How To Replace Your Bad Habits

The behaviors that hold you back don't just disappear; they must be substituted with something new. Here's how science says you can...

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Monday motivation

  • How to replace your bad habits

  • Workout of the week

Arnold’s Podcast

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Arnold’s Corner: Monday Motivation

Today, I want to talk about the importance of connection.

We have all read articles about the loneliness epidemic, and we’ve talked many times about how part of being healthy is connection — being a part of something, belonging to something.

As we’ve shared before, in an 85-year study conducted at Harvard (yes, 85 years!), social connection and belonging were some of the strongest indicators of a happy and healthy life.

Here at the Pump Club, we believe that being fit and healthy isn’t just about what you do in the gym — it’s about what you do in life.

Last week, I got to connect with an old friend, and it was heaven. My buddy Tom Arnold was back on the set of FUBAR (no spoilers!).

We met more than three decades ago. And we had the greatest time filming True Lies.

But not everybody who meets on a movie set stays friends. 

That’s because it’s hard to stay connected! It takes work! Like anything in life, it requires reps.

You have to make an effort.

Building connections is all about give and take. There will be times when you’re the one who needs support, and there will be times when you’re the one who needs to lift someone else up.

You have to show up.

Tom and I have remained friends because we are always there for each other. We’ve both visited each other in the hospital. We help each other’s charities when we need it. We share photos of our kids and give each other advice.

We use all the modern tools available now — FaceTime and email and text — so that when we can’t see each other, we can still be there for each other.

So when we see each other, even if it’s been a while, it’s never awkward because we’ve been doing the reps to stay connected.

Without my friendships, I can promise you that I would not be the Arnold you know.

You have heard me say I’m not a self-made man. I saw the speech going viral again this week, so here it is again.

At every stage of my life, I’ve built connections and friendships that have given me great joy. With my work, I believe in only adding, never subtracting. It’s the same with friendships. At each new stage, I add friends. 

But I want you to know that it takes effort to make a friendship last. 

Even with all of my new friends from FUBAR, we’ve built amazing friendships by showing up for each other outside of FUBAR. The whole cast came to my fundraiser for After-School All-Stars. When Travis has a play, or Fortune has a standup show, I make sure to show up for them.

This week, I’m asking all of you to show up for someone. Let them know you are there for them, whether it’s to celebrate a win or lift them up during a struggle.

Do some reps of being a great friend.

I promise you that you will never regret it.

How To Replace Your Bad Habits

Editor’s note: we believe in the science of small things leading to big differences. Few people are better at identifying the best small changes than Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, Jason Feifer. He shares his favorite lessons once per week in his fantastic newsletter, One Thing Better — which we highly recommend. We asked Jason to help us find the one thing that can help you break bad habits. 

Are you feeling unmotivated or disengaged in some part of your life but can’t figure out why? An influential psychology theory could help you gain clarity.

Research suggests if you want to feel more motivated and build better behaviors, mastering three basic psychological needs is critical to your success. 

To change your mindset, you want to build a mental ARC, which stands for autonomy, relatedness, and competency. 

Autonomy. You must feel in control of your actions.

Relatedness. You must have strong relationships or bonds with others.

Competency. You must feel good at what you do.

ARC is a core insight of “self-determination theory.” It was developed in the 1980s by psychologists Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, and it revolutionized the way we understand motivation. Decades of research have confirmed its importance.  

When people have ARC in a situation — say, at work or in a relationship — they enjoy “enhanced performance, persistence, and creativity.” When people lack ARC, they experience “a robust detrimental impact on wellness.” 

If you don’t find ARC in one part of your life, you may seek it elsewhere — and create a destructive behavior. For example, are you slacking off at work (where your ARC is low) and spending too much time on Reddit (where your ARC is high)?

If you’re feeling stuck and unmotivated somewhere, assess yourself using ARC:

1. Ask yourself: “Do I feel in control of my decisions here? Do I have good relationships with those around me? Do I feel competent in my actions?”

2. If you answer “no” to any of those, try to fix that problem. If you’re lacking competency at work, for example, find a mentor or explore additional training.

3. If the problem is unfixable, take control with a bigger change. Maybe it’s time for a new job or a healthier relationship.

Once you know the critical ingredients of motivation, it’s much easier to find them — and make sure you have them. And that’s when you’ll be more likely to change your behavior.

Workout of the Week

Some workouts have a way of passing the test of time. If your lower body needs a jolt but you’re short on time or without equipment, this “leg matrix” has a way of shocking your legs and jumpstarting progress. The workout is only four exercises and doesn’t take long, but it will make your lower body burn. 

How to do it:

Perform one set of each exercise below. Time to see how long it takes to complete all four exercises. Then, rest for double the time it took to complete the first round.

So, if you needed two minutes to do one set of all four exercises, you would rest for four minutes. Then, complete another round of the four-exercise circuit. And that’s it! You can do a third round if you want to push the limits. Or, if you can finish the circuit in less than 90 seconds, skip the rest period and perform the second circuit without any break. 

  1. Bodyweight squat: 24 reps

  2. Bodyweight alternating lunges: 12 reps per leg

  3. Bodyweight split jump (lower your body from a split squat and then jump up, landing with your feet in the staggered stance of a lunge): 24 reps per leg

  4. Bodyweight jump squat (perform a squat and then jump, land, and repeat): 12 reps 

Note: If you have bad knees or aren’t comfortable jumping, you can remove the jump portion of the split jump and do split squats, remove the jump from the squats, and do bodyweight squats. 

Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell