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On today’s episode, Ashley joins us to give us the first Wellness episode of 2021. Take small steps to make big changes.

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habits, prompt, motivation, hard, life, decision, behavior, ability, wellness, workout, beginning, book, dive, shoe, fogg, supplements, barriers, easy, bj fogg, eat


Welcome to the MilHousing nation podcast where we bring you stories from real military spouses who have been in your shoes, from New spouses to veteran spouses. You’ll get tips, tricks and actionable steps that can help you along your military life journey.

Hey, veteran homeowner, have you heard about interest rates dropping? Have you been getting enough mailers to fill a cargo plane? Well throw that stuff away and call the VA Home pros at Aligned Mortgage, they will analyze your personal situation and figure out if refinancing is the best option for you. Ignore the sales pitch and get the facts aligned mortgage veteran owned veteran operated

now here’s Ashley peoples.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Milhousing nation podcast. My name is Ashley peebles. And I am so thankful that you have joined us today for our first podcast in 2021. Welcome, everyone. I know that 2020 was a rough year for a lot of people. But I hope that you like myself are able to look back on 2020 and find the blessings throughout. You know, I know that there were a lot of crazy things. There were even a lot of bad things that happened all over our country. But I do see a crimson thread throughout of, of blessings, if you can just take a moment to find them. Even if you just look back and think man, I had so much more quality time with my family. And on the same token, maybe one of the bad things that happened was Oh, man, so much quality time with my family. Right. So for us, it was definitely a year of a whole lot of resets, it was a year of a whole lot of starts that never started right plans that never got started, you know, we had a lot of plans for 2020. A lot of great things happen. But the things that I wanted to happen didn’t really happen.


I don’t know, it’s almost like the year never really got started. So I think that’s why there’s so many of us that are excited about this new beginning in 2020. And one of the things that we want to focus on here at the mill housing nation podcast is developing


a healthy wellness centered lifestyle. Now, that does not mean you have to eat healthy all the time, that does not mean that we are going to tell you that you’ve got to work out all the time. That does not mean that you’ve got to make perfect decisions all the time. But what we want to help you do is we want to give you good tips and tricks throughout especially this first quarter, to help you to develop the right kinds of wellness habits so that you can move through your day and move through your life and just be proud of yourself. I think that 2020 taught us a lot. And one of the things that taught us is that we are ridiculously in control of our mindset, if nothing else, right. So for this first podcast in a wellness series, we’re going to do one a month on wellness, I wanted to focus on a book that I read by Dr. BJ Fogg. It’s called tiny habits. I believe that this is the perfect way to start our wellness series here. Because at the beginning of the year, what does everyone want to do? You know, myself, I have been in health and wellness for a decade, I’ve been a personal trainer for a long time as a massage therapist dealt with, you know, nutrition and supplements for a really long time. So it’s something that I know very well as the beginning of the year, everyone has these giant goals, these giant aspirations. 2021 is going to be the year that I am going to change, I am going to be the best version of myself. This is the year that I’m going to get fit. This is the year that I’m going to be my healthiest version of the healthiest version of myself. This is my year. But what I see every single year is that we make these giant goals, these giant aspirations, and they take off for a week or two. But by mid January, they’re already gone. Because we we tried to eat the whole elephant all at once. We tried to big and the reason that I wanted to start with this incredible book called tiny habits is because I’m someone that has said Go big or go home for a really long time. I’m an activator by nature. I’m someone that when I make a decision and make it right and I jump in with both feet, that is not always a winning combination for success. Sometimes it can be you know, sometimes my husband and I will be sitting around and we’re trying to make a decision and make it really quickly I jump in and make it right. Wallah. Everything works out. Right. But that mentality does not work when it comes to changing some of your bad habits and instilling new ones because if I just jumped


Straight in


I try to change everything about my wellness, everything about my eating everything about my working out all at once, it’s going to be very hard. And anything that is hard, takes a little bit more effort, right. But on the flip side of that, anything that’s worth it is going to be hard. So never forget that. Think about the things in your life that have been worth it. Your marriage, your children, your childbirth, your education, all the things that you’re most proud of in your life, it took effort, and it took you getting down in the you know, down in the trenches, and it was hard. So think about it that way. Very rarely Are you really proud of something that was easy. A lot of great things happen to us, that’s easy. We call those blessings. But think about the things that you’re really proud of the work that you put in, it was because it was hard. But when it comes to, in stealing new habits, they can’t be hard, or it’s never gonna become a habit. You know, one of the things that I learned in this book that I thought was so revolutionary is that decisions and habits are opposites. And that was something I was like, hmm, let me think about that. He says in the book, if you don’t make a decision to grab your phone before you head out the door, no, it’s just a habit, you’re gonna grab the phone for you out the door. But it just makes sense, right? You don’t think to put your right shoe on before you put your left shoe on, or vice versa, whatever it is for you. It’s a habit. It’s just what you do. And unfortunately, most of us don’t make a decision to roll over and grab our phone first thing in the morning. Now, it’s a habit, when you go to your cup, or glass cabinet, sorry, depends on where you’re from in the country where the coffee cup or glass, when you go to your cabinet to get your drinking containers, whatever you want to call it, you don’t really make a decision on which cup you’re going to grab or which glass you’re going to grab, you grab the one that you grab most of the time. So here’s the thing, at one point, it was a decision at one point, it was like, You know what, that Hamilton glass, that’s my favorite. Like it’s, it’s in my hand perfectly, it doesn’t sweat. It’s the right size. That’s the one I like most. So it was the decision early on. But it became a habit to wear when I opened the cabinet. And I see the Hamilton glass, that’s the one I’m going to grab every time I need that I’m into Hamilton, I’m wearing that shirt today. But decisions can become habits, right. So we have to make sure that we’re making good decisions. So that those things are what turned into good habits and not bad decisions and, you know, unthinking, you know, weird decisions that turn into habits. So let’s go over the things that were revolutionary for me from this book. First of all, tiny change is mighty, tiny is mighty. And I’m so excited to dive into this with you because it’s not something that comes naturally to me, naturally to me is making a big change and then trying to make it work. It is adverse to who I am and what I do, to decide to work out and make a change and only do it for 15 minutes. When I at the beginning of every year, I’m like I’m going to work out I am going to make this change. But when I say I’m going to go to the gym, I’m going to go to the gym for an hour, and I’m going to make my life miserable. And I’m not going to be able to move for three days. And if I don’t want to throw up at the end of that workout, I didn’t work hard enough. That is how I’ve been trying to change all of these years. So when I read this book, and I read that tiny change is mighty. And that is what sticks. I was intrigued. So let’s dive in a little bit more. He says there’s three things that we need to do right away, we need to one stop judging ourselves. That is the hardest thing for me to do. I’m not real judgy of others around me, but I’m super judgy at myself. Number two, we need to break our aspirations down into tiny steps. That is what I’ve not been doing. And then number three, we need to embrace our mistakes as discoveries. And we need to use them to move forward. Now that is something that I’ve honestly been pretty good at most of my life. So let’s figure out where you’ve been going wrong and where I’ve been going wrong. Stop judging ourselves. Take our aspirations and break them down into tiny steps. And then embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them to move forward. Alright, so here is kind of the overarching theme. Change, you change best when you feel good. Not when you feel bad. So how often have you put something in front of yourself and you said, Alright, if I don’t do this, I can’t eat cake later. Oh, never ever tried that. If I don’t do this, I can’t do that. You are virtually punishing yourself for not doing something that you want to do. That is a that’s it’s kind of backwards when you break it down like that. So what Dr. Fogg is saying is


You’re going to change best when you feel good about it. celebration is what is going to help you to feel better and do more. So let’s dive in a little bit more. He says that here is it’s called the Fogg behavior, model, motivation, flexibility, plus a prompt will equal a behavior. So motivation, that’s your desire, plus your ability, that’s your capacity to do something, plus your prompt, which is your cue, that is what’s going to lead to the behavior that you want. So he uses a use an example in a book of there being a natural disaster, and someone wanting to donate and wanting to do something to help the natural disaster, he had a motivation and a desire to help because he saw what was happening after this earthquake in this third world country, he had the desire, he was motivated to help, the capacity to do so is he had the funds to be able to help. The prompt was the Red Cross send a text message to this person, and it made it easy. So again, the ability the capacity to do So was he answered a text message, and he donated, if he had not had the motivation, he had not had the ability or the capacity to do that. And that prompt that cue, the behavior would not have been there, if you were missing the motivation didn’t really care about the earthquake, if you were missing the ability, you didn’t have the funds the means to be able to donate, but maybe you’ve got the motivation, and you’ve got the funds, but you just won’t stop in the middle of your day to go and google it to figure out how to donate or maybe you want to donate, but you don’t want to donate to the wrong place. You don’t want to donate somewhere where they’re gonna steal your information and steal your money and run off with it right, we all have that you don’t have the prompt, the behavior is not going to be there. So we’ve got to find ways to take our aspirations, break them down into tiny steps. And then use those three, use that three step process, the motivation, the ability, and the prompt. So let’s dive into what each of those are, if you will. So motivation that is the most unsustainable and it’s the most unpredictable, you can be highly motivated at the beginning of your day, very unmotivated by the end of the day, or vice versa, is very unsustainable, it’s unpredictable. So that is not one that you want to rely on totally. And, you know, historically, when you’re talking about people, and they’re making change, and they’re talking about what they want to do, they put a lot of eggs in that motivation basket, that is something that’s dangerous, because the higher your motivation, the more likely you are to do it. But the lower the motivation list like you are to do it. Honestly, the harder an action is, the more motivation you need. That makes sense, right. But since motivation is so unsustainable and unpredictable, if something is hard, you’re going to need to muster up a lot of motivation. But it’s unsustainable, it’s unpredictable. So you’re on thin ice there, you know what I mean, you’re building your house on sand. So let’s dive into the second element there, the ability, the ability is the most reliable, we have the ability to do things. So we need to use this, we need to understand the ability. So here’s how we can maximize our ability and how we can use this to our advantage, the easier something is to do, the more you’re going to do it. And the easier it is to do, the better you can become at it right? So let’s dive into there. If something is hard, you’re probably not going to want to do it as often. If something is frustrating, you’re not going to want to do it. So he actually says in there a behavior will never be a habit if it frustrates you. So how many times have we tried to make something a behavior and you’re always frustrated with it, I’m going to use working out as the example because that is what I’m working on right now. Whenever I get up and in past homes, whenever I would get up and want to work out, there would be several things in my way one, I needed to set up my workout area, which generally meant moving the kids toys out of the way, right I had to clean up. Before I could set up before I could work out I also felt like I needed to go downstairs and eat a protein filled breakfast and take my supplements to get ready to come upstairs to clean it up to set it up to work out. Those are three big barriers in my way to working out. So what I have to do is to make it as easy as possible and remove as many barriers as possible in order to work out because the harder it is and the more barriers you have in your way, the less likely you are to perform that ability. So behavior will never be a habit if it frustrates you. So how do we make things less frustrated, we remove barriers. If something is easy to do, and you master it, you’re going to do more. So here’s what we do with a bill


We need to ask people, we need to seek wisdom, we need to watch videos we need to learn, and we need to equip ourselves. Have you ever asked sought wisdom, learn from a YouTube video become proficient at something, and then you did it more? Absolutely. So that is what I want you to focus on is the ability and you’re seeking wisdom you’re learning, you’re equipping yourself, think about if you wanted to become a DIY er, and you wanted to do different projects, you desire to do that, if you don’t have the tools, literally the tools, you’re not going to become proficient at it. So get the tools, make sure that you are proper, excuse me properly prepared for that habit, or for that behavior, so that it can become a habit, find what makes any action hard, and make it easier, whether it is equipping yourself with the knowledge or equipping yourself with the right tools, or removing barriers. So when I talk about removing barriers in the house that we just moved into, we have a dedicated workout space. So what that has done for me is it allows me to get up in the morning, roll out of bed, put my right shoe on first, then the left shoe, go into the workout area. And immediately workout, I don’t have to clean up an area and I don’t have to set up an area. The other element of that is in the ability and the motivation. And all of that is, in some cases, you’ve got to give yourself the permission to stop doing some things, and to start doing some things right. So one of the things that I had to give myself permission for is to not go downstairs, eat a fully protein filled breakfast, take my supplements, because that was a barrier in my way that I would go downstairs. Because here’s the truth, I’d go downstairs to take my supplements to eat, you know, to drink a protein shake out, see the kitchen was a mess, I would start to clean the kitchen, then I would go into the living room and I would see that it was a mess. And I would start to clean that would come back, I would totally rabbit chase squirrel chase all morning. And then I had ran out of time before I needed to start work to come upstairs and work out. So I had to give myself permission to just lace up my shoes go into the workout room and workout. And that has been working great. So for me, it was a permission to stop doing things that I felt like I needed to do until I become proficient at the tiny things. So I also had to give myself permission not to work out for an hour. So what I’ve done is I’ve made it tiny, I’m working out for 15 minutes. And that sounds in my brain like not enough time to make a difference at all. But what it’s done is it allows me to look and say I can do 15 minutes, I’ve got 15 minutes, I need to be on a call on a zoom in 30 minutes. I’ve got 15 I can lace up my shoes, I can go into the workout rooms, the barriers are removed, and I can work out, I can come back out and I can get on the zoom and I can feel proud of myself. So when I sit down on that zoom, and I’ve already worked out, no, I didn’t need the protein filled breakfast. It didn’t take my supplements. But I’ve worked out and I feel good about myself. And what that’s done is that has allowed me to add in a little bit more. But here’s what Dr. Fox says is another one of the problems is upping the ante too early. So right now I’m doing good at 15 minutes in some days, add on another 15 minute workout. But what he says we do too early is we up the ante way too early. So make sure that you don’t say all right, well, I bet I did. 30. Today, I’ve got to do 30 tomorrow, give yourself permission to stay at 15 until you’re proficient with 15. So I hope these examples are helping you to think about your own goals and your own prompts that you can put into place. But this is just what’s working for me based on me doing the exact opposite of what I’ve always done. So when it comes to prompts, that’s the third one. Remember, we’ve got motivation, we’ve got ability, we’ve got a prompt, he calls the prompts the invisible drivers of our lives. So we’ve got to design our own prompts. So let’s say you’re someone that you really want to start reading more. Maybe right now a habit of yours is rolling over and grabbing your phone first thing in the morning. The prompt could be rolling over in the morning, grabbing your phone and immediately going to a book on your phone. Maybe you’re someone that really wants to like increase beef up your prayer life. I know that that is always a goal of mine. You can literally put a prompt in place to remind yourself to pray more. You know I used to have a prayer rock that someone gave me and it said when you make your bed in the morning put the rock on your pillow and when you touch the rock and put it on your pillow pray while you’re making


Your bed, when you go to sleep at night, you’ve got to remove that rock and put it on the floor, otherwise going to hit your head on the rock on your pillow. When you’re removing the rock, remember to pray when you see the rock on your pillow throughout the day pray. So think about really actionable, physical prompts that you can look at. And you can see and you can do. The other thing that he talks about is replacing old habits that are bad habits with good habits. So like I said, when you roll over and grab that phone in the morning to you know, scroll Facebook or watch YouTube videos, understand that life, replace that with something that you want to do, maybe it’s praying, maybe it’s reading a book, maybe it’s journaling, but replace these old habits that are not getting you where you want to be with the good habits. You know, positive experience reinforces habits, because positive experiences and celebrations and things that make you feel good, that releases dopamine, and that rewards us that reward system makes you want to do it again. That is the reason why emotions create habits. That’s the reason that this book was so fascinating to me, if you can find a way to make what you want feel good. And you can celebrate that you can release that dopamine, then you can reward yourself, you will do it more, we’ve got to find a way to make that happen. You’ve got to create a feeling of success. In order to wire in these new habits. If something is hard to wire in, you need to celebrate more, you need to feel better about it. So finding a way to wire that in creating those celebrations, to fertilize those habits to fertilize those actions so that they can grow. And they can become something that’s just second nature, like putting your right shoe on first grabbing your phone before you leave the house, grabbing your Hamilton cup out of the cabinet. That is what we’re looking to do. He does go into different types of habits, there’s appeal habits, where you’re going to have to pay attention to them more, but they’re easy to stop. Those are things like getting out of bed, when your alarm goes off. It is easy to do that, but you’re going to have to pay attention to it and make sure that you’re on top of those habits, there’s downhill habits that are easy to maintain. They’re very hard to stop. Those are things like swearing, you know, stopping swearing, stopping hitting the snooze button, you know, stop watching videos on YouTube, when you should be reading, those are hard to stop. But they are easy to maintain. It’s something that you can put those cues in place. And then there’s freefall habits, those that are detrimental to you where you may need some extra help, you may need to put some safeguards in place to make sure that you’re not falling into those habits. But what I really wanted to dive in with you today, and I wanted to share with you Dr. foggs research and his methods. His behavior model is because I really believe at the beginning of the year, we all have great aspirations, great hopes and big dreams for the year. I think sometimes those big dreams become really overwhelming. And when we fail, we beat ourselves up, we start off like a million bucks at the beginning of January. And when it’s gone by the beginning, you know by the middle of January, we beat ourselves up, and we don’t give ourselves a chance to reset for another 365 days. And that is absolutely unacceptable. We can form a new habit anytime we can form a new habit tomorrow morning, even though it’s like a random Friday, right? We could form a new habit, the beginning of any week, the beginning of any month, the beginning of any day. But it does take breaking that aspiration what you want down into the tiny habits, putting some safeguards in place in order to make that action turn into a habit. So if you have not read the book, tiny habits by Dr. BJ Fogg, please pick that up. It’s something that just was like a light bulb after light bulb after light bulb, if you do pick it up. Or if you listen to this podcast, and you’re able to put some actionable items in place and create some new habits, I want to hear about it. I want to hear about what your prompts are. I want to hear about what those cues are throughout your day that help you to eliminate bad habits and reinforce the good ones because I would love to know what you’re doing to help me in my life. But I can tell you removing obstacles, giving myself permission to not do some things and some permission to do some things differently. It has made all the difference in the beginning of this new year. So please visit us on any of our meal Housing Network, Facebook pages, especially our things page, visit us and let us know what are those habits that you want to have this year? What are the things that are working for you? What are the things that have not really worked out? Together, we can create a community


Be that can rally around each other that can celebrate, they can release more of that dopamine. And that can help fertilize that excitement and fertilize those actions so that they can become the habit. So, thank you all so much for joining us this week for our first edition in our wellness series this year, I am so thankful to be with all of you and to have this wonderful community, we can rally around each other and have the greatest year yet and really be able to propel ourselves this year to be a little bit closer to where we want to be, and to be a little bit more of the person that we desire to be and get a little bit closer to achieving those small changes that can really change everything. So you’ll have a wonderful, wonderful rest of your day. Subscribe to this podcast, and we will see you again next week. Bye. Thank you for listening to the male housing nation podcast. To connect with MilHousing Network, visit us online at

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