The majority of habits form naturally. Most people don’t go around deciding “I’m now going be into X!” and then magically incorporate it into their lives – especially if it hurts! This is why a lot of us aren’t great at forcing ourselves into a fitness routine.
So, what works? Tricking ourselves into a fitness routine by sneakily easing into it. Here’s how:
1) Do Not Set Goals
Goals are for people who already have the fitness habit. They are powerful things, but if you set them prematurely, goals will become your enemy. Forget the scale, the calories and the inches, and focus on one thing only: did you sweat today?
If so, make a dot on the calendar or use a fitness app to track the exercise – even if it’s just one push-up or a choosing a flight of stairs over the elevator. No minimum or maximum per week.
2) Get Curious, and Read
You’re doing it right now! Sweet.
This is so important: make a point of reading more fitness blogs or articles during your downtime. Read about success stories or the science behind muscle growth – whatever floats your boat. Be curious and interested; get your brain used to the topic before you ask your body to get involved!
- Read more about why goals can be misleading
- Learn about isometric exercise (no gym required)
- Discover a community dedicated to bodyweight fitness
3) Form Mini Support Habits, One at a Time
Numbers 1 and 2 are actually examples of mini support habits. These are super-easy things that nudge you towards adopting a routine at some point in the future.
Succeeding at mini habits creates a little feedback loop in your brain. It proves that you can do a simple thing that’s good for you, and you’ll be more likely to try and do another thing (like sweating once a day). And another thing – and another – until one day you find yourself excited to commit to 20 minutes of cardio three times a week!
- Quit some kind of junk food (not your favorite!)
- Do a simple desk exercise before the day starts at work
- Make your own lunch when you can
- If you’re successful at #2, then you’ll find a hundred more ideas on your own!
Try these three things for a month or so. Or, if you’re already keen to start with something a little more hands on, we’ve created exactly the right tool for your new habit. The Activ5 is a portable fitness device that lets you sneak five-minute workouts into your day (through the magic of isometric exercise!)
Good luck, and happy habit forming!