How to Apply the No Zero Days Mindset To Your Every Day Life
With plenty of extra time at home these days due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, I've ran out of excuses and finally sat my ass down and finished the No Zero Days journal.
In this article, I'll share with you the first few chapters of the journal, which explain where the idea came from, why it works, and how to implement it into your life.
If you decide to buy the journal, awesome. But my feelings won't be hurt if you don't. You can easily take the strategy and use it by buying a simple notebook.
The whole purpose of the journal (and this article) is for you to use it so that you can develop the lifetime habit of consistent exercise. I've seen the impact it's had on mine and my wife's lives and the hundreds of clients we've coached.
My hope is that it will do the same for you.
Without further ado, I present to you No Zero Days...
Transform Your Health in 1 Minute Per Day
In your hands right now is the tool that will, once and for all, help you develop the lifetime habit of consistent exercise so you can take control of your health and live your life with the energy, drive, and determination that you’ve always craved.
Sounds like another over-hyped promise that will inevitably be left unfulfilled, doesn’t it? I would think so too.
But I’ve seen firsthand the No Zero Days strategy used to develop consistency with my health, my wife’s, and hundreds of our clients in the last couple years and now I want to share it with you.
Before we dive into what it is and how to use it, let me ask you a question: Does this cycle sound familiar?
You feel disgusted, ashamed, and embarrassed at your inability to stay on track with your workouts until finally you say to yourself: you know what, screw this! Time for a change.
So you buy a gym membership, that new pair of workout clothes you’ve had your eyes on, and/or finally Swipe Up and purchase the 6 week workout ebook from your favorite Instagram Fitness Model that you’ve been following for years and start their program.
At first, you’re ecstatic. You’re riding the wave of motivation as you crush your workout each day and feel invincible. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Then a week or two goes by and, although you’re sore and a little fatigued, you’re feeling pretty good about yourself and the progress you’re making. New me, who dis?
Another week or two goes by and that new lifestyle you’ve been working so hard on just isn’t as fun anymore. The drive to the gym is inconvenient, you’re missing out on more and more social events, and to top it all off - the scale has barely moved! Wtf?
You know what comes next. Your workouts are back to a bare minimum and you’ve traded your Power Hours at the gym back in for Happy Hours at the bar.
Wash, rinse, repeat. Back to square one.
If your past sounds anything similar to this, you are not alone. My wife (Dominique) and I were stuck in this vicious cycle after successfully developing the habits of excessive drinking and late night binge eating while in college.
I’ll go deeper into our back story in the next chapter but (as you know) this isn’t about us. It’s about you. It’s about becoming consistent with your workouts so that you never feel stuck, lost, or confused when it comes to your health again.
This idea of No Zero Days is not my own and I can’t take credit for its origin but I’ve created an accountability system around it that will be ridiculously simple and easy to follow which will help you become self-sufficient with its execution as my wife and I have done for hundreds of the clients we’ve worked with.
Since most people who buy a journal won’t actually stick with it, I’m not going to waste your time by beating around the bush. You’re going to receive the tool that can transform your life right here, right now in the introduction because I care more about you actually implementing and creating this sustainable lifetime habit more than anything else. It’s the reason I’ve created this journal
The No Zero Days strategy is very simple. It means that every day, no matter what, you do SOMETHING (no matter how small) to move your body and get one day closer to your goals. The beauty and power of this is that all you need is at least one minute per day to stay on track.
The “magic ingredient” to making this simple, powerful tool work will be journaling your daily activity. Let me repeat that because I realize how easy it can be to skim by it: the key to making No Zero Days works is journaling your workout each day here.
I’ll go deeper into why that will be the difference maker throughout the book but for right now all you need to know is this equation:
Daily No Zero Day workout (which can be as short as one minute) + journaling that activity = lifetime consistency with your exercise
The last thing I want is for you to buy another journal without taking action. You will need to take full responsibility and start showing up each day.
I can’t do your pushups for you. This is up to you.
Who It Is and Isn’t For
Let me make this very clear: No Zero Days isn’t for everybody. Sure, it has the power to help anybody become more consistent but only if you’re approaching it with the right mindset and clear on the new lifestyle you intend to embrace.
At this time I want you to go through these quick checklists to pre-qualify yourself to see if you’re ready to start implementing No Zero Days into your routine.
No Zero Days is NOT for you if you:
Now let’s explore who will benefit from this tool.
No Zero Days is for you if you:
Take a moment to check in with yourself. Are you in the right frame of mind to move forward? Because with the turn of the next page you’ll be taking the first step into your new life and there’s no going back.
What is No Zero Days?
No Zero Days means that every day, no matter what, you do SOMETHING (no matter how small) to move your body and get one day closer to your goals.
The idea of No Zero Days has been hashtagged on Instagram, discussed on Reddit, and quoted on Pinterest.
Without realizing it, I was first introduced to the idea of it back in 2015.
At that time I decided not to return to Portland State University to finish my bachelors degree and instead move to my soon-to-be-fiance’s home island of Maui because I was head-over-heels in love with this woman and well, c’mon, it’s Maui.
It was a priority for both of us to get back in shape at that time. We were former collegiate athletes who were becoming masters of beer pong and late-night Taco Bell runs. So after work instead of heading over to a happy hour, we’d hit the gym.
With that new commitment, there were stretches that we’d be crushing it and everything was flowing smoothly. But after a few weeks we’d inevitably lose motivation and fall right back into our old ways. It wasn’t until we met our coach, Scottie Hobbs, that I got the answer I’d been looking for.
He and his family were visiting Maui on vacation and we met up for dinner. I couldn’t hold in my question for him any longer.
“Alright Scottie, give it to me straight. You’re in the best shape of your life with a loving family and thriving coaching business. What’s your secret to success?”
The words that came out of his mouth flowed with a calmness and subtlety that I’ll never forget: “I just show up every day no matter what”.
That’s it?! That’s all I’ve got to do?? I can do that.
I had heard some version of that thousands of times in my life but when you hear it face-to-face from someone who has done everything that you want to do, it clicks.
So we applied that principle and one year later my wife and I were in the best shapes of our lives.
If that worked for fitness, what if we started a coaching business and did the same?
Two years later our brand, Maui Fit Couple, had taken off and on a daily basis I found myself repeating to our clients the phrase that Scottie had told me just three years prior: just show up every day. I knew they understood what I was saying but it hadn’t stuck yet.
Then, in the middle of one of our 30 day challenges that we would host for our clients, someone ended their check in with #NoZeroDays. The idea caught like wildfire in the group and soon everyone was ending their check-ins the same way.
The principle that had begun to change my life from my mentor was now coined and phrased in a way that made sense and our clients loved to use and stick with.
Their results that would follow blew our minds. The clients who had always struggled with consistency were finally showing up each day. They weren’t trying to do everything at once, but rather, they’d do what they could and that momentum was turning into habits.
It was through the transformation of the group and within each client that I knew we had something special.
And so came to life the idea for this book and why I’m sitting here now sharing it with you.
It’s a simple, straightforward idea with the power to change your life. But the reason why more people aren’t using it (yet) is because it’s only been left at that: an idea.
A wise man named Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.”
That’s exactly how I want you to think about implementing No Zero Days into your life. I don’t want you to study this idea, I want you to apply it. Use this journal as a tracking system that will fuel your lifetime commitment to your health.
When to Use No Zero Days
By now you should have a good idea of what No Zero Days is all about and if your mind is anything like mine, it’s probably already started jumping ahead to think about how to start using it in your daily life.
When it comes to following through with habits, I’ve noticed that we are most likely to stick to it when we get very specific about exactly when and where we’re going to do the new activity. To eliminate all guess-work I’m going to make this so simple for you that it will be impossible not to remain consistent with.
It is vital that you keep this journal near your bed. Your goal is to complete your No Zero Day exercise first thing in the morning. That means as soon as you roll out of bed, you’re going to set your timer for (at least) one minute and start moving your body (In chapter 6 you’ll be getting a huge list of ideas for the type of workouts to choose from). For now you just need to know that the movement that you do is not the top priority; I just want you to move.
Now, let’s be honest. Maybe the idea of getting out of your warm, cozy bed when your motivation is at rock bottom to work up a sweat sounds absolutely terrible. I get that. The reason I recommend doing it first thing is because the longer we wait throughout the day, the less we’re going to want to do it. If your body starts moving before you have time to realize what’s happening, you up your odds of getting it done.
But if you’re thinking, Oh hell no Erik that’s not happening, then I’d recommend getting your No Zero Day movement done at a time during your morning routine that you know you can do. Walk around, brush your teeth, drink some coffee, cuddle your dog, or whatever you need to do, just don’t leave for work or end your morning routine without that dedicated time of movement.
Now this next step is extremely important. Once you finish your workout, whether it’s 60 seconds or 60 minutes, make sure you log it in your journal. Putting a pen to paper and recording your progress heightens your awareness and basically helps your brain realize, oh shit I actually did this!
In the journal you’ll see a place to record your workout as well as some space to flex your mental strength by writing down what you’re thankful for and what you’re excited about for the day ahead.
By completing your movement and journal entry first thing, you start your morning with a win. That focused energy starts the ripple effect for you to continue making the right choices throughout the rest of the day. The momentum that you’re generating from this one, simple action every day is what will help you transcend from a Constant Quitter to a Consistent Badass.
One of the questions we’ve heard the most when we suggest this strategy to our clients is, So do I still do a full workout during the day or leave it at that?
Ideally, you start your day with your morning movement and then continue with your regularly scheduled workout sometime during the day but (especially at the beginning) it varies for each individual. It’s going to require some self-awareness within you to know where you should start.
As a general rule of thumb, we typically recommend starting off with JUST the No Zero Days workout if you consider yourself a beginner or someone who has really struggled to establish an exercise routine in the past. Once you have been consistent for a sustained period of time, then you can add a more intensive workout to your daily routine.
What matters most is that you’re consistently getting at least something in each day, preferably in the morning.
But what about those days where you oversleep or just really don’t feel like it when you first wake up?
This is why you’ll want to keep this journal near your bedside. If you weren’t able to complete your workout in the morning, then do not get into bed until you’ve set your timer for 60 seconds and get it done. This is non-negotiable and vital to your success with No Zero Days.
In the second half of your daily journal entry, you’ll also by reflecting on what you learned from the day and what you can do to improve the next day.
What makes this process a bulletproof plan is that it only takes one minute of your time, first thing in the morning and right before you go to sleep. It can be a simple move like sit ups or a challenge like burpees. It is simple enough to stick with and powerful enough to propel you into a lifetime habit of consistent exercise and good health.
So when’s the best time to start? Right now.
Why You’ll Fail Without No Zero Days
Before you get started with your journey it’s vital that you hear this: you will fail if you don’t journal your activity each day.
Over-dramatic? A little.
But the truth? Absolutely.
I’m not telling you this out of theory but rather as a result of my own shortcomings. Since I first heard No Zero Days used in our 30 day fitness challenges, I’ve been experimenting with the strategy on myself so I would see just how reliable it is or isn’t before sharing it with you.
I tried tracking it on my phone and physically writing it down. I bought small journals and larger journals. I switched up tracking my workouts first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. Just about any scenario you can imagine, I tested it on myself so that you would be getting the absolutely best version of the No Zero Days journal.
The results I found through that process have been boiled down and presently nice and neatly for you.
The times that I was most consistent with my daily workouts was when I started moving my body first thing in the morning and immediately wrote it down in a small journal.
When I would fall off track and not follow through consistently was when I didn’t physically write it down.
Not convinced yet? I understand.
Have you heard about the study that was done with a hotel cleaning staff and becoming aware of their daily exercise?
84 maids were quizzed and asked how active they were. One third of the women said they didn’t get any exercise at all, while two-thirds claimed that they did not workout regularly.
The researchers then measured each woman’s basic health and it was clear that they had the poor health of most sedentary people. No shocker yet, but what would follow was eye-opening.
Half of those 84 women were told something they had probably never heard before: cleaning 15 rooms each day (which involved pushing the vacuum, pulling sheets, scrubbing the bathrooms, and so on) was equivalent to most doctors’ suggestion of 30 minutes of physical activity. They were then told specific details like how 15 minutes of scrubbing burns about 60 calories and that 15 minutes of vacuuming burns around 50 calories.
That memo with those details was also posted up in their staff room for that half of the maids to see every day while the second half of the control group was given no such information.
One month later the researchers checked back in with both groups and stunned at what they discovered. The women who were exposed to those exercise details, on average, ended up losing 2 pounds and their blood pressure dropped 10 points. All those women were summarized as being “significantly healthier”.
Now you may hear that and think, 2 pounds? That’s it?
And that short-term, impatience mindset is what has kept you trapped in the vicious cycle of starting and stopping for so long.
Let’s assume those women who had been exposed to their unknown healthy habits continued working with that same mindfulness for the next 11 months. They could potentially lose (at least) a total of 24 pounds within one year simply by being mindful of the movement that they are already doing.
Never underestimate the power of awareness and momentum.
Because I’m sure as those women would start feeling healthier they would also start making better nutrition choices and experience better energy throughout the day. All it takes is simple movement with constant awareness.
Are you starting to see how your daily movement combined with journaling, all which could take less than 2 minutes per day, can start the process of lifetime consistency?
I hope so. Because our lives don’t change by grand, theatrical gestures. Our lives transform by small consistent action.
List of No Zero Days Exercises
Before you get started with your journey, I want to make sure you’re equipped with all the tools you’ll need to start this habit and stick with it.
Below you’ll see a compilation of different exercises that you can do during your daily minute (or more) of movement. You can do the same thing every day or constantly mix it up, the decision is yours. You will succeed with this journal and habit as long as you do something each day.
Daily Movement in a Minute or More:
Push ups (from knees or toes)
Burpee Tuck Jumps
Plank Leg Raises
Plank Mountain Climbers
Planks with Rotation
Plank Alternating Shoulder Taps
Single Leg Deadlifts
Jog in Place
High Knees Jog in Place
Fire Hydrant Kickbacks
Heel Touch Crunches
Tricep Dips (from chair)
Hip Thrust Bridge
Please don’t let this list overwhelm you. Instead, think of it as a pool of ideas you can pick and choose from when you’re unsure what to do or simply want to add some variety to your morning movement.
You now have everything you need to follow the No Zero Days system and become the healthiest version of yourself. Let’s begin!
How to Use No Zero Days
From now on, you’ll be recording your activity and reflections right here in the journal. To ensure best results, please follow this format:
This will be the foundation for this new habit you’re implementing. It will require your focus and a “no excuses” type of attitude.
If, for whatever reason, you forget to do your workout and/or track it in the journal it is vital that you forgive yourself and get right back on track the next day. I don’t want you to start completely over and think that you failed. I want you to give yourself some grace and show up the next day.
In all my years of coaching our clients with these very habits, the thing that surprised us the most was how much this idea of “forgive and move on” truly helped people stay on track.
The goal is progress, not perfection. Do your best each day and keep moving forward.
Sample Journal Entry for No Zero Days
Enjoy your day! Don’t forget to check back in tonight before bed.
And that's it!
The power is found in its' simplicity and flexibility. Adjust it to fit your lifestyle and modify accordingly. If you're just starting out with your fitness journey, you may start by only doing 1-5 minutes of exercise each day. With time, you gradually increase that number and continue to challenge yourself.
You can use your own journal and use that entry as your guide, or you can buy the journal that I created. Either way, it won't work unless you do.
Get to work and let me know how it goes!
- Erik Myers (Instagram @erikmyers4 and @erkmurs)