Episode 056

Atomic Habits

A Book Review with the Mbrace Studio Team

by | May 4, 2021

Show Notes:

In this episode, the team at Mbrace Studio joins me to share their thoughts on the wildly popular book: Atomic Habits, by James Clear. If you listened to the special 50th episode on the podcast, you’ll recall my plans to have a bonus episode every month where I invite previous guests back onto the podcast to discuss one of their book recommendations. This is our first attempt at such an episode, and I think we pulled it off quite well.

The Mbrace Studio team, Andrea and Diana, were featured back in episode 39 of the podcast. I recommend giving that one a listen, too. Mbrace Studio brings online streaming and live Zoom workouts to their members everyday, with in-person group workouts held around Cornelius and Davidson.

Thanks for joining us friends, enjoy the episode!

Atomic Habits, by James Clear – pick up your copy at Main Street Books – Davidson 

Learn more about James Clear’s weekly newsletter here.

Thanks to Mbrace Studio (@mbracestudio) for joining the podcast for this conversation!

Shout-outs to these amazing local small businesses:

Lost Worlds Brewing Co.

The Shoppes at Home, Heart & Soul

Luna’s at the Lake

Transcript:

Speaker 1  
Welcome to the Best of LKN, a podcast featuring the best small businesses and the most influential professionals around Lake Norman, North Carolina. Each week, we spotlight those businesses and individuals that are making a positive impact here in the Lake Norman area. Thanks for joining us. Enjoy the show.

Jeff  
Hey, everyone, welcome back to the Best of LKN podcast. In this episode, the team at Mbrace Studio joins me to share their thoughts on the wildly popular book, Atomic Habits by James Clear. If you listened to the special 50th episode on the podcast, you’ll recall my plans to have a bonus episode every month, where I invite previous guests back onto the podcast to discuss one of their book recommendations. This is our first attempt at such an episode and I think we pulled it off quite well. The Mbrace Studio team, Andrea and Diana were featured back in Episode 39 of the podcast. I recommend giving that one a listen too. Mbrace Studio brings online streaming and live video workouts to their members every day with in-person group workouts held around Cornelius and Davidson. Links will be in the show notes, as always. Definitely check out Mbrace Studio. For now, let’s get stuck right into our review of Atomic Habits by James Clear. Thanks for joining us friends. Enjoy the episode.

Jeff  
Joining me is the team from Mbrace Studio, Andrea and Diana. Hey, welcome back to the podcast.

Diana  
Hey, it’s great to be back.

Jeff  
I’m glad you’re here. I appreciate you taking the time. This is kind of an experiment. We have no idea how this is gonna go, this, I haven’t done a book review or this kind of conversation on the podcast yet., but I’m excited to dive into this. We are having a conversation today about atomic habits by James Clear, Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones. I think that is a topic that can certainly resonate with most people. And the reason I invited you guys back on the podcast is because I remember last fall, or last year sometime, you had made some references on social media to the book, and I was in the middle of the audio book at the time. So yeah, super excited to have this conversation and talk about atomic habits.

Andrea  
Definitely, this is one of my favorite books. And I come back to it often depending on what’s going on with clients or in my life, I always find something new from it, it’s a great reference book.

Jeff  
Yeah, absolutely. I posted a little bit of a teaser on social media on Instagram that we’re going to be having this conversation and getting a lot of comments on that post about what a great book, I love that book, I’ve read it many times, from quite a few our friends on Instagram. So I think this might be a popular episode, we’ll see.

Diana  
It’s definitely it’s very popular in the fitness community for sure. Because it just goes hand in hand. You know, it’s so easy to, it resonates really well for any kind of health coach that’s really trying to get their clients to, you know, get healthy, make fitness a habit, make those, you know, changes, those daily changes.

Jeff  
Yeah, when I was first reading the book, my fitness habits, or lack of fitness habits, was front and center in my mind, that’s how I was reading it. But as I keep going back to it other aspects of my life, my work, family life come to mind as well. Like there’s so many places you can apply the principles of this book, James Clear was, he goes into his history as an athlete, as a competitive baseball player, the injury that he suffered and has subsequently, in adulthood, I think he’s a pretty avid athlete and weightlifter. But yeah, I can definitely see how the principles can apply so well to the gym, you know, to our fitness habits and our diet habits. I had sent you a little bit of an outline ahead of time and asked if you could just share three or so of the principles from the book that really resonate with you. There’s probably 103 that resonate, but in the spirit of keeping this as short as possible. I don’t want to go too long with this. But Andrea, let’s start with you. What were like three or four of the principles that, your biggest takeaways from this book and share some ways that you’ve been able to apply the principles to your life.

Andrea  
Okay, so, when looking at the book, I really, you know, with our Mbrace Studio, I think a lot of people come to us with questions about habits. And what I find and what I’ve taken away from the book is, is that people have a lot of misconceptions about habits. They look at habits as a race with a finish line, rather than a lifestyle to be lived. So, you know, everyone will say the 21 days to build a habit. But there is a clear finish line there. So yes, it sounds very appealing, but I think that is the wrong way to look at it. And he goes into so many reasons why, you know, it takes a certain amount of time to build a habit, depends on you know, the habit that you’re trying to create the situation that you live in. One of the other things that I take away from that, around that misconception of a habit is that people are always trying to optimize a habit, they want, you know, how many days to get killer abs, or I want to, you know, my habit I want to create is I want to eat healthy every day of the week, or I want to work out, you know, five days a week, that is maybe too big of a habit to try to take on. They don’t learn the art of maybe showing up or taking it into a bite-size habit, instead of saying, I want to work out five days a week, why not just try to work out one or two days a week. You have to establish the habit before you can try to optimize it. I think that’s the country that we live in, we always try to make it faster, bigger, better. But you can’t do that if you don’t even start with a little bit. We’re so used to seeing the results. We don’t see how people create that habit, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. So that’s what I try to explain to our clients and our members. Think about the habit that you’re trying to create. It is not a race, it is a lifestyle that you’re trying to build. One of my other things that I use often and it’s, you know, a great slogan is never twice or never to miss twice. And I think that is just an awesome way to think about it. And again, in that bite-size moment, life happens, you might forget about a workout or you know, you might be too tired. That is okay, that is kind of an accident. But if you continue to do that, and you do it the next day, then you’re starting to create another habit, and a habit that maybe is not going to serve you. And I can even go a little bit nicer and say, okay, you’re on a vacation for a week. And you’re somewhere tropical, you might not do your normal workout routine. That’s okay. But don’t take it into the second week when you come back home. And now you’ve taken two weeks off of exercise. And I just, I’m using exercise a lot, because that’s what we do. We’re thinking about it 24/7. So those are the examples that I’m using. And then you know, my other one, which I think is the most important is the reason why habits truly matter. And it’s because they shift the way that you see yourself. And that really is the goal of a habit. Like I want to embody the identity of a healthy person, I want to embody the identity of somebody who is studious. So I think that is amazing where a true behavior change is an identity change. So when I think about myself, I think of, I am an avid exerciser. And did that happen overnight? No. But over time, those behavior changes, that became who I am, I am an avid exerciser. I also say I am a morning person. Was I a morning person before the pandemic? Probably not. But over time, those behavior changes, that became my identity. Now, it feels weird if I don’t exercise. It feels weird if I don’t wake up in the morning, it is who I am. And then because those are my identity, then I have room to maybe build other habits that might serve me. And so that’s how you can grow as a person. So I think if people can really look at that habit, Yes, there is, okay I want, the reason I’m trying to create this habit is because I want to get killer abs. Yes, that’s an external thing that you can see, but you’re truly trying to become a different person, you’re trying to embody that healthy person. So you know, that is where that true behavior change becomes your identity change. And I think that is the coolest part about habits.

Jeff  
Any habit that’s been congruent with ones self cannot last, right? So he makes that point that it’s really an identity shift that has to be made 10% goal, I’m sorry, go ahead, Diana.

Diana  
I was just gonna say i think that you know how he wraps it up towards the end is, you know, how we, our identities change throughout our life. You know, maybe you served in the military, you said, I’m a soldier, and then you have to re-identify yourself, you know. So we always go through these phases in our lives where we have to kind of form and change new habits. Habits, maybe I had in my 20s are completely different than now. And I know my habits now are gonna be completely different when I’m in my 50s or 60s, because it’s just depends on you know, what your environment is.

Jeff  
Yeah, absolutely. And he talks a lot about environment as well. And this is probably one of the most quotable books I’ve ever read.

Diana  
Andrea is a fan of, of like, I need a quote. I’m like something besides James Clear. It’s like, I have to say that because it’ll be something from the book, or the emails, just, like give some variety.

Andrea  
But I really enjoy his emails. I don’t know if you’ve signed up.

Jeff  
I do. Yeah. 

Andrea  
And it really, it’s just like, boom, boom, boom, and it gives you something there’s a takeaway every time and it just, it circles back again, those quotable things, those slogans where you can tell people and it resonates with them so.

Diana  
Yeah, we just need to have him as like our little trademark, you know. Embrace duty, copyright James Clear.

Andrea  
Yes, or we can make shirts, I love James Clear.

Diana  
Yeah, exactly. We’ll have to make shirts, I love James Clear, we’ll just start selling them. We’ll be his little fan boosters.

Andrea  
If we make it then they’ll come to the workouts, right? If we give out free t-shirts.

Diana  
If we make them they will come. It’ll be like Field of Dreams.

Andrea  
Yeah, there we go. We got it.

Diana  
We resonate already, baseball, James Clear.

Andrea  
Right, right.

Jeff  
There you go. Andrea, you mentioned that we put too much emphasis on goals and not the process. And James Clear, breaks that down into how, you know, our mindset needs to be 10% goal, 90% processes, right? And speaking of email newsletters, my last email newsletter for the podcast went out just a few days ago. And I always include kind of, one of my favorite quotes at the end of the email. And in this one, I thought it appropriate to share a James Clear quote, and the quote was, “Success is not a goal to reach or a finish line to cross, it is a system to improve, an endless process to refine.” And it’s true. It’s like it’s endless, right? So your point of never miss twice. We can skip a day, you know, but get right back on the horse, so to speak, right? get right back at it never missed twice. And we talked about the identity, the mindset shift. Like the goal isn’t to run a marathon. The goal is to become a runner, right? 

Andrea  
Exactly

Jeff  
So, fall in love with the process, not the goal. I’m sorry, Andrea, what were you going to say?

Andrea  
I just, it just totally makes sense. I think that’s why the book is so popular. It’s just like, Yeah, okay.

Jeff  
Yeah, it’s not super philosophical. You know, it’s just so sensible. And, honestly, some of it’s so obvious.

Andrea  
Right. Oh, go miss two workouts, oh okay.

Diana  
It breaks it down so it’s a little more. I mean, I really appreciate the historical references, and I love my history, and so when you have these characters, like the guy who was the cash register, who ended up kind of basically buying that out, and then he ended up you know, making his success happen off of just catching thieves in his store. And so when you hear all these little, and it’s every chapter starts with that, so that kind of, that really interests me more, I think it makes it a little more mindful in his preparation for the book. I think he really thought it, thought clearly like, okay, this is what this person did and then he was able to match it with his, you know, point taking, you know?

Jeff  
Yep, absolutely. Yeah. The founder of NCR, National Cash Register, back in the day. Yeah, I’ve read other business books that focus a lot on him, I want to say is, I should know his name. He’s been the topic of so many. Funny thing is he, was it Patterson? He ended up. I think he ended up being convicted. He ended up being convicted for antitrust law violation. You know, I don’t think he’s, you know, the first CEO to go down that path. Yeah, yeah. Anyway, such a quotable book. And I have a bunch that I’m going to share. But for now, Diana, share with, share with me and the listeners, what were some of your takeaways from the book?

Diana  
I think my first takeaway, which, you know, we’re talking about, oh, yeah. It’s like, you know, maybe we thought of it at the time, or it was kind of more common sense. And then you read about it and when you put it in writing, it makes a little more sense. You know, I think especially my 20s I relate to your environment. And, you know, half the people you hang out with is a huge influence too, so like community is everything and like, that’s really what we stand for with Mbrace. I mean, we’re really big on community and the members and that and everybody’s learning from everybody else, not just us, you know, we want them to have a takeaway where they’re, you know, getting recipes from each other, or they’re getting, you know, books they’re reading or anything. So I think, you know, in my 20s, and I’m sure a lot of people when they’re teenagers, or whatever, there’s certain friends they had, that maybe had really bad habits, and they kind of lived a lifestyle that wasn’t the best. And you know it at the time, you know, like, maybe you’re once a smoker and, and you know, but it’s in all your friends are smokers. So it’s like, hard to step out of that bubble, you know, and actually meet new people or change you know, become healthier, do this, unless you do a drastic change, you move or you relocate, or you, I don’t know, have a family or whatever so that’s like a different stage. And reading that one chapter about motivation is overrated, environment matters more. So you know, and that he pretty much opens that up with like, going into a supermarket and how like, you know, Whole Foods is really good about it, where they have all of these items that you don’t even think you want to buy. And then you walk in there, and it’s just, oh, this is on sale. Oh, those, you know, I didn’t want an artichoke, I don’t even know if I know how to bake an artichoke. But I think I want to get that today, you know, and it really does influence a little bit of your behavior. And like what you think you went in there to begin with. So it’s a really great metaphor for, I think, you know, daily environments and lives, and it really makes it easier for you to make those healthy changes. You know, like, I feel bad for the, you know, anybody out there who is trying, but their husband or their wife eats poorly, it’s really hard for them to get on that bandwagon. It’s same with the kids like it’s really hard for I think, a family to completely shift over to a healthier lifestyle and nutrition. If you’re the only one doing it.

Jeff  
Absolutely,

Diana  
That definitely resonates with me. And with a lot of people and clients, I’ve, you know, I’ve talked to. Another one would have to be the two-minute rule, which is kind of what you know, I guess that’s what Andrea was talking about on her last one, where…

Jeff  
Is that where you’re eating something and it falls on the floor, you’ve got…oh no, that’s not…

Diana  
Well, you know what, in my house, it’s like five minutes, five minutes aren’t gonna hurt. It’s okay. I’m not germaphobes over here. But yeah, so that is just baby steps, you know, and we really talked about that, like, even, you know, missing two days. And you know, just making it more of an effort, you know, he really goes in and talks about how this guy like he just every day, he doesn’t even think about it, that it’s a formula now. He wakes up, puts on his leggings or workout gear, whatever, and he hails a taxi. So there’s like that step is getting dressed, getting moving. And the second step is hailing a taxi. Third is going to the gym. So it’s just like clockwork. And I think that when you do less thinking, and it’s almost like robotic, my thing is going to bed at the same time every night, you know, during the week, or getting off the phone, or it doesn’t even have to be fitness, it could just be getting sleep. But I think that that’s, you know, the number one problem in this country for sure, is establishing good sleep habits. And if you don’t have that good sleep habit, then it’s hard to really wake up at 6am and do that, you know, going to the gym and getting dressed. But it all comes hand in hand. If you know you are getting up at 5am, like me and Andrea, we get up at 5:15, I get up at 5:15 and she gets up 15 minutes earlier. I don’t know. It’s probably earlier. But some days, like we don’t get a lot of sleep, but we’re still, it’s just we can’t sleep in, even if we tried because we’re doing so much work, the whole, the whole house is still asleep. So that’s like really our time to like get extra work done that we can’t. Like I have an 11-month old baby so right now he’s napping. This is like my chunk in the day. So if I am like really tired like I am today, I’m still going to work but it’s just my productivity throughout the rest of the day may suffer a little bit, you know, but I didn’t want to workout this morning. Still did it proud of myself. And I think that if you still force yourself to do something, I didn’t put 100% effort, it was maybe 60 but it’s still better than zero. You know, so I think it’s just a mental thing to tell yourself baby steps, get your yoga mat out. Maybe you don’t do it. Um, read, give yourself two minutes to read a book. Okay, so maybe the first night you’re just reading one chapter but then the second night it gets into two maybe three. Because you know with a book, it’s always hard to just start that, right? But then once you get into it, then every night it becomes a longer a longer shift and longer time. There’s there’s a lot of different takeaways. 

Jeff  
Oh, there’s so many, I know.

Unknown Speaker  
Oh, the secret of self control. So that was so fascinating to me about heroin use in the military, like during the Vietnam War. I’m like hearing about all these guys being addicted to heroin. I didn’t realize that most of them when they came back here to the country, they were fine. They just they didn’t need it anymore. Because they weren’t surrounded by it. You know, they’re with their family, friends. And I think they said 90% of the men that came back, that were addicted to heroin during Vietnam, they didn’t have it again. Some maybe relapsed like three years later. But I thought that’s so, that’s fascinating to me, because heroin, from what I’ve heard is just the worst. Like, don’t even try it once. So hearing that about self control, and how he kind of goes into that topic was really interesting.

Jeff  
Yeah, it goes back to environment, right, too, as well. And environment really is everything a controversial billionaire, I heard a quote recently in a keynote speech that he was giving, he said, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” And he was addressing 20 somethings at a university, and the quote was, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” And we become our environment, right? And we become our habits as James Clear says, we are our habits, but we are also our environment, our network. That’s something I love about this podcast is because I love the network that we’re all kind of interconnecting here with the podcast, and I’m really proud of the quality of the network that we’re building. But that really resonated with me too, the environment. For sure.

Andrea  
What are your three takeaways? Or your three things that are, you know, shining right now?

Jeff  
I have like 30, how much time do you have?

Diana  
You’re listening to the audio book too, like, do you recommend it? Because I don’t have time for audio books rather than reading. But I mean, if I’m ever on a trip or something, it’s definitely an interest. Is he narrating?

Jeff  
He is which I love. I love it when an author narrates their own, when they do their own audio book. And he’s a really great speaker, he speaks really clearly he doesn’t have an odd voice, and he’s obviously mega intelligent. So that’s a clinical term mega intelligent.

Diana  
I like that word.

Jeff  
Oh, yeah.

Diana  
My favorite thing he does, real quick, is when he goes out to a restaurant. It’s a little OCD for me, but it’s cool. I’ve never heard of this where he orders his entree, and they box up half of it. So he doesn’t, when he has like, can easily shut down, you know, a little bit because we all fluctuate, right? And he does that, and he just takes it for later.

Jeff  
It eliminates that decision, right? He doesn’t have to make that choice. It’s already boxed up. He doesn’t have to make himself only eat half of it. I find that so much of life is easier when we can just eliminate the choices, the decisions that we have to make every day, if we can just automate that. He talks a lot about automating processes as well. But one of the best quotes, or one of the best concepts I took from the book was right at the beginning, where he’s talking about the British cycling program, and how they just absolutely were mediocre at best for 100 years, until they hired performance coach Dave Brailsford, and Dave Brailsford’s strategy, he was fully committed to the strategy, and this is how James Clear wrote it, the aggregation of marginal gains, the search for a tiny margin of improvement in everything that you do.

Diana  
Yeah.

Jeff  
And these were like, super microscopic gains that they were chasing. But the aggregation of these gains made all the difference and a huge impact on the program and they ended up dominating cycling still to this day. So I thought that was really cool. The other concept, the other quote from James Clear, habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. And that the hallmark of any compounding process is that the most powerful results are delayed. And I think about that when I’m writing blog posts, when I’m producing these podcast episodes. When I first started producing this podcast, the first few episodes we were getting 20, 30, 40 listens, 40 or 50 listens were really good the first, you know, handful of episodes, and now we’re in the 300-400 listen range per episode. But all that takes time you know, it just doesn’t happen overnight. You just have to be consistent with the production and that goes really with anything, especially with fitness.

Diana  
Oh goodness, we know all about that. That takes time. How long have you been doing this for? Did it start during, at the beginning of COVID?

Unknown Speaker  
I started The Best of LKN podcast at the beginning of COVID. Well, the beginning of the stay-at-home orders and businesses were forced to shut down temporarily and some longer than others. But the first episode was released on May 2nd of 2020. I recorded it sometime in April. And then we’ve been pretty consistent with an episode a week since then, again, sometimes I miss a week, but never two. So I try never to skip two, fall in love with the process, not the product. All this discussion around the idea of minimizing the number of goals that you set and focusing on the processes and systems, like it’s just, I really can’t say enough, again, it’s like one of the most quotable books I’ve ever read. And I just love the way that he’s able to just simplify what we tend to overcomplicate, you know, the less we can complicate it, the better. The other cool concept that he goes over in the book is the concept of habit stacking, about taking existing habits and stacking another habit and or attaching another habit to that habit. So, but it takes some analyzing right, we have to look at our day, we have to kind of think about it, do kind of a self audit of our, of our daily routines and our daily habits and see what we’re doing and then how we can apply a new habit. So that was really cool. But habit stacking is basically after I do this current habit, whatever habit that is, I will do this new habit. So I think he used the example, after I close my laptop for lunch each day, I’ll do 10 push ups next to my desk before I go to lunch. So like he gets really specific on the key to making that work is being really specific on when you’re going to apply that habit, like not at lunch, it’ll be specifically after I close my laptop, and I’ll do it right next to my desk. So it’s Yeah, anyway, just super cool stuff.

Diana  
One habit or one thing that I would love to take on, but we can’t, is hand over my social media account and everything to an assistant. Assistant, where are you? And hand it over and she changes all of my passcodes so I don’t have to go on social media for a week. You know, I mean, we have to of course, but it would be nice to have that, and then he has fun on the weekends. So that’s, so take that note, you know, when you post this up, just tag James Clear in everything. Okay, when you’re posting up about this podcast.

Jeff  
I will.

Diana  
Saturdays and Sundays, that’s when he’s on.

Jeff  
Yeah.

Diana  
I do like that idea and I think that’s really good. I think that, I mean, I think if anything the pandemic did do was really cut the notion that everything is real on social media. I think, you know, people are really posting real things more now. I think all of the fake like, you know, this is my life, this is how I look photoshopped. And I think that’s really cut through because there’s been so much time spent on it. And people have had more time to kind of really dive into that world. And just say, I’m not interested in following this person, because it’s just not real, it doesn’t make sense. I mean, Andrea turned me on to a duo that are hilarious. These women, Cat and Nat and they’re so funny. And just like real truth mom stuff, you know, and it’s kind of refreshing. So there is some, like fun takeaways, I think in that world. And I think people are, you just, you have a choice of what you want to see. You really do, you know?

Andrea  
Yeah. 

Diana  
I kinda got away from the habit. But you know, it’s part of it, though, you know, that I think that it can be a bad habit forming if you’re on social media all the time. And instead of just picking up a book or having conversations or going out for a walk, you know?

Andrea  
Yeah, I was looking at, we started working on TikTok, and so I call it falling down a TikTok wormhole. And you are like, what, where did the time go? And so I didn’t want to delete the app, because we have so many passwords and everything. So on the phone, on your phone, you can remove it from your home screen. So you still have the app, but you can’t, you’d have to actually do several steps before it can pop back up. And so that has really helped me a lot. One of the other things that I really think is so simple, and it’s kind of funny, but it’s habit tracking. So he talks about that. I’m obsessed with my Apple Watch. I’m obsessed with my WHOOP. I am tracking, I want to get that like imaginary award. I need to make, you know it says you have, you know, reached your move goal for 582 days, don’t break your streak. It’s just me, you know, but it’s seeing that, you know, he says that x on the calendar, and you don’t want to mess it up, you know, some of those different, you know, weight loss tracking apps, there is something to that where you can see, this is, this is my goal, this is, you know, I’m ticking off those calories, and this is how much I have left. Like we, that was one of the things he said in the book, we envision ourselves a lot, that we’re doing better than we actually are, right? When you actually see it on paper, or it’s like, oh, well, I’ve been really working hard today. And I look, I’m like, Oh my god, I have, I actually have been sitting for three hours, I need to stand up, I’m not reaching my move goal. Or if you’re tracking calories, or different things like that, you think, well, I haven’t been that bad today. And you’re like, well, I’m actually over my limit. So it’s where you can, when you actually see it on paper, and you’re tracking, there’s no, there’s no falseness in that. So I think that’s a good way to build habits as well.

Jeff  
Yeah, for sure. And he goes into quite a bit about accountability as well. And in the fitness world. You know, as you know, that’s such a huge topic, and so important, right?

Andrea  
That’s our thing right now, we’re in the middle, we’re in our last week of our crush it accountability challenge. And, you know, there’s a lot of research where, you know, setting a goal, increases your rate of success by, you know, 5 or 10%. As you keep making that accountability bigger and bigger, accountability to yourself, maybe you’ll get to 50%. If you make accountability to somebody else, and you set a plan, and a check-in time, you have a 95% rate of success using that accountability. So we have seen an increase, a huge increase in our Zooms, people that have never worked out before are working out. They’re posting stuff on social media. Again, it’s going back to that true behavior changes, your identity change. So one of our members posted something like hey, six months ago, I wasn’t working out, now I’m a five day a week workout person, who am I? And it’s like, oh, you are now an avid exerciser, you are that new person. It would feel weird if you didn’t wake up every morning and now do the Mbrace Studio workouts. So she has created that habit, and she embodies that healthy person, that’s who she is. So the accountability is working for everyone. And we’re loving it. We’re loving seeing all the changes and the friendships build. Because these are people that, like we’ve said, if they have your same goal in mind, it makes it easier and you know, paving that way to success and that habit building.

Jeff  
That goes back to environment too, doesn’t it?

Andrea  
Totally. Yes.

Jeff  
Yeah, we our environment.

Andrea  
Mm hmm.

Jeff  
Diana, you had mentioned when it came to reading, just opening the book, planning to open the book for two minutes a day and let that two minutes turn into whatever amount of time, but just get in the habit of just setting the small wins, the small victories each day just to build the habit. He uses another analogy where it’s like, if you want to start running, don’t try to schedule a three-mile run every day. Just start by, you know, putting on your running shorts and lacing up your running shoes, you know, and go outside for a one-minute run. And just start creating the habit each day, those small wins the small victories. I just have a couple more things and then we’re going to close, but I’m going to come back to something that Diana, I’m sorry, Andrea mentioned just a minute ago about habit tracking. A really eye-watering statistic I’ve noticed for myself lately that needs some improvement. But another quote, again, perhaps the most quotable book ever, but James Clear says, winners and losers have the same goals, right? Winners and losers, they all have the same goals. They all want to lose the weight. They all want to win the race. They all want to win the medal, get the best grade. The differences are the processes, right? The ones who fall in love with the process, who design a system and design their environment for success. That’s the difference. We all want to win. But it’s not just a goal, right?

Diana  
We all want it to happen tomorrow.

Jeff  
Yeah, we all want it to happen tomorrow. I’ve restarted my running regimen about seven times in the last 12 months. I’ll run consistently for two weeks and then I’ll step on the scale and be like, well that didn’t do anything.

Diana  
Throw the scale away.

Jeff  
So I’ll be like, you know, I just quit too easy. So I just, you know you have to keep going back to the habits are the compound interest of success, right? And those big gains and accomplishments happen all at once, but they take time, it takes a long time for it to happen. But the last thing I was gonna say was, Andrea, you’re talking about tracking our habits, like tracking our successes and our losses as well. My iPhone has, you know, it’s got the Apple screen time, and every week, it tells me my average screen time. And I don’t even know if I, well, first of all, I have two small businesses, and I also host and produce these two small podcasts. So believe it or not this stuff takes a long time, I’m not even gonna tell you how many email accounts I have. So my screen time is like, I get that update, and I’m somewhere between four or five hours a day. And I’m like, oh my God, it’s no wonder I don’t have… This cop out, this excuse we always make, I don’t have time.

Andrea  
Right?

Jeff  
You know? No, it’s not that it’s just, you know, we just need to do a self-audit of where we’re spending our time, just like you would go through your bank accounts and go, where am I wasting money? Oh, I’m spending $400 a month at Starbucks? Well, I didn’t know that you know that those $4, you know, or $8 a day adds up? What do you do?

Diana  
I mean, with with business, everything’s online. So yeah, that’s kind of how I look at it. If you were, I don’t know, just working a 9-5 somewhere, it would be cut down drastically. So I think it is a productive use of getting everything we need done. That’s how I look at it. 

Jeff  
Yeah.

Diana  
Because I’m really not on mine is four to five hours a day. But I’m really not on social media. I’m only on there for our business pages. And I go on there and I quickly just look at notifications, then I like comment, whatever and then done. And sometimes I’ll look at, you know, other fitness people out there. There’s people I follow that I learn a lot from as well that are a lot smarter than me, and you know, get a lot of different information. And that betters our company and who we are and everything. But I think that that’s it. And I think it’s easy to just kind of shut it down. So you probably really, I wish there was a tool that told us that, okay, you were only on Instagram and Facebook, let’s say 30 minutes that day, and everything else was Docs, Google Docs, and you know?

Jeff  
Yeah, I mean, a lot of it. Yeah. Obviously, a lot of it’s checking, sending and receiving emails and Google searches or whatever. But it’s still such a like, Wow, really? Five hours a day? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  
Put on the orange goggles. I used to just walk around and you know, that’s, I feel better. You’d feel better, right?

Andrea  
Yeah.

Jeff  
All right. So suffice to say we love this book, Atomic Habits. Andrea, Diana, share with the listeners, what’s new at Mbrace and what’s going on these days?

Diana  
I’ll let Andrea take it off.

Andrea  
Well, like we said, we are just finishing up the accountability challenge. And, you know, it really is, I think our favorite part is watching our community and how it’s building. And these are friendships that you know, people that have never known each other now they are texting every day, getting each other motivated. So our community is growing. We now have Zooms every day, which is awesome. So we are really taking your excuses off the table. We have an amazing two-week meal plan made by a chef and registered dietitian. We’re really proud of that. 

Diana  
And starting next month, we’re gonna be doing a 30 for 30 challenge.

Andrea  
Oh, yes.

Diana  
This is really for people that don’t have the time. You know, it’s 30 minute workouts every day. The first week will be an intro into like, everything of what we do, intro to TABATA, intro of upper body reps, intro to lower body, intro to amrap. So everybody has an idea and understanding of like, what, what is it and then we just go for it for those three weeks after that. So it does intensify, but they’re 30 minutes a day, so it’s really, that’s what we’re really hearing from a lot of people is that they just really don’t have that time. Or it’s just hard to really think of doing a 45-50 minute to an hour workout, especially when you’re starting out. So we really want to make it a little more accessible. And if people want to do an hour they can do a 30-minute of this and a 30-minute of that and then just piece them together.

Andrea  
One of the things that James Clear said in one of the emails was, if you’re trying to think of, you know, the optimal plan, just remember that getting started changes everything. And that’s kind of what we have found with some of our new recruits, that if some of our ride or die members have gotten some of their friends to, to start. And now that they’ve started, they’re there every day. So it was just that gun going off, go. And now they have it figured out. So that’s what I would say to people that are listening, like Diana said, the 30 for 30, we are giving you a great starting off point. And then once that happens, let us take you along, because that’s where we’re personal trainers, decades of experience. We take the guesswork out of what you’re supposed to do every day, just follow along with us. All we’re asking you to do is embrace where you’re at, start, press play, or log into zoom, we’ve got the rest taken care of.

Diana  
And we’ll have a brand new website up and yeah, you how exciting that stuff is right, Jeff?

Jeff  
I do.

Diana  
We’ve got a guy working on it right now I’m like, super excited. So we’re going to be able to add like a shop. So people can buy tanks, and you know, sweatshirts through that. And also, we’ll just have, be able to have blogs and articles and all kinds of stuff on there. 

Andrea  
Maybe a podcast, wink wink.

Diana  
You know, will be able to, like, you know, have you on there, like, you know, the link for the podcast can be there. It’s just, it’ll mean, it’ll be smoother. You guys have a podcast, you definitely should have a podcast, you know, that’s the thing, when 

Andrea  
you’re going to help us 

Jeff  
I’d be happy to.

Diana  
When you resonate with us that, when you, because I forgot about that in the book, when he’s talking about how it’s so easy to get lost in all these goals. Like every day, I’m like, we got to do this, we have to do this, we have to do that. And it’s just, it’s to where we don’t do anything. We’re not doing the one thing we need to be doing. And I think it’s just easy to get lost and jumbled because oh, they’re doing this, they’re doing that we need to do this. And now I think I finally hit a aha moment this weekend. And I was just like, this is what we need to be doing and sticking with it. And so I think that, you know, it’s the first year of anything, I think of any kind of business is starting out, that’s when you’re kind of figuring out and navigating the waves and, and just seeing what’s going to work for you. And I think then you get a kind of a formula. So I think it’s finding that formula, you know, and setting those small little goals.

Jeff  
Absolutely. Yeah, that’s what my partner in the digital content production business that we have together and I talk about all the time. It’s like James Clear talks about it, too. If you wait till it’s perfect, you’ll never start. You just have to start, you don’t know what’s broken until you start and then you can refine the process. It’s a continuous process of refinement. But yeah, absolutely. Yeah, you guys should have a podcast, I’d love to help you with that. I’d be glad to offer any advice you need and show you where I get all my resources and how to set it up make it easy for you. You can literally turn your blog content also into, repurpose it and share it as a podcast and vice versa. So it obviously I’m biased but I’m a firm believer that if it’s worth blogging about it’s worth podcasting about and vice versa. So I’ll also share the link for James Clear’s email list. Really cool newsletter so I highly recommend that as well, for listeners. I feel like there’s something else there’s so much I want to talk about, as usual. I think I said these book review conversations we’re going to be about 20-25 minutes and we’re pushing an hour so that’s usually…

Diana  
That’s a lot of cutting for you, I know.

Jeff  
That’s all right, that’s all right, it’s all good. I probably won’t edit this a lot. We’ll just, you know, keep in all my false starts and my ums and ahhs and yeah. I think this has been great. Andrea, Diana, you two are the best, really appreciate you joining the podcast and share again with the listeners how they can learn more about Mbrace studio.

Andrea  
Go ahead.

Diana  
Follow us on Instagram first, Mbrace Studio you can kind of really check out our personalities and our workouts and what we’re all about. You can go to www.mbracestudio.com and just kind of check a little bit, like I said though our website is not fully ready until next month, where you’re gonna have a lot more information about us right now. It’s more like Netflix, just videos and all that. So really check us out on Facebook and Instagram, and then our website you can check out the free trial. 

Jeff  
Awesome. I’ll have the links in the show notes and also want to remind listeners I posted this on Instagram, I got my hard copy of Atomic Habits at Main Street Books Davidson

Diana  
Love that store, I love it. The kids love it.

Jeff  
I love that story as well. I’ve decided I had been in the past sharing links to the Amazon links for our book suggestions. Now our next project is to go back through all those show notes, remove those links and start loving on local independent small bookstores. So go by Main Street Books and grab that book. As always, Andrea, Diana, great to see you. Thanks so much.

Andrea  
Yes.

Diana  
Well, thanks for having us.

Jeff  
You got it.

Andrea  
We’ll see you soon on a workout, right?

Jeff  
Absolutely.

Diana  
Make it a habit to do Mondays, at least, come on out.

Jeff  
Yeah. I really enjoyed it. I got my butt kicked at let’s see, Smithfield Park on a Saturday morning and then Lost Worlds Brewing on Sunday mornings.

Andrea  
Yeah. Yep.

Jeff  
I’ll share links as well.

Diana  
Oh, awesome. I didn’t know Jeff, if you were working on Wednesdays, but we’re going to be at Home Heart and Soul in front of that area in the lawn.

Jeff  
In the evening?

Diana  
Yep. At 5:30.

Jeff  
Awesome. Okay.

Diana  
There are libations served after.

Jeff  
Well, it’s all, you know, what was the James Clear quote about motivation?

Diana  
Yep. Christine is really good about, Christine, who owns the shop at Luna’s. She owns Luna’s at the Lake. And so she is great, great hostess. She’s got waters and Prosecco and all kinds of things.

Jeff  
She’s awesome. I follow her on Instagram, her shop. She’s really, she seems awesome. I need to reach out and connect with her sometime.

Diana  
You do, she’s a great, great person, great community leader around here. She’s really trying to get you know, build up a community just like you’re doing and like we’re doing so yeah.

Jeff  
Absolutely. Again, the book is Atomic Habits and the team at Mbrace studio, Andrea and Diana, thank you both so much. great seeing you.

Andrea  
Thank you.

Jeff  
Obviously, we’re big fans of this book. I highly recommend you pick up a copy. The title again is Atomic Habits by James Clear, and I recommend you purchase it from a local independent bookstore. No more Amazon links on this podcast. I picked up my copy at Main Street Books in downtown Davidson. You can learn more about Mbrace Studio at www.mbracestudio.com or check them out on the socials at Mbrace Studio. Be sure to check the spelling there’s no E at the beginning of Mbrace. Big thanks to Andrea and Diana for taking time out of their extremely busy schedules to join the podcast. They are real friends of this podcast and I highly recommend you get to know them and their fitness programming at Mbrace Studio. As always links to Mbrace Studio, James Clear’s email newsletter, Main Street Books Davidson, and other small businesses we mentioned in this episode, can be found at the home for Lake Norman’s number one small business podcast, www.thebestoflkn.com. Speaking of email newsletters, be sure to sign up for ours while you’re at the website. It’s the best way to show some support for our efforts here at the podcast. And we appreciate your support so very much. Also, the latest article on the blog features a Lake Norman Mother’s Day shopping guide. We’re very proud of that article and the businesses we featured in it. So I hope you’ll check it out. That’s www.thebestoflkn.com/blog. That will do it for now, my friends. Thanks so much for following along on our journey. We’re back next week with another episode about a highly successful Lake Norman small business. Until then, cheers Lake Norman, bye for now.

Speaker 1  
We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of The Best of LKN. For more information about this podcast, show notes, video episodes, and links to our featured businesses, please visit www.thebestoflkn.com. We publish episodes weekly, so be sure to subscribe and stay up to date. Until next time, cheers Lake Norman.