#41 Kilian Markert – Higher Performance, Habits, Sleep and Identity Change

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In this podcast, Deividas links up with Kilian Markert to talk about a recurring and favorite topic for the Sugatan Effect podcast – personal development and mental health.

Kilian is a consultant who helps entrepreneurs and business owners become more disciplined and consistent by building better habits and mindsets.

He says that business always comes down to personal development. It’s all about how to become a better person, boost your performance, learn, and grow.

Kilian says he’d describe himself as a consistent performance mentor. He says that there are plenty of people who know all about the importance of good habits and personal development, but there’s often a missing link.

To be the best person you can be (in business as well as real life), Kilian says the secret is consistency. That’s where most people fail and that’s what he helps with.

To give some context, Kilian says he studied business himself and dreamed of a prestigious job with a company car and all the other benefits. But along the way, he saw people who had been working there for 20-30 years and were not fulfilled.

He noticed something was missing. If you’re not fulfilled, if your health or energy are suffering – it’s just not worth it, Kilian explains.

They start with a topic Deividas is personally interested in first – forming habits. He explains many of us know what we need to do, how to do it, but somewhere along the way, we give up on our goals.

So, how DO you start building habits and more importantly – how do you maintain them, exactly?

Kilian explains that you need to establish proper habits in the beginning. And find a proper strategy that works for you to maintain it.

Most people have a flawed understanding of what it means to develop proper habits. They think they need to use a lot of willpower or discipline themselves. 

This might work for some time (especially in the beginning). But in the long-term, something else needs to replace this. Such as:

  1. Environment (micro and macro-level).
  2. Identity and mindset.

The thing you want to do needs to be triggered by your environment. In other words, the environment should support the behavior that you’re trying to stick to. 

For example – do you want to be more focused? You have to adapt your environment first (your phone, laptop, desk, etc.) to serve you on this path of least resistance.

The same thing goes for doing sports or any other activity. Ideally, you should live in an environment where NOT doing sports is considered odd.

You need to choose your environment with your goals and habits in mind. We are creatures of environment and this step is essential for high-performance habits.

As for the mindset factor, once you become truly consistent with something – it becomes something you never really lose. If you really deep down believe that you are an athlete and someone who lives healthy, it becomes so much easier to follow through with your goals.

Deividas agrees and as an example, recalls his experience with learning new languages when he became part of the community, spoke it every day, and completely changed his mindset.

Once you see some success in your habits, you’ll start to assume the identity and your self-image shifts.

You can then take this same approach to forming new habits.

When it comes to getting back on track, Kilian recommends the momentum method.

This method simply means reducing the barrier to success for yourself when getting back on track with your habits.

“Standardize before you optimize” – he recommends.

You focus on consistency first and then you increase the difficulty.

First, you establish the behavior (even if it’s just a 5 minute home workout). Then, you do this every day and you feel those tiny wins. 2 things start to happen:

  1. You’re proving to yourself that you are the kind of person who works out (important for the mindset).
  2. You start building micro-motivation which keeps you going further. You start feeling the reinforcement and you want to do more.

To recap, you start with tiny steps, reduce the barrier of success with each day, focus consistency instead of intensity, and then, over time, build momentum. 

Next question – What are the core pillars of high-performing individuals?

According to Kilian, it’s energy, attention, and mindset/identity.

On a more practical approach, it’s the basics of:

  1. Nutrition.
  2. Sleep.
  3. Exercise.

Once you stick to these things, they start to nurture your mindset, your self-image, and it goes the other way around too. Your mindset will make it easier for you to stick to your habits.

High-performance also comes down to clarity and mindset aspects. Once you know where you want to head to, it all comes down to connecting the dots.

The next topic they discuss is deep and focus work – the type of work that moves the needle in your business. 

And Kilian shares his personal approach on how to optimize this. He explains the importance of Pomodoro timer (and other ways to approach work), how to optimize your phone notifications (and environment), and how to get into deep work properly. Which includes setting up small tweaks in your environment to optimize the bigger picture.

Next topic – getting overwhelmed.

Kilian says he is all too familiar with and sees it frequently with his clients. Usually, when you get overwhelmed, you’re waiting for when you need a break instead of taking one early on. This happens for a few different reasons usually.

  1. You don’t take breaks early on (similarly as to how you might not take your car to an oil check until it breaks down).
  2. You’re not doing something each day that makes you feel fulfilled, excited, or enthusiastic.
  3. Not having clear ambition or values you prioritize or a recharging activity. 

One last question – What does Kilian do outside his business that he’s passionate about?

His answer – sports, trying, and learning new things. Kilian explains he is really curious about life and everything it entails.

We have information at our fingertips and there’s no way you can explore everything in one lifetime. 

So, you should never get bored as long as you can bring back that sense of curiosity we all had as children.

     Here’s what we cover during episode #41:

  • Being a consistent performance mentor – what that means and how Kilian approaches his work
  • Performance development, good habits, and identity change
  • Why consistency is essential to achieving your goals, why most people fail at it, and how you should approach it instead
  • The exact trigger point of working in business which pushed Kilian into personal development coaching
  • The trigger for Deividas which sets him up for good habits
  • Why people have a flawed understanding of what it means to develop proper habits and how these 2 key things are essential to replace discipline
  • Let’s take an example: How to adapt your environment if you want to be more focused, to be doing sports actively, or something else
  • Why we are creatures of environment and what this means for developing high-performance habits
  • Why Crossfit is a perfect example of having the right community to get back into healthy habits
  • Deividas’ approach to forming habits that become part of him (down to the environment and identity mindset)
  • The exact method Kilian uses for himself and his clients when it comes to getting back on track with your habits
  • How these 2 things help you reinforce your habits when you start including consistency in your habits
  • How forming and developing habits is like chemistry except you’re re-wiring your brain
  • Importance of sleep and step-by-step factors on how to optimize your sleeping habits
  • Kilian breaks down nutrition in an entire day start to finish – how to regulate your hunger to gain or lose weight, what to focus on in your foods to maintain energy levels, and more
  • Daily routines on all things: nutrition, exercise, deep work, sleep, and more
  • Focus/deep work that moves the needle in your business vs general work
  • Proper routine to get into deep work and optimize your phone (and environment) for work
  • Why your phone is not an amusement park: how not to get triggered by your phone apps, notifications, and more
  • What led to Deividas simply closing his laptop one day to get away from it all
  • Identifying burnout and how to avoid it by taking a break early on instead of when you need one
  • What Kilian is passionate about outside his work that helps him recharge and ar connected to his values
  • Why curiosity is connected at the core of everything life has to offer

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