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Sun Tzu and Better Habits

Hey all,

I know a lot of you guys have new years resolutions and I believe that 90 percent of you guys will give up your resolutions at this point in time.

No worries! I will provide you some tips on how to build better habits and to use them to allow you to embark on your health journey whether that is to become stronger or to do better at school.

Before we get into some tips on making healthy eating a habit, let us examine who this mysterious man Sun Tzu is.

For those who don't know, Sun Tzu was a Chinese military general, strategist, writer, and philosopher (545-470 BC). He is best known for his book Art of War, which influenced Eastern and Western philosophy and also military thinking. Moreover, some of the principles in the book has also influenced CEOs and daily people on they way they negotiate and socialize. Art of War principles can also be applied towards building better habits!

James Clear, blogger and best-selling author, has written extensively on this topic. If you want to read more about this, you can click on this link.

If you do not want to read it, let me summarize his points. Basically, in order to build better habits, one must know in what environment they are most likely to stick to them and what habits to start with in order to reach their health goals.

For the first point, Clear is saying that there are certain "triggers" that make us want to break our habits. For example, if I was trying to build muscle and I was trying to make a habit of eating less junk food and more healthy food, then I should limit the amount of ice cream that I should eat. However, when I open my refrigerator, all I see is boxes of ice cream. I try to fight the urge to not eat it. However, the urge is too strong and I give into my temptations, which led me to not stick to my habit. In this case, the "trigger" is the ice cream in my refrigerator. In order for me to stick to my habit, I should have thrown away all the ice cream so when I am craving for ice cream, it will not be in the fridge, which prevents me from eating it. Therefore, the lesson is that you must identify "triggers" that will drag you away from building habits.

For the second point, Clear is considering how habits will eventually allow you achieve your goals. However, in order to reach our goals, we must consider what habit we should start building first. To help you guys decide what habit you all should start first on your health journey, please consider the following questions:

- Which habit give me the most benefit long term? short term?

- Which habit will make it easier to pick up other habits?

Let us revisit the goal of building muscle. What habit should I start to pick up first? In my opinion, I think the habit of eating healthy will benefit me long term and will make it easier for me to pick up the habit of going to the gym. Therefore, I would first get used to eating healthy. I would do this by eating lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and protein to fill me up because most people tend to eat junk food when their main course does not fill them up (based off of our own experience!!). Once that habit is built, I may consider building the habit of going to the gym. The first habit will make the second habit easier to pick up because eating the right foods can enhance someone's workout experience because it gives them energy and motivation to push themselves during the workout. In summary, please consider what habit you want to pick up first as it will affect the habits that you want to pick up later.

That is all that I have to share today. Please comment down below your thoughts and opinions and email me at if you have further questions!

All the best,


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That’s so true. The ancient wisdom still shed a light on the modern life!


Matthew Ye
Matthew Ye
Jan 13, 2020

Very true! I know many people who have thrived on the ketogenic diet. But we should also consider other ways to eat well. I personally was able to break the urge to eat sweets by simply adding in more fresh vegetables into my diet. Whenever I tried to eat something sweet, I would feel tired and sluggish.


A goal is easier to stick to if doesn't feel like sacrificing or being deprived. It is human nature to feel satisfied. With eating healthy, the key is to break the urge to eat sweets/ high carb foods. This is tough. Mark Sisson, a popular health blogger is a big advocate of Primal lifestyle, and the Ketogenic diet. These high fat/protein, high vegetable, low carb diets can reduce one's taste for sugar, once you get going. And, the food is enjoyable to eat because meat and fat are savory. This is why so many people have dramatic success with these types of diets.

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