The Main Problems
So why do most people have trouble making exercise a regular habit? Well, there are probably a number of factors, but here are the main ones as I see it:
- Too difficult. – Creating Goals that are to difficult to sustain for very long. You can do it for a few days, but you soon run out of energy, and it becomes a drag to do it.
- Too many goals. Often we set out to do too much. We want to run, and lift weights, and eat healthy, and quit sweets, and stop drinking soda. Well, those are multiple goals, and you cannot focus on the exercise habit if you’re trying to do all the others at the same time.
- Not enough motivation. It’s not a lack of discipline, it’s a lack of motivation.
The 4 Simple Steps
So how do we solve those problems? Keep it simple. Here are the 4 simple steps to start the exercise habit (and keep it going).
- Set one easy, specific, measurable goal. There are several keys to setting this crucial goal:
- Written: Write this down.
- Easy: Don’t — DO NOT — set a difficult goal.
- Specific: Make it an appointment you can’t miss.
- Trigger: I recommend that you have a “trigger” right before you do your habit. For example, you might always brush your teeth right after you shower. The shower is the trigger for brushing your teeth, and because of that, you never forget to brush your teeth. Well, what will you do right before you exercise? Is it right after you wake up? Right after your coffee? Right when you get home? As soon as you take off for lunch? A trigger that you do every single day is important.
- Measurable: Examples: run for 10 minutes. Walk 1/2 a mile. Do 3 sets of 5 pushups. Each of those has a number that you can shoot for.
- One goal: Stick to this one goal for at least a month.
- Log it daily. This is the key habit. If you can log your workout, you will start to see your progress, and it will motivate you to keep going. And you have to make it a habit to log it right away.
- Report to others. I think this is key. You can do it on your blog, on an online forum, with your spouse, or friends or family, or a workout partner, or a coach, or a group, or a class.
- Add motivation as needed. The first three steps might be enough for you to get the habit going. But if not, don’t just give up. If you miss two consecutive workouts, you need to look at why, and add a new motivation.
Do you feel like these four points really covered the ‘how to create a healthy lifestyle – to become a habit”?