Reminder #27: Optimizing your Mind and Body with Making Habits


If you are new to these Weekly Reminders you might like to know that your subconscious mind is accountable for 90% of your daily decisions. If all you do is read this email (but put nothing into practice), you are already sending a positive message to your subconscious mind. Congratulations! The more similar messages it gets, the better decisions you will make.

I don’t know about you, but the first time I realized how true this is, I felt cheated. All these years I had believed that “Practice Makes Perfect.” As it turns out, only perfect practice makes perfect, everything else just makes habits, and habits can be good or not-so-good.  

For the majority of my life I was in the practice of having a big bowl of cereal and milk for breakfast. I thought this was a healthy breakfast and that I had perfected my morning routine – there was no need to think or make conscious decisions. My morning cereal became a habit for me and for my kids, until I discovered that a bowl of cereal (including many of the “healthy” ones) contains more sugar than any child should consume in the whole day – all in one meal. That is close to half of what an adult should consume per day. I was starting off the day by creating a blood sugar spike for every member in my family. I now know that repeated spikes in blood sugar create cumulative damage to many organs – including the brain.

Another bad habit that I had gotten myself into (and maybe you have too), was the habit of judging and criticizing people who make decisions that are out of line with my values. In other words, I had become very good at gossiping about my best friend’s ex. Is there someone in your life that you are very good at belittling? The practice of being judgmental towards those who are different from you, gives you a temporary boost to your ego, which is just like getting a temporary sugar spike – it feels good in the moment, but it doesn’t do any good in the long-term. If practice makes habits, how can we choose practices that lead to good habits?

Three Proven Tricks for How to Create Good Habits:

  1. Choose one new habit at a time, and make sure the first one is an easy one: You are much more likely to succeed in establishing multiple new habits if you start by proving to yourself that you can do it. Every time you follow through with your own intentions, you are giving yourself a nice boost to your self-esteem. This will set you up for success with every incremental habit.
  2. Stack the new habit onto an existing habit: If you are already in the habit of drinking a glass of water every morning, then use that as your reminder to fill a whole jug of water so that you can be sure to drink 6-8 glasses/day. At first, it won’t matter whether you finish the full jug or not, the practice of filling the jug will set you up to develop the habit of drinking it all up.  If you are in the habit of brushing your teeth every morning, then that’s your opportunity to stack a new habit onto your existing habit.
  3. Focus on practicing the first step that leads to the new habit: If you want to get into the habit of running or walking for 20min/day, start by practicing the routine of getting your running shoes on and going out the door. Even if you only go for one minute and come right back, you are already creating a practice that will set you up for success. Once you have practiced how to prepare for your daily run/walk every day for 21 days, the rest will flow naturally. Give it a try!

Have a smarter day, a smarter week and a smarter life,

Ginny Santos, your holistic coach.

PS: If you like getting these weekly reminders and you know someone who could also benefit from them, please forward them this email and invite them to sign up here.  

Ready to dedicate 90 Days to establishing healthy eating habits for a lifetime?

We have a new round of the 90 Days of Food Coaching program launching on September 7th. This program is ideal for people who love life and want to do a deep cleanse while turning healthy eating into second nature.

It’s important to us to keep these groups small, so spaces are very limited! Registration closes on Sept 2, 2020.

Find out more here:

A love note from your future self:

The older you get the more practice you get. The more practice you get, the more habits you form. The more habits you have, the more you are relying on the same neural networks again and again. That’s why it’s so important to keep open to challenging old habits, open to learning new things and practicing new skills. And the better you feed yourself (avoiding sugar-spikes), the more energy and capacity your brain will have to continue to learn and form new networks.

Thank you for identifying which habits are due for a refresh, thank you for believing in yourself, and for your capacity to be a lifetime learner.

Love, from your future self

Health Disclaimer: The content contained in this email is for educational and inspirational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice because of something you may have read on this email.

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Sol Santos-Pyne Chief Innovator and Prototype Evaluator. He is always ready to help design, paint, cut and install. Sol will show you what’s possible and will also try the impossible. He is the bravest monkey of all.

Ayla Larzabal Zavitz Artist-in-Residence and Director of the Safety Patrol. She makes sure that everyone is following the rules and having fun at the same time. She is the time-keeper and turn-taking monitor. She helps paint the wood for the monkey bars and will give you great advice on the best accessories.

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Mateo Larzabal Zavitz is our Media Relations Expert and Installation Helper. Mateo knows what’s cool and what’s not cool. He helps us maintain a realistic outlook on the world and stay up to date on the latest movies and video games.

Matias Larzabal Designer and Lead Installer. Matias has more than 20 years of experience working in construction, 14 years of experience as a dad, 11 years of experience as an uncle, 10 years as a helpful Canadian neighbour and handy-man, and a lifetime of experience as a monkey. Matias is also an artist with a unique upbringing. You can learn more about him and his art on his gallery.

Ginny Santos Monkey Supervisor, Visionary and Managing Director. Ginny is a nutrition coach and entrepreneur who is always looking for ways of involving children in creative thinking and problem solving. You can learn more about Ginny’s other work on NeOle Coaching.