 major panic attacks — several of those resulting in hospital visits because I was convinced that I was having some sort of cardiac event.”

“My heart is fine, but somewhere deep in my mind I was convinced that that wasn’t the case, and that kept me from doing anything physical. I walked slow, I was very hesitant to play rough with my kids for fear that raising my heart rate to I would trigger something.”

“I saw this challenge as something I could control. It was just doing push-ups every day. I could do five or ten, and have little to no change in my heart rate and be fine. After doing that the first couple days, and then passing 20 or 30 about a week into the challenge, I started changing that deep-held belief about what I could and couldn’t do safely.”

Day 29! I did 50 push-ups a day early! #heroicdad #30dayhero

A post shared by Christopher Wolf (@aaaarrrrgggghhh) on

Chris is now launching his own September pushup challenge to increase his one-set pushup max from 50 to 80. “Just goes to show that facing your fears head-on is generally one of the most effective ways to overcome them,” Chris shared. “This is probably one of the five most important things I’ve done in the last year.”

Final Note from Cody: September HERO Challenge!

Every month at the HERO Project, we drill incremental habit change and gather accountability groups to help you connect with others and become the best version of yourself!

If you want to join me for the next 30-day HERO Challenge, we will host the group inside my mentor David’s private group The Warrior Way.

From my coach David DiFrancesco:

“I thought it would be appropriate to bring one of my favorite ‘tests’ to this group as a way of starting the initiation process. A step in proving you’re worthy and have been tested. It’s something I’ve done with all the guys I’ve trained for Navy SEALs and something I’ve personally done every New Years Eve at midnight. A cold water swim in the ocean for about 20 minutes in trunks. (one year I even got to enjoy having a shark swim with me)”

“But as I’m here and you’re, well, there and perhaps not near a convenient, freezing cold body of water, I’m thinking of the next best thing. After a great conversation with Cody today we’re putting this idea into action as a part of his next 30-Day Hero Challenge. Beginning this coming Monday, September 4th, we’re all going to take a bracing cold shower first thing upon rising. It’s probably (well, most assuredly) the last thing you’ll want to be doing, but the very practice of making yourself do something you don’t want to do, along with a little bit of physical discomfort will have a host of benefits in your mindset that we’ll be discussing over the coming weeks and certainly as we wrap it up at the end of September.”

“I’m going to be with you along the way and will be following up with you each day as we go through this testing together. Feel free to share your own experiences on what’s happening for you and what you’re discovering. As I tell the SEAL guys, you are not going to get through the days ahead relying on only yourself. You’ll get through it as a team, a tribe. So tribe, let’s get to it!”

It’s completely free to join The Warrior Way on Facebook. Join me and David here all through September for a cold shower challenge. I’ll be waking up early every day at 7am and starting my day with a cold shower for a month!

ATTENTION FELLOW FATHERS!

Join a crew of proud dads for the first Heroic Dad Challenge – a fun, free 30-day habit change challenge for fathers (or uncles/grandpas/other care providers) and their little ones to get some fun recreation together! Try father-kid pushups with us, EVERY day for a full month.

We’ve gathered a small private group of over 60 dads around the world, and we’ll help keep each other accountable by checking in with a video or photo evidence each day in our private group, or if you want to spread the fun, feel free to share YOUR posts publicly on your Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #HeroicDad and #30dayHERO.

It doesn’t matter if you can only do 1, or if you can do 100; if your child is 1 year old or 10 (as long as they can hold onto you), but if you make it a regular daily practice, then over time you will slowly build increasing strength and provide a great example for your kids too.

Milo of Croton

We officially start this Thursday, July 20th and go through August 18th, but please don’t hesitate to post YOUR pushups anytime you’re able to participate.

5 easy steps to join the fun:

  1. Please RSVP and get the details here.
  2. Join our private dads group on Facebook here to follow all the action and get daily accountability prompts.
  3. PLEASE help us spread the word and invite your father friends using the “Share” button in the right sidebar on this event page OR by clicking any of the share buttons on THIS page.
  4. Sign up for my email updates to be sure not to miss a thing (and get lots of resources for the fatherhood journey) by filling the email form at the bottom of this post.
  5. Stay tuned for our official launch THIS THURSDAY, July 20th, and post YOUR videos and accountability updates inside our HERO Dads group for your chance to be featured!

Recommended tags include #30dayHERO #heroicdad #30daychallenge #HEROdad #pushupchallenge #HEROproject #dadfitness #30DC #pushups #fatherson #fitness

See you this Thursday!

Be FEARLESS and DESIRELESS. Just Becoming. This is the condition of a warrior going into battle with perfect courage. That’s life in movement.”

Joseph Campbell, father of the Hero’s Journey

Over the last few years, I’ve had the great pleasure to work with David DiFrancesco — the Living Warrior — who has become a great mentor to me.

David is the author of The Warrior Way and has spent his career dedicated to releasing the warrior inside every man.

After witnessing the death of a police officer as a child, David understood that a life well-lived is one with purpose. He dedicated himself to seeing that all men have the opportunity to discover and live their own purpose through his work — work that guides men through accepting their fears and inner demons and moving forward with them, rather than being pulled into inaction by them.

Coach, author, speaker and mentor, David leads men through physical and mental training designed to strip away the lies and myths they hide behind; coming through the fire of battle into the strong, powerful, masculine hero all men are called to be.

After over 30 years working with Navy SEALS, as a gym owner and mental toughness trainer, here are the top things David says men need to hear. A succinct mastercourse on the Way of the Living Warrior:

1. You are owed nothing

Life is not fair, you make your life a success through hard work, not because you’ve earned some imagined right to it. Similarly, you are not entitled to be loved, respected, or anything else you’ve convinced yourself is your entitlement simply because you exist and are being a well-behaved, well intentioned, good boy. You and you alone are responsible for making sure your needs are met.

2. Positive thinking will get you nowhere

Determination and perseverance wins the day. Determination takes the place of dreaming. Willpower takes you through the work. Self-discipline takes you through the pain (when you no longer feel like doing the work).

3. We are not all equal or capable

…but we all are flawed and limited.

4. Failure is part of the process of improvement

Expect failure, but don’t accept it. You must be prepared for a lengthy time of poor or mediocre performance before you can become world-class.

5. You need more haters in your life, not supporters

6. Embrace the suck

Life is struggle. Don’t put your effort into living a life without pain, instead choose your struggles and work on raising your pain threshold. Seek pain, not comfort, for pain is the barrier keeping those who haven’t put in the work and time in from the success that lies on the other side.

7. Men do not try

Either decide not to do something, or have the determination and discipline to see it to its conclusion.

8. Actions not words

What you intend to do means shit. What you are doing now means everything. Don’t tell other men what you’ll do, show them the results of what you did. Winners do, losers dream.

9. Success comes from hard work and time

While you can compress the time needed by working with other men, but only you can do the hard work.

10. Seek the battle

Men thrive on hardship. Comfort, pleasure and instant-gratification feminizes men. Men seek struggle, battles and prove themselves through hard work and effort. Always seek the harder thing.

11. Not everyone is good deep down

There are people who truly want to harm you. Learn to defend yourself and build the confidence necessary to minimize the chance of attacks. Become a strong, virile man capable of determining your own destiny. Show others that you are a man of strength, power and confidence simply by looking at you.

12. Seek a tribe of men

Camaraderie in its support of fellow brothers knowing we are all striving to become the men we were meant to be and Competition in that it drives us to continually improve and not settle.

13. It is good to be a man

BONUS: Men need Rites of Initiation

This one is so true. I spent my teens pulling all kinds of pranks with my close circle of best friends, some of them trending towards dangerous, got into street racing, got arrested twice, then the challenge moved on to women, seeing how much I could drink for years, and far worse.

Instead of leaving my children to figure life out on their own, I aim to provide some kind of rites of passage for my son.

If you’re interested to learn more about the Warrior Way of Living, grab your copy of David’s book The Warrior Way: Conquer Your Inner Battles and Level Up Your Life.

As we embark upon another new year, today we have a transformational guest post from my fellow HERO Challenge member Emelina Minero, cofounder of the Love Warrior Community. This is sure to help you overcome some limiting beliefs and negative self-talk, so I highly encourage you to dig into this article as you plan the year ahead. With that, here’s Emelina:

***

I’m going to tell you a secret. I was walking with a friend at George Lucas’ Big Rock Ranch, and we were talking about the power of thought.

I was telling her about the thoughts, feelings, actions loop. She shared with me that she had just recently heard about that, and it revolutionized her life.

In case you haven’t heard about it, here you go:

Your thoughts influence your emotions, and your emotions influence your actions.

Like the Buddha said:

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.”

If you think you’re going to fail. You’re going to fail. If you think you’re not good enough, that’s the life you’re going to attract, proving to yourself that you’re not good enough.

You Have the Power to Change Your Beliefs

A belief is created by repeating a thought, over and over again. Our behaviors are formed in the same way. We strengthen neural pathways by repeating the same thoughts and behaviors.

Think of a neural pathway like a canvas, and you are the paintbrush. The more you repeat the brush stroke, the thicker the paint will get. The more you repeat a thought or behavior, the stronger the neural pathway will become in strengthening that thought or behavior.

Let’s say every time you’re stressed, you smoke a cigarette to relax. This action creates a brain pathway, which will trigger you to want to smoke every time you feel stressed.

But here’s the thing — at any moment, you can reverse these thoughts. You can reverse your behaviors. At any moment, you can choose differently. You can choose to create new neural pathways.

Instead of grabbing a cigarette each time you feel stressed, what if you replaced that with going for a run, stretching, meditating, or calling a friend — soon, when you begin to feel stressed, your brain will trigger you, craving a run, meditating, or calling a friend.

At Some Point, We All Play the Victim

I can’t quit smoking. It’s just too difficult. I can’t get this business going. I can never follow through. I’ll never close my first deal. People just don’t respond to cold calling, webinars, email lists, [fill in the blank.]

Let Me Know If This Is Where You’re At Right Now

You feel overwhelmed and discouraged after embarking on your new business, blog, or goals, and you give up; you stop taking action. You quit.

You always quit. This is what you tell yourself. You’re great at starting projects, but you can never finish them. It’s not your fault. You’re just not capable of following through.

Or How About This? 

You walk into a bar, see the most beautiful girl, want to approach her, and don’t.

You never approach her. You’re not good with women. You freeze up. You become awkward. You don’t know what to say. So why even try if you already know the outcome?

You Have to Know Your Beliefs Before You Can Change Them

Do you have trouble with following through on your goals? Are you the person who never approaches the woman? Why?

Let’s say you never approach the attractive girl. Here’s why:

Every time you see an attractive girl you want to talk to, you start thinking, “I’m shy. What would I have to say of interest? The guy talking to her right now is more attractive than me. She’s a 10, and I’m a 6. Why bother?”

Every time you see an attractive girl you want to talk to, the above thoughts begin to play like a broken record. You might not even be aware of them. They’re the unconscious background playing throughout your day.

Everyone has thought patterns, a series of thoughts that they repeat every day. A lot of the time, they’re negative, and most of the time, we’re unaware of them.

You can’t change something you’re not aware of. 

Learn to View Your Charged Thoughts and Emotions Objectively

To become aware of and change your thoughts, you need to develop your inner observer. Your inner observer is that part of you that observes and notices your thoughts objectively. This is different from your inner critic.

Let’s say you’re on a mastermind call, you’re sharing what you’re working on, and you realize that you just said something that can make you appear really stupid.

Your inner critic activates your emotions and remarks on your flaws. “I’m so stupid! Why did I just say that? They’re going to realize I’m a complete beginner.”

Your inner observer notices your thoughts, including your self-criticisms, and detaches from the anxiety and other uncomfortable emotions that they’re prompting. This allows you to notice your thoughts and work with them from an objective viewpoint.

Instead of thinking, “I just said something so stupid! They’re going to think I’m a fraud.” Your inner observer may notice, “What I just said doesn’t make any sense. They’re going to realize I’m still learning this, and that’s okay. Now that they know that I’m struggling, I can tell them that I’m still trying to figure this out and ask for help. I’ll be able to make a lot more progress now in a shorter amount of time.”

How to Develop Your Inner Observer

Make it simple. Give yourself 5 minutes once a week. You will simply sit for 5 minutes, and notice your thoughts. Write down what you notice.

If you want to speed up this process, carve out 5 minutes a day, and try this for a week.

You’ll notice that you have thought patterns.

I often think about:

  • What I have to do or should be doing
  • How I want to be more in the present moment with my family and friends, instead of thinking about or doing work
  • My energy levels, and how I should be taking better care of myself so I won’t be craving caffeine
  • How I want caffeine

My most prevalent thoughts are about my to-do list. They start right when I wake up, not in a productive, “Let’s get going!” manner, but in a nagging, “You should have already done this” manner. When I allow those thoughts to prevail in the morning, they drag me down. My morning and my energy start on a low note.

My mornings don’t have to start out like this.

Once You’re Aware of Your Thoughts, You Can Change Them

Once you catch your thought, you can confront it, replace it, apologize to yourself, and commit to change. This is called the 5-Step Process:

  1. Catch your thought.
  2. Confront your thought.
  3. Replace your thought.
  4. Apologize to yourself.
  5. Commit to change.

The 5-Step Process helps you to create new neural pathways, forming the thoughts and behaviors that you want to manifest.

If you want more in-depth practice on the 5-Step Process, you can join me in the 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge. It’s a free event. You can sign up here, and you’ll receive 31 Self-Love Diet writing prompts for 31 days in a row, as well as have access to a free, private Facebook group for accountability and support.

The Self-Love Diet expands beyond the 5-Step Process. More specifically, it’s exploring your relationship with yourself through the lens of your spirit, body, emotions, thoughts, relationships, culture, and world.

It increases your self-awareness, your emotional awareness, and your self-confidence. 

I know, the term Self-Love Diet sounds woo woo.

But here’s the thing — being in charge of your life, not playing the victim, it boils down to:

  1. Becoming aware of your thoughts and emotions
  2. Being okay with experiencing and feeling all of your emotions
  3. Having the power to choose how you respond to your emotions

If you can do the above three things, you can begin to create the thoughts and feelings that you want to experience. You’ll be able to successfully change your behaviors, and you’ll even be able to change long-held, harmful beliefs.

How you view yourself, how you interact with the world, and how others perceive you — you have the power to shape these things.

You have the power over how you experience each moment of your life. You always have a choice.

Let Me Introduce Myself

I’m Emelina Minero, and I love and accept myself unconditionally. This too sounds woo woo, I know.

But I also know this: I believe in myself fully. I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. There are no obstacles that limit me — because I’ve stopped limiting myself.

  • I’ve created two online communities and a publication.
  • I’ve gotten free trips to Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and London.
  • I wrote, directed, produced, and hosted a variety show and donated the profits to nonprofit Una Vida.
  • I created a documentary about the transition of my woman’s college to a coed institution.
  • I pitched the publisher of Curve Magazine, the best-selling lesbian magazine in the world, to develop their social media platform and to create an intern program. She said yes.
  • I made a connection with the former President of Production at Paramount Pictures, who now owns her own production company.
    • She’s going to give me feedback on a screenplay that I wrote.
    • Through her, I interviewed Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) and Mary Agnes Donoghue, a screenwriter, director, and producer whose credits include White Oleander, Beaches, and Veronica Guerin.
    • I was also flown to LA for the premiere of Jenny’s Wedding, where I got to interview Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy) in-person.
  • Through the Love Warrior Community, an online community I co-created, I’ve helped people change their behaviors and how they view themselves. People have told us that they’ve:
    • Stopped cutting themselves
    • Let go of their shame around their mental diagnoses
    • Lessened or stopped their eating disorder behaviors
    • Become more comfortable with expressing their emotions, and because of that, they’ve strengthened their relationships with their partners

If loving myself and accepting myself unconditionally sounds woo woo, I don’t care. 

It feels a lot better than shaming myself, doubting myself, and not taking action on the life that I want to live.

I know what fear feels like.

I lived in fear from 5-years-old to 19-years-old. I feared what would happen if people found out that I was a lesbian. Now, I no longer care. I let go of that fear a long time ago.

I know what shame feels like.

I struggled with being diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder and paranoia. I feared how others would perceive me if they found out. I struggled with how I viewed myself. For a while, I stopped believing that I had the power to choose how I reacted to my emotions and how I reacted to my life experiences. I believed that my diagnoses controlled me, but they don’t.

I let go of the struggle, and I let go of the shame.

I now view my neurodiversities as strengths, and opportunities to further explore myself and grow as a human being.

How did I do this?

I wrote. I did self-love writing. Self-love writing is what I have been doing for the past 6 years. It’s essentially allowing yourself to self-reflect.

Today, I can honestly say that I love all of myself. Loving myself doesn’t mean that I never have self-doubts, insecurities, or negative thoughts, but it does mean that I’m equipped to become aware of them, confront them, and try to change them. Loving myself doesn’t mean that life will always be easy, but it does mean that I’ll be able to navigate it in the most loving way that I can. Loving myself doesn’t mean that I will always choose the most loving thing for myself in each moment, but it does mean that I will be kind and patient with myself.

My Only Two Life-Long Goals

I’m going to share my only two long-term goals with you. If you can embody these two things, you’ll be able to accomplish anything you set your mind to.

1) Live life with love — non-judgmental, compassionate, unconditional love – for myself, and for others.

When you stop judging yourself and others, people pick up on this. When you’re comfortable with yourself, people notice. It invites others to feel comfortable as they are, to let down their walls, and to be open to you in a non-judgmental, compassionate way.

Loving and accepting yourself, as you are, invites others to do the same. It’s contagious.

Would you rather spend your time with someone who makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, who brings you into the present moment, and makes you feel alive, or would you rather spend your time with someone who makes your feel self-conscious and insecure?

It’s a no-brainer.

By loving yourself, you can have this effect on others. Others will be drawn to you for how you make them feel. This will open doors for you, create new connections, and expand your possibilities.

2) Create a vision, dream big, and follow your heart. As Dr. Seuss said:

As vast as your vision can show,

As high as your highest dreams grow,

As far as your passion can reach –

These are the places you’ll go.

Without a vision, without a map, it’s hard to get to your destination. If you want to change your behaviors, but you don’t have the self-awareness to know the first step to take, it will be difficult to make that change. If you want to start a business, but you don’t have a plan, it will be hard to follow through.

A detailed plan is helpful, but you don’t have to have every single step figured out. Allow yourself to dream big and to follow your heart. Allow yourself to be inspired. If you have a plan, and there are a few steps you don’t know how to do, don’t let that stop you. You can ask for help. You can find resources. You just need to keep on moving forward and taking action, one step at a time.

You are your worst enemy and your biggest supporter. Your success depends on which you choose to nurture.

Which will you choose?

I hope you join me in the 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge. You can sign up here, and join the Facebook event here.

May the force be with you, if you choose it. That choice is up to you.

-Emelina Minero

 

[Republished from 2016]