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Road of Life Podcast


Road of Life


With Meredith MacKay & Craig Bennett

Road of Life



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Road of Life Podcast Episode 25

April 11, 202419 min read

Create your future: The power of your habits on your relationship and your life

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Episode Transcription

Welcome back to the Road of Life podcast with Bennett and MacKay.

Habits and rituals.

Yeah. I don't know that there's a topic more near and dear to our hearts over the last couple of years than this one, actually.

And I actually think a couple of the episodes that, we've done recently are circling this a little bit, so we thought we'd just do one directly on habits and rituals.

Because it's really, drastically changed our life for the better. Hundred percent. And I do really believe that It can really benefit a lot of people.

I don't think it's an overstatement to say your habits and rituals dictate the quality of your life. I think your whole life stacks on what are your habits and rituals. I 100 percent agree. And my journey, probably both of our journey, but my journey for sure, I won't speak for you, with habits and rituals started with two books. Atomic Habits and The Slight Edge. And Atomic Habits by James Clear is fantastic, definitely read it if you haven't.

But he says in there somewhere, you do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems, which for me are your habits and rituals. 100%. And in The Slight Edge, he talks about a 1 percent improvement every day versus a 1 percent decline every day. Gives you a 38x improvement over the course of a year and the other thing that we've heard

And I can't remember which book it was.

I think it was The Slight Edge, but if you're not growing you're regressing. So either you're growing at that 1 percent or more per day, or you're regressing either way. Not not doing anything is regressing.

Yeah, and the other thing that James Clear says that I think is Wild people do not decide their futures.

They decide their habits,, and their habits decide their future, so like I think he would agree with me that that it's not an overstatement your habits decide everything about your quality of life, everything that's coming. And so, I think they're the building blocks of your life.

And the life you have today is a result of the habits you had, yesterday. Your habits today Will decide. Are going to dictate and decide the future lifestyle and life that you have tomorrow.

So if you're not thrilled with elements of your life, your quality of life today, then we need to change a habit or two. And that will start to make a change in your life tomorrow.

So if habits are the building blocks of your future, then I guess the big question that defines your future is what are your habits today? Are you walking? Are you moving every day? Are you practicing gratitude every day? Are you drinking soda every day? Are you doing breathing exercises every day? Are you journaling?

Are you meditating?

Are you doing the hard thing in your business or having the tough conversation or doing the thing that needs to be done to advance your life? You know, typically people know the thing that they need to be doing and aren't doing. Totally. And so, are you doing those things?

Yeah. Or are you putting them off? Are you procrastinating?

Yeah. Are you doing what's, what's hard? Are you cooking your own meals or are you eating out every day? They're small things, but when you compound them every day for a year They make a huge difference in your life.

Your habits dictate everything. So let's talk about our daily habits and our daily routines and what we've found that has made a huge difference.

That we recently developed that have made a huge difference. Because we didn't always have habits and rituals and...

well, no, that's not true. Everyone has habits and rituals.

Fair enough, but they weren't they weren't healthy and they weren't putting us in a place where we wanted to be.

We weren't intentional about them.

We were living a default life. And when you live the default life, you take the world as it comes. And so like we've talked about before, we were, you know, you would sleep in on the weekends. That's a habit. That's a ritual. And that wasn't serving us really at the end of the day, drinking wine or whatever at the end of the day or on the weekends to, unwind that was a habit or a ritual that we would do. Didn't really serve us at the end of the day. Actually impacted our sleep and Totally it's a huge revelation. Yeah in the last little while. I I grew up knowing that things that you do matter, obviously, but I never really understood the degree of importance that your daily habits and rituals.

It's flossing your teeth, right?

Give me a better example of, I can't come up with a better example, than flossing your teeth as a daily habit to build discipline that everyone knows they need to do. It impacts your gum health, your teeth. Like we all want to keep our teeth as we get older. And how many of us

I'm willing to bet the percentage of people who floss their teeth is actually quite low.

Every single day. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Because you can floss once a week or so. It's not going to cut it. And it's crazy because we all know. Everyone knows you have to floss your teeth every day.

And did you always floss your teeth every day?

I think I started that in my early 20s.

Yeah. So, I didn't as a teenager, for sure. But it, I've got a friend who's a dentist now, and so She's giving you a hard time. Even before she was a dentist, we went traveling for six months around the world. So we were together every day, every night. And she was flossing, so I was flossing.

So she was a good influence on you.

Yeah, so we flossed our teeth and that's what started me in my early 20s. She hadn't started dentistry school at that point. So we were in our early 20s and she was flossing. So I was flossing and then I just kept it.

My teeth feel good after I floss. So I get a little bit of a feedback loop there, right? My teeth feel clean when I floss them. So it's just become a habit: I floss every single night 'cause I know I'm supposed to. I wanna keep my teeth. That's certainly a long-term goal that I have except for good goal.

It's a good goal to have.

Except for that front one that I lost years ago. But the rest of them I all want, I wanna keep 'em all and it takes me, two, three minutes to floss my teeth while I'm doing something else in the evening. It's an easy thing to do once you've built the habit, once you've built it into your routine and it pays huge dividends.

So to me, it's such a good example of something that, we all know we should do, that's going to serve us in the long run, but we don't always do it because I don't think we're putting enough importance on those daily habits, especially when you don't see the instant gratification.

That's the thing, I think, is like we're, we're an instant gratification society.

Like we want the response immediately after we do something.

Yeah, we want that dopamine hit right away.

Yeah, and with habits, it's, it's a compounding effect. You don't see it right away.

Like, I don't feel in the, in the moment I eat the french fries instead of ordering the salad, my body doesn't instantly feel worse.

It might feel a little worse a few hours later as I'm digesting, but generally speaking, by and large, I don't get an instant feedback on, oops, I, I ordered the french fries and I really should have probably ordered that side salad.

No, it's, every time you're faced with the challenge of a salad or fries, if you choose the fries, eventually you're going to be sluggish.

You're going to have less energy. You're going to be out of shape. You're not going to have the energy to do the things you want to do in the run of a day. It compounds on itself. And over time you notice those changes. The opposite is true. If you eat the salad, you're going to have more energy, you're going to have more vitality.

None of those things happen immediately. No. So you don't get that immediate feedback loop on: I've made the right decision for myself long term, good for me. It's a long term thing and same with, running or exercising. I feel good when I'm done of the exercise.

If I could just bottle that feeling and spray it on me on the days I don't feel like doing it to get me to go, that would be helpful. But when I finish a workout, when I finish a run, I always feel great, but if I skip it one day, I don't feel awful. I don't get that feedback loop telling me like, you made the poor choice, therefore you're going to feel badly about it.

It takes discipline to introduce habits that you know are going to benefit you in the long run because you're not getting the instant gratification, the instant dopamine hit, to reinforce that you made the right choice. So right off the bat, the habits and rituals you're going to introduce in your life are going to require some degree of discipline.

And I think that's the first hurdle to overcome with introducing habits, and rituals.

So, what are some habits and rituals that you have found life changing?

We developed our habits and rituals by reverse engineering our goals. Like, what do we want to achieve? Who do we need to become to have the things we want?

And what do those people do? Right? Like, that's another concept from, Atomic habits is you're more likely to achieve your goals if you take an identity focused approach, as opposed to I want to quit smoking you take the identity focused approach, I'm not a smoker.

And so when someone offers you a cigarette instead of saying "I'm trying to quit" you say "I don't smoke" and that's a much more powerful approach. I don't eat that. So some of the habits that have been life changing for me, is how we start our day. We get up at the same time every day weekend or not weekend, that doesn't matter anymore. We go to bed early and we get up early.

Whereas it used to be You'd go to bed for work.

You'd get up for work. That was a time weekends were different. You'd stay up later You'd get up later.

Then it messes with your schedule This is with your circadian rhythms. It throws you off. Monday mornings are tougher.

And you, honestly, you feel more sluggish on the weekends anyway because you've probably overslept.

Like it didn't leave me feeling good sleeping in. And so the first one is, is just the sleep routine. Going to bed early, getting up early, and keeping that consistent every day. And then the next, well I'm just walking through the day. Like the next thing is the meditation. Spending the 10 to 20 minutes.

First thing is making the bed.

Oh that's right. Yeah, good point. Every morning.

You feel accomplished right off the bat. First thing in the morning. It's like this Psychological edge you give yourself. Totally.

Yeah. Yeah. Makes you feel good immediately making your bed , and then I guess actually the next thing would be obviously the first thing I do when I get up is go pee, wash my hands and give myself the high five in the mirror. Look yourself in the eye. Give yourself a smile high five yourself in the mirror, and then it's meditation 10 20 minutes of quiet reflection time, being in the moment, living in the moment.

Also, like I feel good when I do it regularly, but if I were to skip it one day I wouldn't notice a difference.

And so, again, it's the discipline to do it every day.

Yeah, and if you skip it once, and if you just did it once, you wouldn't get the benefit.

100%. Right? Like it's It's the regular practice. And then the next thing is the journal, which, you know, again, 10- 15 minutes. And I journal the exact same things every day.

It's not like a dear diary type of thing where I talk about what I'm feeling. If something big is going on, I might talk about it, but generally speaking, I never deviate. I'm very structured.

Yeah. And that's one way of doing it. But I think for anyone who is considering journaling, journaling your thoughts, and it's different every day is also a huge benefit.

Huge benefit. There's just not one way to do it.

For sure. I used to do that a lot more actually. Journal my thoughts that I, and I don't do that as much anymore. To your point, it, it works both ways. The journaling for me is the gratitude, the goals, the identity, the traits.

So every day, reminding myself of those things.

I think an underrated habit and ritual that I didn't realize until more recently is: the universe runs on energy and frequency and the importance of maintaining that level that energy and that frequency of the universe of love and peace and those higher vibrations. Gratitude, abundance. Yeah, and in order to stay there, you have to practice gratitude and envision the life that you want to have every day- condition it.

And by condition it you mean feel it.

Feel it feel about it.

So I think about it. I picture it I envision it in my meditation and I feel myself in that situation. I smell the salt water. I feel the wind on off the ocean. I see my dream home. I picture the the car I want to drive or the vacation I want to take and the people I want to be surrounded with and the feelings I have when I'm around those people and the things I'm doing with them and conditioning that and thinking about that every single day for a few minutes. I Didn't realize how important that was until more recently.

Yeah, very recently. In the last like six months or so. Yeah, for sure. And then the next thing I would do is read 10 pages or more of whatever book I'm reading.

Because then, even if I don't feel like it, a lot of this stuff, some days you don't feel like it, but you're not doing it because you feel like it. Same as flossing. When do you ever feel like flossing? You're doing it because you know it's good for you and you know that if you're not improving, you're declining and you always want to be on that growth curve and not the downturn.

Building discipline. Yeah so, reading the book every day, getting the 10 pages in, and I like to do it in the morning because then, I also like to read at night before bed, but something's more likely to come up between now and then. If I get the reading done early, then at least I can check the box and move on.

I find the further you get into the day, the more tired and less you retain as well.

Yeah, I'm more likely to read a book for pleasure before bed versus a personal growth or business book in the morning. And then, well then we get into some work usually. Getting the most important things done first.

And just doing them. Rip the band aid off. Yeah, because some of the things to your point, you just don't feel like doing it. Like I don't want to go on that live, I don't want to record that podcast, I don't, I don't feel like doing that, sending that email or making that phone call or whatever it is. And it's like, Oh no, it's the most important thing I gotta do.

Let's get that thing done.

If you start the day with the hardest thing, like the thing that, it's not always the hardest thing, I guess. But the thing that you know is the most important needle mover for you that day, whether that's in your business, whether that's in your family, whatever that is for your health or whatever, the biggest needle mover for you in your day, in your life for that day, if you start your day with that, you feel so good when it's done. It's a point of pride. Like, okay, I got that big thing.

Yeah. You feel good, feel accomplished by that for the day, regardless of what you, the rest, you're still gonna get some other things done that day, but even if you didn't, you got the big thing done.

Yeah. And so you feel good.

Yeah. 'cause you know, you already decided that was the, the needle mover in your life for that day. And so then after that it's time to exercise and lately that looks like going out to the garage

Yeah, a little mini gym out there.

Yeah got the rubber floor down and and getting our workouts in in the garage Depending on where we are, that's orange theory that's going for a run like it depends on yeah where we are geographically.

Yeah, if the weather's not cooperating, you know go to the garage if it is get it for a run or enjoy the sun, get out in nature. Yep.

Yeah, and so that's that that happens in the morning because as the day goes on more things come up.

So getting the exercise done for the day earlier.

It sets you up for having a feeling of accomplishment when you have four or five or six daily habits rituals that you can just plow through. Not only do they make you feel good, but they're actually doing something for you. They all each have something that they're doing for you, whether it's conditioning your dream and getting you set up for the right frequency or, or reading is getting you more knowledgeable about something in particular and advancing your business by doing the one thing, getting healthier, by doing the exercise there, they all have multiple benefits.

They're doing the thing they're intended to do, but they're also giving you the sense of accomplishment. Like, man, what a full day I had and look at all the stuff I did.

And another kind of hidden benefit is it builds your confidence. Cause if you've told yourself that you're going to do these things, and then you actually follow through on a promise to yourself and do them.

That's how you build confidence in yourself, that's how you learn to trust yourself, to follow through for yourself.

It's also how you build momentum. It starts with a small snowball and then as you do it a few days, it becomes bigger and you keep doing it, it becomes bigger and bigger and eventually you're building so much momentum, you've, built the confidence, you've built the courage to do the hard things, you're doing harder and harder things all the time.

Now it's going to be an avalanche of momentum coming down the mountain.

Yeah, exactly. And so whenever we try to introduce a new habit... Cause we're, we're at the point now that some of those habits we've been doing for a couple of years are pretty well ingrained.

It was hard sometimes when you introduce a new one, you do it for a couple of days, you'd skip a day.

Vitamins, I think is a great example of when we started taking vitamins again.

We still haven't hit that out of the park, like we're still sketchy on the vitamins a little bit.

It's stacking that habit on something that's a for sure. So every morning, we make a smoothie every morning, and so having the vitamins out, take the vitamins out when you take the smoothie stuff out, so everything's on the counter, so that when you're making the smoothie, you're taking the vitamins. They call that habit stacking, when you're trying to introduce a new habit, stack it on top of something you already do. So, the high five in the mirror, You know, I pee multiple times a day, and I wash my hands after, and so when I'm doing that, I'm looking at myself in the mirror anyway. All I have to do now is smile at myself, look myself in the eye, and give myself a high five, or tell myself I love you, I'm proud of you, you can do it, keep going, you are enough. High five in the mirror. So if you can stack the new habit on something that you already do without thinking about it. Yeah, like when I started flossing my teeth, I started doing that watching TV in the evening. I'm gonna sit down and watch TV at some point in the evening. Not every single, but most evenings.

And pull the floss out right away. Get that done because you're sitting there anyway. So it's like a stack that habit on your existing habit and it makes it so much easier.

Anything else?

I think that gives folks a bit to think about as far as, what are some habits that you'd like to implement and you figure those out by reverse engineering from your goals. What are the things that you want to accomplish? And so what are the, the people who've accomplished that, what are the things that they do?

If you're, you know, like we talked about the identity of the non smoker or if you're trying to be, you know, get into fitness and exercise and get healthier, what does a healthy person do? Adopt that identity and then figure out what those habits are. So, if you can reverse engineer the habits required to achieve your goal from the goal that you have, then you just start introducing those habits.

So feel free to join us on our Facebook group: "Traveling the Road of Life". It's a free group that we have on on Facebook where we celebrate each other, build momentum hold people accountable when they want, having conversations. Search that on Facebook: "Traveling the Road of Life". And if you got anything of value out of this episode, we'd love for you to share it with someone else who might enjoy it and like it and subscribe and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast.

That would be really helpful. Thank you so much and have a lovely day. We'll talk to you soon. Bye everybody. Bye.

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Meredith & Craig

Meredith (aka MacKay). Loves rules, processes, order and efficiency. All around badass and most empathetic human you will ever meet. She feels what you feel, as strongly as you feel it. Her emotions pour from her eyeballs. Has a borderline unhealthy obsession with saltine crackers and believes squirrels are just rats with better PR. Craig (aka Bennett). Basically a giant kid with a ginger beard. Loves any game that involves a ball and seeing how many of MacKay's rules he can get away with breaking (Spoiler Alert: not many). Has un uncanny ability to give you the kick-in-the-ass you need and make it feel like a giant warm hug. Can crush a bag of Chicago Mix like Popeye does spinach We're sharing our life experiences, funny stories, failures, lessons and wisdom from this epic adventure together in hopes that it will both entertain you and equip you to live your dreams on your own epic adventure.

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Meredith & Craig

Life partners, business partners, and best friends. We left the corporate grind to become fulltime entrepreneurs... with no idea what we were doing.

That made for some interesting, amazing, stressful, awesome, painful, scary, awful, awesome, insightful, unbelievable decisions, moments, experiences, relationships, and quite honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our marriage is the foundation for everything else we build in our lives. It is a cheat code for life, and we believe that having that part dialed in levels up every other part of life.

We help others live their dream life... and that starts with a rock solid relationship so they can level up the rest of their lives too.

Tune in for a dose of laughter, love, a gentle ass kicking, and game-changing wisdom that will help you unleash your potential and build the life of your dreams together.