A No-Zero Day is a day where you do something positive towards your life, your goals or your dreams, it doesn’t matter how small, just do something.
(watch the video or read the blog, your choice.)
This is very similar concept to ‘Habit Stacking’ that James Clear talks about in his book ‘Atomic Habits’.
He also wrote this great blog post on the topic https://jamesclear.com/habit-stacking
Your brain basically builds synapses (the connections between neurons in the brain) that it uses more frequently and prunes connections that it uses less frequently, so on a physical level this is how our thoughts become actions and our actions can become our character, if we are not careful.
“The more you do something, the stronger and more efficient the connections become.”
It’s important to first find the right trigger so that you can set off a positive chain of events to build your Habit Stack from, such as getting out of bed in the morning, there’s no better place to start and to build a fantastic Non-Zero Day from.
Formula = After/Before [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].
My personal example:
Wake Up > 1 Minute Cold Shower > 15 Minutes Meditation > Read My Vision and Goals
My morning Cold Shower and Meditation have been in place since last March and are now so ingrained I just can’t start my day without them, in fact I feel guilty to myself if I don’t, that’s how powerful they become, they are a non-negotiable start to my day.
Recently I wrote down my Vision for 1-3 years and for 3-5 years, both are called a ‘Day in the Life’, when I read them they fill me with joy and excitement for my future plus they lay a purposeful foundation for my day ahead.
Just that short process which I complete within the first hour of my day ensures that it’s a non-zero day, and whatever else happens, I’m winning!
“Habit stacking increases the likelihood that you’ll stick with a habit by stacking your new behaviour on top of an old one.”
The concept of No Zero Days is a very simple and effective way to build those positive connections in your brain by regularly making sure you just do something positive no matter how small, it’s about momentum and accumulation.
6 Years Ago on Reddit
In January this year whilst sunning myself in Guatemala with my best friend James, he shared with me a post on Reddit that he had read which had overwhelmingly inspired him, it had a similar effect on me, tying in with similar concepts that I coach clients and myself on but laid out in a beautifully poetic way.
6 years ago on the social media platform Reddit a young man called Max left a post that was a cry for help. In his post he described a life where he no longer cared about anything in life, he was depressed and in a deep dark hole that he didn’t know how to get out of, he was lost and confused…
…until a guy called Ryan from Canada came along and left one of the most heartfelt yet constructive pieces of advice that I’ve ever read and from what I gather it got Max out of his hole or at least sent him in the right direction.
Here are some of the concepts of Ryan’s response broken down…
Rule 1: No More Zero Days
- What is a Zero Day? When you do absolutely nothing positive towards your goals and dreams.
- What is a No-Zero Day? A day where you do anything towards your goals and dreams, it doesn’t matter how small, just ensure it’s not zero.
Eg.1 burpee, 1 pressup, 1 whole food plant based meal, read 1 page of a chapter, write 1 sentence etc
Rule 2: Be Grateful to The Three You’s (The Past You, The Present You and The Future You)
- Present You makes the decisions and choices right now, today.
- Past You needs to be appreciated and celebrated for making those decisions.
- Future You gets to enjoy the accumulation of all those wonderful non-zero decisions that Past You made, Future You is your vision that excites you and gives Present You the reasons for making non-zero decisions today.
Make sure you thank Future You for enjoy everything you’ve created and achieved and make sure Future You celebrates his or her ass off!
NOTE: On a quick side note Gratitude is the key to Happiness in my mind, without first feeling grateful for something it’s not possible to be happy, so if you desperately want Happiness right now, be Grateful for who you are and where you are right now.
Rule 3: Forgive Yourself
- Tomorrow is a new day, it comes around very quickly and every time it does, it offers you the opportunity to fill it full of NO ZEROS, so be kind to yourself and practise Forgiveness.
Rule 4: Exercise and Read
- Exercising is one of the greatest ways you can make today a no zero day, ‘Future You’ gets to enjoy a much healthier existence thanks to ‘Past You’ having done those extra burpees or having gone to that yoga class. ‘Future you’ gets to enjoy the post workout endorphin release!
- Reading and educating yourself is the fastest way to upgrade your current knowledge and skillset, to learn more about yourself, your habits and behaviours. Education enables ‘Present You’ to make better decisions so that ‘Future You’ can enjoy an amazing life and send it’s thanks back to ‘Past You’!
I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a simple but extremely powerful concept we can all adopt, let’s hope Max applied Ryan’s advice and is doing well now.
“Eventually everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
Whatever choices we make, good or bad, it’s Future You that gets to tuck into that banquet, so what do you want to feast on, bland, tasteless and maybe even poisonous food or delicious, succulent, colourful, exquisite and inspiring morsels that you created.