Leo Babauta at Zenhabits asked his one million followers for tips on “how they formed exercise habits and made it stick.” What works for me? (When it works.) Four strategies:
- GET YOUR WORK-OUT GEAR TOGETHER. Do it the night before. Make it easy to grab it and go. Save yourself the agony of the rationalizing self-talk: I’ll do it later. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. I’m tired. Let me check my emails and then go. Or worse, Oh, just forgettabout it.
- DO IT EARLY. Period. Or it doesn’t get done.
- GET STARTED. Take the first step. Walk out the door. Step on treadmill. Put on your shoes. Once engaged, I get propelled by the Zeigarnik Effect, the need to complete the task.
- RECORD RESULTS. You are what you measure. I record my weight and my work-out (dates, results) in a spreadsheet on Google Drive. Then, when I look at it and find gaps (e.g., No workouts for days. Shocking Weight Gain.), I find myself shamed into re-firing the engines. This works.