Can I Get Out of Bad Habits and Into Good Ones? With David Nurse [Episode 115]

Are you struggling to get out of bad habits and into good ones? Oh, friend, you aren’t alone!

We all have a God-given gift in us to share with the world. The only person holding us back from achieving it is ourselves. [Click to Tweet]

If you’ve been listening to the 4:13 Podcast for a while, you may have heard my behind-the-scenes episodes—and that means you know that NBA life and optimization coach David Nurse is helping me get healthy. (Don’t worry if you missed these episodes, you can listen to them here, here, and here.)

You see, I started the year with a broken wrist, which made even mild exercise painful and hard. Then, as I healed, I fought the fear of injury because my wrist still wasn’t strong. So, I avoided exercise!

Next, COVID-19 quarantine was thrown into the mix. During it, I threw all my good eating and health habits out the window. My jeans got bigger, my muscles got flabbier, and I got less limber.

I just didn’t know how to get out of my bad habits and into good ones on my own. I needed help—and that’s where David came in!

When we embrace difficulty as an opportunity, even our worst-case scenarios can be pivoted to help others grow. [Click to Tweet]

Maybe you can relate. I think most of us run on an endless string of vague goals and “should haves,” with true, empowering change just out of reach. Often, we feel stuck in our bad habits, without the tools to break the mold and live our best lives every day.

Well, just as that’s been changing for me, it’s about to change for you too! In this episode, David shows you how to make small mindset pivots for some big change in your life.

David is not only an NBA life and optimization coach but also a bestselling author and motivational speaker. As a former professional basketball player and a coach for the Brooklyn Nets, David has helped over 100 NBA players with their personal and professional development both on and off the court. He’s been invited to speak in 51 different countries on personal development, confidence building, and leadership.

So, tie up your shoes and get ready to learn some practical tools to help you get out of your bad habits and into good ones!

How to Get Out of Bad Habits and Into Good Ones

  1. Start with 1% mindset pivots. As David’s been training NBA players for the last decade, he’s realized that it’s not all about the tools or skills they have. Instead, 90% of it is their mindset. He says it’s the same for you and me. We all have a God-given gift in us to share with the world—and the only person holding us back from achieving it and living the life we want is ourselves.

    David explains that we have 50,000 self-talk thoughts daily, and 80% of those are negative. So self-doubt creeps in every single day. But we can fight self-doubt with mindset pivots. A mindset pivot is a small turn in perspective that can change our entire perspective. And, because change is daunting, 1% pivots help make change feel seamless.

    One mindset pivot you can start with is called the foggy mirror. You may experience self-doubt when you wake up in the morning, and it can cause you to view your day through a “foggy mirror.” You have the choice to either let it stay foggy and allow self-doubt to hold you back, or you can wipe that mirror clean. A great way to remind yourself to clean your foggy mental mirror is to clean your foggy bathroom mirror every day after taking a shower.

  2. Accept that change takes time. David’s uncle is the head coach of the Toronto Raptors. The first year his uncle coached the team, they won the NBA Championship. People exclaimed how lucky his uncle had been, but David says it wasn’t luck. His uncle had served as a head coach with different teams for 27 years. When he’d first started his career, he had clear goals and envisioned himself being an NBA champion coach. He even cut out a picture of himself holding up the trophy and put it on his fridge. It just took his uncle decades to get there.

    Just like it took time for his uncle to reach his big goal, it also takes time when it comes to getting out of bad habits and into new ones. Studies show that it takes 28 days to form a habit. David says this means that by Day 29, you’ve built up a habit and routine. At that point, you have the choice to make that habit a lifestyle. It’s up to you. When you do, David explains, then it’s like the whole life rhythm, your definition of success and failure and confidence and joy are all redefined through turning these habits—these mindset pivots—into a complete lifestyle. It’s about the daily steps of getting to where you want to be.

    You might feel stuck in some areas of your life right now and feel discouraged. David says it’s important not to look at the small picture of where you’re currently at. Instead, you can allow that stuck feeling to motivate you to make those 1% mindset shifts that take you closer to living the life you’ve always wanted. What you’re working toward isn’t going to happen overnight. And, David says, if it does, you’re probably not ready for it. He wasn’t when he got to coach the Brooklyn Nets at age 27. You can read more about how he’s encouraging me to have patience with my weight loss process here.

  3. Embrace the challenges you face. One of David’s stories is about the unique opportunity he had to meet with the Russian billionaire who owned the Brooklyn Nets. He explains, “Nobody ever really meets with him. He’s just kind of like this mystical figure that there is.” David went expecting to talk about basketball and how he’d be training the team. Instead, he got thrown into tescao—a Tibetan martial art—training. It was hard, challenging, and David found himself focused on simply trying to survive it.

    Later, though, David realized that he’d let fear and difficulty cause him to miss a significant opportunity. He’d focused so much on surviving that he’d failed to thrive. He could have brought helpful and invaluable information back to his team if he’d focused on how he could help serve others through the meeting.

    Embracing the challenges you face is another mindset pivot you can make. Each time something happens to you that’s difficult, look for how it can help you grow and how it can help others grow. David says that things happen to us so they can happen through us to serve others.

  4. Remember the younger you. A couple of summers ago, David was coaching 26 NBA players. He was working on the court every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and he was drained both mentally and physically. As he headed home one day, he stopped and just sat on a park bench. He was ready to quit … that is, until he saw an 8 or 9-year-old kid dribbling a basketball as he walked with his dad.

    David says, “I was like, ‘Wow! Would the younger David, at 8-years-old who just dreamed of playing in the NBA, want to quit when he had 26 NBA players coming to him to train them? No. Definitely not.'” The mental picture of himself as a boy helped pivot David’s mindset from “this is something I have to do” to “this is something that I get to do.”

    When you remember the younger you, it can be a great motivator. Find a picture of yourself when you were around 8-years-old. Attach it to your mirror, so you see it every morning when you wake up. It will remind you of when you had those big dreams and aspirations, and motivate you to live with that 8-year-old younger mentality and excitement.

Friend, don’t you just love David’s positivity and hope? Today, you can start getting out of bad habits and into good ones. You got this! And remember, whatever you face, however you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

Related Resources

Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild

More from David Nurse

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Stay Connected

Go deeper into this week's question in my Bible Study Bistro Facebook group. There's a community of 4:13ers waiting for you!