Getting more fit is a universal goal. Everyone wants to be healthier and more vibrant. So why do only 20% of people exercise regularly? Why is roughly two-thirds of the US population overweight?
It’s because building the habit of fitness is tough. Very tough. Wanting to do something and doing it are two very different things. Ask any gym manager what happens in January every year. People come in droves to join the gym. Where are these people in August? Most are nowhere to be found.
We have great intentions. We want to exercise and eat right. We want to make the right choices at the right time. Habits are hard to break. We’re conditioned early in our lives to follow the habits set forth by our parents. Years and years of repetition and conditioning create our patterns. Did you grow up in a household where exercise and proper nutrition were the daily norm? Most people haven’t.
It’s very hard to change our habits to make changes to be more fit. Every day we make a choice to exercise or not. To eat less fat or not. To not eat sweets. It’s a daily choice. Every day. No exceptions.
Some people build new habits and can sustain new behaviors. They can put these habits into their routines and maintain a healthy process. Other people start and stop. Start and stop.
The habit is the key.
Learning to build new habits should be a fitness class in and of itself. Just like attending a cardio class or a personal training session, there should be time spent on building habits. Creating a new habit is a very difficult thing to do.
Are you able to eat a meal at the same time every day? If people at your job take a lunch break at noon, then you probably eat lunch at noon. The pattern of your job creates the habit of eating lunch at noon. What if you don’t have a job with a consistent noon lunch time? What if you can eat lunch whenever? Will you be as consistent?
We know forming a new habit is difficult. You need to keep your goals simple and timely. You need to reinforce your good behavior and be aware of when you fail. We know your identity surrounding the habit change is important. Do you see yourself as a fit person? Can you visualize being fit and making it happen?
Learn about how to change habits. It’s a skill that would benefit everyone to learn. Fitness is a lot about routines and patterns. You want to remove the daily choice in the process and rely on good consistent habits that produce successful results.