72. JACKIE TANN – Why Small Habits Help you Become Superhuman

What if I told you becoming superhuman wasn’t about being the fastest, fittest, strongest, wealthiest person that ever lived? If I told you it was a feeling, would you want to know how to feel it? To experience the feeling of being Superhuman? You see, becoming superhuman doesn’t mean you are rid of all sickness, pain, ailments, and suffering. Superhuman, to me, is taking positive action toward a healthier, happier, more engaged, focused, and joyful experience of being oneself. I have met and spoken to many people who have been through tragic accidents, experienced scary situations, have loved, lost, loved, and lost again, and who are living with the disease but are the most resilient, level-headed, opportunity-seeking and taking, loving, joyous people.

These people have mastered the art of becoming superhuman. They would never admit that though. To them, they are just getting by, day by day.

But the thing they all do?

Take action.

Sometimes it’s a great big action.

Sometimes small and humble.

And the action they take is for themselves for one sole purpose. To make a positive impact on that moment, that day, or that week.

Whether that be starting or committing to a training routine, eating an extra piece of fruit, calling a loved one, drinking an extra glass of water, buying coffee for the person in line behind them, or simply sleeping in an extra 30 minutes.

Sometimes the action doesn’t even matter, only that there is action. Action creates momentum. Momentum creates a mental shift, a sense of purpose, power, and determination… and if it doesn’t? Keep taking action until it does. Because it will.

We only have now.

How do you want to experience it?

What Does It Mean To Be A Superhuman

Jackie 1:01
Today’s show is going to be a little bit different. I’m chatting with you, it’s just me and you today. And I’m going to be talking all about how to become a superhuman. And not a superhuman doesn’t mean putting on your cape and rescuing people, which, if that’s your thing, go for it. It simply means showing up as your best self every single day. It means feeling strong and fit at your training session. It’s having the energy before and after work to hang out with your spouse or your kids. It’s having the mental clarity and focus at a job that you love, or a job that you don’t love all that much. But because you feel great, it makes it easy to get through. And it means having the patience with yourself and others. It means accepting what it is and making the absolute most out of every opportunity. And it also means knowing when to rest and recover. So you can do it all over again. Now, if you are feeling overwhelmed by all of that, there is no need in the sense that when you get a few things right, everything I just mentioned happens naturally. And that is the great thing about working on yourself. Positive shifts happen as a result of the work that you put in.

Your Personal Superhuman Journey

Jackie 2:30
So how do you start this journey to becoming superhuman? I’m so glad you asked. Start with one. What is the one thing that comes to your mind straight away when I asked you “What is bothering you most right now?” Is it an injury? Is it lack of sleep? Is it your gut that bloats every time you eat something? Is it that you’re not sure to what you want to do with your career? Is it that you want to change careers? Is it that newborn is just not sleeping well, so neither are you? What is the first thing that comes to your mind? And you may be thinking well, how was changing careers going to make me a superhuman? Yes, I get it. I’m glad you asked that it’s not about the thing that you’re doing or changing, it’s about doing that creates momentum. It’s the excitement in doing something for yourself that triggers a chain of events that makes change easier. And please note I said easier, not easy. So when you switch your focus on things that you like, things that make you happy, and you explore the opportunities around that it changes your mood. Then, let’s say you get that job or start down a new career path. When you start doing a thing that you love doing, it reinforces the action of doing something for me, good outcome, reward center of the brain says, “Go you here’s some dopamine.” And while that’s a grossly simplified version of what’s happening.

What Creates Positive Change

Jackie 4:16
The important thing to understand here is that taking positive action for yourself is what matters and what creates positive change. Now, let’s take a different example. Maybe you’re an athlete, you keep injuring the same area, let’s say calf for example. What steps have you taken to recover from the injury or prevent the injury from happening? Have you seen an expert that can firstly give you a diagnosis because if you’ve torn tissue then treatment and training will be dictated by that. Secondly, have you worked with someone that can assess your body and move and movement patterns so that you can have an understanding of why the injury continues to reoccur? Because only then will you be able to fix the problem. So if you keep tearing your calf and your go-to treatment is a massage gun and calf raises, but what you don’t realize is you have really poor ankle mobility. And it’s only when you address that, will you experience lasting change.

Working Through Unhappy Feelings

Jackie 05:17
My point is, what is the one thing that is bothering you? And then what are the actions that you’ve taken to either rectify it, help it, solve it, and make you feel better. But start with one, us humans are like onions, a great philosopher once said that he was very large and green. We need to work on ourselves layer by layer. And once the first layer has been peeled back and worked, then what’s the next layer? Is it nutrition? Is it your self-talk and confidence? There’s no right and wrong in how you do this. Only that you start. This is a journey, the more you work on yourself, the more superhuman you will feel. And I want to add, for those of you who struggle with finding time to spend on themselves. Firstly, I want to challenge you, and that self-talk. And before I lose you, let me just say if you constantly neglect yourself and your needs, you will feel the effects, you will get sick, your relationships may start to suffer, whether it’s because you’re stressed or you’re not as patient, and it might just get worse from there. Because neglecting your body and mind, and nutrition, and training will impact you in a way that makes it easy to get sick. And I don’t want to be insensitive to what you’re saying when you don’t have the time. What I’ve just said, is the reality of not spending the time on working on ourselves. So will you get sick? Will your relationship struggle? Who knows? It might, it might not. But the chances are higher when you neglect yourself.

Take Action – Start Making Changes Today, Even If They’re Small

Jackie 7:16
So how do you take action and make small impactful changes when you don’t have the time? Now if you’ve read James Clear, Atomic Habits, you’ll know what I’m about to say. Now, a side note. I looked this up now James Clear talks about habit stacking. And when I looked into it, there’s someone who wrote a book before him, Habits Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes Or Less by SJ Scott. He proposes build routines around habits that don’t require effort because small wins build momentum, because they’re easy to remember and complete. Now, whoever coined it first, it doesn’t really matter because it’s all about the strategy. So it’s about taking that on board. And if it helps, that’s the most important thing. But another side note, even, um, even finding that book, there’s another one before that. And another one before that all about habits.

Habit Stacking – What Is It?

Jackie 8:19
So, um, habit is a thing. But let’s get into habit stacking. So for example, if you’re not getting enough sleep, how can you rest your body and your mind in the day, whether it’s a five-minute micro nap, or 20-minute power nap? Whether it’s meditation or breathwork? What are the things that you’re already doing? So, brushing your teeth, waiting for the kettle to boil your bathroom breaks, showers, prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you commute? Is it in the car, bus, train, or bike? All of these things you can add upon. So for example, a meditation can you meditate during whilst the kettle is boiling, boiling? Can you do some breathwork whilst the kettle is boiling? Can you do it–a meditation in the shower whilst you’re preparing breakfast and lunch? Maybe not so much in the car. But you can certainly be working on your breathwork, in the car, on the bus, on the train, and certainly on the bike as well. In fact, I recently spoke with Jacko David Jackson, all about breath work, and you could be doing nasal breathing, only riding your bike. So there are certainly ways that you can add on top of the things that you already do to hopefully replenish some rest within your body. So don’t underestimate the power of breathing. Micro naps and meditation. Meditation is a really great way to not switch off the mind–I don’t want to say that. And I feel like every time I bring meditation up, that’s the first thing people say, I can’t switch off my mind. I can’t stop thinking, it’s like, that’s okay. Your brain does. And we’re, we’re human beings, and we think a lot. That is okay. It’s not meant to stop you from thinking. So, try the meditation. And if you think, and if you feel that the thinking part is a barrier, try a guided meditation, because then that takes a part of that sense. So you’re now listening, and you’re visualizing. And that may help you not think about the things that are on your mind, but actually get you to concentrate on the voice that’s telling you to do and think about certain stuff, or, you know, bring your attention into your senses anyway.

Meditation As A Restorative Practice

Jackie 10:55
So meditation is a great way to rest the body and mind. And then you can think about, you know, how can you incorporate it with the people around you? Do you have children? Do you read to them in bed? In which case, can you teach them a breathwork meditation. Are there apps–actually, I’m pretty sure there are apps where you–where there are some guided meditations for kids as well. So you could both do that together before or after your read whatever you think is going to be best for you. But incorporating those things with your kids or with your partner is another way to make it easier. Um, because then you have a little bit of that accountability, maybe not so much for the kids, but they might find–they might find it’s something that it’s really cool to do with Mum and Dad, and ended up really enjoying it. And there you go. New habit tick. So what if it’s exercise that you want to do more of everything we mentioned above, brushing your teeth, preparing food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, boiling water, having a shower, all these things you can be adding, whether it’s a squat, with some push-ups. I find that the kitchen is the best place to habit stack. When I’m cooking, I am doing 10 squats. When I’m waiting for the kettle to boil, I am doing 10 Push Ups. And when you add that throughout the day, it does the numbers add. And when you do that every single day, it makes a difference. These feel small and maybe insignificant at the time. But that compounds, when you’re doing it every single day of the month of three months, of six months of the year, it’s going to make a difference, trust me.

The Power of Stretching: Maximizing Your Mobility

Jackie 12:53
And I have to talk about this one. It’s stretching. This one I find gets the most resistance. And let me tell you a secret. Much like the exercising, the kitchen is where I stretch. Every time I’m preparing food or waiting for the kettle to boil. I’m stretching my hamstrings, and my hip flexors, and my adductors. It is literally the best place to stretch because you’re watching over the thing that you’re doing and the food, the cooking, the kettle. Instead of spending that time on your phone or watching something similar. Stretch. In fact, you could do a quad stretch whilst stirring the pot. That’s not a problem either. Don’t make things hard for yourself, add the thing into the thing that you’re already doing. And if you’re someone who runs and trains, then add it to the end of your training session. Honestly, take two minutes. That is all you’ll need. Just start with that. And I guarantee when you start with two minutes, and notice the difference it makes to your body and how you pull up the next day or even the week, you will want to do more. So the one that I recommend people to do, especially runners because you know you’re running outside and it’s easy to access of the curb. Do a calf stretch where you hang your heel off the curb from their hip hinge so you’re bending forward at the hips. And that turns into a calf stretch and a hamstring stretch. Oh, and by the way, I will mention you don’t have to have the leg completely straight. You can bend at the knee as well. So you’re still getting a calf stretch and you’re still getting a hamstring stretch and when you keep bending you’re getting a glute stretch as well and kind of right up the back. It’s a compound stretch, you’re doing a lot of different muscles and the fascial system, the posterior chain, all in one, and all you have to do is hold that for 30 seconds, swap sides, hold that for 30 seconds, do it once more. And that’s two minutes. That’s it. It is simple, and it’s easy. And it’s only one thing that you’re doing, but you’re getting a whole lot of things in that.

The Journey Is More Important Than The Destination

Jackie 15:31
So, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you choose to focus on. They’re all valid, and they are all important. And you need to know that whilst the solution may not be a simple, quick fix, there is a solution. And if you’re not sure what it might be, get help. A doctor, physio, a naturopath, psychologist, sleep doctor, exercise physiologist, a remedial massage therapist, and of course, I had to say that because I am a remedial massage therapist. But there are people that can help find your people. That is where your journey starts, it will be different for everyone. And you can become superhuman because it’s a feeling. Commit to starting your journey to feeling good. And if you’ve already started your journey, I want you to think about what’s next on your list of feeling good.

Start With One: Simplify Your Life and Make Positive Changes

Jackie 16:33
I wish you all the best. If you have questions or you’d like to share something with me, please get in touch over on Instagram. I would love to chat with you and hear about what you’re doing to become superhuman. This is a very short episode in comparison to the other ones that I do. But I really wanted to share this with you because I feel like sometimes we can get overwhelmed by how big things feel, and how much we feel that we need to change when in reality, to feel good and to make positive changes in our lives and in our health and in our body. Sometimes it only takes one small thing. So start with one. Let me know what that is. And I look forward to chatting with you soon. As alway, I’m so grateful that you’re here. Thank you so much. Have the best day week, month in year and here’s to a world of bodies built better.

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