Force of Habit: Unleash Your Power By Developing Great Habits

Force of Habit: Unleash Your Power By Developing Great Habits

by Tamsin Astor

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633537866
Publisher: Mango Media
Publication date: 08/15/2018
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 273,044
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Tamsin Astor, PhD helps busy professionals organize themselves so they have time for what they need & want, and time for fun. She is your Chief Habit Scientist, wrangling your habits around sleep, exercise & eating through a lens of mindfulness & relationship management.

We make​ tens of thousands of decisions every day, so if we can create connections between the habits that serve us well, thus reducing the number of choices we make, we free up lots of time. This irony—creating routines to create freedom—is what Tamsin loves to help people activate in their lives!

Tamsin utilizes a broad array of both Eastern and Western skills from her extensive training (PhD, Advanced Registered Yoga Teacher - RYT500, Certified Living Ayurveda, Certified Executive Coach and Certified Yoga Health Coach) and background (Neuroscience, Psychology & Education research, teaching, 10+ years meditation-practioner, parenting a child with cancer, a child with ADHD, coaching) to guide clients through change related to their careers, relationships, physical and emotional health.

Read an Excerpt

Your Evolutionary Journey and the Supporter
Some people in your life will notice the changes—abundance, radiant energy, shining eyes, clear skin, positivity, a healthy mind-body relationship —and think, “I’ll have what she’s having.” (That’s a When Harry Met Sally reference, in case you didn’t catch it!) If you create the time and space for connection and deep conversation around your evolutionary shifts, then your friends, family, and partner might start to join you on the path—particularly if you look happier, shine forth an energy that is strong and clear, and demonstrate clear benefits from these changes that you’ve made.
One of the most important aspects of these shifts is creating the time to have the right kind of conversation, so you can see how the people in your life can support you as you evolve. Understanding conversational intelligence—the different kinds of conversation and then how to create the space for the right kind of conversation—can be really helpful.

Conversational Intelligence
When you talk to other people, pay attention to how you talk. Author and organizational anthropologist, Judith Glaser studies Conversational Intelligence and talks about three different levels of conversations.

The first is transactional—we exchange information. The second is promotional—we promote a certain idea and work on convincing the other party on its validity. The third is transformational—we create a nonjudgmental space of comfort and we co-create. When we talk, we are navigating back and forth between trust and distrust, between the more-evolved frontal cortex (where we are cultivating empathy and connection) and the limbic system, and the cortisol-producing and fear part of the brain. This is where the magic happens: when we can keep ourselves in the empathic trust part of the brain!

But, as a busy mom of three, I often find that I am more focused on the first and second types when I am parenting, and on the third when I am coaching or in a deep and meaningful discussion with a friend. I think what was difficult for my ex-husband and me was that we struggled to find the time to have the pure transformational conversation that we needed. We got bogged down in the transactional and promotional conversations instead.

But, the transformational level is where the deep connection happens. In fact, you could say that the transformational level is simply a different kind of conversation—it’s a conversation where we are listening to connect, not to judge or evaluate. That can be SO much harder in some settings and requires a real commitment to NOT let the other kinds of conversations become interlopers!

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” — Epictetus

How to Improve Your Chances of Cultivating a Supporter
Schedule it and do it regularly. Check in, describe why you are making these changes, and describe the positive effects they are bringing to your life. Make sure you check in once a month or so.
Timing is everything. Having a discussion with someone at 10:00 p.m. about the fact that they denigrate your life choices will not result in good sleep. Schedule a walk on Sunday afternoon or tea on Monday morning to have this conversation.
Reactive vs. intentional. Try not to have this conversation in response to an argument. I had to work on this—quite a few people in my life are avid meat and dairy consumers and will repeatedly make comments about how I am not normal, I am weird, etc., for basing my meals around plants. When I react and get angry in that moment, it doesn’t resolve the issue. Having intentional conversations, when everyone is calm, works much better!
Explain your big why: Telling people why this is important to you, why you care about it, and what results you are finding as you make these shifts will help to frame the evolution.

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Introduction: The Shoulds and the Oughts: Why They Don't Serve You 11

What Do I Mean by the "Shoulds"? 13

Chapter 1 Motivation 16

Why Are You Reading This Book and Why Do You Care? 16

The Stick or the Carrot? 20

Your Big Why: The Purushartas 20

Acting for Others 21

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs 22

The Role of the Environment 24

Motivation: Self-Determination Theory 25

Grit 26

Why All the Theories? 26

How to Use This Book 27

Chapter 2 Stress 29

I Stress, Eustress, We Stress: We All Need Some Stress 29

Our Stress: The Stressed Nation 32

Evolution and Stress: Nature at Work 34

Epigenetics: Nurture at Work 34

How Do You Handle Stress? 35

A Better Model for Understanding and Handling Stress 37

Doshas: Organizing Energetic Principles 37

Summary 40

What Do You Need to Unleash Your Power? 40

Time Out 40

Chapter 3 Unleash Your Power: Develop Healthy Sleeping, Eating, and Exercise Habits 41

Healthy 41

Habit 42

Working on YOU Includes Caring for Self: Fill Your Cup 44

The Science of Habit-in Brief! 45

Habit Cultivation Is Tough as Shit! 48

Kaizen 49

Relationships 49

Things to Know Before You Start 50

Summary 50

What Do You Need to Unleash Your Power? 50

Time Out 51

Chapter 4 Sleep 52

We Are Seriously Sleep-Disturbed, My Darlings 52

Why Do We Need Nourishing Sleep? 54

How to Sleep Well 55

Food 56

Lights 56

Soothe Your Senses 57

To Nap or Not to Nap? 60

Summary 61

What Do You Need to Unleash Your Power? 61

The Main Message 62

Time Out 63

Chapter 5 Eating 65

Scarcity and Nourishment 65

How to Be Mindful About Food and Eating 66

Some of the Science Behind the Standard American Diet (SAD) 66

The Standard American Diet (SAD) Will Literally Make You Sad 69

Read Ingredients Labels! 70

What's Happened to Our Diet? 70

Say NO to Processed Food and Artificial Sweeteners 72

Food Is Not Rational 73

When to Eat and What? 76

To Snack or Not? 77

Summary 79

What Do You Need to Unleash Your Power? 79

The Main Message 80

Time Out 81

Chapter 6 Exercise 83

Why Exercise? 83

Again, Why Exercise? 84

Exercise Doesn't Have to Be a Massive Hollywood Production 85

Summary 88

The Main Message 89

Time Out 90

Chapter 7 Relationships with Yourself and Others 92

Meditation 94

Relationships: The Shifts that Occur as a Result of Your Habit Evolution 98

Your Evolutionary Journey and the Enabler 99

Your Evolutionary Journey and the Supporter 100

Conversational Intelligence 101

How to Improve Your Chances of Cultivating a Supporter 102

Avoiding Toxic People 102

Creating Boundaries 103

Mindset 104

Mindset: Fixed or Growth? 104

Learned Helplessness or Learned Optimism? 106

Gratitude 108

Dazzlement 109

Summary 111

What Do You Need to Unleash Your Power? 112

Time Out 112

Chapter 8 The End-or Maybe Just the Beginning! 113

Why Did I Write This Book? 113

This Is What This Book Says 114

How to Create Your Own Habit Circles 116

Create Your Own Habit Circle 117

Tamsin's Recipes 119

Journal Questions to Help You Dive Deeper 150

Acknowledgments 191

About the Author 192

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Tamsin really gets into the limiting beliefs behind our habits. Now I have a great resource to share with my patients!”

• Jessica Hutchins, MD

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