The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. -Charles Duhigg
Fitness goals come and go much like the months a lately. Not enough time, work was too stressful -right?
That lack of drive/motivation or whatever you might call it is not actually the problem. It’s not a coincidence that the quote I began with is from Charles Duhigg, the author of the Power of Habit.
I find that understanding why people do what they do is part of the fun, and the reason you are not reaching you goals is through habits you have formed previous to your epiphany of deciding you want to go to the gym.
The story that I found so fascinating was the brilliance of a U.S Army Major in Iraq, who managed to stop riots by persuading the town’s mayor to keep food vendors out of large and growing gatherings.
The link? When people couldn’t fuel their anger, they left. The 3-step loop to creating a habit was broken.
Habits work in a 3-step loop: cue, routine, reward.
Habits are essentially your brain’s night time mode on your phone, your low battery saving option.
The cue is the trigger, this is what starts the habit. For example, you sit down on the sofa after you get in from work.
The routine is the behaviour you then engage with, you go to the fridge and and get a can of your favourite beverage.
The reward? You guessed it, being able to enjoy a nice ice glass.
Now imagine you do that every night for the past couple of years, oh now you want to go do something else like go to the gym? Yeah, think again.
The trick to changing the habit is to tweak the loop and volia, you gottcha self a new habit. But what is the real take away? It’s the awareness of habits, once you identify habits, that is half of this vicious battle.
So the trick? Enforcement. Force yourself to start that habit and walk yourself through the process. Once you have that pesky habit under control, that’s yours. Break the cycle, when you get in from a long day of work, go straight the sink and grab a glass of water. You’re habit loop is broken, seems simple right, well what’s your excuse again?
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