I hear about willpower and motivation all the time… Often in the form of:
- I haven’t got the will power to get to the gym 4 times a week.
- I need motivation to train for a 10km.
- I’ve joined a gym but I need motivation to get there after work.
But what I’d like to be hearing, is more about habits.
You see, will power, self-control and motivation they’re great to get you fired up and to get you to that first step.
But the truth is, mustering motivation, relying on will-power, summoning your self-control…. blah blah blah,…
IT’S HARD WORK… And you’ll eventually run out of energy and drive.
So what’s the answer?
The answer lies in HABITS!
You need to change your behaviour until it becomes a habit: A habit, where you just get up a 6am, pull your kit on and go… Without hitting snooze, without having an internal debate, without bargaining with your inner voice…
Like showering in the morning. Or brushing your teeth. Or story-time with your kids. You (probably) don’t question these routines much. Yes, there are other things you might want to do instead. Other stuff that is more “urgent” and “important” but you just do it right?
Because it’s a habit.
THIS is where you need to get to with your workouts and healthy eating.
You just do it. No ifs, no buts. Just crack on day after day, week after week, month after month.
Until it becomes a part of who you are.
So how do you do it?
First you need to understand what makes a habit. Every habit you have, good or bad, follows the same 3step pattern.
- A trigger that initiates the behaviour
- This is followed by an actionthe behaviour itself; the action you take
- After the action you get feedbackthe benefit you gain from doing the behaviour
In order to create new habits we need to have a plan.
Hack Your Habits – Action Plan
Step 1: Start by identifying the overall goal. This might be to introduce a new habit: like drinking more water and eating more vegetables. Or to break a bad habit, like snacking while watching TV.
Step 2: Identify a trigger that you can attach to the habit. Good triggers are those that are repeatable, happen to you regularly. Like waking up, eating meals or finishing dinner.
Step 3: Decide the action that you will attach to the trigger. So for example you may decide to drink a glass of water immediately after you wake up; eat a portion of vegetables every mealtime; brush your teeth before watching telly (to stop you snacking)
Step 4: Create a feedback loop. This can be positive or negative.
- Track your habit
- Set reminders (on your phone, stick a reminder on fridge)
- Tell people what you’re doing
- Give yourself a reward / penalty
- Find someone to hold you accountable
Time to get going! Download my Habit Coaching Workbook. It’s a step-by-step worksheet that will help you identify, implement and track your new habits.
Pick one thing to change and try to make it into a habit: whether it’s a booking into a Monday class, or replacing your Friday night take away with a steak and eggs.
Remember, it can take several weeks before a new habit is truly formed, so be prepared for the long haul! But it’ll be worth it once you’re there.
Download the Habit Coaching Workbook.
It’s a step-by-step worksheet that will help you identify, implement and track your new habit’s.
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