Are you having troubles making it to the gym each day? Do you want to wake up earlier to seize the day? Whatever it is you want to do, creating a habit will help make it come to life a lot easier. It will make things almost automatic so you hardly have to think about it. Want help forming a new habit? With these 5 techniques you will be well on your way!
Exercise is one of those habits a lot of people try to make happen but struggle to keep with it. I mean it’s hard, it takes time out of your day, it’s hard work, you get sore from it, there are plenty of reasons why people may want to skip out on the gym. It is even harder when you don’t see those instant results that everyone is hoping for.
What I have learned over the past few years is the things that are hard and I don’t want to do or fear doing, are the things that I really need to be doing. Those are the important things that make you grow as a person and help you become a better person. Trust me, the last thing I want to do is drag my ass out of my cocooned state from my warm comfy bed at 4am, but by doing this action I start my day off on my terms. I also have free time in the mornings with no distractions to get done the things I want to get done.
It’s going to suck at first, there is no doubt about it, but as you keep implementing the action you want to make into a habit, the easier it is going to get. From my personal experience I find it takes somewhere around a month of consistency to form a habit, but after that it sure gets a lot easier. So let’s get into some practical steps you can take to make a new habit form and stick to become a part of everyday life.
Decide a Time
Decide a time. This one is pretty easy, all you need to do is decide when you want to give yourself time to make this new habit form. My new habit of getting up earlier had me decide to set my alarm for 4am, so that is the time I have set for this habit.
If you are trying to pick up a habit of exercise you are going to need to decide what time is going to best work for you. Its all fine and dandy to set that alarm clock for bright and early to get up before work to hit the gym.
But if you really are not a morning person and are going to struggle just getting up and out of bed then maybe that wont be the best time for you.
You will wake up dreading that workout and just starting your day off in a negative mindset. So you really got to decide what time is going to work best for you. I personally like to set aside time for the gym right after work, that way I have ate a lot of food, I got strength to lift and I can take out all my stress from my day there to unwind before going home to relax.
If you don’t have a time set to keep yourself accountable it’s a lot easier to keep putting it off until you feel like going. But that wont create a habit now will it?
Be prepared. This one can really make the difference, having less obstacles and distractions along the way will make it easier to form that new habit. So what does this look like?
Well if you are planning on getting up early to go workout, you would want all your clothes laid out and gym bag all packed. That way you create less friction getting up and getting out the door. This will also keep you away from that warm inviting bed calling your name to come back to its loving embrace. Sooner you are out of beds sight the better and easier this will be!
Another example of this.. If you are a post work fitness enthusiast like myself, pack your bag and bring it to work. This saves me the trip home to grab it before the gym, because lets be honest, once I go home and crash on that couch after work it usually is game over.
I know that so I avoid coming home and go straight to the gym to save myself from the couches comforting grasp. Once this becomes a habit, it gets easy to follow, just have things ready the night before so you grab and go. Reduce the friction holding you back from creating those habits to make it as easy as possible!
Start small. I know it can really be overwhelming trying something new and it can take a lot out of you at first. Going to the gym or starting a fitness habit is definitely one of those things. That’s why starting small can really help you build the habits you need to grow later.
Just going to the gym at a regular time, even for 20 minutes is helping you make it a habit. I mean let’s be real here, the hard part is getting there, once you are there and get into it, things seem to get easier.
You also don’t want to burn yourself out too early by over exerting yourself, that can lead to you missing days and quitting the new habit you are trying to form. Take it easy at first and gradually as the habit forms, and you consistently are working out, you can add more time.
Make it Enjoyable
Make it enjoyable. Nothing will make you want to work out more than enjoying what you are doing.
Whether that means listening to your favorite music while you work out, a favorite book, anything that will help you want to be there. Maybe you have a desired look and need to really focus on a certain muscle for that. Then do it! Yes, I know you want to work all your muscles evenly but we will get to that eventually. First you want to make it a consistent habit to head to the gym and go there without dreading every minute of it.
It’s the constant action of going that we are looking for at this point, not what you are working. So do what you enjoy if it’s going to help you be excited to go, bring a friend if you need to. Getting there consistently is the important part, from there we can build.
Don't Skip Days
Don’t skip a day unless you planned for it. Forming a habit is all about consistency, it’s doing that task, time and time again, to make it seem second nature. Soon as you start skipping a day here and a day there, you will find it a lot harder to form that habit and make it something which sticks.
So trying to be as consistent as possible will really speed up the process. But let’s be real here, nobody is perfect. Sometimes the circumstances are just not in your favor and you will need to skip a day.
That is fine, long as you get right back to it the following day. Don’t beat yourself up and feel guilty for skipping a day, accept it and move forward to the next day.
We are all human and all make mistakes, but those who succeed, do so because they consistently work towards a goal. So get back up on that horse and keep going!
Now Let's Make a Habit!
There are plenty of good habits which a person may want to incorporate into their life. The great part about these 5 techniques is they can help you with pretty well any habit you are looking to form.
In the end it’s all about consistency, being able to implement your new habit day in and day out without giving it much thought. With these 5 practices it will simplify the process, they are all very easy to implement but combined together you will be unstoppable!
I read something very interesting the other day stating “to change how you feel in the morning, you have to change your thoughts the night before” I mean how many times have you set your alarm and thought, “Shoot only 6 hours of sleep, I am going to be tired tomorrow!” To wake up feeling exhausted.
Then think of a time you were very excited, maybe going on a trip the next day or some big event that had you almost too excited to sleep. You go to bed excited for the next day and still only got that 6 hours of sleep, but you feel good waking up the next day and spring out of bed.
It’s all about mindset and the same goes for creating a habit, try going to bed excited to start the next day and form that habit. You will be surprised with the difference when you wake up and how much more motivated you will be.
If you have any techniques you use to create a habit I would love to hear about them! Love to see your comments and if you feel this information was helpful at all, give it a share.