In our book, Becoming A Consummate Athlete, and on the podcast, we talk a lot about Rockslide Habits. Rockslide habits are the big shifts you can make all at once that set you up for success down the road. These are the pantry cleanouts, the bedroom optimization, that kind of thing—where making one big change will put you on the path to healthier habits. Frankly, to me, they’re the sexy habits because they can have a dramatic before and after picture in a single day. (Of course, they won’t instantly give you a six pack of abs, but you can end up with one beautifully designed pain cave for your indoor cycling and strength.)
Rockslide habits are all about removing friction to make continuing with a healthy habit easier and smoother. With a rockslide habit, once you make one major shift—like a gear cleanout and reorganization—you’ll find that your daily habit (in this case, getting ready for training) is faster and smoother. You’ll be saving time, not spending time. There’s an upfront cost in time and, depending on how deep you want to go with organization, potentially an upfront cost in money, but ultimately, you’ll save on both in the long run.
We call these habits Rockslide Habits because a rockslide starts with one key event, but then gets rolling and picks up steam as it goes. Doing the one big thing that will allow you to build momentum will change your daily habits, but in a way that doesn’t take up time or add more to your to-do list once it’s done. Going back to the gear organization example, an orderly gear closet means saving time each day when you get ready to ride, thus making time for a better warmup or a short meditation after you cool down. You also won’t run the risk of skipping a session entirely because you can’t seem to get yourself together to get out the door.
A pantry cleanout or setting up a grocery delivery that repeats the same order is similar: You spend an afternoon optimizing your kitchen for healthy eating, thereby making it easier to eat healthy without spending tons of time having to choose between the Frosted Flakes or steel-cut oats, because that’s no longer an option. That kind of big step can also give you just enough forward momentum to want to make change, to get excited about what’s happening.
Setting up your bedroom for optimal sleep is another easy one: Make it less of a struggle to fall into a deep sleep and immediately you’re winning on that. (Do you need to spend five grand on a new mattress and cooling pad? Hell, no. But maybe a cooling set of sheets and a good fan plus a new, more supportive pillow or blackout blinds will help.)
Basically, take stock of your life now and consider where you have sticking points in your optimal daily training environment. Is there one big shift you could make that would make it easier to train on time, train more frequently, eat less junk food, or sleep better? Start that rockslide!
We talk more about more habits and habit formation in our book, Becoming A Consummate Athlete. For tons of easy habits to add to your life to make big changes, check it out or book a call with us to talk through some changes you could make that will make the biggest impact on your health and fitness!
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