Ever heard of this insightful nugget from BJ Fogg?
If you pick the right small behaviour and sequence it right, then you won’t have to motivate yourself to have it grow. It will just happen naturally, like a good seed planted in a good spot.
Isn’t that a clever way to think about it?
Well, this is precisely the strategy I employed when I pondered over how to make exercise a habit.
Yes, making exercise a habit can seem like a daunting task, but bear with me. I’ve discovered a technique that might be your golden ticket to consistent fitness.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s incredibly straightforward, and it’s been a game-changer for me, but I’d be remiss to promise it’ll work the same magic for you.
Nonetheless, it’s definitely worth giving it a shot.
Try it out, and you might just be pleasantly surprised.
The Power of Habit Triggers: A Foundation for How to Make Exercise a Habit
Here’s the golden rule: It’s far easier to replace an old habit with a new one than to attempt to eradicate it entirely.
Believe me, I’ve walked that road, and it’s a tough journey.
Consider my experience with increasing my water intake, a simple change that had a more significant impact on my health than any strenuous exercise routine.
How did I make this new habit stick, you ask?
The trick was to substitute my regular cup of coffee for a refreshing glass of warm water.
But there’s a twist: my coffee-drinking ritual wasn’t just replaced; it became the spark that ignited my daily exercise routine.
Piqued your interest, didn’t it? Let’s dive a little deeper into how to make exercise a habit.
Bear in mind, though, that this isn’t for the bodybuilders or marathon runners among you.
This method is about incorporating manageable, everyday exercise that will keep you fit without the stress of rigid workout schedules.
If your goal is a toned body coupled with a surge of energy that makes you leap out of bed in the morning, then you’re definitely in the right place.
Habit Triggers: The Foundation of How to Make Exercise a Habit
Let’s delve into “habit triggers”. Sounds like some fancy scientific terminology, doesn’t it?
Surprise, surprise: you’re already using them each and every day.
Take a moment to reflect.
When you wake up, what’s the first thing you do? Most likely, you head to the bathroom and brush your teeth.
No second thoughts, no conscious decision-making; it’s just an automatic reaction to the break of dawn.
That is a habit trigger in action!
So, what if we use this same concept to help you figure out how to make exercise a habit?
The idea is to associate a specific action (in this case, exercise) with a trigger that naturally occurs throughout your day.
Let’s take a peek into my own daily exercise routine for some inspiration.
When I put the kettle on to boil water for my warm drink, I don’t just stand idly by. Instead, I seize the moment to do 25 to 50 squats.
Watching the water boil might not be a thrilling spectacle, but it’s the perfect opportunity to squeeze in a little physical activity!
So, boiling water becomes my trigger for a quick, easy exercise routine.
Given my healthy habit of drinking plenty of water throughout the day, I can easily complete 100 to 200 squats without breaking a sweat or feeling like I’ve run a marathon.
It’s just the right amount of physical activity for me, and it doesn’t leave me gasping for breath.
But here’s the real icing on the cake: This simple trigger also encourages me to drink more water.
So, with a single action, I’m staying hydrated and staying fit. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone!
Consistency Over Intensity: The Key to Making Exercise a Habit
For this method to work, you need to shed any preconceptions that you have to work out HARD to achieve fitness. This is a myth.
Firas Zahabi, a renowned Canadian mixed martial artist, emphasises the importance of consistency over intensity when it comes to working out.
Drawing from my own positive experience with regular exercise, I couldn’t agree more.
Don’t just take my word for it, though. Check out this insightful interview on the Joe Rogan Experience where Firas Zahabi shares his unique philosophy on working out smarter, not harder.
I’ve built a variety of triggers that spur me into very specific exercise routines.
None of these routines are overly strenuous, yet they’ve left me feeling more energetic than ever.
I no longer experience bouts of fatigue, and most importantly, I don’t stress about exercise.
Triggers make exercise habits stick so effortlessly that the entire process has transformed from a burdensome obligation into a joyful experience.
Potential Triggers: Your Personalised Path on How to Make Exercise a Habit
Let me share a few examples of the triggers I’ve implemented in the past or continue to use:
When you brush your teeth (trigger), do 25–50 squats. There you go; you’re already doing 50–100 squats per day if you brush twice or when you use mouthwash.
You’re supposed to swish mouthwash for 30 seconds. Guess how many squats you can do in 30 seconds!
When taking a break from work, listen to your favourite TED talks and do a set of five different exercise routines while you’re at it.
Every time you take a bathroom break, before sitting back down, jump on your mini-trampoline and do 50 jumping jacks.
Heading out for grocery shopping? Grab your skipping rope and do 500 jumps before you start shopping.
The 30-Day Challenge: A Surefire Way to Make Exercise a Habit
As you can see, each exercise routine has a trigger attached to it. That’s the secret sauce!
Examine your daily routines and find opportunities to incorporate them as triggers.
Link each trigger to a very specific exercise routine, e.g., types of exercise and a set number of repetitions.
The idea is to keep it light yet challenging enough to make you feel accomplished.
Better still, why not turn them into your 30-Day Challenge?
The 30-Day Challenge is a brilliant way to find out what works for you and what doesn’t when figuring out how to make exercise a habit.
Final Thoughts: Enjoying the Journey of Making Exercise a Habit
In the past, I believed that I had to work out hard to see any real results.
This mindset turned exercise into a chore, stripping away any joy I might have found in the process.
When I built my exercise routines around these clever triggers, everything changed. The whole process became effortless and enjoyable.
I’ve fallen in love with exercising this way, and now I find myself incorporating more vigorous activities like Tae Bo or Zumba dancing into my routine.
Why not give it a go? Try it out and let me know how you feel.
Remember, it’s not just about the destination; it’s about enjoying the journey of figuring out how to make exercise a habit.
You Might Also Enjoy…
- How to Find Your Best Habit Hacks
- How to Bribe Your Way Into Good Habits
- 8 Benefits of Having a Daily Routine
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