Building good exercising habits and Willpower is crucial in my opinion to forming a healthy routine of diet and fitness. Building good exercising habits and extending willpower depends on your ability to control your thoughts. If you fail to make going to the gym or getting up early for a challenging run, then you are going to fail at meeting the goals that you set aside for yourself. Again, if you fail to make eating right and making better choices a habit. Still, then you’re going to find yourself reaching for the proverbial candy bar when you should be going for a lean piece of meat or a bowl of stir fry.
How to Develop Good Exercising Habits?
A lot of people misunderstand me when I say “making these things a habit”. Because anyone can argue that these things take willpower over habit building. I can agree with all of you on that point, but, only for a while. Building habits is about freeing up willpower for other parts of your life. Willpower is a muscle and it can be stretched and strengthened but only so much. Creating habits frees up some of your willpower reserves in the process. So yes, it’s good to create a good exercising and eating habits. You will strengthen this muscle and eventually these actions will become routine or HABIT.
Developing a New Habit?
I have an older sister who is the picture-perfect model for health and growing up. She always reached for a bowl of fruit over a bowl of cereal, a plate of apples and peanut butter. With these good exercising habits she had no problem exercising. While I didn’t mind exercising, I did mind whether or not my breakfast had bacon in it. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that she had developed habits over a long period of time. None of us are born with perfect habits and routines. These habits were developed by finding a cue, then a routine, and then a reward. All of the habits that we have developed whether consciously or unconsciously. Good or bad. Follow this pattern.
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Charles Duhigg laid this out in his book “The Power Of Habit”. Mostly everything I learned about building good exercising habits and extending willpower came from this book. He states that in order to change a bad habit, we must identify the cue or what makes us start the bad habit. The next part to changing a bad habit is to identify the reward and finally change the routine.
my own experiences
I’ll give you an example of one of my bad habits. One of my bad habits was that after the workday, I would come home to eat something in front of the TV and after that, I would not go to the gym. No matter how much I told myself I would. So I realized that I did not like this habit that had developed over a long period of time. So I realized that the cue was just coming into the house. I would immediately start looking into the pantry or the fridge for something to make. The reward was coming from eating. I find great pleasure in eating good foods ( who doesn’t?).
SO. I changed the whole routine altogether. For building Better exercising habits, I now force myself to go from wherever I’m working to either the gym or a coffee shop to either lift or study or whatever. Forming this new habit is not easy because it’s new and my brain is adapting to the new routine, cues, and rewards. But once it is implanted it will be automatic. This implanted routine will use no more willpower than it does to take a shower every morning.
By being able to identify the cue, routine, and reward you can manipulate your habit. So to bring this all together the game is to stretch and strengthen your willpower while also developing new habits. You need three things; the cue, the routine, and the reward. Now on paper, it may look easy, but it will take time and a lot of willpower to change. You will have to put in the work to better yourself. I promise you that if you stick with it you’ll be amazed at the results!