Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Creating New Habits

I had a MyFitnessPal friend ask me about creating a habit.  The question sparked from his having previously done a round of P90X.  He stated he did the round without missing a workout and held to proper nutrition.  Of course, he got great results.  However, he said that once he finished the scheduled program he never picked up again until recently.  He said it was too easy to not even give a thought to working out.  He said he loved working out, so it wasn't something he dreaded.  Nevertheless, he was having trouble creating a habit of working out daily, mostly due to boredom.

This was my response to him. I hope it helps inspire a few of you.

"In my opinion, a habit is a state of mind, not an action. Everyday, without thinking about it, we open our eyes, get out of bed, brush our teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc. We run errands, do laundry, and scrub toilets, all things we don't necessarily like to do but do because they must be done. These things are all habits. Perhaps instead of thinking of doing a fitness routine as a matter of "habit," think of it as something you do as an essential part of your daily survival. Would you wake up tomorrow and stop eating, never thinking about it again?

The fact that you love exercise & love the feeling you get is a very good thing. That should be a tool to fuel yourself to exercising daily. Use that feeling like you use oxygen....you can't live without oxygen.

Exercise shouldn't be a matter of "do I or don't I," but rather just doing. Try not to over think it."

Research shows it takes 21 days to create a new habit.  Conversely, it takes 21 days to stop an old habit.  Stick to your guns, be consistent, and you will get the results you want...be it in fitness, health, love, happiness, etc.