New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's ResoLUKEtions. So most people, when a new year comes along, they will have a resolution. And that resolution might be to stop smoking, or to lose weight, or to find the love of their life, or to get a new job, to start exercising. Insert whatever that thing is that do you want to change. And we know, like, we say that most people scientifically, statistically have broken that resolution within three weeks and are back to where they were before. And they got on that hamster wheel Bingo Bango Boom for the rest of the year until they get motivated by the social pressure of a "New year, new you." How many times do you hear that "New year, new you" bullshit out there? And we end up putting so much pressure on ourselves that it's January, it's the start of a new year, it's fresh and now I've gotta change, I've gotta transform, this is the only time I can do it. We put so much pressure on ourselves that, inevitably, most of us fall back to our old habitual patterns of learning.

There's a fallacy out there that it takes 21 days to wire in a new behavior or a new habit. It's actually not true. As this new study tells us, it takes potentially up to six weeks to three months to wire in habitually, meaning you're doing it as your new normal automatically without having to consciously be aware of it. Can take anywhere from six weeks to three months to wire in that new normal, that new behavior. So you need to look at this as it's a lifestyle change. And I wanna say to people, if you're gonna change, don't wait till a new year. Don't wait till January first, do it now. Do it now because now is the absolute easiest it will be for you to change in the history of your whole life.

The best time to change would have been when you originally started to have that problem many weeks, months, years ago. The second-best time to make that change is right now. Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year that passes you by just ingrains the old behavior, the old behavior you wanna get rid of so it becomes even harder. So right now, at this very moment you're listening to this, it will never, in the history of your life, get any easier than right now to change that thing. So I don't care if you're listening to this podcast in January, when it was originally recorded, or if you're listening to it mid-year or the end of the year, right now, it doesn't matter. Forget about New Year. Right now, if there's something you keep putting off, if they've been some kind of procrastination, something you've been putting off that you know you need to do, now is the time. Now the easiest time in the history of the world for you to make that change, to start to take those steps.

And what happens after a while, as you habitually do those new behaviors, whether that be working out every day, following a certain way of eating, a certain way of thinking, a meditation practice each day, talking to the opposite sex or the same sex if you're looking to get into a relationship, whatever it is, but you're putting those little steps, those baby steps into practice each day, what starts to happen is a miraculous thing. After time, things start to happen that I call the streak. Now, I don't mean you're gonna run around naked outside because you'd probably get arrested for that and that would not be a good idea. Then you'd send me a angry message, "So Luke, I did that streaking thing and I got arrested." No, not that kind of a streak, dumbass. And the idea of this streak is doing a set of behaviors consistently each and every day until it becomes habitual.

Where I originally got the concept of the streak from was I'm a big wrestling fan and one of my favorite wrestlers is a wrestler called The Undertaker that, actually, I met last month in New York and got a picture with him. And you may have heard of The Undertaker, you may have not. But The Undertaker, in the words of Vince McMahon, the owner of World Wrestling Entertainment, and quite frankly having a P. T. Barnum the number-one promoter of all time, Vince McMahon said The Undertaker was the number one wrestler of all time. So that's quite a big accomplishment from a guy that's been the number one promoter in the world, potentially, for the last 35, 40 years.

And The Undertaker...there's an event in wrestling called WrestleMania. You may have heard about it. If not, if you're familiar with the World Cup in soccer or football, as the rest of the world calls it other than North America, it's wrestling's version of the World Cup. If you've heard of the Super Bowl in American football, it's wrestling's version of the Super Bowl, WrestleMania. And the Undertaker went for 21 years, 21 different WrestleManias, been undefeated. And you might be like, "Yeah, but Luke, wrestling's all fake." Well, wrestling is predetermined, it's not fake. These guys get injured and they're on the road wrestling about 250 days a year. So it's not fake, it's predetermined absolutely. They know who's gonna win, what's gonna happen, but these guys get injured, these guys are great athletes, they're great performers. So let's get rid of that word "fake."

But Undertaker went 21 years in wrestling, at WrestleMania, without being defeated. And it started to happen habitually. Like, it wasn't written into the program, "Oh, for 21 years, we're gonna have this guy called The Undertaker, we know he's gonna get over it, he's gonna be a huge success and we're gonna keep pushing him." No, it's just something that happened habitually that one of the writers for World Wrestling Entertainment, after about five or six WrestleManias, they started to realize that, "We've never had The Undertaker lose at WrestleMania." And then the fans kind of got abreast to this as well. And it took on a life of its own, art imitated life. That each year, more than the main event of Wrestlemania, more than a spectacle of WrestleMania itself, the thing that became the streak, became The Undertaker streak, will this be the year that it will be broken? And for 21 years or for 21 consecutive wasn't consecutive, actually. It was 21 WrestleManias over a period of time. The Undertaker went undefeated and it became the biggest thing in wrestling, meaning more than any title, more than any main event.

And that's where I got the idea of the streak from. The idea of doing a behavior, whether that be working out every day, whether that be meditating every day, whether that be, when I was single, talking to a member of the opposite sex that I found attractive every single day. But every day, no matter how I felt, whether it was a good day, a bad day, whether I was sick or not sick, whether I had time or didn't have time, whether I got up late or whether I got up early, it did not matter. It was of certain things that I needed to do each and every day that I could tick off of this sheet. It's now on my phone to let me know that that streak continued.

An example of this for me was working out. I've been flirting with working out most of my life. But I'd go for periods of time of working out, then a little bit of period of time where I wouldn't. But now I'm happy to report, it's probably been over, well, it's been well over two years, probably two and a half years now that I've worked out every single day. Has it been an incredibly intense workout every day? No. But I've worked out for a minimum of 20 minutes every day for the last two and a half years. And, I guess, that's a streak of, I know, over 900 days now, perhaps even longer than that. And it's just wired into me now.

No matter where I am in the world, whether I'm in New York City, whether I'm in London, whether I'm in Toronto, whether I got up early or late, whether I'm busy or not, no matter what the time is, every single day, no matter what, whether I have a gym or whether I have a 4 by 4 room that I'm living in, I have to find a way to exercise with 15 minutes, excuse me, for 20 minutes. Whether that be doing shadowboxing, calisthenics, lifting weights, running and do some kind of cardio, but, every single day, I must do a form of exercise. And now the very thought of not doing that is brutal to have a streak of, I know, 850, 900 days in that is brutal for me not to be able to do that. So it's wired into me. I have to work out every single day. It's my new normal.

Another example is meditating. I meditate every day for a minimum of 10 minutes. Some days, I'll do 20, some days, I will do a full hour. But I've got a minimum of 10 minutes. And this streak has probably been alive, again, for at least two years now. So for at least 700 consecutive days, I have meditated. Whether it be Christmas Day, my birthday, whether I've been in a foreign country or not, whether I've had no time, I found a way somehow to have a minimum of 10 minutes of meditation. So when I wake up tomorrow, no matter what happens in the world, no matter if the shit hits the fan or not, do you think that I'm not gonna meditate? It does not matter. What happens, I will find a way to meditate tomorrow. How do I know this? Because I have 700 consecutive days where I've done this.

When I was single, I think, I went out consecutively for about 1,500 days talking to people, women I found attractive. For 1,500 days, a innocent conversation every single day to wire into my head that the world is not such a big scary lonely place, that you can talk to people, that you didn't have to hide behind the screen and swipe right or left or Tinder. Or, go to a nightclub and get hammered and wait till the end of the night to see who liked me. I wanted to have the ability to go out, to speak to people, to have real connections with people in the daytime, in the light to be able to do this. And it was a thing that scared me most in the world. So I did it, 1500, or thereabout, consecutive days of doing this. And that was a big fear for me. And that was one of the things that started off the streak for me. If I can do this thing that scares the hell out of me, if I could do it every day, then if I need to do that tomorrow, do you think it's gonna be a problem for me? No. Because I have 1,500 consecutive days, streaks, marks on my chart that I've done this. So tomorrow, the idea of not doing this is terrible. It's terrible for me, it's unacceptable. I have a sheet. I have to mark that sheet to keep the streak alive.

People want rapid change and yes, change can sometimes be rapid and that's an amazing thing. I've seen it each and every day that I've worked with my clients. But sometimes, as well, it's about establishing a new behavior. Because there's two types of change. There's state change, i.e., you're feeling not so good right now, you want to feel better. You could do stuff immediately to make you feel better. Whether it be dance, exercise, talk to a stranger, talk to a friend. In that moment, your state will change. But you could go back into that habitual state later on where you weren't feeling so good. And you can keep interrupting it to do something else. It can get a little bit exhausting sometimes. Or you can say, "You know what, what behaviors, what habits do I need to insert into my life to make it an inevitability that this new behavior, this new way of being, this new normal is habitual?" And that's what the streak is all about. It's about habitually doing behaviors each and every single day so it becomes your new normal. So you swap out the old behavior and you now do this.

Because if you take something away in life, you have to put something in its place. Otherwise, it's like taking out a weed. So taking out a weed in your garden, if you don't replace it with a new seed, a new flower, something else that will grow, then the likelihood of that old behavior, that old weeds of coming back is very, very high indeed. So you wanna take that behavior away, i.e., if I have a smoker that comes in and we take away that smoking habit, as silly, as destructive as it may be to the person's conscious mind, they know all the reasons why they shouldn't smoke, yet because they've been doing it so long, if you take away the behavior at pure willpower, they might go a couple of days, a couple of weeks, a couple of months, a couple of years even without doing that behavior. But after a while, in time, most people, if they don't put a new behavior in its place will revert back to the old way of being because they've done it so many times in their life. That when you swap it out for a new behavior that you do in its place, where your same values, your same positive emotional triggers are met, then there's no need to do the old destructive behavior.

And behind every behavior you're doing, even if it is negative and you can't consciously see it, there's always some kind of positivity behind it for your unconscious mind. Otherwise, it simply wouldn't do it. Because your unconscious mind has the intellect of about a five-year-old and it only does things that are right for you. But we know if a five-year-old is in control, the five-year-old is probably gonna eat too much chocolate cake. It's gonna probably run around too much like a lunatic, might even run in a road and do things that they don't know that are quite dangerous to them. But with the foresight, to have hindsight as an adult, you perhaps won't do those same behaviors.

So that's the power of the streak. It's about developing that internal discipline inside your mind, that you realize it's gonna be uncomfortable, to begin with, to do these new behaviors. But with each day that passes by, you build up that new neurological pathway in your brain where this becomes your new normal. The streak, the new positive behavior becomes your new normal, becomes your new default until eventually that old neurological pathway of doing that potentially destructive behavior of, i.e., eating too much, smoking too much, traumatizing yourself in some shape or form, procrastinate, that road, that neurological pathway gets shut off. And you can't travel down it anymore. And that's when that new change, that new behavior becomes wired in.

And it's a way to win every day. It's a way to win having a streak every single day. So when I get to mark off at the end of the day, the habitual behaviors that I've done, the streaks that I'm continuing, it just makes me feel good. It makes me feel that I achieved something. In my mind, I start these habitual new behaviors in my mind, these new neurological pathways in order to make an inevitability that I get what I want, what I desire inside my life. And yeah, there may be some teething problems initially. You may kick and scream and not wanna do it. Because you may have had literally thousands of consecutive days of doing the old behavior. So it might take a while to destroy that old behavior. It might feel a little foreign to do the new behavior, to develop the streak.

The interesting thing about a streak is you can do it consciously. You can say, "You know what, I'm gonna have a streak of 30 days where I'm gonna eat clean, where I'm gonna meditate, where I'm gonna exercise." Yadda yadda yadda. But sometimes, in my own life, the best streaks are things that happen organically. Like The Undertaker's streak, it happened organically. It wasn't written into the script until, as I mentioned, one day, one of the writers or producers noticed, "Hey, this guy isn't lost for six or seven WrestleManias. Maybe there's something here that we can turn into something." And oftentimes, my streaks, the best ones have been the things that I've just habitually started to change and after a few days, a few weeks, a few months, I'm, like, "Hold on, I'm doing this new thing now and I've actually...Oh, I've been doing this new behavior for a while now, instead of the old behavior. It's actually been about 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, actually feels good. And I've got this win, these streaks, these marks each day for the last 90 days. This feels really, really good. Actually, I can do this. I like the idea of winning. I like the idea of marking down on this chart every day that I'm winning here. It makes me feel good, it makes me achieve one of my six human needs that I am growing in my life."

And we know in life, you're either growing or you're dying. It's impossible to just stand still. If indeed you do stand still in a spot, you are dying because your body is growing older, your cells are growing older. No matter what you do, you are getting older. So you always live and you always die. You're either getting better or you're getting worse. You cannot stay exactly the same. The mere fact of being stuck means that you are stuck and you're getting worse. Because every day that you stay stuck, it becomes harder for you to get out of that ditch. Hence the title of this show "Unstuck."

So to summarize, streaks, set up streaks in your life. Don't look for that gratification like that. Look to develop streaks in your life where you get to feel like a winner every day. Don't wait till January, do it now. There is no faster time to start to make that change than right now in this very moment. Start up streaks, or perhaps look back at your life over the last couple of months and realize there's some perhaps organic streaks that happened all by themselves and you go, "Wow, I didn't realize that. I get to celebrate those streaks that have happened organically." And perhaps just look, maybe, print out a sheet of paper, stick it on your wall, or have a spreadsheet, or something on your phone where every day, you get to start to add up those days, those days that you've been winning so you get to feel like a winner, you feel that you're moving forward. So you develop that new behavior that makes it inevitable that you'll have the things you want, need and desire in your life.

Thank you so very much. This has been the show, the first show of the new year, I hope you've enjoyed it. And as always, please leave your reviews, five-star reviews, on iTunes or whatever format you're listening to and leave a couple of sentences. And then please do email me at and let me know and we'll arrange your 30-minute power session Skype with me or we could talk about areas of your life, a area specifically that you want some help to become unstuck with.

And I wanna finish today's show with something that I call "The Warrior's Prayer." We face a dire challenge and chance. Our lives, our way of life, it hangs in the balance, a fragile glass standing on a high wire above the asbestos and as we pray for not one drop of rain under an overcast sky. And yet, I smile. We will fight and we will bleed, and yet I smile. We shall face men, some cornered into their role by circumstances, some desperate murderers thrilled by blood. We shall end them all. As is our change this day, as is our sorrow, and yet I smile. We will leave our loved ones to travel a dangerous road, rushing out of peace into war, and yet I smile. For we will mine glory from the wrath of struggle this day. We will honor and protect this bastion of life in a land of the dead and we will win. You trust the king, we will win. And I smile and I laugh. And I rejoice this day for this day, we are joined in purpose and vision. We are of a singular heart and mind. On this day, we are one. We are one, we are one, we are one, we are one.

Always Believe,
Luke Michael Howard CHT
Clinical Hypnotist

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