Today we are digging into shifting your mindset to achieve self-mastery and live your best life through things like identity, habits, productivity, and of course as always on this show, how those tie back to your fitness and health.
My guest is Monica Ricci. Monica has been facilitating positive change for over 20 years. She founded Catalyst Organizing, LLC in 1998, working with individuals, business owners, and business teams to help clarify priorities, achieve goals, create organization, and improve productivity.
In the world of productivity, Monica has been an author, blogger, speaker, radio host, and frequent TV guest on many local morning shows as well as Fox & Friends, CNN.com, and HGTV.
Today, she uses her experience and talents to facilitate positive change and transformation through coaching, speaking, and social media.
Monica lives a nomadic life, coaching via Zoom while traveling the country. When she isn’t moving to a new city, she enjoys strength training, cycling, baseball, rock and roll, and high-quality butter.
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Welcome to the Wits& Weights podcast, where we discuss getting strong and healthy with strength training and sustainable nutrition. I'm your host, Philip pape, and in each episode, we examine strategies to help you achieve physical self mastery through a healthy skepticism of the fitness industry, and a commitment to consistent nutrition and training for sustainable results. Welcome to another episode of Wits & Weights. Today we're digging into shifting your mindset to Achieve Self Mastery and live your best life through things like identity, habits, productivity, and of course as always on the show how those tie back to fitness and health. My guest is Monica Ricky Monica has been felicite facilitating positive change for over 20 years. She founded catalyst organizing, LLC in 1998. Working with individuals, business owners and business teams to help clarify priorities, achieve goals, create organization and improve productivity. In the world of productivity. Monique has been an author, blogger, speaker, radio host and frequent TV guest on many local morning shows, as well as Fox and Friends cnn.com and HGTV. Today she uses her experience and talents to facilitate facilitate positive change and transformation through coaching, speaking and social media. Monica lives a nomadic life coaching via zoom while traveling the country. And when she isn't moving to a new city. She enjoys strength training, cycling, baseball, rock and roll and high quality. Butter. Yum. Monica, I'm so glad you can come on the show. How are you?Monica Ricci:
Oh my gosh, thank you so much for having me, Philip. I'm great. I am in Connecticut at the moment, as I mentioned are you as you mentioned, I live this beautiful nomadic adventure. And so I happen to be on the northeast part of my road tour. And it is really lovely being here. Yeah, we were talking about the beautiful fall because we're recording this in November. And I'm also in Connecticut. And it's so awesome to hear about your ability to travel. And when you say the North, you know, this is just where I'm from, but the country is huge. So I'm really excited to talk to you because you have this background, not only in health and fitness, but in personal development and mindset. And so what is your personal story and how you got interested in the type of coaching you do today? Well, you know, sometimes, I think I know for myself, I can't even see the beginning of when I started to get interested in personal development it if I follow the line back, it's almost like you can't really tell where it starts. Because it's it starts so small sometimes. But I've really been hitting it hard, probably the last, I would say probably the last 10 or 15 years in just really exploring opportunities to learn, to grow to take advantage of the resources that are out there that help us do things like cultivate our own self mastery in terms of you know, coaching and courses and books and you know, all the things we hear about the people you surround yourself with. And so as I was building my business back in the well, it was really the turn of the last I mean the end of the last century, which is the 90s It's amazing. It's been it's been that long. But I started that business in 1998, with the idea that one of my strengths is helping people to get to the core of issues and simplify things. And I translated that into physical simplicity, organ organization, and decluttering. And so that was kind of the beginning of this of the personal development work that I did, because organizing someone's environment. And indeed organizing your own environment. And building the skills to do that is definitely an exercise in personal development. Because it takes discipline, it takes learning, it takes a certain skill set a certain habits set, right. I never connected really to personal development way back then I just kind of recognize that it was a need in the marketplace. And I had a skill for it. And so I just jumped in and started doing it. And it grew so really organically. I am oh I shouldn't even say this. I am that business owner who never had a business plan or never planned at all. I just kind of leaped right in and literally never did a day of marketing in my whole life and my whole career for 20 years. I just didn't and and in some ways I think that's great. And that says hey, you know, like, you're onto something right? If you don't, right, if you don't need to put your energy in that to come to you Sure. Yeah, right. And it really did opportunities just came it was such a beautiful existence and, and it was really, it was probably about four years into it, that I really started to get a grasp on on how important the work was that I was doing. For the people that I was doing it for, it wasn't about the spaces it was about the people. And there were times when, when I realized that just the conversation we were having was the important piece that it wasn't about remaking the closet, or, you know, remaking the office or whatever it was we were working on. It was the conversation that happened in that space. That was transformative. And that's what I latched on to. So many years later, when I began to feel like it was time for me to exit that industry. In that specific capacity. I still, I still am in the service of productivity. It's just that I'm not doing it exactly the same way sort of a different channel now with the coaching and the masterminding and such. Right, but but that was, I guess, really my foray into into working in the personal development space, it's started way back, then. And it continues today. As you mentioned, I travel and I do zoom. And it's a really beautiful existence, because it allows me to reconnect with people in my life that I haven't seen in a long time. And it also allows me to continue to work and contribute in that way. And it allows me to see places I've never seen before and meet people I've never met.Philip Pape:
You know, it's amazing, your story, how you, you, you engage in passions along the way that eventually it kind of converged into something you didn't expect, right? You tell me about how you focus on productivity and organizing. But now it's the organization of your life, right? It's the development of things and organizing things. And now the development of yourself and your and then the nomadic life prop, I'm assuming the whole pandemic and everything moving online, and technologies flourishing like that, also, maybe facilitated the ability to do that. So what what Tell me a little bit more about the coaching that you do today in terms of personal development. And also maybe I don't know if you want to tie that into day 13, that you mentioned before we talked today, I don't want to give it away.Monica Ricci:
The the coaching that I do today is I do a combination, I do private coaching, and I also do group group coaching and business team coaching. And what we work on is is sort of a mixed model. And what I what I mean, as a mixed model is we work on things that are very tactical, in some cases, very granular. But we also work higher level like we work on things like who are you being right? Who do you need to be in this situation? Who have you been in the past that hasn't worked? And how do you embody this new identity moving forward, so that you can create the habits you want to create, to create the outcomes you want to create? Right? So there's this all this kind of higher level, a little more esoteric stuff. But when it comes down to it, those things translate actual specific actions, you go broad, to narrow, and that's where we focus our attention is in the everyday habits, actions and disciplines that really build a life.Philip Pape:
Yeah, and that that's so aligned with a lot of what I do as well, with nutrition coaching, like you said, it's not not necessarily where you've been or where you are today and what you embody today, it's the future, you, right? Act as if that's where you're going to be. And now what, where's the gap? And I love that approach. Because yeah, it is up here. But it drives down, down down down to today, in the moment in front of us, when we getMonica Ricci:
a little bit weak, give some real really granular and concrete examples, because I know, folks who watch podcasts, they watch for a reason they want information, swamp takeaways, they want to be able to go I want to do something new now. Yes. And we can absolutely talk about how the higher vision of who you want to be and who you strive to be translates into a singular action every day. And that is really the powerful part of this kind of this kind of coaching is that it involves not only that instructive part, but also it involves the community and the accountability piece, which is so supportive, they're kind of like the guardrails in life, you know, he's having that community, and then he also the accountability, so that you're not alone in this journey of of changing mastery.Philip Pape:
Great. Yeah. And I'm all for the listener getting as much value and strategies out of this as possible. So do we, do we start there? Do we start up at, at maybe, you know, a lot of people know what to do. Right? And maybe not, but a lot of people have sort of the education or they listen to a lot of podcasts. And they may personally know what they need to do. But they get overwhelmed taking that first step of being consistent day in day out, right. That's the overarching challenge for a lot of people. So how does someone develop that skill or habit over time and create those outcomes? I think you refer to that as the law of accumulation. Hmm.Monica Ricci:
I love the law of accumulation, which essentially just says that small changes applied consistently add up to great results. I mean, it's pretty, it's pretty straightforward, right? And during my fitness journey, my fitness transformation. I started my fitness transformation in 2019. And I didn't intend for it to be a transformation. Frankly, I had no idea what was gonna happen, but it's it set off this cascade of events and changes in me that was that led me to where I am today. But during my fitness transformation, I just showed up, I just showed the heck up every day. And I didn't know the end result. But what I what I knew was that if I showed up every day, something would change. What I didn't realize was that I would change in the process was that I would become a new person. And when you mentioned the what, why and the or the what people know what to do, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. But let's assume that people know what to do. And I love using the container of health and fitness. And the reason I love using it is because every single person can relate to it. Every single person has had this conversation with themselves around their health and fitness, it's not some magical thing that only a few people can understand. So most people know what they need to do. What they miss, though, is the why they want to do it, and who they have to become in order to do it. And that's where the coaching comes in. Right? That's where you dig a little deeper, because the thing is, and I have said this in speaking engagements I can remember, I was it was probably I don't know, mid 2000s. And I was speaking to a group of Army Wives at a base called I want to say it was Fort Thomas Georgia. And I actually have video of this piece of my of my presentation, we were talking about this exact thing. And I said, information is just information. Unless you apply it, it means nothing. For example, I know what I need to do to lose 15 or 20 pounds. Am I doing it? No, I'm not. So that was me, like in the past saying exactly what I'm saying now, right? Which is the information isn't the magic, the knowing what to do is not the magic. Because if that were the magic, everybody would be everywhere they want to be right now. Yeah, it's the getting yourself to do it. And that's what self mastery is. And it's very nut, it's very core and the essence, self mastery is the ability to get yourself do the thing you need to do whether you want to or whether you don't. Regardless of how you feel acting. That is great.Philip Pape:
And I love it. You also put it earlier as showing up. If you don't show up, you can't change. And you can't become that future you whether it's the lighter, stronger, fitter, happier, whatever you want to call it version of you. And that term, physical, mental and self mastery really resonates with me because I think I think my podcast description actually has that exact term. So you really resonate with me there. Oh, mine. So yeah, yeah, no, I love that that phrase right? Of the future you so let's dig into the habits then a little bit more. Because like you alluded to that this is kind of the missing skill, we often know what to do. And we don't know what to do. I think people are people know how to seek out information and education. But if people could grasp and develop habit building, right, it would cultivate the consistency we talked about in the small results we talked about. So is there something about the science of habit building that we're all missing? Or don't understand something you can let us know? And that's actionable where I could, I can learn more about habit building itself, so then I can apply that skill.Monica Ricci:
Yeah, absolutely. There's so much on habits that is out there right now. BJ Fogg talks about habits in his book, I think he's the one who wrote tiny habits. And James clear I love I love his content and atomic habits as well. And so like, for example, the James clear model of the habit loop, which is the cue, the craving, the response and the reward, it's the circle all the time, round, and around and around, we go right. And we don't even realize how much of our lives are habituated. But they are and that's our brains way of conserving energy in our brains way of getting us through the day without being completely exhausted. Is that anything we do repeatedly? The brain just goes okay, duly noted. Boop, boop. And it puts it in the back for like, you know, just Okay, now it's second nature. But the good part is, good habits can become second nature. But the bad part is unconscious habits, just kind of easy default ways of being also become second nature and very ingrained and entrenched, as well. So we break down the habit loop and we look at the cue, the craving, the response and the reward, there are certain things we can do to interrupt that loop to either add new habits we want to incorporate into our lives, or stop existing habits. And Tony Robbins will say, you can't just stop an existing habit, you have to replace it, replace it. So I find that that's probably true because stopping something leaves a vacuum for something else to come in. So you want to be able to choose what that thing is, right? We've often heard that folks who stopped one behavior like for example, and addictive behavior of any time often will just substitute a different addictive behavior or it right it may switch they may go from, you know, being addicted to one substance to them being addicted to food, for example, or gambling or whatever it might be. Right. So the way that we interrupt that habit loop is, is by looking at the habits that we, that we want to change or replace, I should say, and making those habits difficult, making them inconvenient. Right? So if, for example, your habit is that you're constantly checking your phone at dinner, and that's impacting your relationships, and I gotta believe that's the thing. You got to ask yourself, Okay, if the habit I want to replace is that I want to stop checking my phone at dinner, because it makes my spouse or my partner or my kids feel disconnected from me, how can I make that difficult? Okay, well, how can we let's look, you can put the phone across the room or in a drawer or upstairs, right? So again, you're putting barriers between you and that automatic behavior, right. And then similarly, you want the habits that you do want to be easier. So you design your environment, around making the resistance as low as possible between you and your new habit. We always hear this, put your gym shoes at the outlet, right? By your bed or pack your gym bag the night before or sleep in your gym clothes, or whatever itPhilip Pape:
may be. I've had those myself, yes.Monica Ricci:
Removing the friction and the barrier to the ones you do want and putting in barriers to ones you don't want. That's your friend, think about.Philip Pape:
Right. So somebody could take a somebody can inventory their day, right? And think about those things that get in the way or cause friction or like you said, the the phone at the dinner table that I know it's causing a problem again, people people know this stuff, it's not like they're clueless about, it's just they get into a routine and day after day, they come home from work, they're tired, it's like, they don't want to think about it. Do you just you take a piece of paper and kind of write down the top three or four for the day? And then right next to it, either the replacement? Or how to make it harder? I mean, depending on which direction want to go, is it that simple?Monica Ricci:
It's, I would say do one or two at a time, one or two habits at a time, right? And I would say to ask yourself questions, ask yourself, don't just tell yourself, but actually ask yourself and inquire. Because what you're asking yourself, you're consulting, your Higher Self, your inner knowing. You're not just thinking it's kind of a little bit of a shift. Because if I look around the room, and I asked myself, what needs to be done in this room today, I'm engaging that part of myself. That is sort of the the, I guess it would be that yourself that can see things through a different lens than I got likePhilip Pape:
a Socratic. Yeah, and you know, what needs to be doneMonica Ricci:
today? Same thing, how can I make this harder? Or how can I make this easier. And also, asking someone else is helpful to getting different perspective can be helpful in that in that process. And also, we, if we look back at the ABCs of habit building, which is an actual behavior in celebration, which I'm pretty sure as BJ Fogg, the acknowledgement of every time you do or don't do the thing is really also an important part of it. Right? You get that celebration of Look at me, look what I did. I left my phone in the drawer, and I didn't die, right? At dinner time. Or I went to the gym, and I feel so great about myself. Yes, that high five, like, that's totally who I want to be today. And that ties into the identity, right? Who do we want it to be? It's not just the what are we doing? We are integrated beings, we are Mind Body, Soul spirit, right? So moving the body is really important to get the head to follow, right? And also integrating the head in the acknowledgement. What makes the body want to move more. So in this sort of spiral, it's, it's like a cycle. It's really lovely.Philip Pape:
Got it, who do we want to be? And I guess we can stack that onto getting our steps pacing around the house as we reflect on that. So so as one other technique comes up, I want to ask you about and that's habit stacking, where you're combining something indulgent, it may not be the best habit in and of itself, but you're combining it with a good habit, like the common the common common example is like watching Netflix while you walk on the treadmill or something. What do you think of that concept?Monica Ricci:
I think habit stacking is wonderful, because you're already in the habit of doing something. And so, using that as your cue, like if we go back to the clear model, the queue, which leads to the craving, right and so, you already have a queue in place. So when I do this, I will also do this, or after I do this which is solidify Do I always use brushing teeth, because there is nobody that I've ever spoken to who has a problem remembering to brush their teeth in the morning and at night, we've been doing it since we were tiny babies, right. So that's one of the most ingrained habits that we have, or taking a shower or anything else that you can do without thinking, if you can attach and stack a new habit onto an existing one. It's like, it's like a little link, right, and it connects it. And so eventually, you begin to view those things together. When I get up in the morning, I will brush my teeth, and then I'll meditate. For example, I'm just making that up, right? If you're not in the habit of meditating, because otherwise, what you do is you try to squeeze meditating in somewhere during the day when you have time. But when you attach it to something you're already doing, you're carving out a little piece of time for it, and then it happens everyday at the same time. And then once those two are solidified, you can actually stack another one on top. So by the time you're, you know, six weeks in, or however many weeks in, you've got a stack of little morning things that you do that create a super foundation for you to set your day upon.Philip Pape:
Yeah, that's awesome. And for people who think they don't have enough time, that that sounds like a great technique to because some of these things are done, you know, simultaneously, right? So they're more efficient. Actually, I was just talking to a client who likes to drink a lot of coffee. And we're talking about getting enough hydration not getting dehydrated. And so why don't we, every time you pour a cup of coffee, pour a glass of water, put some, you know, put some lemon and salt and make both together. And then when you're done with the coffee, now you have the water to kind of last you until until the next coffee, you know. Anyway, so I watched your YouTube video about micro stepping, which is sounds also in this realm of creating change. Can you explain that concept, I don't know if it's different than what we've been talking about, or we're not going,Monica Ricci:
it's not really different. It's just a matter of shifting your mindset from taking huge, massive actions all at once to taking tiny little actions and recognizing that those are incredibly valid, and that they are the way to get to big changes. I saw a really cool graphic not long ago, and it was just a little pencil drawing. And on one side, it had a picture of a ladder, a really tall ladder and a little stick figure guy at the top. And on the other side, it had a picture of a really tall ladder. And there were only about a quarter of the number of steps. And the steps were really far apart in the lawn guy was on the bottom, because he couldn't reach the first step. So the whole point was every step is important. You can't get to the top if you can't reach the first step. And so it's that idea. We've we've, we've so conditioned ourselves to believe if we're not going to the gym for an hour, five days a week, you know, hard driving that we that we're failing. But that's not how you get there. You don't go from zero to 100. You don't go from the standard American diet to carnivore in one day. But don't do it, you step your way there, right, you change in slow incremental parts. Same with any habit, you step your way there, because in the small steps, you create wins. And every time you create a win, your brain wants another win. And that's why it's important. The micro steps are important because you set yourself up to succeed multiple the day.Philip Pape:
That's so motivating. Monique, I love your energy, by the way, the microstepping it is a nuance in this discussion, because you know, up till now we've been talking about habits and replacing things. But if people realize that also if, if they feel that new habit or replacement is kind of a big jump, how do you break that back down to a much smaller jump, like if you're, if you're getting five hours of sleep today, you're not gonna get eight hours of sleep immediately next week, but you might get five and 15 right are five and 30. So I love that concept for people. Hey, this is Philip Pape. And if you feel like you've put in effort to improve your health and fitness, but aren't getting results, I invite you to apply for a one on one coaching to make real progress and get the body you desire. We'll work together to figure out what's missing so you can look better, perform better and feel better. Just go to wits & weights.com/coaching, to learn about my program and apply today. Now back to the episode.Monica Ricci:
Absolutely, yeah, you know, and the other thing too is if you if you look at how if you look at how you would approach teaching a child how to do something, and and then you look at how you approach teaching yourself how to do something new, very often it's very different. Why? Why would we Why would we expect a child to go from not being able to ride a bike to being able to ride a bike with no training wheels? Who wouldn't? We wouldn't we would never set our kid up for failure like that, would we? Yet we set ourselves up for failure all the time every day.Philip Pape:
Yep. You don't go from counting coins to algebra in one day. It's Six years of school, right? Yeah. Okay, awesome. So I guess I want to talk a little bit about fitness specifically. And then also some of the you mentioned, like very actionable strategies we can get into. And we love to talk about fitness and body composition through muscle building and fat loss on this show. Many people are trying to lose weight, right? And the traditional formula is, eat less, move more. You see people doing tons of cardio, constantly restricting themselves through dieting. Tell us what about something you call the exercise myth and what the right approach might be for someone trying to lose fat, maybe we get tied into all the habits we just talked about?Monica Ricci:
Okay, well, the first thing I need to share with you is that I am not a personal trainer, and I am a health coach. Among my other coaching, I also am a certified health coach. So I just like to put that out there because I am I just not in my wheelhouse to create training plans or anything, but what I will say about the exercise myth, which is people put their attention on the wrong process, or the wrong part of the process when they want to lose weight and get in shape. Most people that come to me for health coaching are frustrated. And when we have our initial conversation 99% of the time, one of the things that come up that comes out of their mouth is I should be what? exercising more Yes. And 99% of the time, they're wrong. What they should be doing is shifting the attention from the lack of exercise to the power they have over what goes in their giant hole in their face. For sure, right? Yes, so one of my one of my aunts, dropped 70. Now, not quite 70, she dropped her first 40. And in about three months, and I specifically said to her, do not worry about exercising, do not your knees are not gonna be able to take it right now at the weight she was at. And she was astonished that she could, you know, created this result in her life. And that was just really proved to her the exercise is wonderful as an adjunct. But it is not the magic that you're not doing. So many people have this belief in themselves, about themselves that if they could just get to the gym more, that would be the thing. And it's not, it's just not, and they don't often want to hear it. Because what it means is they have to change the thing they do all the time all day, which is the way they eat, it's actually easier to blame your lack of exercise than to look at what you have to do every day, we just make hard decisions every single meal. But that's part of self mastery. And that's part of an identity shift, right that we were talking about earlier is coming to grips with what is true and loving and accepting what is true. You don't have to like it. But you do have to accept it.Philip Pape:
Right. And so related to that mindset shift. I know, I've heard you mentioned that identity drives behaviors, and vice versa. So So what do you mean by that? And how does that apply to what we were just talking about? Well,Monica Ricci:
every behavior that we do is a direct reflection of what we believe about ourselves of who we believe we are, right? It's our identity leaks out of us in our actions. And so if we can change either one of silos, it's like an equation, right? If you change one, you begin to change the other. Or if you change this one, you begin to change this one. Ideally, you change them both at the same time. And then you have really start thinking moving. So if I believe that I'm a healthy person, if my identity is an athlete, if my identity is a focus, business leader, right, if that's my aspirational identity, then I get to ask myself, well, what would an athlete do? Or what would a healthy fit person eat? Or what would have focused business leaders show up like in this conversation, having those identities those aspirational identities as touchstones informs the granularity, and that's what we talked about earlier about going from broad to narrow. If my identity is up here on the top line, it trickles down into day to day to day actions and reinforce that yes, that is who I am. In fact, I just had a moment that I'd like to share with you. About a half an hour ago.Philip Pape:
Oh, you mean you just had them? Okay. Yeah.Monica Ricci:
It's not a moment, an identity moment. About a half an hour ago, I finished recording a one minute promo video for a speaking engagement that I'm doing in March at a conference. And I had to record it a few times because, you know, it's, you know, it's not perfect and polished. Yeah, right. I want it good. And I so I recorded it, I finished it. And as I was walking down the stairs, I said to myself out loud, man, I nailed that and And then I said, because that's what I do. I nail things. I am awesome on camera. And it just, I'm just reinforcing the identity that I am awesome on camera. And that that is my wheelhouse. And of course, I nailed it. That's what I do. Right? It's incredibly powerful to acknowledge yourself in that way, the same way that you would acknowledge your best friend, you know, high five, or meet slap on the back, or you do whatever, man, you nailed that thing. Why don't we not do that for ourselves? We got to do that every day. You nailed that? Oh, yeah. Love it. It's just like you to do this, just like you to know that thing. Whatever it is, it's just like you to get up and work out in the morning. It's just like you to choose this incredibly healthy meal and really enjoy it. Like that's who you are. Yeah, that's how behavior and identity swirl together. One reinforces the other.Philip Pape:
Yeah, I love that. And and it's, it's, it's a form of visualization. But it's very powerful, right? Because then it leads to you saying, Okay, what do I need to do to get there? And I know, when I work with clients, we talk about a vision for the future, what do you look like in a year, one of my clients, and I want to, I'm going to be devastatingly gorgeous. Next year, I'm going to be devastating and gorgeous. I'm like, that's what that's what we're gonna do, then that's what you are. And we just need to close the gap to get there. Love that. So there's another thing you talk about in terms of being an outlier. And I don't know if you mean that in a. So for example, we talked about research based fitness and evidence based fitness here. And you know, most research is done and you have, most data points fall in a normal curve, right, like a bell curve that people are familiar with. And mostly, very few people fall at the tails of those curves. But the people that do tend to be the ones that are more successful, like the fact that only 5% of people keep their weight off, you know, after five years, and they lose it. And so almost being weird, in that sense of being an outlier is often a good thing, I would say, and you talked about the courage to be an outlier. So I'd love to hear your perspective on that.Monica Ricci:
Well, um, as of today, let's just say, almost 90% of the American population is metabolically unhealthy. That is some scary stuff. So if you don't want to go down that road, you got to do something different than the vast majority of people are doing, which will make you an outlier. And that's all well and good on paper. But what does that look like day to day, that's where the coaching comes in. That's where the understanding that if you want something different, you got to do something different. And when it becomes difficult to do is the most important time to do it. That's where you show up as an outlier socially. We have got to as individuals, embrace the fact that no one is responsible for us, but us, and that it is up to us to protect what we want for our lives, because no one else will protect it like we will, if I go to a social situation, whatever it is, you know, we have in November, what do we have coming up the holidays, holidays, right? So many people are going to show up at holiday parties, whether it's office parties, friends, neighbors, whatever, there are going to be a group of people who go with the flow, and who use the excuse. It's the holidays, I didn't want to be rude, I gotta have a cocktail, I got to this, I couldn't turn that I couldn't I had to as if they're as if someone else is in control of their actions. And then there is a group of people who will say internally, I can come here and I can choose to only eat the shrimp, and the sausage, and the egg, the deviled eggs. And I can have a Diet Coke or seltzer water, or half glass of wine instead of three glasses. I choose to have this Yes, I choose to have these things. And the reason that I choose to have these things is in service of my future self, who I love. And I love my future self more than I love what anyone at this gathering thinks of me. That's it right there. That's it. I love my future self and my present self more than what anyone else thinks of me. Yeah, if you can embrace and hold that in your hand and your heart and your mind and your soul and your spirit, becoming an outlier and doing something that is different, strange or unfamiliar to other people is a piece of cake.Philip Pape:
And that's often what if you are doing the right thing it often is it does make you an outlier, doesn't it? I mean, there's so much pressure from friends, society, family, social media, and usually the norm is not what you have to be doing and what you have to be doing as hard as you said. It's hard and there's kind of a converse, converse to that. That's maybe all just as insidious. You're talking about the going to a social outing or a holiday party. And it's saying that I let's say you're on a diet and you tell you yourself. I can't I can't I can't that's almost the same thing. Right, as opposed to saying I choose not to. That's just what I was thinking of. Yeah, that's, that's great advice. Monica.Monica Ricci:
We, you know, I love this whole conversation, Philip about, about balance. And so so there's this thing that I use in my coaching, and I've learned it, I learned it through the heroic coaching program that we're in now. And I rely on it so heavily, almost every day. And it's what Aristotle calls the golden mean. Or the virtuous mean, and it's being in the, it's being in the middle. So there's the the idea of extremes on each side, which is, I can't write. And then over here is I can, or I will do whatever I want. And, but then there's the middle, which is I choose, so I can do whatever I want. I choose to do whatever I whatever I choose. So if I choose to abstain, that's great. But if I choose to have a slice of cheesecake, that's great, too, as long as I'm choosing it, as long as I am mindfully, deliberately choosing it. And then along with choosing it comes the ability to say, I chose that I will not feel bad about choosing it, I will not punish myself, I will not beat myself up, I will not go down this road. Because when we go down that road, it's because we didn't choose it. It's because we fell into it as a victim. Right? Yeah,Philip Pape:
yeah, for sure. No, I love that balance. And I was thinking of, you know, hedonism on one side. And what's the opposite of asceticism or restriction on the other side, right? What about something else came to mind there with regarding to choosing? Oh, so a lot of people have trouble trouble choosing in the moment, I think that's a struggle that people face when they're especially dealing with ingrained habits related to food and their relationship with food. And if they went to a party like that, just being thrown into the party and say, Now go make choices may may be difficult for somebody who has struggled with this their whole life. Is there a pre planning that goes on to kind of develop the habit of knowing that you can choose if that makes sense? Absolutely. So there'sMonica Ricci:
this thing, again, I'm referring back to the heroic coaching program that I'm in right now, which is about to wrap up. So that'll be another fun certification that I'll have under my belt. But there's this thing that we talked about in heroic, which is, it's a four letter acronym called whoop, whoop, and it is W O P. And this is exactly what you can do to prepare for almost anything, whether it's a project or whether it's just going to a holiday party. W is what is the outcome? Right? What what are we what do we want the outcome to be? Well, I want the outcome to be that I want to feel great after I leave this party and not feel like I've completely abandoned myself. Okay, great. What is the what is the first Oh, is? Oh, actually, sorry? W is what? Oh, is the outcome? What is the wish? What is the wish that I want to do this party and feel great? What is the outcome? Which is, which is why do I want to feel that way? Okay, well, because I like myself, mastery, I want to stay on and maintain the progress that I've already made. Okay, great. What's the obstacle? That's the next oh, what's the obstacle that you're gonna encounter? And the P is how do you plan for it. So if you can anticipate what's coming up around the curve, you're not going to get surprised by it. If you're driving along at night, and you're around a curve, and all of a sudden, you run that curve, and there's a bear sitting in the middle of the road, that's a split second decision that you are not prepared for, and you're probably going to crash. But if somebody told you, hey, about a mile up the road, you're going to hit a curb, and there's going to be a bear around there. What are you going to do, you're going to drive differently, it's the same thing. So if I know that my weakness is what up sweets, or whatever it is, I'm going to prepare in a different way to go to that party, I'm going to fill myself up in advance with the things that I want fats and proteins, right, I'm going to go there not hungry, so that my resolve is higher, I'm going to make choices mindfully in the moment to do proteins. And if I feel I can, I'm going to mindfully choose to have a little bit of a cookie or one cookie, instead of completely losing it losing all my control, and then feeling terrible about myself. So absolutely, seeing around the corners of your life gives you a tremendous amount of agency in the way that your life plays out.Philip Pape:
This is so awesome. Like I love this model. And I'm going to use that and I'm gonna throw your name and when I talk to clients about the many ways to do this, because managing risk, I think of it as managing risk or having a food plan or having a strategy going in. But the way you put it of hey, we're in control, we know things are going to happen. We've been around the block, you know, for those of us who've been on the planet for three, four or five decades, we know what's going to happen at a party. It's like not like you know Christmas is coming. So did you save up to buy the gifts it's going to happen? What are you going to do about it to take total control of your situation, because it is up to you, even if it's a little hard, but eventually becomes a habit. Awesome. Okay, good stuff. So, I know you do the Self Mastery coaching, we've been talking about self mastery. And this really helps people, I think you call it upgrade their life experience, which is another I like that visual upgrade their life experience. You talked a little bit about the coaching, but earlier you said we're gonna get into some more maybe strategies, are there other models or details you want to get into on that?Monica Ricci:
Well, I wanted to talk a little bit about what we touched on earlier, which is one, which is the three components of the identity, the identity to behavior sort of line, right? When you connect identity to behavior, there's a thing in the middle, which is the the attribute, and I'll give you a very concrete example, if your identity, your aspirational identity, let's say is, let's just use athlete because again, it's relatable, is athlete, and the behavior that an athlete would do would be to strength train three times a week and do a little bit of cardio two days a week. Well, in between those is our ways of being our attributes, right? So an athlete might have attributes of consistent, that's an attribute, right? That that would be great that would that would support those behaviors, and an attribute of positive and attribute of hopeful an attribute of, let's say, courageous, right, you get to you get to assign to your identity, athlete, all these ways of being so that you show up in those ways to execute on the actual action.Philip Pape:
It's not that you necessarily have these strengths to begin with, we're again looking in the future like we will, and we will embody these things, okay?Monica Ricci:
Yes, but here's the thing we get to embody, we get to have any attribute we want, just by claiming it today, I will be calm. Today, this morning, I will be strong. That's one of my attributes that I select every day. Because under my identity of athlete, strong, consistent, disciplined, those are attributes which lend themselves to supporting the execution of the strength training the cardio though, whatever, it's going to be the bicycling or whatever, right? So I wish I could remember who said, assume a virtue and it is yours. If I if I say to myself today, I am strong, confident, disciplined. That's what I'm going to embody today. That's who I want to be today. That helps me to remember why I'm even in this endeavor of self mastery. Right? Am I being strong right now? Am I being disciplined? Am I being consistent? Or because? Because those things are a tangible way to embody the identity of an athlete, for example. And then they translate down to well, what would a consistent strong discipline athlete do right now? Get out of bed? Right. I have this conversation with myself almost every morning. Yeah, what would it what would a courageous champion do right now, even though it's warm in this bed? Right. greatest champion would get up right now? Why? Why would she get up because she's committed to being courageous champion for who? for herself? Okay.Philip Pape:
Yeah, I love that. TheMonica Ricci:
conversations we have with ourselves are the very most important ones.Philip Pape:
Yeah. And we have total control over them, right. I mean, I don't know if it was the Stoic philosophers or Mother Teresa or somebody who said I like no matter how everything, no matter how bad everything is around you, like the one thing you control is what's in your mind. Right. It's your thoughts.Monica Ricci:
Absolutely. And you know, it's interesting that you said the Stoic philosophers because I keep referring to this coaching program that I'm about wrapped up with and, and it is based on stoic philosophy and modern science. Okay. So just to be clear, and you know, Mark Devine and David Goggins and all these, you know, kind of modern heroes, combined with Aristotle and Socrates and Epictetus and SenecaPhilip Pape:
cheetahs. Yeah, Marcus Aurelius all those guys. Good stuff. Yeah, I love I love stoicism. It's great. I mean, if anything is is worth inspiring you, you know, to think about how to take control and be in the moment what you're talking about. It's that. So we've covered a lot of this. Is there anything else we're like related to creating these significant shifts in mindset that come to mind that we haven't discussed?Monica Ricci:
I don't know if there's anything we haven't discussed? Probably a lot we haven't discussed in what we wanted to cover today. I think we have been covered. But I think if I would, if you were asking me for closing remarks, I would say I would say that to today. And indeed not today even but in this moment is the only place that you have any influence over over your future in this moment, and and every choice you make in this moment, gets you closer to or farther away from the person that you want to be. And that's a really great reminder to kind of carry with you during the day,Philip Pape:
in this moment, and Today's a new day. Don't worry about what happened in the past. Let's do it. Let's get up and make it happen. Awesome. Thank you so much. Well, Monica, where can people learn about all this? Great information and you and your work?Monica Ricci:
Well, Twitter is my social media boyfriend and I am at Monica Ricki on there. And, and Instagram, I am at remaking Monica. And so I would love to connect with anyone who wants to reach out.Philip Pape:
Awesome, so I'll include that information in the show notes. When the episode comes out, and people can can take go click on that. It was awesome having you on I love talking all this mindset. You inspired me. It's great because I want to be thinking about these things and my clients and everyone listening. Thanks again for coming on the show. MonicaMonica Ricci:
was a pleasure to be here. Thank you, Philip.Philip Pape:
Thanks for listening to the show. Before you go, I have a quick favorite ask. If you enjoy the podcast, let me know by leaving a five star review in Apple podcasts and telling others about the show. Thanks again for joining me Philip Pape in this episode of Wits & Weights. I'll see you next time and stay strong.