When deciding to embark on a fitness, weightloss or any other journey related to self improvement, habits are something that will either hamper or (massively) benefit your progress. Here’s why.
First, what is a habit?
According to wikipedia.org, a habit is defined as:
A habit […] is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. […] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habit)
This means that we basically do a lot of stuff regularly that is not happening by conscious choice but rather our subconscious takes control and has us do (beneficial or not so beneficial) routines.
Here is a list of examples for habits:
- biting your nails
- smoking a cigarette when having coffee
- making your bed right after getting up in the morning
- always choosing the same route to work every day
- only wearing your baseball hat backwards
- every morning, you mix and drink a green smoothie after you worked out for 30min
- drinking lots of beer every friday after work with friends in your favourite sportsbar
- eating junk food when the TV is on
- etc etc
You see, there are some “harmless” habits (e.g. the one with the way to work, the baseball hat), some beneficial habits (making the bed, working out) and some which are not so good for you (eating junkfood, drinking, smoking).
Many of these are routines that we simply do in our daily lives without giving them much thought, even if they have a potential to harm us. Many smokers light a cigarette in certain situations without ever thinking about it and without consciously choosing to do so.
The cycle of creating and breaking habits
Scientists say that forming a habit so that it “sticks” takes around 21 days of repetition, then another 90 days to solidy it and after 365 days, chances are good that your habit really becomes a part of your personality.
This is due to the fact that by continuously and consciously “programming” your subconscious with a new routine (a beneficial one hopefully), it gradually becomes part of your core “operating system” and is run on autopilot by your subconscious.
For many years, working out regularly wasn’t a thing for me, I basically did not sports whatsoever and putting the strain on my body wasn’t exactly a concept I was keen about – although I perfectly knew that I needed to change my eating habits and do sports to lose my weight.
Then I educated myself gradually about various topics like habit building, the subconscious, meditation, hypnosis, self hypnosis and much more and realized, that I needed to form a new habit – the habit of working out regularly.
So I overcame my disdain for putting my body under strain and the following things helped me with it:
- I made room for a “micro gym” in my home (I just made room for a yoga mat as well as my training bike so there was no need to always prep my workout equipment)
- I made a vision board with my goals for a healthy and fit body
- I incorporated another habit into my routine – daily affirmations (more on that in a separate post soon)
- I started really imagining myself being fit and healthy
- I learned to appreciate that sometimes, there has to be discomfort, even pain to make progress and become a better version of yourself – motivational speeches like that of Arnold Schwarzenegger helped here big time
All in all it took a while and I sometimes had to push real hard to keep my mind from sabotaging me (since the mind is an evil fucker who always tries to pull you back into your comfort zone and keep you from growing too much) but today, I’m proud of what I achieved so far and what I will achieve in the future – and I’m currently chipping away at my habits, improving existing ones, add new good habits and phasing out old stuff that is not benefitting me.
Check this video for more in-depth info on the processes involved: