What kinds of leadership qualities and new behaviors do you want to activate and/or upskill, this year? Welcome to the first episode of season six of the SHINE podcast. This season is going to focus on topics related to optimizing how we live, work, and play with science, tips, and also ideas on how we can start to design a workplace culture and world that is being mindful of our consumption, our energy leaks, and optimizing for well being of ourselves, our co workers, our communities, and the planet. To start the season off, I will be speaking about the important topic of How to most effectively upskill in 2022. This podcast interview is full of great science and action steps that you can take around four areas. 1) What is the science of habits? 2) How can we actually make new patterns and habits more effectively, and let go of the ones that are self destructive? 3) A program that you can apply in your life to help you to shift habits and create new healthy ones. 4) I will share with you the new habits program that I’m currently doing, how I’m shifting, and what I’m learning. Finally I will also give you an opportunity to identify how you want to optimize in 2022. This one will bring you back to the essential foundations of optimizing our well being so we can bring our best selves to work and life. Thank you for joining me as we explore the skills that will support trust, empathy, and collaboration as we move into this new year.
Well Being Resources:
“We can actually start over again at any moment.” — Carley Hauck
“Share your new habit with others. We are social emotional beings and it helps to say things out loud for accountability.” — Carley Hauck
“If I optimize my wellbeing patterns at the beginning of the day, it’s going to support me to really stay focused, responsive, and balanced for any curveballs or reactivity that I may encounter throughout the day.” — Carley Hauck
“Whatever qualities or skills we are cultivating on the inside will support us on the outside.” — Carley Hauck
The Imperfect Shownotes
0:01 Carley Hauck
Hi, welcome to the SHINE podcast. My name is Carley Hauck and I am your host. This is season six of the podcast. We are at the very beginning of 2022. And I can feel this is going to be a year full of complexity, but the shifts, and the changes are happening and they’re moving in the right direction. And I feel optimistic and inspired at what we can build together.
And that’s really why this podcast came about over two years ago. It is on the intersection of the application of conscious inclusive leadership, the recipe for high performing teams and awareness practices that you can cultivate to be the kind of leader our world needs now. And when I say the word leader, that doesn’t mean that you have to be given a leadership title. We all, in my opinion, need to be leaders. Now, the way that we lead ourselves, the way that we lead our families, our communities, or workplaces. It’s time to create a world that works for everyone, and is living in greater harmony with the planet.
And so those of you that are joining for the first time, welcome. Each season has a different focus. And this season is going to focus on topics and interviews related to optimizing how we live, work and play. As always, I’ll bring in a lot of science because I’m a nerd, there will be really applicable tips. And you’re going to get a chance to listen to some incredible thought leaders, game changers, business leaders, spiritual teachers, on how we can design a workplace culture and world that is being mindful of our consumption, our energy leaks, and optimizing for the well being of ourselves, our co-workers, our communities, and the planet. Because guess what, y’all, it’s all connected.
So to start the season off, I am going to be the interview for our first topic. I would like to share about how to effectively upskill in 2022. One of the things that I was saying a lot in 2021, near the end of the year to colleagues, friends, family, to my coach was, ‘I am upskilling this’ or ‘I’m upskilling that’. And I’ve learned that by saying things aloud or repeating them silently in my mind, over and over, I actually start to create a neural pattern and habit, new circuits in my mind that are going to activate me actually doing that behavior.
So based on my research background in neuroscience, and being a longtime meditator, I’ve been meditating since I was 19 years old, I understand, personally and professionally, how much control our thought processes and our narratives have on our behaviors, and thus our habits. So I’m going to break down what a habit what upskilling is. But before I get there, I want to just share one more piece.
The truth is that I was getting ready to upskill. But I wasn’t quite there yet. And there is a well researched and documented framework about the continuum of change. It’s called the transtheoretical stages of change model and it was developed by Dr. James Prochaska, a professor of psychology, who specialized in the study of the dynamics of change, and he found five stages of successful behavior. Number one, pre contemplation. So what that means is like it’s really not even your conscious awareness. It’s way back in the unconscious of your wanting to make a change or shift a pattern of some sort.
Number two contemplation, okay, now it’s conscious, you’re starting to think about it, oh, maybe I should, you know, eat more vegetables, or maybe I should not get so triggered around my mother in law, whatever it is.
Number three, you’re in preparation. So that’s actually where I was. I was in the preparation mode. I was talking about it. I was researching the behaviors, the patterns I wanted to change, but I was about a month away. Maybe a little more from actually going into stage four which is action. You’re doing it, you’re doing it, you know, daily, regularly got a groove going.
And ultimately, if you keep doing that action again and again and again, and I’m going to talk about how long it actually takes to create a habit, then you eventually come into maintenance where it’s automatic, you don’t really even have to think about it. It’s part of what you do, right.
Carley Hauck 5:30
So I was in preparation mode. And the reason that I know this is because now I’m in action mode. I wasn’t ready to carve out the time to make the changes necessary. And so preparation mode can last a month, two months. And it’s often a time when you’re talking about what you want to change, you’re may be getting research, you’re taking in the perspectives of other people.
And so in my personal and professional experience, you need to not only have the right mindset, the motivation intrinsically, but also to create enough space internally. And what I mean by internally is, like, you know, do I actually have enough space to take something else on? Or is my mind, is my attention, you know, too distracted? And then externally, have I made enough space in my life to support the new pattern, the new habits that I want to actually have last?
So at the beginning of a new year, like we are right now, there’s often more motivation. One, there’s queues and their signs everywhere, right? Happy New Year. What are you doing for the new year? What new habits are you going to be engaging in. And it’s not like it’s a whole new year. I mean, it is with numbers. But it’s more that it’s giving us a chance to start over to begin again, to start fresh.
And there is a sense of inspiration in that, you know, anything’s possible in a new year. But I’d also love to encourage us that we can actually start over in any moment, any moment that we were impatient, or that we ate the wrong food. And then we recognize we have awareness that we did that. We don’t have to be really hard on ourselves. But we can say, oops, alright, starting over right now. And I feel like that’s a more gentle way of approaching new behaviors and patterns.
In this solo podcast, I will share some best practices, and tips on habits and upskilling for 2022.
This is coming from my years of research on the subject, from supporting individuals, teams and organizations in my role as a leadership and organizational development consultant, as an executive coach, and from my many years of teaching on behavior change at Stanford, and with UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, this podcast interview is full of great science and actions that you can take around four areas. What is the science of habits? How can we actually make new patterns and habits more effectively, and let go of the ones that are self destructive? I’m going to share a program that you can apply in your life to help you to shift habits, create new ones, I’m going to share with you the program that I’m currently doing and how I’m shifting and what I’m learning. And then I’m also going to give you an opportunity to identify how you want to optimize? What kinds of leadership qualities and new behaviors do you want to really ignite this year?
And when I think about the essential leadership qualities for this new world that we’re designing, we’re creating, what comes to me is trust, empathy, and collaboration. Those are really important ones. And I’m going to share with you how you can develop those too.
Alright, you ready? Here we go.
Carley Hauck 9:45
So number one, the science. So what is a habit?
A habit is a repeated thought, behavior or pattern. We may be conscious of or we may be unconscious of neuroplasticity is the brain’s amazing capacity to change and adapt. In other words, our brain is malleable. It underlies forming new pathways under which some new habits are likely to occur and others are less likely to occur. It refers to the physiological changes in the brain that happen as a result of our interactions with our environment.
So, there may be a habit that you’re pretty unconscious of that you keep doing over and over again, which is triggered by some situation in your environment. And what’s so interesting is that from the time the brain begins to develop in utero, until the day that we die, the connections among the cells in our brains reorganize in response to our changing needs. We’re constantly adapting, as we’ve seen, in this very interesting, almost two years since we’ve been in this worldwide kerfuffle, I’d like to call it, pandemic, we are adapting quickly. This is a result of neuroplasticity in the brain. This is a dynamic process that allows us to learn from and adapt to different experiences.
So how long does it take to create a habit? Well, a lot of literature and programs out there say 21 days, but that’s actually not exactly true. There’s a lot of variability. It might take one person 18 days, and it might take another person 200 days, and it really depends on the resistance, that you may have the situation that’s happening, your proclivity to certain weaknesses, strengths, you know, some things are easier for us to create habits around other things are more challenging.
Do you remember when I shared I was in preparation mode for upskilling? Yeah, I wasn’t ready to really create the time. Because 2021 was a huge year in my life. It was launching my very first book. And in a pandemic, which brings a whole other set of challenges, fatigue and complexities to an already arduous task of launching a book. So at the beginning of 2021, it was all hands on deck around my book. And after eight months, of launching, of speaking, of podcast, interviews, of social media, of so many things, I felt emotionally and physically exhausted.
And I was undergoing too much limbic friction, which is the energy needed to engage in a new habit to actually really start something new. Limbic friction is also a part of the emotional brain, the emotional brain tends to be in the limbic system that senses the resistance, anxiety, lack of motivation, or fatigue related to building any habit. There requires a varying degree of activation energy to overcome limbic friction and build a habit. And I just didn’t have it, understandably so. So now that I have recovered some, I am more able and ready for upskilling. And we all have varying levels of limbic friction about certain tasks, and not around others.
So for example, I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation for over 20 years. It is one of the very first things I do when I wake up in the morning. I look forward to it. And I don’t have any limbic friction. It’s automatic. But upskilling a new technical skill, for example, that has some limbic friction.
So as you’re listening to me, what behaviors do you notice in your life? Maybe just pick one or two that has more limbic friction, or less. So I’ve been using the word upskilling. A lot. It’s become pretty trendy in the last several months. But what it means is that we’re constantly learning more things inside our industry, or even outside of it. It can pertain to engaging and learning and development courses at work, listening to wonderful podcasts like this one, reading a new book, taking a course that offers a certification, or could even be conducting informational interviews.
So, number two, let’s talk about a program that you can engage in that will support you to be more effective at upskilling and habit formation in 2022. In order to be successful with any new patterns or behaviors, you want to make sure that you’re working and learning within the natural rhythms of your brain and body hormones, that will make it more likely that you will be able to engage and thus sustain these new patterns and habits.
So what do I mean by that? Science has found that in the first zero to eight hours after waking your brain and body are more action and focus oriented, that means that you can more easily overcome things with high limbic friction. So since most of us are going to bed, usually around 10, maybe plus or minus an hour or two, and waking up around 7am plus or minus an hour or two, you can imagine that the first eight hours are going to be the morning till late afternoon, when you’re going to be most effective at new behaviors, tasks, anything that’s going to take more energy concentration in the nine to 15 hours after waking. Later afternoons, maybe it’s four or five, your serotonin becomes higher. And it’s important for you to keep stress levels lower. And to engage in habits that don’t require a lot of limbic overrides, because you’re just not going to have as much energy.
In other words, you want to have more behaviors that require more energy attention focus earlier and the first eight hours of your day. And then less of those as the day progresses.
Carley Hauck 17:26
A test of whether you’ve truly formed a habit is when you can perform that habit or behavior at any point in the day without thinking about it too much. So you know, maybe your goal is to exercise in the morning. But if it’s really a habit, then you find a way to exercise wherever you can put it in, right, you’re waiting for your daughter, your partner, your friend, and you find you have 30 minutes and you keep an extra pair of shoes in your car and you go for a walk.
The goal of any habit is automaticity circuits perform automatically without you thinking about it.
So another thing that’s been helpful, and has been found in the scientific literature around habits is that visualization helps to develop habits. If you can hold in your mind a sequence of things that need to happen for an outcome to occur, like following a recipe. This will help you to engage in that new behavior or habit, you want to visualize the series of steps needed. And really think about each step it takes.
A really wonderful tip is to visualize the series of steps needed to adopt a specific habit, or maybe even to push through something where you have some limbic resistance. So for example, this morning, I engaged in my spiritual practice, like I do in the morning. And you’ll hear more about what that entails as I talk to you about some of the habits that I’m forming later in this interview. But then I knew that I had some work that I needed to get done. And one of them being finishing the outline so that I could record this podcast. So I visualized the steps from okay, this is what I’m going to do, this is what I’m going to do next, and then this and then this and then this and then I was able to just move right into performing the task.
The science showcases that a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which is involved in the action or the doing and inaction is the not doing of certain things that actually gets activated when we put tasks with other tasks. It’s also kind of called a task bracketing. So it actually sets a neural imprint in your brain that a certain thing has to take place. And then another thing takes place. Circuits in our brain are devoted to framing events just before and just after the habit.
Another way to support effective habit formation is to reward yourself after you have completed that habit. You may identify the reward of ‘I will do this after the task is completed’, right? This is commonly referred to in the scientific literature as a reward prediction error. For example, if you expect a reward and that reward comes, a particular behavior associated with generating that reward is more likely to occur again.
So, if I tell myself that I’m going to eat a nourishing delicious lunch and 30 more minutes, once I’ve completed the podcast outline, and I think the reward is coming, then dopamine release starts in anticipation of this reward. And that’s going to increase the likelihood that I’m going to finish this task.
What’s also been really interesting to find in the science is that the dopamine in our brains has been found to be even higher, if we don’t actually know that the reward is coming. But to initially reinforce these new behaviors to these tasks where there might be more limbic friction, it’s really important that you tell yourself the rewards you’re going to get once you finish it.
So let’s try this on. Identify a new habit or skill associated with some learning that you want to prioritize in 2022. And I’m gonna break it down into three categories. It could be well-being, so this would pertain to your health, you know, I want to get more sleep, I want to exercise more I want to try on this new form of exercise, I want to prioritize meditation, I would like to be eating, more fruits and vegetables, less meat, I want to engage in more play. I just feel like I’m just going through the motions every day, there’s no play, there’s no joy, right? So that that could be the well-being bracket.
You could also be wanting to fine tune and optimize for relationships. And this could pertain to work or home and they tend to overlap. So what qualities or skills do you want to learn and develop, that might support you and your relationships at work or home? Greater self awareness, self regulation, emotional intelligence, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, right?
And work. The third bracket. What habits or qualities do you want to learn, develop pertaining to the context of work. Is it technical skills, people skills or both? Less is more.
Carley Hauck 22:59
So for this exercise, just pick one category one, pattern, one habit. And the truth is, is that we bring our whole selves to everything that we do. So if you increase one part of your well-being, guess what? That’s going to improve your relationships and how you show up, lead and perform at work. And it’s also going to support you and your home life. So close your eyes. Don’t do this while you’re driving. And bring your awareness in sight. Pick one habit that you would like to commit to for the next month.
Again, a new habit/new pattern can take anywhere from 18 to 200 days depending on the person, the situation, how much limbic friction. So just pick one. Pick one thing that you know is going to really support you to bring and be your best this year.
And then, allow yourself to notice how much time will it take for you to perform this habit?
When will you do it?
What will you do before you do this habit?
What do you need to reward yourself to make sure that you can keep up this habit?
Even if there’s resistance, even if there are obstacles in the way, what’s your reward?
What are maybe a few rewards just take your time Imagine yourself being successful at this new behavior for the next 30 days.
Imagine how it’s going to make your life better.
Now open your eyes, and take a minute, write it down, put it on your tablet. Just kind of writing down what I just prompted you with? What’s the new pattern in the habit? When are you going to do it? How long is it going to take? What we do before, what will you do after, visualizing the series of steps? And then how will you reward yourself?
And then after the podcast is over, go back to this habit that you’re writing down right now and flesh it out more and start to really carve it out on your calendar. Share this with others, because we are social emotional beings. And it helps to say things out loud for accountability.
Identify when you will start this new behavior and maybe even recognize where are you in the stages of change? Well, we just brought it into contemplation. So are you in preparation mode? Still got a month or two? Before you’re going to start it? Are you ready to go? Are you motivated, I’ve got space, I’ve got time I’m ready to do this, been putting this off, here we go.
So I shared with you that there are some new behaviors and a process that I’m using right now. And I would never ask you to take on something that I’m not doing myself. So this is what I’m doing. I started my new behaviors this week. So it’s been about six days at this point. And I actually decided to do six tiny habits. Now you don’t have to follow my lead. But I have a colleague at Stanford, who really focuses a lot on neurobiology, and he inspired me to try on this six tiny habits.
So far, it’s going well, I’ll share more with you about how it’s going. So I am practicing these in the first eight hours after I wake up so that I have a better likelihood of sticking with them, and having the motivation throughout the day. And many of these habits are related to my well-being bracket, but that is going to support me in all other areas of my life. So the first one is to wake up earlier. And my wakeup time is between 6:30 and 7:30. I notoriously have taught classes late at night and have worked a lot as an entrepreneur and have burned the midnight oil when I was working full time and writing the book at the same time. So I am really prioritizing more balance, healthy boundaries around how I work and play. And so getting up earlier is going to support me to do that.
I have my spiritual practice that I do write after I wake up and what this looks like. It’s a little bit of a process, but it feels really good. I’m loving it. And I’ve added a few more pieces to it in the last six days. So I get up, I usually try to put my head outside to get a little bit of natural light on my face. Even if I’m just standing outside for about a minute. That helps me wake up. And then I make tea, or a little bit of coffee. And I also make this cleansing drink that consists of lemon juice, ginger and tumeric and a little bit of pepper. And if I don’t have the tumeric it’s always lemon and ginger. And I just make it because I’m going to drink it later.
And then I will usually go outside to do my spiritual practice. And now that I’m back in California, where it’s not freezing cold, and the sunshine is out now all I have to do is bundle up, it’s wonderful because now I get the benefits of having light on my face, which is really important actually, if we can get natural daylight within the first 30 minutes of waking up. I mean if you can and it’s too cold or you live in Alaska. It’s fine if you have artificial light, but you do want to have bright lights on, because it will help you wake up and really greet the day with a lot more energy.
One other thing that I have on my six tiny habits is to do some vigorous cardio before 10am.
And the next is that I want to focus on breaking my working segments into 15 minutes, where I do something, you know, wholeheartedly with all my focus and attention for 15 minutes, and then I take a small break, and then I go back to it. And I know that this is the most effective way to work. And I actually even write about it in my chapter one of my book, but I have to be honest with y’all, I wasn’t practicing it very well. Again, Book Launch Mode is a whole other beast. I was doing okay, but I think I developed some scatterbrained habits where I was not being as efficient in my focus.
And then the last is that I am finishing my last morsel of food before 8pm. And that is so that I can digest more easily, wind down and go to bed earlier. So those are what I have. And so how are my habits going, these six tiny habits?
Carley Hauck 31:32
Well, I notice that there is really no limbic friction towards my spiritual practice. And the sequence of events for my spiritual practice normally takes about an hour and a half. And it, you know, again, those into making myself some tea or coffee. And then I go outside, I usually walk for 15 minutes outside in the sun and I am chanting the Gayatri Mantra. So, mantras help to really stabilize the mind, they help to balance out the chakras, they bring in really positive vibration and energy. And I’ve had lots of different mantras that I practiced for 40 days, 60 days at various times in my life. And right now I’m really loving the Gayatri Mantra. Ah, it’s amazing.
And then I’ll spend about five to 10 minutes doing yoga. And then I meditate for 15 minutes. So if I have more time than I often will try to get in five to 10 minutes of more intense physical exercise. And that just helps me wake up. This could be like jogging, you know, high knees. Sometimes I’m jumping on my trampoline, jumping jacks. And again, this is all easier to do outside because it’s not snowing, and it’s warmer outside and the sun rises earlier in the West Coast than the East Coast.
So the other thing that I’m noticing is that my eating hasn’t always finished before 8pm. And that really depends on different social activities are just not planned well. But it has been earlier overall. So I am really pleased with this. So I have three more weeks, and I am optimistic, it’s gonna result in some great new patterns for 2022.
So again, this is focusing more on the well being bracket. And for those of you that know about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he says, and his framework is really that the physical needs have to be met first before we can kind of move into our needs for belonging, and self actualization and all those things.
So I know that if I optimize my wellbeing patterns, at the beginning of the day, and throughout the day, it’s going to support me to really stay focused, responsive, and balanced for any curveballs or reactivity that I may encounter throughout the day.
And the last tip that I want to share with you about habits is how do we break a negative habit?
Well, to break a negative habit, first, you want to become conscious of the fact that you just participated in that negative habit, whatever it is, and if the moment that you have awareness that you just did that thing, said that thing, whatever it is slept through your alarm, you want to engage in a positive replacement behavior immediately after.
So you know, if I ate the chocolate at 10pm, for example, and I wanted to stop eating at eight, then I do something else, you know, healthy for myself, right? It could actually just be self compassion, right? Oh, I want to be so hard on myself. It’s probably ate the chocolate because I was tired or something. Or I was trying to stay awake to do work, when I should have been going to sleep. So that’s sometimes what can happen. So you want to again, have awareness, have compassion, and then put in some positive replacement behavior immediately after.
Carley Hauck 35:20
Before we go, I wanted to share a little bit more on the important leadership competencies that I feel are really necessary in our world right now, and I spoke to those at the beginning of the interview. And those are comprised of trust, empathy, and collaboration. I speak a lot about how to grow these inner game qualities in my new book Shine: Ignite Your Inner Game to Lead Consciously at Work and in the World.
So the inner game rules the outer game, which means that whatever qualities or skills we are cultivating on the inside, will support us on the outside. And the inner game qualities of self awareness, emotional intelligence, growth mindset pertains to resilience, well being, love, authenticity, I have seen over and over and over again, and leaders and 1000s of folks that I have trained in this methodology that it does enhance trust, empathy, and collaboration.
So if you want to learn more about how you can grow those qualities in your leadership in 2022, I would love to share Shine, my new book with you. And Shine was also recommended by Mindful Magazine as one of the top books to read in 2022. I am delighted, and so honored by this acknowledgement, and I’ll send you the article in the show notes, you can read all about it. Shine: Ignite Your Inner Game to Lead Consciously at Work and in the World is available in audio and hard copy. And I’ll leave a link in the show notes where you can find it at your local bookstore or Amazon.
If you’re wanting a deeper dive into how to build more trust, empathy and collaboration, your workforce, I give keynote presentations, I bring larger scale trainings to teams. And also always excited to support companies so that there’s this continuous culture of learning and conscious inclusive leadership, you can feel free to reach out to me to book a free call. And we can assess where your current needs are and how we get you to the future vision that you’re wanting to see. I would love to work with you. And a link of how to get in contact with me will be in the show notes.
Because it’s always important to optimize and prioritize our well-being, I’d like to leave you with some fabulous well being resources that I myself use and I have recommended to many, this is going to help start off your year, you can go to the Resources page on my website link will be in the show notes. And you’ll see that there are 15 free meditations based on these inner game skills. Actually, I was just playing the forgiveness track to one of my guy friends here in San Diego, and he loved it. So it sounds like he’s gonna start really creating more self forgiveness time in his life.
You can also see some other products for example, doTERRA is a wonderful company based in Utah that focuses on essential oils and there is a product called OnGuard that I’ve been using for years and I share it with everybody because it is one of the things that has really supported me to keep my immune system strong. And I never leave home without it. If you go to the doTERRA part of my website, you’ll get 15% off of any of their products.
You can also check out Four Sigmatic, a company that I love. And they have incredible plant based products from functional mushrooms that support energy immunity, focus and rest. And I drink their adaptogen coffee, I love their Rishi and quadriceps hot cocoa and they have all these fabulous products that have really supported my well being and I think they’ll support yours. You’ll also get a discount if you put in the code SHINE and you’ll see that on the resources page.
Carley Hauck 39:49
So to sum up this episode, I addressed four important areas regarding effective habit formation upskilling the science on habits, how you can really make maximize for effective and sustaining habits, a program you can implement to shift your habits, I shared with you some of what I’m doing and the habits that I am creating time shifting. And then I also talked about some skills you might want to build in this new year as part of your new leadership competencies to support trust, empathy, and collaboration.
And again, if you want to be successful with new habits, it’s really important that you visualize it, you write out the sequence of events, and that you make sure that you assign a reward to support and reinforce that new behavior. The Shine podcast has been self sponsored since May 2019. It is freely offered from my heartfelt desire to offer tips, tools, science, in service of a workplace in a world that works for everyone and is living in greater harmony with the Earth from conscious inclusive leadership and socially responsible business practices.
I would love and appreciate your support so that I can continue to offer this with the gusto and heart that I have. You can donate and support me by going to my Patreon page www.patreon.com/carleyhauck, the link is in the show notes. Your generosity helps so much.
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with friends, family or colleagues. We’re all in this together and sharing is caring. If you have questions, comments or topics you would like me to address on the podcast in the future please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for tuning in and being part of this wonderful community. Until we meet again, be the light and shine the light.
I have such great guests for season six. I cannot wait to share them with you.
Thanks again and we will talk very soon.