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Ted Talk 169: The Simple (But Effective) 7-Step Framework To Build Healthy Habits for Life

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Ted Talk 169: The Simple (But Effective) 7-Step Framework To Build Healthy Habits for Life

Although many believe the most challenging part of a body transformation is changing your routine and habits, it is not.

Of course, stopping drinking sodas with every meal, having ice cream for dessert, or a bag of fries every time you sit watching something on Netflix is quite a challenge.

For the right reason, or the exact amount of motivation, you can set yourself to not even look at a bag of chips for 30 days. But then what? How many seconds after you finish those 30 days before you get your hands on a bag of snacks and eat them all?

Achieving a full-body transformation is not about holding onto extreme changes for as long as you can; it is about making small changes that you can hold on to in the long run.

In today’s episode, Ted shares a simple yet effective 7-step framework to build healthy, long-lasting habits. He explains why making the right adjustments is possible even if you’ve failed before, why resisting change is a natural response, and how the environment helps you adapt.

Plus, he talks about the importance of knowing your WHY, starting small, never missing twice, getting support, and much more. Listen Now!


You’ll learn:

  • Making changes is possible for all of us
  • Why sticking to strict changes is setting yourself for failure
  • The link between your WHY and your results
  • How to produce big changes through little steps
  • The importance to pace yourself before starting new routines
  • Why embarking on a body transformation journey by yourself is a bad idea
  • And much more…


Related Episodes:  

531: The Simple 5-Step Framework To Creating Unstoppable Motivation in 2023 (Follow This And Never Lose Motivation To Exercise Again) with Ted Ryce 

262: How Healthy Habits Can Transform Your Body More Than Any Diet with John Berardi, PhD 

525: The Habit Factor: How to Align Habits with Goals to Achieve Success with Martin Grunburg 


Links Mentioned 

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If you’re interested in working with me, you can reach out to my chat team and tell them a little bit about your situation and see if working with me would be a good fit for you.

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Podcast Transcription: The Simple (But Effective) 7-Step Framework To Build Healthy Habits for Life

Ted Ryce: We're already one month in to 2023. And I want to ask you, how are you doing with your New Year's resolutions? Because from the studies that I've read, 80% of people have already given up by now. And I want to ask you, are you one of those people, or are you a person who you're still hanging on, but it's by the skin of your teeth? Did I get that saying right? 

Are you really putting a lot of effort into it? Well, what I want to talk about today is the “7 Step Framework to Build Healthy Habits That Last.” Now, it's simple, but it's also effective. So, if you're interested in learning the secret to becoming more consistent to achieve your health goals, you're in the right place. 

So, what is up, my friend? Welcome to the Legendary Life podcast. I'm your host, Ted Ryce. Who am I, besides the host, is I'm a coach to CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other high-performers. And I do this podcast for two simple reasons. Number one, I've been in the health and fitness industry for over 23 years. I'm coming up on 24 now. 

And I want you to benefit from those 24 years of knowledge so that you can skip the trial, the error, the mistakes, the frustration, because I get phenomenal results, not just with myself, but with my clients – and results that last. And if you just listen and implement what I share with you here, you're going to get better results. 

And number two is for some of you, for the founders, the CEOs, the executives, high-performers, the people who want to get fast results, who want the fast track to success, who want the fail-proof plan so to transform their bodies and never go back again. When you're thinking about that and who to hire, I want you to think about me. 

So let's get into it today. Number one, I want to tell you, you can change. Even if you've failed before, you can change. And how do I know that? How could I be so sure? Well, have you ever heard the term neuroplasticity? Your brain can change. In fact, your brain has to change every time you update the software or change to a new phone. 

Remember when the iPhone went from the home button? Remember that button that used to press on the iPhone and then now it's gone? I remember when they took it away. I forget which model they changed the button, but I remember when I got it, I was like, “Oh, my gosh, why did they take the button away? It's so stupid. How can Apple be so dumb to take that button away? This is so much harder.” 

And then in like, ten minutes, I was like, “Whoa, this is way more intuitive.” So I resisted the change, right? Can you relate to that? I didn't want the change. I got emotional about it a little bit. “Oh, that was so dumb,” right? Maybe some of the things that Apple does is dumb or not great, but they probably tested some of this stuff to know that it's going to be an improvement. Anyway, so intuitive. 

So I had to learn how to use the new phone, and then I did, and now I don't even think about it. Do you remember when you first started driving? I'm surprised I got my license, but now I can drive. I can talk on the phone and drive. I can have a conversation on the phone, and somehow, I just end up at my house and I don't even know how it happened. 

That's an example of how we change. And we know that we can change no matter how old we get. And if you've had that phone situation, that's an example of it. But the difference is, some areas of our life have an emotional story to it, and for a lot of people, that's their weight/their health. So you don't care about the iPhone button that much. You get forced into it, and then you have to adapt. It's the environment, it makes you adapt. 

Now, some of you might be stuck with old phones, I don't know. But in general, you adapt. You adapt to the changing world, and change is happening faster than ever. That's part of the stress that we all feel. And as we're trying to get in shape, that's when it becomes kind of a challenge. 

And there's a great quote, “Every action you take is a vote for your future self.” Have you ever heard that before? I always liked that. It had a nice—it hit well. But as I started to think at a deeper level, in a less motivational way of saying it, it's every action you take builds a habit of that action. And what a lot of people don't realize is that the habits that they have are, let's say, less than ideal for getting in shape, sustainably getting in shape. 

For example, if you go on a strict diet and it takes a massive amount of willpower to stick to it, how long is that going to last? I was having a conversation with a client the other day. He did the Keto diet, and it worked for him. He lost, I think, 50 pounds, something like that. I don't remember. But that's an incredible accomplishment, isn't it? I think so. 

But guess what? He gained it back. What was the problem? Well, it was too strict, didn't fit into his lifestyle. So he had to use a lot of willpower constantly to maintain it. And there wasn't a lot of flexibility because Keto is quite inflexible. That's the whole point. 

Now, I'm picking on Keto because it's popular, but it could be the Paleo diet. I talked to—this person, didn't become a client, but we were having conversation, and he said, “I did the whole 30 with my wife. It was great, except our social life stuck, and we started getting depressed because we couldn't go out anywhere. We couldn't hang out with our friends because the whole 30 was so strict.” 

And so what you have to ask yourself: do you keep going to these habits of strictness? Because if you do and you know you can't keep it up, you're always setting yourself up for failure. Another thing that happens is when clients start exercising and they weigh themselves, and let's say they're a few months or maybe even a year or maybe even years behind on their weight lifting routine, but then they start training. 

And what happens when you start lifting weights? Well, your weight goes up usually. I had one woman now, she didn't become a client because she was a vegan. And I just thought it was not going to be a good fit. But she said, “Listen, I don't like I'm fine to work with you even though you're not a vegan coach. But one thing I want to tell you is I don't want you to try to get me to lift weights because every time I lift weights my weight goes up.” 

And I didn't react to it. But I'm thinking: that's what the hell is supposed to happen? Muscle weighs something. It takes up mass in the universe. It's a great thing. And so another habit is that short term thinking, starting an exercise plan and improving your diet a little bit, but gaining a few pounds or a pound or not seeing your weight change when you first start lifting and then giving up as a result, even though the right things are happening. That's a habit. 

So what I want to tell you is this. You have to build habits the right way. And so I want to just get into it. But I also want to tell you about some of the pitfalls of developing habits as well. So the number one thing that I want you to know, or the number one part of this framework is to know your why. What is the purpose of getting in better shape? What is the purpose of looking better? 

What will your life be like if you accomplish this goal? We have an exercise. We take our clients through where they do this. And let me tell you something. It sounds stupid. For some of you, you're gonna be like, “Oh, that sounds stupid? Just tell me the exercise and diet.” And I'll tell you this. I've been doing this a long time, and I've been doing the current iteration of our coaching program for, I don't know, four years now or something like that. 

And the clients who do this exercise and do a good job on it, succeed at a much higher—they have a much higher probability of succeeding for the long term than the clients who don't. In fact, it's a red flag for us in our coaching business when people don't fill out that why, that why exercise. So understand why it's important to you. 

Number two is start small to create a habit. This is where people screw up. They go for a big, strict diet like Keto or extreme workouts because you're a high performer, because you want results fast, because you're impatient, you need results yesterday, but then you burn out and give up. 

Now, I have a system where I do start with smaller habits, with exercise, but I give people something that gets them results fast. So I understand the results fast can help. But if you're doing this on your own, you've got to be more careful, especially if you have a habit of starting intense and then burning out. Consistency trumps intensity, always. 

People start hard and then trickle off hard, but the people who can be consistent achieve incredible progress. I think about my client, Dan. The guy's lost 50 pounds. He's like a different person. When you see him, he's a different person now. Shout out to you, Dan, if you're listening. 

And one of the things that he said, the big lessons was consistency. It's really just about being consistent. And to give you an example, Dan plays tennis frequently, five, six, seven times a week. He was doing that before when he was 50 pounds overweight. But when he joined the program, we created four 20 minutes workouts. 

I think we started at two 20 minutes workouts, if I remember correctly. He's been in the program for almost, not quite a year, but more like eight months, something like that. And I think we started with two workouts, but then we bumped it up to four. But we started with two 20 minutes workouts, and he still lost 50 pounds over the course of eight-ish months, seven or eight months. That's the power of starting small. 

Now, the third is: build on the habit. After Dan got some initial success, we bumped him up to four times a week, and he started to ask questions. And this is what I love. I don't tell my clients what to do. I help create a program for them, a blueprint for them, and then they'll start asking for more. “Hey, when I got more time, what can I do to get better results here?” 

So number three is: build on the habit. But if you don't have a habit at all, you have nothing to build on. And one thing... I just want to return to number two, start small to create a habit. One thing why people hate doing small habits. For example, go for a walk, ten minutes per day, they're thinking, well, I'm not going to lose much weight with that. 

It's like, yeah, but guess what? If you're losing a lot of weight and then putting it all back on, you're already going to fail. So why not do it differently? “Oh, but I have such a hard time doing that.” Well, that's a mindset issue, because you must create that habit to build on it. Start small. Then once you have the habit, build on it. Just like what you did with Dan. 

And the fourth thing I'll tell you is never miss twice. And I didn't make up this rule. I forget who said it first. Doesn't really matter. But I used to hear it and I would say it, but I didn't really get it. And now what I know is this: the never missed twice rule is really about habit formation, because missing becomes a habit. Do you understand? Missing becomes a habit. 

I tell my clients in my group coaching, and in my one-on-one coaching, don't miss your calls. The number one thing that leads to success in my  coaching program, is showing up to calls. When clients show up to calls, great things happen. When they stop showing up to calls, bad things happen. 

It's more important than any other habit. And so I tell them, do not miss twice. You can miss a call. Don't miss it again. Missing calls is how we know you're going to fail. So never miss twice. It's okay if you have to miss, but never miss twice. And to take this a level deeper, what are the reasons you're missing? Is it because you don't feel like it? 

And it doesn't have to do with just coaching calls. It could be your workouts. It could be your walks. It could be having a healthy meal, and then you had an unhealthy meal, and you know, you should have a healthy meal to balance out the calories. But once you start missing, it becomes a habit with whatever it is. 

Skipping workouts is a habit. Skipping healthy meals is a habit. Skipping coaching calls in my coaching group is a habit. So don't miss twice, because if you can do this long enough, it becomes automatic, and you must get yourself to a place of automaticity. 

I'll return to my client, Dan. He doesn't have to work so hard to do this stuff. We have him tracking his calories, tracking his workouts. If I told you all the stuff he's doing, you'd be like, oh, my gosh, that's overwhelming to think about. It's like, yeah, well, guess what? We didn't start him off like that. We started small and built on it, and we slowly added more and more things to where he's doing a lot of things he's never done before. 

So the fifth one is you have to pace yourself. And this one's really easy. If you're, if you ask yourself, what is my stress level right now? How much anxiety or stress do I feel with my current workout commitment, current diet commitment? Do I feel like, yeah, it's a bit challenging but it's manageable? Or do you feel like, oh my gosh, I don't know how much longer I can keep this up? 

Because if it's the latter and not the former, you're on your way to failing again. It must be sustainable. So you must pace yourself and you have to have that awareness to ask yourself, you know what, can I keep this up? Yes or no? 

And number six is to reevaluate your plan. Because if you feel like it's too much for you, you must change what you're doing to make it sustainable. And here's the trick with this. During the year, the amount of motivation you have, the amount of effort, willpower you have, it's going to change, the amount of distractions you have. 

Maybe your business has peak times and then off times. Well it's going to be harder to stay on plan during peak times. Maybe your kids go to school, come back from school, take breaks from school. Well, it's going to be busier when you have to take them around to their different activities. So you must reevaluate your plan when it's not working or when it feels too tough to stick to. And this is super challenging for people to do on their own because what most people do is they get overwhelmed and quit. 

And then the seventh thing that I want to share with you is get support. Get support. If you are struggling, this is the answer. Not only does social support help you psychologically, in other words, people who feel like they lack social support don't do well with their mental health compared to people who feel like they do have support. People who feel supported do better. 

I don't even need to quote research. Do I really need to talk about research for that? Feeling like you're on your own, sucks. You have no one to talk to. You don't want to complain to anybody. Maybe the people in your life don't want to hear it because they've got their own stuff going on. You need social support. 

I had a client today say, “Hey, listen, I just feel so supported in the group right now. I feel like I would have given up had I not been in this group. And I have a habit of giving up when things get hard,” which, that's a habit. We need to break the habit. How do you break the habit? It's really simple. You keep going. 

That point where you want to give up, you keep going. “Oh, but that's so hard to do!” Yeah, I know. That's why I'm saying get support because it's easier. Let me tell you, I'm in a coaching group for my business right now. It's so much easier. 

I go to two coaching calls a week, and then I talk to my coach on a messaging app, voice messaging app, night and day difference for my mental health and also the results of my business. So the challenges that come my way that I don't know how to handle, he knows how to handle it because he's got the experience. 

So all I have to do is communicate to him what my challenges are, and he gives me feedback and usually some solutions, and I'm like, “Oh, man, it just lowers my stress. I feel supported. I've got strategies to implement.” That's what social support can do for you. 

So whether you hire a coach, you better get some friends. I got one client, for example. He joined a men's basketball group. And so not only is he getting some exercise while doing that, he also is getting that social support. He's got people he's talking to. So support is huge. 

And if you're interested in my help, if you feel like you know what, I've been listening to you for awhile, Ted. I've been trying on my own for a while. I'm a smart, educated, successful person. But for some reason, I just have a block here. I don't know what to do exactly. I mean, I know what to do, but for some reason I'm having trouble implementing it. 

Well, here's what I want to tell you. Reach out to my chat team. Go to and start a conversation with my chat team. They'll talk to you and ask you some questions and give you some advice about what you're struggling with. And if it's a good fit, they might invite you to become part of the program. So that's 

So, I hope this was helpful today. And before we wrap up, I just want to say this. I want to recap things for you and I want to tell you this. You can change. There is hope for change. There is hope to achieve your goals. But if what you're doing right now isn't working, the first thing that you need to change is your approach. 

So, the framework here is one, know your why. Two, start small to create a habit. Three, build on your habit. Four, never miss twice. Five, pace yourself. Six, reevaluate your plan. And seven is get support. 

I hope this came at a good time for you. I hope it inspired you to reevaluate what you're doing, if what you're doing isn't working, and perhaps implement what I shared with you today. And if you need some help, you know where to reach out. Hope you have an incredible week, and I'll talk to you soon.

Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, celebrity trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 24 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and hundreads of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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