This week’s Death Star is dear to my heart because until VERY recently, it’s something I’ve personally struggled with for years. The Death Star is simple. It’s developing a consistent workout routine for the life-changing benefits of:
  • Boosting your energy (feeling good)
  • Improving your self-confidence (feeling sexy)
  • Meeting new people (being social)
The problem is, nothing exercise-related sticks for you. And if this is your Death Star too, know that you are not alone. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 65.7% of the U.S. adult population is currently overweight. That’s over 160 million people who aren’t getting enough exercise, or 6.5 out of 10 of your best friends. The interesting thing about this Death Star that baffled me for years is, that for some people (A.K.A exercise-Klingons), routine-exercise like brushing their teeth. They don’t even think about it! In fact, it’s so part of their daily routine, that if they don’t gym, bike, run, row, squash or whatever they routinely do for exercise… They are literally miserable human beings to be around until they do exercise. And while that might sound crazy to you if you can’t even be bribed to workout, that’s the level of routine-exercise we all want to be at. So it’s worth digging below the surface and understanding what Exercise-Klingons are doing differently to lock in their success. And this again is something Carey and I have both struggled with for YEARS (until recently). So while I have recently been hitting the gym seven days a week for the first time in FOREVER (and I’ll share what changed), I want you to know this. I am NOT a gym rat. In fact, the thought of going to the gym alone with an app… pumping iron… tracking my results… and straining to lift two more pounds than I did last time… Is the definition of HELL to me. I don’t see myself as a fitness guru; I have no silly-notions of winning gold medals in any Olympics; I have no desire to set a record in anything athletic. That said, I now have a rock-solid workout routine that I love, and I built it using what I call the Bookend Technique. If exercise isn’t your personal Death Star, think of some other daily routine you want to incorporate in your life that for whatever reason won’t stick. That’s because the technique I’ll share with you can be applied to almost any positive routine you want to add to your life, and it makes it easier to stick with it. Now, the wrong question to ask yourself about exercise is this: How do I make the time? The right question to start asking yourself is: How do I make it fun?! And if that sounds too Kum Ba Yah of a solution for you, stick with me because I have a technique that will work for you. First off, PROOF. Carey and I have been going to the gym (happily) 6 days a week now for almost two months. That’s ballpark 48 sessions and counting (woot woot!). In 2017, I made it the gym a grand total of just FOUR times (one of those of which was to pick up my water bottle that I forgot). And I’m surprised I even made it that much, when here’s how Carey and I used to think of the gym:
  • A lonely sterile environment full of heavy weights and weird machines we don’t know how to use…
  • A judgy place where we would look like fools…
  • A dirty place where everyone is sweaty and gross…
No surprise, we concluded that we were NOT gym people. The fact that we are now going 6 days a week means that it was total B.S., but that’s where we started (and why we never went). Here’s what changed (and watch the mentality shift). Our friends came to Colombia and invited us out to the gym as a couple. Honestly, kind of a weird request… but we were game. Here’s what going to the gym with them was like.
  1. A team effort, moving through the gym together and chit-chatting in between sets…
  2. Lots of high-fives, woot-woots and encouragement throughout…
  3. A fun – do what you can – kick-ass attitude approach (without hurting yourself)…
Then at the end, we all sat in the sauna and jacuzzi, told a bunch of fun stories, and left the gym feeling like a million bucks. And they took us 6 consecutive days in a FREAKING row! That’s how the gym – in the span of a week – went from a miserable hell-hole in my mind, to an everyday luxury I now can’t live without. That’s proof that what I’m about to give you works. I call it the Bookend Technique. This works for exercise, losing weight, learning something new, plowing through challenges, etc. Whatever your challenge is, bookend the experience with AT LEAST two positive anchors. One anchor at the beginning, and one anchor at the end. Your anchors can be social, fun, relaxing, a special treat… whatever it is, you just have to enjoy them. No fake rewards your brain will call B.S. on, like “eating a Slim bar.” For me, my gym bookends are: (1) Social engagement on the front end – chit chatting and hanging out with friends. (2) The sauna and jacuzzi on the back end And the reason this works so well, is it tricks your brain into remembering the overall experience as positive one due to the Recency Effect. The Recency Effect in psychology basically says that when evaluating an overall experience, your brain will most vividly remember your first and last experience. So for me, being social heading to the gym and relaxing in the sauna afterwards, wipes out MOST of the discomfort from actually lifting the weights. And this is a powerful technique you can use for your entire day by:
  • Setting up a powerful morning routine to jump start your day with passion and energy.
  • Setting up a restful evening routine to shut down your office, disconnect from work and re-enter the social world.
Bookending your day like this is one of the fundamentals of success that we teach in our 60-Day Breakthrough Bootcamp (and we have all the tested scripts, tools and activities to make it work for you) and why our students are so successful. Developing routines that support the big life you want to live is one of the secrets to success (so it’s worth investing in). If developing routines is something you personally struggle with, I recommend jumping on a call with one of my Lifehack Coaches to get some support and guidance. While coaching tips via email are great, nothing beats one-on-one advice from a coach who has been in your shoes and can address the specific routine you are trying to develop. To book your call (it’s free for subscribers), simply check my coaches calendars below. Sign-up for a call with a Lifehack Coach Cheers! Demir

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Demir & Carey Bentley

Demir and Carey Bentley are the founders of Lifehack Method, WSJ & USA Today bestselling authors, and executive productivity coaches. They've helped thousands of people avoid burnout and soar to their highest level of productivity. Read more about them here.