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Habit Hacking for Health: A 4-Step Plan

With Lindsay Ogden

Season 2, Episode 2  | March 30, 2021

Results are a lagging indicator of our habits. Lindsay Ogden, CPT, nutrition coach, walks us through her four-step process — what she calls the IPTR method — for developing lasting health habits, so you have the know-how and a tactical plan to go after your goals. You’ll see how, with a little upfront attention, intentional steps can turn into automatic daily actions.

Lindsay Ogden

Lindsay Ogden is a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and the small-group training program experience manager at Life Time.

When working toward building new habits, either for herself or her clients, Ogden approaches the task using her IPTR method, which includes the four steps listed below. Listen to the episode to hear Ogden walk through each step in more detail, including examples of how she puts it into practice for our co-hosts, Jamie Martin and David Freeman.

1. Take INVENTORY. Become aware of your starting point by writing down everything you currently do in a day.

2. Create a PLAN. Pick the one to three goals you’ll focus on. For each, choose actions you want to start, stop, or continue. For actions to start, lessen friction to make them easier. For actions to stop, add friction to make them harder.

3. TRACK your results. Use a calendar or some other method to mark down every day you accomplish your goals.

4. REVIEW for next steps. Look at what’s working and what’s not so you can adjust your plan and continue to progress.

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Transcript: Habit Hacking for Health: A 4-Step Plan

Season 2, Episode 2  | March 30, 2021

Jamie Martin

Welcome to Life Time Talks, the healthy-living podcast that’s aimed at helping you achieve your health, fitness, and life goals. I’m Jamie Martin, editor-in-chief of Experience Life, Life Time’s whole-life health and fitness magazine.

David Freeman

And I’m David Freeman, the national digital performer brand leader for Life Time. We’re all in different places when it comes to our health and fitness, but no matter what we are working toward, there are some essential things we can do to keep moving in the direction of a healthy, purpose-driven life.

Jamie Martin

In each episode, we break down the various elements of healthy living, including fitness and nutrition, mindset and community, health issues, and more. We’ll also share real inspiring stories of transformation.

David Freeman

And we’ll also be talking to experts from Life Time and beyond, who’ll share their insights and knowledge, so you’ll have the tools and information you need to take charge of your next steps. Here we go.

[MUSIC]

Jamie Martin

Hey, everyone, I’m Jamie Martin.

David Freeman

And I’m David Freeman.

Jamie Martin

And we’re back with another episode of Life Time Talks, and today, we’re talking about habits and habit-hacking, along with a pretty cool plan that we’re going to be working through. So, David, tell us about our guests today, and how you know her so well.

David Freeman

Yeah, pretty good plan that we’re going to be talking about, and a pretty good guest as well, Miss Lindsay Ogden. I call her butterflies, because sometimes she’s all over the place, so you can imagine how a butterfly flies, but she’s awesome when it comes to creating structure and creating habits. I’ve come to know Lindsay over the past, I want to say about eight years now, and within this relationship and development, connecting with one another, she’s taught me a lot.

We’ve bantered a lot. We’ve had a lot of the good, healthy conversations, if you want to call them that, about how habits and structure lead to something that we both know, Jamie, is a result that we want, and that’s a positive result. So, there’s so many different tidbits that we’re going to be diving into today, and we’re going to actually have a little fun activity to do as well, right?

Jamie Martin

Absolutely. We obviously already recorded this episode, as we’re recording this introduction, and David and I got to go through a practice with Lindsay, and I will say, I didn’t, you know, I picked a goal that’s pretty tactical for myself, and I’ll let you guys hear about that in the episode. But even to kind of challenge myself on what I’m going to do next was kind of hard for me, and it was good to have, you know, somebody to question me, and push back a little, and ask, like, can that be easier?

I really appreciated that, and how Lindsay approached this, and I think her four-step plan that she offers, or four-step process, it’s pretty refreshing to have something that’s so tactical, but also, hopefully, so useful, and can help me make real progress toward the goal I chose. How’d you feel about yours?

David Freeman

I felt good, and you know, my leadership style is always serving, and I think anybody in a leadership position should always be serving, and — but before you can serve, you need to know who you are and what it is that you’re bringing to the table. So, just knowing what I put down for the item that I want to get better at, I know that the only way I can give more to others is giving back to myself. So, I’m really excited to share our habit-trackers and all the different things that we’re going to be doing to help develop us in this area of opportunity.

Jamie Martin

Lindsay is a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and she’s also the small group training program experience manager at Life Time. She supports coaches all over the country. She believes sustainable health is an ongoing process, and that you find joy in your daily habits, and that’s what yields the best long-term results, and you’re going to hear Lindsay talk about that through this whole episode.

Like, that’s her bio, but to hear her passion for it, to hear how she’s applied it in her own life, and hear how she’s helping other people in their daily lives kind of build those habits, so that they become something we hopefully don’t have to think about down the road, and they’re just part of our lives, so we can do other things, that, to me, was really powerful through this episode, and I’m so excited for people to hear from Lindsay, hear about her process, and to be able to hopefully put this into practice themselves.

So, David, do you want to talk about some of the resources that we’re going to create so people can have access to this stuff?

David Freeman

Yeah, so, in the show notes, you guys will be able to see the habit-tracker for you to be able to create your own, so you can plug and play as needed. You’ll hear a lot throughout the podcast on, you know, starting. Starting is so key, so don’t try to jump right into the marathon. First things first, step onto the track, right? So, we’re super-excited to deliver these resources, but even more excited to check in maybe 30 days, 60 days from now, to see exactly how you guys are succeeding within these habits. So, remember, step on the track, let’s get ready to run with it.

[MUSIC]

David Freeman

What’s up, everybody? We are back with Life Time Talks, and we got the habit queen, Miss Lindsay Ogden, in the building, y’all. How you doing, Lindsay?

Lindsay Ogden

I’m doing well. How are you, David and Jamie?

David Freeman

Amazing.

Jamie Martin

I’m doing fine. This is super-fun. We can’t wait to dive into this topic with you. We’re taking a different approach today, which is kind of exciting.

Lindsay Ogden

We are.

David Freeman

So, Linds, when we think about the title habit-hacker, and knowing that you are the habit queen, let’s talk a little bit about that. How did you come about becoming the habit queen?

Lindsay Ogden

Well, I originally joked that that’s the title that you gave me from our years working together, that you’re the visionary, you always have the idea of what you want, but then, I have been here, kind of helping you create that plan on how to get there. But I would say, I’ve always been very goal-oriented. I’ve always had big aspirations, and I think early on, I had to figure out, OK, now, how do I get there? It’s one thing to have this idea. It’s another to break it down to that next step.

And so, I just became more interested in those systems and processes, and just keep learning from books, and podcasts, and all those real gurus, real queens out there, of habits.

David Freeman

When you think of habits in the industry that we’re in, I think that should always be, like, the focal point coming out the gates, and what people tend to come into a workout with, or a game plan with is, what exercises are we going to be doing? How many days a week are we going to be doing this and that? But when you think of the foundational elements of creating a good habit that they can live the rest of their life with, that’s where the actual change comes, within their bodies, within their minds. So, how has being the habit queen worked out for you, as far as within this industry?

Lindsay Ogden

So, I’m glad that you brought that up, because this podcast, we’re talking about health and fitness when it comes to habits, but habits apply to everything in our life. Think about how you sign your name, to how you tie your shoes. So, it’s those things that are acquired behavior patterns that happen almost involuntarily. So, they’re automatic. You don’t have to think about them a lot. That’s a true definition of a habit.

So, some of the things you brought up, David, are, you know, aspects of working out that aren’t necessarily habitual, and I think sometimes we get a little ahead of ourselves, and habits are, a lot of times they’re responses to solving an issue or a feeling. So, think about when you wake up in the morning. You’re tired, normally, right? So, what’s your habit with that? Do you hit the snooze button? Do you go back to sleep, or are you someone that heads right up to your coffeemaker, and starts drinking your coffee and starting your day?

So, habits that we’re going to talk about are mostly going to be around health and fitness, but just realizing that they’re in everything that you do, all day, every day.

David Freeman

Yeah, when I think of the habits that you and I touch on a lot when we talk about consistency, and you kind of hinted to it earlier on, as far as how we’re, like, the yin and yang, and we kind of balance one another out. When you start to implement these habits within the workplace, or relationships, or what we said as far as health and fitness, it does yield a great result. Can you talk about, even though you might have the habits, and you might be consistent with the habits, how you might still trip up and fail sometimes, too?

Lindsay Ogden

Yeah. So, you’re kind of hitting on the whys, like why do we have habits, why do they even matter, and when you talk about the tripping up or the slipping, James Clear is very well-known. He wrote “Atomic Habits,” and he has a quote that, if you miss once, it’s a mistake, if you miss twice, it’s the start of a new habit. So, it’s recognizing those things that you’re doing on a consistent basis, going back to the results and the whys behind habits.

So, results are a lagging indicator of our habits. A lot of times, people think of the outcomes. They think of the goals. They think of the finish line, but what are all the things that happen up until that point? And so, those habits are those indicators of how we’re doing. The other two big callouts with the whys behind habits, why are we having this podcast, why should I care about habits, it’s connecting our belief with who we are to matching our behaviors.

And as human beings, we don’t like disconnects. So, if I say I’m a runner, but I don’t run on a daily basis, or even within a week, there’s a disconnect there, right? So, it’s matching who we think we are or who we want to be with those behaviors. And then, the last thing that I want to say as far as the why behind habits is, and I kind of live by this, structure creates freedom. So, if you have solid systems and processes in place, and you can automate a lot of your day, that’s going to free you up.

That’s going to free up your mental space, your energy, your time. So, I know, with having kids, you are pulled every which way, and it allows you to be a better dad. It allows you to be a better spouse, allows you to be a better coworker, because you’re freed up with that mental space and that energy, to be able to be better.

David Freeman

Love that, love that. So, you said behavior. I want to touch on that for a little bit, because when you think of behavior, behaviors are something that we’re conditioned with over the years, and when you think of the behaviors, you have two different things here. You have a behavior, and you have an attitude. So, when you now start to implement these habits, because you’re trying to create this change within your behavior, it becomes difficult sometimes, because of what has been comfortable for you for so long, now you’re trying to change that.

And I say now, attitude and behavior, it’s two different things. Your attitude, as far as how you approach these habits, have a huge factor on whether or not you’re going to yield a great result. So, can you dive a little bit about that, as far as, like, how behaviors and attitudes yield within creating great habits?

Lindsay Ogden

Yeah. I’m probably going to butcher this quote, but there’s something out there about how your attitude becomes your thoughts, or your thoughts become your attitude, and then, that becomes your behaviors. That becomes your habits, and so, it builds. So, it starts with the mentality. It starts with being aware of who you currently are, who you want to be, and then, what are those things that that ideal version or that ideal narrative of you does?

So, it’s aligning those things, again, going back to, whoever I believe I am, I want to make sure those behaviors follow along with that. And that’s what I’m really excited to go through with you and Jamie today, because we talk, I think, a lot on podcasts, are educational, they’re telling stories, and all that’s great, but I also want listeners to take action. That’s what habits are all about, is movement, is taking action, not just the thought.

So, I’m excited to go through a little bit of work here with you guys on how do we implement these habits, and how do we start seeing that difference, and changing those behaviors.

Jamie Martin

Awesome. So, do we want to dive in? Should we do this practice together? Personally, I’m a little nervous, but I’m also really excited to go through your, you have a four-part process for us here we’re going to talk through.

Lindsay Ogden

Yeah. So, when we think about, going back to David and I discussing, you know, that end goal, that finish line, a lot of times we think about the goal, but not the start of the race, right? So, I kind of narrowed it down to four categories on the how. It’s IPTR, I, take inventory, P, create a plan, T, track the results, and R, review for next steps. So, I am going to say a side note here, if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re driving, or you’re busy, I encourage you to maybe pause it and listen to it at a time where you can take notes, and you can think through things.

I do know, I spoke with Jamie and David, and kind of gave them a little bit of homework for today, because this should take time. This should be things that you think about, and journal down, or whatnot, not a on-the-fly type of drill here. I am excited to get started. So, going back through the process, number one is taking inventory, and why we start here is really going back to that, what do you want? Again, we have goals.

Sometimes people will say, you know, a number on a scale, or they want a, I keep going back to the race analogy, they want to run a race. So, what do you really want, first of all, and then, the second question to that is, what does a person that does that do on a daily basis? So, if you think of a runner, or you think of someone that’s fit, what does that person do on a daily basis? I have some things from both you guys. You listed your top one-to-three health and fitness focuses, and I’d like to go a little deeper on those.

So, Jamie, I’ll have you go first, and you listed three, and for the purpose of the podcast, I’d love to just narrow down on one. You tell me what that is, what do you really want, and then, in your mind, from what you know, what does a person that’s successful with that do?

Jamie Martin

OK, so, the one I think I want to focus on, because I’ve been thinking about it a lot, is the, like, increasing my protein intake, and this is because I, you know, I am a regular, I do strength training, I do cardio, but I really want to optimize my nutrition, and protein is something I’ve never really focused on concertedly. You know, I do it, I make sure I have some sort of protein, but am I really getting enough, and I’m almost positive that I’m not getting nearly enough.

But I look at people who, you know, I’ve seen people do this, I think we had a previous guest on our podcast, Becca Rigg, talked about when she optimized her protein, what a difference that made for her. Ever since that episode, I’ve been like, I should do that. I just haven’t done it, or you know, walked through that process, or figured out how to do it well. That’s where I wanted to focus.

Lindsay Ogden

I love that. So, optimizing the protein, kind of, almost to have it tie in the fact that you’re doing a good job in the gym and getting movement, and now you want to also support that with nutrition. So, my follow-up question to that is, by having more protein, optimizing your protein, what does that do for you? Like, how does that make a better version of Jamie?

Jamie Martin

I want to optimize my results, right? Like, if I’m going to put in all that time, I want to be the strongest self that I can be, and it’s not about the aesthetic aspect for me. I want to be able to teach those skills to my kids as well, like why we move our bodies, and why we eat well to optimize, and look how they can go hand in hand. For me, I’ve been doing this work in health and wellness for a long time. I’ve been a journalist for a long time, but in some cases, I haven’t made that connection for myself, and actually doing both really well, and especially when it comes to protein.

So, I want to be a good role model for my kids around that. I just, I want to see what happens if I do it, you know what I mean?

Lindsay Ogden

Yeah. So, being a good role model, and then, the other one you hit on that I really love is, if you’re doing one, why aren’t you doing the other, and we do find, a lot of times with habits, especially healthy habits, they do snowball. But then, the opposite happens, too. If you’re in a bad habit, bad habits snowball, too. I love that you said that. So, my last question before I go to David is, a person that’s good at their protein intake, that optimizes their protein intake, what do you feel like that looks like on a daily basis for them? What does that person do?

Jamie Martin

I think they’re really conscientious with every kind of meal that they’re making, or anything they’re eating, like, is this a source of protein or not? And it’s something that, when I envision somebody doing this, I don’t envision someone who’s, like, obsessively counting their protein, grams of protein. It’s someone who’s aware of what they’re putting in their body all the time. So, I don’t want it to be about obsessively tracking. I don’t see it as someone doing that, but someone who’s really aware of being conscientious about choosing food sources that provide that nutrition.

Lindsay Ogden

Great. I love that, and we’re going to use that when we get to the P, with the planning, what you said. So, love that, hold it, back burner here. David, you had a couple listed as well. So, can you narrow down your focus for me?

David Freeman

Build mental stamina would be my number one.

Lindsay Ogden

OK, and why do you want that? How does that make a better David?

David Freeman

It allows me to operate in my fullest. So, when I look at the core values of my faith, family, and fortune, fortune being given back to others, I feel like I’m always spread thin, and I don’t have a lot left in my mental or emotional bank to give my best version to all the different individuals that I come in contact with. When I think of me in my element, in the craft, I’m a sponge, and early on in my craft, I was soaking up so much information. And then, once I had that information, I was able to touch so many different lives, and I’m constantly wringing out that sponge, of everything that I absorbed.

 

But I haven’t gone back to that water to, you know, get back all that energy that I gave out. So, I want more mental stamina, or increase more bandwidth, if that’s possible.

 

Lindsay Ogden

So, when you say mental stamina, are you defining that, so, you’re saying, like, what it can give to you and what it brings to you, but are you saying that, the sponge analogy, you’re wringing it out, you want to get more back in there? So, are you defining mental stamina as having the ability or the time to learn?

 

David Freeman

Yes.

 

Lindsay Ogden

OK, awesome. So, when you think about a lifelong learner, or a learner in general, what are they doing on a daily basis to match that?

 

David Freeman

Always evolving as far as whether it’s reading, podcasts, just developing themselves within their craft, going to, you know, workshops and clinics, just always adding to their toolbox.

 

Lindsay Ogden

Got it. OK, so, for Jamie, we have the optimizing protein. For David, we have the improving mental stamina, more so from your learning, your education. So, when we think of the first one, taking inventory, number one is, what do you want and why, what does that person do? When we think of a start and a finish, we know the finish line now. We know we want to get to, and we’re standing at the start line. One thing that I had you guys do for today, and this is where, if you’re listening, you can stop, pause, take some time here, is two parts.

 

One is a daily recall. The first step is becoming aware. What are we currently doing, and is that matching or not matching with the person that we want to be, or that finish line? So, I had David and Jamie do this. We won’t go through it line by line, but basically, you want to have a time block, from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, and list down every little habit you can think about, and focused around that topic. So, Jamie focused around protein, David focused around what he’s doing in a day that takes up or adds to his mental stamina.

 

And then, after you do that, you create a list of, what do I need to start, start doing to align with my goal, what do I need to stop doing, what are those things in my day that don’t add to that, don’t get me closer to that, and what do I need to continue to do that aligns with it, and I think the continue piece is important, because it’s kind of like a kudos, like, hey, you’re already doing these things really well. But then also, it makes you aware of, these things are more habitual for you, but there’s always a chance to sharpen the saw.

 

There’s always time to come back and make that one thing better. So, it’s important to still note what those things are. So, that’s your inventory. So, again, if you’re listening, pause, take time, do your daily recall, and then, also do your start, stop, and continue list, and I believe we are going to have some supporting documents for people as well, Jamie?

 

Jamie Martin

Yeah, we’re going to have those in the show notes, that people can access and use these as, and download and use and print off as many copies as you want, for as many things as you’re working on.

 

Lindsay Ogden

Perfect. So, that’s your I, guys. That’s step one, inventory. Step two is where we’re going to spend most of our time, whether you’re on this podcast right now, or you at home doing this. So, step two is creating the plan, and I want to call out that the goal that they both established, or that you’re establishing, it’s giving you direction and purpose, but the process is what’s going to get you there. So, again, we were at the start line, but we actually have to start.

 

We have to take that first step, or we’re never going to get to that finish line. There’s a quote that I like that, it says, if you don’t rise to your goals, you fall to your plan or process. So, this is where we do spend more time, because we want to make sure we have a strong process and plan in place to support whatever that goal is. So, I’m going to start back with you, Jamie, because you did say something that I was like, that made me want to go right to the plan, but with your protein, I want to start by saying to you, with both of you guys, these should be, like, the first two to three steps that you take.

 

So, you had said, Jamie, I don’t want to be obsessed about tracking my grams, or my macros, or whatnot, and I’m glad you said that, because a lot of times, people do start out, and they take on more than they can handle. So, I give the analogy of, like, if your kids are in swim lessons, you don’t throw them in the water and say, swim ten laps. You say, just get in the water, right? So, like, what’s that first one to two steps that you need to take to get closer to that end result?

 

When you think about optimizing your protein, keeping it really small, really simple, your first one to two steps, what would those be?

 

Jamie Martin

Well, first off, I think it’s an understanding of what good, high-quality protein sources are, to know what are go-to options on a regular basis. So, obviously, you know, I mean, I do eat meat, so knowing, like, what are my meat and poultry options, eggs, that kind of thing. But what about some other whole-food sources? So, like, I need to do the education, like, knowing, like, what do I need to have on hand, so that when I go shopping, when I do my order online, I’m stocking up on those things that are easy to grab and are really accessible for me. But also, then, I think there’s the supplement side…

Lindsay Ogden

You said, so, understanding your options. So, what are your first steps for that? What do you need to do to understand what your options are?

Jamie Martin

Well, for me, it’s research, you know? I need to dig into the archives of content that I have at my fingertips through, you know, Experience Life, and other content that Life Time has available, to know what are great sources of protein. We have an article on the site, like, here’s, at a glance, what 30 grams of protein looks like. I need to spend more time with those kinds of content, so I can, you know, have those things at the ready for me.

And then, I think another step is shopping, you know? How do I make sure that I’m shopping for those things, and not, you know, the other things that sometimes look like more fun to eat? So, if I’m being honest.

Lindsay Ogden

So, when we think about habits, and most of the time they’re things you do on a daily basis. I would say the education piece is just freshening up on that for you. Maybe having a print-out readily available by your computer, or your fridge, or something that’s in your face, easy to grab, easy to remind yourself, not necessarily something that needs to be habitual, but maybe it’s when you do your grocery shopping. So, do you have a set day and time that you normally do your shopping?

Jamie Martin

Yes, we usually do twice a week, you know? So, we do a Sunday order, and then we do usually, like, a Thursday. I think it’s having that list, again, to your point, like, a readily available list to look at. The other thing I would add is recipes. So, I sometimes will struggle with, like, what are we making for dinner, but I think, and again, we have many of these things at our fingertips, but having a list of recipes that are great sources of protein, that are, like, we can default to on those nights when it’s hard to plan.

Lindsay Ogden

Yeah. So, I assume you already talk about recipes in your two-time-a-week grocery shopping. So, are there times that you have blocked off to look through recipes and decide what you’re getting in those orders, and what you’re having for the week?

Jamie Martin

Not really.

Lindsay Ogden

No?

Jamie Martin

I’ll admit, I do a lot of online shopping, you know, especially since the pandemic, I’ve done a lot of, like, I do either Instacart or shipped. And so, it’s like, I’ll sometimes just go onto my cart and be like, OK, I need this again, need this again, but it’s not super-strategic, and I think that’s where the menu planning is also really a part of this. This is where, I have never been a planner. I’m a planner in other parts of my life, but never when it comes to food.

Lindsay Ogden

So, I’m going to pose a question to you, then. What do you think you need to start doing in order to be more aware of the protein that you are ordering, because that’s step one. Step one is getting the food, right? You’re kind of reverse-engineering it with the recipes, but what do you think would help, because I have an idea, but I want to see what you have, because this is your choice. This is your plan. What do you think needs to happen to ensure that you’re getting that high-quality protein in your orders?

Think of an action. Think of something that you can say yes, I did, or no, I didn’t, not a thought.

Jamie Martin

I think it’s the selecting and putting those things in my cart. I mean, this seems really obvious, I’m not sure if I’m being right, but one, it’s having a conversation with my husband about what we’re making for dinner, because this is, we have a family, so how is creating meals that everyone wants, and then putting those, knowing here are the ten things that I have in my shopping list all the time, that I just can click and say, here, we’ve got more of this, and it’s on hand.

Lindsay Ogden

I love that. That makes it easier, by having those things kind of just always living in the cart, and then just selecting them or unselecting them. That definitely makes that step easier. Where my mind goes is, so, you talked about knowing my options, knowing the education around it. So, like I said, that’s just probably you just refreshing on some stuff, but what if you, you know, you use your phone to do your orders, right?

So, what if you put an alarm or a notification an hour or so before you normally place your orders, to remind yourself to specifically look at what the protein sources are going to be. Maybe you look up a new recipe, try one new recipe a week, or maybe you heard about some source of protein, and you want to be sure to add that to the list this week. So, it’s just creating that space, and creating that time for you to think about what protein sources you want, and being intentional with the selection in your cart.

Jamie Martin

It’s so funny you mentioned using the alarms, because I have three different alarms on my phone right now, for, like, just remember to take my vitamins, and all, you know what I mean? Like, just on a daily basis, so, it’s just adding one more alarm. I kind of like that. It’s right at my fingertips.

Lindsay Ogden

Pretty soon, your phone’s just going to have, like, 20 alarms. It’s going to be for every macro and supplement. David, I’m going to switch to you now. So, you kind of heard the process that Jamie went through. When you think of building that mental stamina, you kind of already hit on some of those actionable items, but what would you say, as far as creating a plan? So, what do you need to start doing, those first one to two steps?

David Freeman

Yeah, the allocating the time. So, just knowing that we have the 168 hours within a week, I want to say dedicating two to three hours a week to, whether it is that podcast, that reading of a book, something that’s developing me within my mental stamina.

Lindsay Ogden

I know you, and I know you’re big on movement, and getting outside. So, how much time right now are you doing those things, like getting outside? Not thinking about the podcast or the books or anything, but how much are you just getting outside for your walks and movement?

David Freeman

Every day.

Lindsay Ogden

How long?

David Freeman

Average, 60 to 90 minutes.

Lindsay Ogden

So, what do you currently do with that time?

David Freeman

Listen to Clubhouse or podcasts.

Lindsay Ogden

So, it sounds to me like that’s more of a continue habit, not a start habit. You’re already doing that.

David Freeman

Well, you said it at the beginning, I end up, you probably even get a text from me sometimes, hey, I just listened to this, so I have all these ideas, but it’s now putting it into action. So, it’s not that I’m not developing, but I’m not taking actionable items to be able to apply and help others.

Lindsay Ogden

Got it. OK, so, we’re diving a little bit deeper on your goal now. It’s not the fact that you want to hear it and learn it. You want to be able to take it and put it in this pretty package, and deliver it to other people.

David Freeman

Yes.

Lindsay Ogden

So, that changes our plan here. What do you need to do in order to make that happen?

David Freeman

That’s where I’m lost. I feel like, I think the structure piece, obviously, I usually take notes from the podcast or Clubhouse, and then they stay in my notes, because something else comes up that I need to tend to, and then, it kind of loses that momentum in that moment.

Lindsay Ogden

So, knowing you, you like connection. You also like the performance aspect of men’s health, or whatever it may be. So, how do you start structuring your week and your days to hold you accountable to preparing that information?

David Freeman

I’m a stickler with structure, so if I have it in my schedule, I know it will get done, because I now allocate the time to do it. So, I probably just need to put it in a time block in my schedule, so I can act on it.

Lindsay Ogden

Yeah, again, you love your connections, you love your mentoring. Do you have regular call times set up with people, just to connect with them, to have mentor time, or maybe you structure certain, a post on your social media around things you’re recently hearing about and learning? Because then, again, it’s that, that’s the gap for you, is, I hear it. Now, how do I share it? So, have you considered changing your schedule around for that, scheduling calls with people, or planning certain posts based off what you’re learning?

David Freeman

The posts happen a little bit more organic to what’s going on in real time, and sometimes I might say, OK, whatever happened on Monday, I might post that event on Tuesday or Wednesday. But as far as the connecting with individuals, it’s so random. It’s not scheduled, to your point. I think if I create that structure and that consistency, that can be a game-changer, though.

Lindsay Ogden

Yeah. So, both with you and Jamie, there’s things that you guys recognize that maybe need to be addressed or done before you get to a tracking point with them, because again, the tracking of these should be easy. They should be the first one to two things that need to happen. So, I’ll give you an example here. For me, it’s drinking more water, right? So, I have got into a habit of filling up my water bottle before I go to bed, and putting it in the bathroom, because that’s the first thing I do when I wake up, is I go to the bathroom, so it’s right there for me.

I’m making that easier, I’m making less friction there to make that habit happen first thing in the morning. Another example is better sleep. How many of us are guilty of taking our phones to bed with us, right, and if we think about all the studies out there about blue lights, and not having your phone, and being mentally stimulated, a first step there is not bringing it in the room. So, I plug it in the bathroom, also next to my water. So, now I’m doing kind of two things there. Like I said, a lot of health habits will snowball, but think about the one to two first things that need to happen.

I can’t over-stress that, because again, going back to Jamie’s example, people tend to think too much too soon. They tend to overestimate what they can do in the short term and underestimate what they can do in the long term, and then, that causes burnout. That causes you to bite off more than you can chew, and then you kind of are like, forget about this. So, if we’re taking it back to the goal, so, anyone listening to this call, maybe you have the protein goal as well. Maybe you have the working out goal.

What are those first one to two steps that you need to take, and it should be on a daily basis. It should be something that’s consistent, because again, a habit is automatic. It’s something that you have to take less willpower, less mental focus in order to do. I actually heard this quote the other day, and I’m going to see if you guys know the answer. What’s the heaviest weight at the gym?

David Freeman

Your mindset.

Jamie Martin

Probably our own resistance.

Lindsay Ogden

The front door’s the heaviest weight, because for a lot of people, it’s just getting there. I just read about a study where this guy lost a hundred pounds, and he started out by just making himself go to the gym, and he wouldn’t do anything there. He would just go, and then leave, because he, it was the habit. It was the, being good at showing up is what a habit is about. You need to, it’s not about the results. It’s about the reinforcement of who you want to be in those behaviors.

So, again, showing up is enough sometimes, and it’s the accumulation of showing up that’s going to get you closer to the goal that you’re wanting.

Jamie Martin

I think that’s so interesting. I’ve read a couple different books, Lindsay, and I don’t want to go off, too far off track off the plan we’ve got going here, but I read a book a couple years ago by Mel Robbins called The 5 Second Rule. She realized that she was in kind of a slump in her life, she was in a dark time, but she wasn’t getting up in the morning. And so, she was ignoring her alarm, and she kept hitting snooze, and she realized one day, like, I just got to get up, five, four, three, two, one, I have to get up.

And then, the book goes on to say, essentially, that, like, we often talk ourselves out of doing things, almost always in those first five seconds. So, if we can get ourselves to do it when we think it, when we, like, have the thought, if we don’t say it in the meeting. You know, we hold ourselves back in many ways, so what are the opportunities we have when we just do it, when we begin to make that habit? So, five, four, three, two, one. Like, over the years, I’ve kind of trained myself, not always, but when I find myself in a rut, how to get back to that.

Lindsay Ogden

Yes, I love that book, the Mel Robbins The 5 Second Rule. But it’s funny, you even think about stuff like laundry. Like, I hate folding laundry, but as soon as I start doing it, and it just goes by so much faster, or, like, meal prep is another one. The thought is almost always worse than the action, because we get in our own way, right? It’s like, anxiety is not better than action. So, I love that book. It is, like, a just go, like, stop thinking about it, and just go.

Jamie Martin

It’s a just-do-it-type book, like, I mean, whether it’s about a habit, or it’s like, I just, I had this thought in a meeting, but I’m questioning whether I should contribute. It’s like that imposter syndrome thing, too. Like, no, just say it. It’s there. You had something, you have something to contribute, so, that’s a whole other topic as well, but we…

Lindsay Ogden

Yes.

Jamie Martin

…let’s stay on this. OK, so, where were we? Are we, we’re still in planning, right?

Lindsay Ogden

Yeah. So, we’re in planning. I just have a couple things to add here. When you guys go back to your start, stop, and continue list, the callout with that is, basically, the start things that you list there, the things that would help you towards your goal, we want to take away friction with those. So, like I said with the water, like, how do I make this easier? How do I make it a no-brainer? So, thinking about on your start list, how do I take away friction, and then for your stop list, how do I add friction?

So, how do I make things harder? My cell phone example’s the opposite. My cell phone example was, it’s making it harder to be on my phone now at night, because it’s in a different room, right? So, you hear a lot about, like, with eating, like, just don’t buy it. Don’t buy the bad food, then you won’t eat it, but that’s adding friction. So, your start list, lessen the friction, your stop list, add more friction.

Jamie Martin

Got it. OK.

Lindsay Ogden

And then, the last callout with the planning, because this is a big one for people, is social settings. So, your environment is huge when it comes to your habits. It kind of goes back to more of the why, but instinctually, we want to be part of our like-minded individuals. We want to be part of our tribe. So, if the current tribe that you’re in is eating burgers every night, and having ice cream every weekend, maybe we need to reconsider our environment, because it does make it that much harder.

We add more friction to what we want when we’re around people that are doing the opposite of what we want. That’s also why it’s easy to do well in other environments. Like, I know David with Alpha and DTX and all that, you find these people, start hanging out outside of class, and they all start getting in better shape. They all start becoming healthier people, because they’re part of that environment. I heard about this once about social settings, where if you’re on the highway, and you’re going the speed limit, and someone next to you is going 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, it’s that much easier for you to also speed, because someone else is doing it.

So, thinking about your environment again, if other people are making it easy for you to do things that you don’t want to do, we might need to reevaluate what our environment is.

Jamie Martin

Yeah, that’s such a key thing. It can work for good, it can be, like, a positive shift or a negative shift, potentially, and I know we’ve done a lot of research over the years and covered this. Like, in articles, we called them a healthy kind of contagious, because oftentimes, the people we surround ourselves with, to your point, Lindsay, you know, they influence what we do or don’t do in our daily lives.

Lindsay Ogden

Alright. So, we have our plans. Now, it’s time to track. So, the things that you track, typically, are the things that you’re going to see results from. So, it’s so funny, I can’t even tell you how many times people will be like, I just started tracking my food, and that already yields results for them, just because they’re simply tracking it, but they didn’t even have a goal in mind. They’re just tracking it. So, we’re going to be a step ahead of them, because we do have a goal in mind.

So, when you think about your two goals, so, the optimizing protein, improving the mental stamina, what would be something you could list for, let’s say the next month, I like to work it a month at a time, what is one thing that you could list that you want to be able to say, yes, I did this every day? What would align with your goals?

Jamie Martin

OK, so, I would say it’s starting with having the protein at the ready, like, improving my protein intake. So, I think it, for the first month, I might need to track it a little bit more, like, actually write it down and have a clear idea of what I’m getting, so that I understand, am I hitting my targets or not? So, to me, I think I am going to have to literally write down what I’m having for protein sources, to understand if I’m even close to where I want to get, in terms of protein intake.

Lindsay Ogden

So, let’s take it back even a layer from there. You kind of hit on this, that you have protein at every meal, right? That’s a way to know that you’re getting more intake. So, like, we can even track that. We could even say, yes, I had protein at every meal, and that’s way easier than you having to go into an app and track anything, right?

Jamie Martin

Well, yeah, and to your point, you know, I did say that I didn’t want to become obsessive about this, right? Like, I don’t want to have to be counting everything. So, maybe that’s it, maybe just saying, like, yes, here’s a protein source. I understand what the protein sources are that I’m going to choose from. There’s one in every meal, and there’s something in a snack, and that checks the box.

Lindsay Ogden

Exactly. Make it easy. Again, we want to lessen the friction here, so, I think, depending on where you have been, if you have, for the next 30 days, something listed on your tracker, I have protein at every meal, and you can either check yes, I did, or no, I didn’t. That’s an easy yes or no. It’s an easy thing to visually see. You didn’t have to weigh anything. You didn’t have to measure anything. Like, and that’s a good foundation to start on.

Jamie Martin

The reason I like that more than what I even said about myself is because I have failed at tracking, like, very specifically in the past. It’s like, I get sick of having to log into an app and figure out how much is in that, you know, serving of chicken, or whatever. So, I think I would probably be setting myself up to fail if I had that as the goal. So, I’m just going to say, there’s a source here, doesn’t really matter how much, but there’s a source.

Lindsay Ogden

I love that. It’s a good starting point, because again, good habits should free your mental space up. Maybe at first they take more time and attention, but you should get to a point where these are things that you almost automatically do, right? That’s the whole goal with habits, is to get them to that place where it frees your mental space, your energy, your willpower, whatever it is. Use it for other things. So, I think that’s a good one. Did I or did I not have protein at every meal, and what does that look like over the next 30 days?

Jamie Martin

That’s doable.

Lindsay Ogden

Perfect, yeah. David, what is yours?

David Freeman

Mine is, I put this in my homework assignment, but connect with my wife with a recap of the day, like, checking in with her as far as her mental wellness, and any needs that she may have, because I know I’m able to operate at my fullest if she’s good. And people always joke around and say happy wife, happy life, that’s a real thing. So, I think that might seem like, that’s easy, and we tend to always just be going throughout the day, and then boom, we’re in the bedroom, we’re asleep.

So, I think, or I know that connecting with her will bring me a little bit more, in my opinion, a little bit more awareness or what it is that she might need, and that sets me up for success.

Lindsay Ogden

So, going back to your original goal of, like, I’m learning these things, and I want to be able to organize those thoughts and communicate them, I think that’s also something you could, you could bring her one thing. So, my first question would be, do you have time set aside to connect with her, and my second thing would be, is it realistic for you to come with her at least one thought or idea a day of what you heard or what you listened to, because then you can start to have a conversation about it, too, and you can maybe even learn more, because I know your wife is a pretty dang smart lady. So, do you have time set aside right now to connect with her every day?

David Freeman

Yes.

Lindsay Ogden

Perfect. And then, what are your thoughts on the one thought or idea?

David Freeman

I think she needs to be on this episode so she can create a good habit of listening to me during that time.

Lindsay Ogden

So, the time, is it normally in the evening?

David Freeman

Yes.

Lindsay Ogden

So, what is something you know that she already does most evenings?

David Freeman

She’s usually doing a lot of things around, you know, track girls, emailing, or on social media.

Lindsay Ogden

So, I might give you another homework piece, and maybe we don’t decide what that is here on this podcast, but how can you build that into potentially what her habits already are? So, we talk about habit-stacking, habit-timing. So, what’s something that she does pretty often in the evenings that you can now, like, piggyback on, so that you get that time with her?

David Freeman

Yeah, we just need you as our marriage counselor, let’s start there.

Lindsay Ogden

I am definitely not that. So, OK, so, the point with the tracking, for anyone listening at home, and you have your own goals, the tracking’s going to do a couple things for you. One, it’s going to create visibility. So, it’s important that you have this somewhere that you go every day. So, maybe that’s to your computer, or your fridge, or your coffeemaker, or whatever, something that you have in front of your face every day. Ideally, as soon as you accomplish that habit, you’re crossing it off for that day, because habits tend to do better when we get an immediate reward from them.

So, like, eating healthy, or working out, normally it’s short-term pain and long-term pleasure. So, we need to have something that’s a little bit more rewarding right away, in order to keep us motivated to stay on that habit. So, keep it visible, have it be something that is simple, that you can say, yes, I did, or no, I didn’t. If you say no, I didn’t, that doesn’t make you bad. That doesn’t make you a failure. You’re learning about yourself on what works and what doesn’t.

And then lastly, that immediate reward. So, by the end of the month, if I’m Jamie, and I see my task there, my tracker of have protein at every meal, and let’s say I get it 25 out of the 30 days. I would say that’s a win, right? Like, think about your grades. Like, you’re doing pretty dang well if you got a 25 out of 30. You’re doing it more than you’re not doing it. So, this brings us to our next step, and our last step, which is review. So, you’re going to look at your tracker, and maybe you have more than just the one.

That’s fine, but look at what were the patterns. What did you do well with? Why do you think it went well? What did you not do well with? Why did you think you did not do well with it? Anything that feels automatic now, so, like, I’ve had things on my tracker before where I was easily crossing it off every day, and I’m like, you know what, I probably don’t need to keep this on for next month, because this is becoming a habit, which is the goal, right?

Like, we want these things to be things we don’t have to think about or track. So, did any of that happen? Did you get 30 out of 30 on any one of your things? When you guys think about that, and let’s say we’re 30 days from now, what are your thoughts? Like, I know Jamie said that feels easy, I feel that’s, like, it’s accomplishable. Have you guys tried this in the past at all, what were your thoughts on it?

Jamie Martin

It’s funny. When I think about the things that I’ve tracked in the past, they’ve been less about me and more about, like, my family. You know, so, I think about when I first had one of my daughters, and I was tracking her sleep patterns, and I had a chart on the fridge where I had the hours she was sleeping or not. To me, that was so rewarding, because I could see her progress, right, and this was years ago now. But that was one of, I will say, I tracked that so diligently, and it was so rewarding because I could see that I was getting more sleep.

She was improving in her sleep patterns, and in the end, it was like, I could stop doing this, because it was just what we were doing in our life. So, I know that is I were to put, you know, kind of the tracking document that we’re going to share for our listeners, too, you can customize for yourself, if I put that on my fridge and I say, yes, I got yes or no, I had protein with this meal. Great. That will be, for me, incredibly rewarding, and I’ll feel like I’m succeeding more than I’m failing.

So, just having done that for a totally different circumstance in the past, that, to me, is definitely something that I know will work. It’s just doing it and getting it up there on the fridge in the first place.

Lindsay Ogden

I love that. David?

David Freeman

I mean, when everybody sees this tracker, and when you first sent it over to me a few months back, it gave me some nostalgic vibes. It reminded me of back in, like, kindergarten, where we ended up getting, like, a star for good behavior, or for cleaning up. So, if we now can reward ourselves for the good habits that we’re trying to implement and do, it is rewarding, and like, everybody goes back to kindergarten, and you remember seeing that star, that sticker up on your chart, it does feel good. So, I love it.

Lindsay Ogden

Yeah, and I know we hit on this a couple times, but we have to be intentional with it. You have to block off time. Like I said, I like to do a month at time, because it gives you a fair shot at it, but you have to almost set that time aside to think, what do I want to accomplish over the next, in this next month? How is it getting me closer to the narrative of myself that I would like to see? And then, don’t be hard on yourself. When you reevaluate how a month went, just recognize the patterns, and recognize the whys, because at the end of the day, it has to work for you.

If you can’t love the process, if you can’t love the day to day, then maybe we need to reevaluate the goals. So, be aware of that, too. Again, you’re not a failure, and I said this earlier on, but James Clear, who’s well known with habits, he wrote “Atomic Habits,” said, missing once is a mistake, missing twice is the start of a new habit. So, it is that resiliency, it is that consistency, that is more important than being perfect, because we tend to have that all-or-nothing mentality, which is going to set us up for failure.

So, it’s having some grace and some patience with yourself through this process, and just becoming aware of where you’re at and where you want to be.

Jamie Martin

I feel like we’re going to have to bring Lindsay back on in about a month to check in, if we enact these things. I really think we might need to bring you back on for a review, to figure out, like, OK, how do we then review and iterate from there, because I do feel like I was, you were going through your, you know, how did you say it, the IPTR, I’m like, I feel like there’s another I in there in terms of iterate, and adjust. You know what I mean, because going forward, what do we do?

So, we may have to do that in a month or so. David, are we, like, let’s both commit to this, and let’s do it and see what happens in a month.

David Freeman

Yes, I’m down. Can we bring Michelle too, so we can incorporate this episode?

Jamie Martin

As long as my partner can come on, too, we’ll…

Lindsay Ogden

Here’s how I’ll know it worked. In a month from now, Jamie’s going to be jacked, because she’s having all of her protein, and David’s going to be smooching his wife the whole time, because they’ve had so much connection.

Jamie Martin

Oh my gosh, OK. So, just reiterating a couple things you said. I wrote down a lot. So, inventory, plan, track, review, maybe iterate and adjust at the end, but having a process to go through, to start these habits, is where to start. So, you got to be intentional. You have to let good habits free up space for other things in your life. Those were some of my take-aways right now. It’s like, OK, this is why, again, we go back to some of these foundational things, to set ourselves up for success, and for more down the road. David, any final thoughts you have?

David Freeman

Lindsay always drops knowledge gems on us, so when we think of the one that she said as far as reinforcement versus results, we tend to be so focused on the results, but the reinforcement of the behaviors and the habits that we can create, if the way you think, I say it all the time, the way you think dictates the way you act which yields the results that you get. So, we just can reinforce these good habits, the results are always going to be that byproduct, but the behaviors is what we should really focus on. So, I like that she pointed that out, the reinforcement versus the result.

Jamie Martin

Lindsay, anything you want to add before we sign off?

Lindsay Ogden

No, I mean, I’m excited for you guys. Whether we actually do a podcast or not, I’ll probably check up and see how you guys are doing, but yeah, I think it is, we tend to, again, underestimate what we can achieve in the long term, and overestimate the short term. It’s first important to know what you want in life, who do you want to be, what do you want to achieve, and then creating that plan to get there. I believe that habits, they have to be established before they can be improved. So, again, start small, act fast, and then just pay attention to how that process is going.

David Freeman

I got something, a little taste of your own medicine. I actually got this from Lindsay, from doing a lot of the small group coaches interviews. You’re about to go in the hot seat, the two-minute drill. Are you ready?

Lindsay Ogden

I don’t know, we’ll see. Here we go.

David Freeman

Alright, alright. We’re going to set the clock for two minutes, ten questions. Alright, here we go. In three, two, one, favorite past-time memory?

Lindsay Ogden

Going to gymnastic meets with my family growing up.

David Freeman

Nice. Celebrity crush?

Lindsay Ogden

Chris Pratt.

David Freeman

Chocolate or vanilla?

Lindsay Ogden

Chocolate every time.

David Freeman

If you could go into the past, what era would you travel to?

Lindsay Ogden

I think the, like, ‘60s, ‘70s, like, groovy. I mean, I have a middle part, so, let’s do it.

David Freeman

Pet peeve?

Lindsay Ogden

I do not like the sound of crinkling bags. That’s such a weird thing, but like, when people have chips or cookies, and their hand goes in and out every time, and that’s that rumbling, like, that’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. I can’t, can’t do it.

[CRINKLING NOISE]

Lindsay Ogden

Oh, no.

Jamie Martin

You have it right there?

David Freeman

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Lindsay Ogden

I really want to, and this kind of goes back to the goal and the process, I really want to go, like, backpacking in Europe. I know right now things are weird with COVID, but that was something I want to do after college, and I had no money, like every person out of college. So, now that I have more money and I’m older, I would really love to go on, like, a three-month stint of just being over in Europe and backpacking.

David Freeman

Love it. Alright, we got four questions left. Here we go. If you had a choice of putting your house in outer space or underwater, which one would you choose and why?

Lindsay Ogden

Underwater, because I think it’d be really cool to see everything coming by. I feel like space would be kind of boring, and just dark.

Jamie Martin

I’m just cracking up, because I don’t know these questions ahead of time, and I’m like, where are they coming from?

Lindsay Ogden

I normally do this to people on calls, Jamie.

Jamie Martin

I love it.

David Freeman

Alright. Here we go. What is your alter ego’s name?

Lindsay Ogden

I don’t know. I hate to say this, but sometimes people call me a Karen.

David Freeman

Oh, no. Oh, no.

Lindsay Ogden

I don’t want it, though. I think it’s because I’ll speak my mind, not because I need to speak with the manager, though.

David Freeman

OK, alright, you safe there, I like it. Alright. One food you can’t live without?

Lindsay Ogden

Probably, I mean, just because I have it so much, this is going to be weird, too, but sunflower seed butter. I just like it because it’s kind of salty, and I don’t know, it just tastes good.

David Freeman

Alright, alright. Last one. What would be your legacy that you would want to leave the world with?

Lindsay Ogden

I really want to, with my interactions with people, one, help them discover their gifts, but then also share mine. Like, I think that is the purpose in life, is, like, finding out what you’re good at, then honing in on that, sharing it with others, but then helping others do the same.

Jamie Martin

I love that. Where can people follow you if they want to see what you’re up to, and see how you’re doing with your own habits?

Lindsay Ogden

On social media, I’m mostly just on Instagram. I’m not all over like David, but it’s @linzmarielife, or I’m sure if you look at who the blond girl is on David’s page, it’s probably me. If it’s not you, Jamie, it’s me.

Jamie Martin

I know, right? Lindsay, thank you, this was awesome, and I am really looking forward to checking in with you, whether on the podcast or otherwise.

David Freeman

Thanks for joining us for this episode. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our conversation today, and how you approach this aspect of healthy living in your own life. What works for you? Where do you run into challenges? Where do you need help?

Jamie Martin

And if you have topics for future episodes, you can share those with us, too. Email us at lttalks@lt.life, or reach out to us on Instagram, @lifetime.life, @jamiemartinel, or @freezy30, and use the hashtag #LifeTimeTalks. You can also learn more about the podcast at el.lifetime.life/podcasts.

David Freeman

And if you’re enjoying Life Time Talks, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Feel free to write a review, and also let others know about it, too. Take a screenshot of the episode, and share it on social, share it with your friends, family, work buddies, life coach, you get the gist.

Jamie Martin

Thanks for listening. We’ll talk to you next time on Life Time Talks. Life Time Talks is a production of Life Time, healthy way of life. It’s produced by Molly Schelper, with audio engineering by Peter Perkins, and sound consulting by Coy Larson. A big thank-you to the team who pulls together each episode, and everyone who provided feedback.

We’d Love to Hear From You

Have thoughts you’d like to share or topic ideas for future episodes? Email us at lttalks@lt.life.

The information in this podcast is intended to provide broad understanding and knowledge of healthcare topics. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of advice from your physician or healthcare provider. We recommend you consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning or altering your personal exercise, diet or supplementation program.

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