We Are What We Repeatedly Do. The Power Of Habits

Are you willing to put in the time and effort to change your body composition? If so you need to adhere to the following principles:

  • Develop good habits
  • Stay consistent
  • Be patient

Ask most people if they would like to get fitter, stronger or lose weight and most will answer with a ‘yes’. However, most people are not aware of the foundational principles and procedures that they need to adopt to not only get where they want to go but more importantly stay there. I feel that there are three principles that people need to adopt to reach the goals that they strive for. These three areas are not just for fitness either and should be looked at for all areas of life.

This article is going to examine the first of these three which is the power of developing good habits. There have been many scientific studies done on the habits of people and understanding how they work is important when trying to develop new ones. In short, a habit has three stages:

  1. The cue: this is something that triggers your body to do something automatically. Examples include being bored or your alarm clock ringing
  2. The routine: the is doing the action or habit itself. Examples include eating, smoking or hitting the snooze button,
  3. The reward: This is the satisfaction you get from doing the habit

The trick to overcoming such habits is to develop new ones. People love excuses and will regularly defend their bad habits. A common excuse for most bad habits when it comes to training or cooking healthy meals is that we do not have enough time.

No matter what your life circumstances are, there is always time to prepare and carry out the things that are important to you. There are 24 hours in every day! The fact of the matter is that you do have the time, you just don’t prioritise it effectively. Instead of spending 30 minutes on Facebook or Netflix, get to the gym or go for a run.  If you want to have a healthy breakfast and lunch at work everyday, then get up 20 minutes earlier and cook both meals instead of buying rubbish at work.

These are just examples but consider someone who spends 10-15mins preparing a healthy lunch each day in comparison to someone who spends an extra 15 minutes in bed and grabs food on the go. Who will have more energy throughout each day? Who will be healthier and leaner a year later?

You get my point.

Small changes each day compound over time. Developing good habits result in positive changes. I have developed a new habit over the past 9 months, which is getting up once my alarm goes off at 5.15 and not having that 10 minute snooze which I had been so used to.

Has it changed my day to day life? Well now, I do 10 minutes of mobility work each morning on my hips. Compound that over 365 days and that is over 60 hours of mobility training from developing one new habit! 

Take home message: Start developing the habits that make health and fitness a part of your everyday life

In a society where everything is available at the click of a button we have become so used to getting the things we want when we want them. Changing body composition is not the same however as buying your cinema tickets online or ordering a pair of jeans. Getting a physique that you want takes time, consistency and a lot of patience.

A lot of people aren’t overly bothered with putting in such time. That is cool and each to their own. However, for people out there who are wondering why they are not getting the results they desire or not losing fat when they are working hard, you need to understand that it doesn’t happen overnight and that fitness and staying healthy is not a one-off thing but an ongoing journey.

The convenience of our lifestyles has certainly added to this rise, however that is not an excuse. We must decide to take action and do it for our own health.

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