One of my recent resolutions was to exercise more… but I realized that the easiest way for me to exercise more was to focus on exercising everyday.
I wanted to create a habit that would be almost addictive for me, the habit that would call me every time and I wouldn’t feel like my day was complete until I did that thing.
For me, exercising was the thing. I knew that exercising would probably not help me lose weight (which of course I wanted to do), but there was something about being able to check off that task from my list.
As I have continued exercising everyday for the past few months, I find that I have grown mentally – I mean if I can consistently accomplish this one simple task, what else can I accomplish.
In his book Atomic Habits by James Clear, Clear gives some simple rules about building habits, and there are two that stand out for me.
The first is about skipping days – If you miss a day, make sure you don’t miss two. I find that once you miss one day you feel bad, but you also feel like I can still make it work, but once you miss two days you start to question if the goal even matters.
The second is to install your habit you need to get clear about what you are going to do, when you will do it, and where you will do it. For me I exercise first thing in the morning, in my living room.
He also goes into the idea of habit stacking – where you build a second habit on top of the habit you previously established. I haven’t been as successful with that yet. But I’m working on it and will let you know my success as I continue.
So if you’re interested in building any habit at all, or maybe even breaking a bad habit, pick up James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, and who knows… maybe you will soon be telling me about how you have started exercising everyday too.
You can also check out: I also talk a little bit about ending bad habits in my book