Reach Your Fitness Goals Through Better Habits
Pretty soon 2018 will be in our rear-view, so as we enter the “festive” season, here are some questions to ponder.
Have you ever wondered what stops you from reaching your fitness goal? Do you lack motivation? Do you find it too hard to commit to reaching your goal? Do any of these questions ring true to you?
Well, you’re not alone, because we all go through periods where we just aren’t as focused or motivated as we should be, making it extremely hard to reach our goals. For some, this phase happens often, and for others, it’s a temporary “blip.” Regardless of where you stand, you can be more focused and motivated by creating better habits, which will allow you to reach and surpass your goal.
By definition, a habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. The American Journal of Psychology defines a “habit, from the standpoint of psychology, [as] a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience.” (Source: Wikipedia)
So, what does that mean for you? It means that if you’re willing to put in the work, you can develop a good habit, or even turn a bad habit into a good one. Over the last few months, I have been very lazy, I’ve blown off workouts, and when I did do them, I was only going through the motions, making a ton of excuses at the same time. So, it was time for me to give myself a kick in the butt and create healthier habits.
You may be asking yourself about the best way to create a healthier habit. Take a look at the chart below, as James Clear describes the 3 R’s of Habit Formation:
Following this system is pretty much foolproof, and you will be surprised at how quickly you adapt to your new habit.
The Reminder can also be called the “trigger” for your new habit, so having one is imperative to your success. For my butt-kick, I would schedule my workout immediately after one of my clients, so I didn’t have anything to prepare and didn’t have to rush to another client or meeting. This made it much easier to stay on track, as it linked my reminder to my client’s session, which removed all of the obstacles and excuses.
So what is your “Reminder” going to be? Think of the things that you do daily and link your reminder to one of those events.
The Routine requires taking action on the habit itself. To make this step as seamless as possible, you must start small. This will allow you to work your way into the habit, as it will have a positive response. The action will be different for everyone, all depending on where you are actually starting.
For me, my action was to complete two weight training workouts per week + two MMA workouts. I did this for two weeks, and then I increased my weight training sessions to three to four workouts per week. I charted my progress by writing down what I did, the amount that I lifted, and the time it took me to do it. I also utilized the tools on my Apple watch, which made it easy to track calories, heart rate and more. What will your routine consist of?
Next comes the Reward because we all perform better when there is a reward on the other side of the equation. The reward is the benefit that you receive from the habit itself. The more positive the reward, the more likely you will continue to repeat the action when you get the Reminder. With consistency and repetition, you will have formed a new habit.
I began to feel amazing after my workouts, getting stronger with each workout, resulting in a leaner, healthier body. I can now say I’m back on my A-game after applying these principles.
How are you going to reward yourself to allow your habit to form? Are you the type of person who believes you can reach your goal? For this to work, you have to become that person and take the small wins and stick to your schedule (each workout you complete, or if you don’t have enough time for a workout, do something such as 10-reps of a circuit with squats, pushups and burpees) Reward yourself each time you do not eat something you shouldn’t!
This is a lifelong journey you need to enjoy along the way. This will transform you into the person that you want to be, so feel free to take a long-term approach, because it will work, and it is worth it.
Let’s turn things up to have a strong finish to the year. I’ve started to work with many groups of people who are looking to make a lifestyle change with a jumpstart, so if that interests you, send me an email at training@TEfitness.com and I will get you started.
SHRED well, my friends!