Good habits, bad habits – this is the email Fitness Reloaded subscribers received last weekend. If you also want to get it, sign up by dropping your email. Now if you’re specifically not exercising but wish you did, sign up here to get into Monday’s Mini Habit week. You’ll also get access to the newsletter.
Subject: Good habits, bad habits, and how to make sense of them.
Hope all is well. I wanted to email you today to share some resources that you may find useful if you’re trying to live healthier and change your habits. I’ll discuss both good and bad habits.
First, what does the word “habit” even mean? When is it appropriate to call a behavior – good or bad – a habit?
You call something you do a habit when it’s second nature or really close to second nature to you. You do it almost automatically, without thinking much about it. When you don’t do it, you feel like something is “off” or you miss it.
Let’s check out a few examples:
You’re used to drinking tea first thing in the morning. You don’t really think about drinking your tea every day; you just naturally wake up and head to the kitchen to make your tea. If for some reason you have to rush and can’t drink your tea, you’ll feel like you’re “missing” your morning tea.
You check your work email before you go to bed. The result is you at a minimum get a little bit nervous, or you start replying to work emails, turn on your laptop to check what is really going on, etc. You know you don’t need this anxiety-inducing “before bed” routine, yet you can’t shake this habit off. You’ve tried not doing it, but you end up in bed thinking about grabbing your phone and just peeking through your inbox. It’ll only take a minute, you tell yourself.
You’re used to exercising regularly. When you go on business travel and no gym is available you’re still searching how you can actually do your workout. If for some reason a couple of days pass without you exercising, you feel “rusty” and you really, really want to get moving!
(I’m actually like that. Here’s proof of me doing one of the FB16 workouts at 11.30 pm on an what was supposed to be a non-workout day. To clarify, I was not always into exercise. I specifically worked on habits to become like that.)
It’s 11.33 pm here and I just finished my workout!Today I had decided not to exercise.However, a little after 11pm I felt stiff and WANTED to exercise. I knew working out would make me feel better. Oh, the sense of accomplishment and energy that comes right after!So I did it. After all, I only needed 16 minutes.And here’s proof! Maria doing FB16 on the TV, and Maria following along in the living room.Now off to the shower :)(If you also have 16 minutes to work out today and are curious to do what I’m doing, I’m giving out a free workout from the FB16 series at fitnessreloaded.com/fb16/. Enjoy!)
Posted by Fitness Reloaded on Tuesday, July 21, 2015
By now, you must be already recognizing the power of habits – once a behavior becomes a habit then it’s hard to “shake off”. Plus, you do it naturally. You don’t have to push yourself to do it, you just do it.
Now this is wonderful with good habits, isn’t it? Think about a behavior that you consider to be a good habit of yours – maybe you’re an early riser, exercise regularly, or eat “green stuff” almost daily. Isn’t this amazing? You do something that’s good for you automatically!
Now because habits can be really powerful, bad habits are obviously not nearly as exciting as good habits 🙂
So now you may be thinking: How do I make a behavior a habit? Sure, you really liked this one time you went hiking – but it’s one thing to go once, and totally another to make it part of your lifestyle, or feel like you “miss it” if you don’t do it!
Here are some resources to help you better understand habits and how they get created:
1. MUST WATCH: #AYEAROFHABITS Ep. 2: Habits, not discipline:
Learn how habits are created. What is it that makes you reach for that phone at night, or feel like you’re missing exercise if you fall out of your routine?
#AYEAROFHABITS Episode 2 – Habits, not discipline.“If only I was more motivated, then I would have never stopped exercise.””If only I was more disciplined, then I’d be writing my novel every day.””If only I had more willpower, then I […]”Do any of the above ring true? If yes, you MUST watch this video where I introduce Prof. BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model. The longer you believe that the reason you don’t do what you said you wanted to is motivation/discipline/willpower, the longer you won’t be doing it!Learn what you need to do instead to build habits that last.
Posted by Fitness Reloaded on Tuesday, February 9, 2016
2. Is exercising regularly something you really, really want, but you’ve never managed to actually make it happen? Sign up for the Mini Habit Week that starts on Monday, and you’ll learn the building blocks of an exercise routine that facilitates habit-building.
3. Want to create better health habits in general, but tired of trying with random tactics (that end up not working)? It’s impossible to give a Healthy Habits roadmap in an email or a single article. That’s why I wrote “Surprisingly…Unstuck: The power of small healthy habits in a world addicted to instant results.” You can find it on Amazon.com (kindle+paperback) or any other Amazon store around the world.
4. Now if you have a desk job, and if slouching is a habit you wish you didn’t have, I have a remedy for you. Start by doing this stretch every day. Hold it for 20-30 seconds at least once a day. Maybe you can do it just as you start your lunch break or right after you finish work and are about to get up?
The best OFFICE STRETCH for slouchy backs.Habitual slouching may lead to postural changes over time. I used to slouch at the office too, and honestly I still do – just less. Now, when I catch myself slouching, I immediately straighten up and do this stretch. I’ve actually done quite a bit of work to be mindful of my posture and not walk or sit around with my shoulders rotated to the front and my ribcage collapsed. At first it seemed difficult, but it was only difficult because I was not used to it. The more I do this, the easier it becomes.So let’s try it out, esp if you’re at work and slouching! Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and then let me know how you feel!
Posted by Fitness Reloaded on Thursday, March 17, 2016
Sounds good? Here’s to a life with better habits!:)
Enjoy your weekend,