“We cannot solve our problems at the same level of thinking that created them.” – Albert Einstein
We all have them, both good and bad.
In fact, up to 40% of the things we do on a daily basis are habits (1).
Since so much of our behavior is based on habits, it is important to use habits to your advantage if you want to make a Fitness Transformation.
So what exactly is a habit?
According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, every habit has 3 parts: a cue, a routine, and a reward.
To make things simpler, I will use my habit of lifting weights as an example.
The cue is the signal that tells your brain to go into autopilot and determines which habit you will use.
For my example, my cues for lifting weights are that I take my pre-workout and put on my workout playlist. For you, your cue could be leaving your workout gear by the door, for example.
It doesn’t matter what exactly your cue is; what matters is that it makes it easier for you to remember your habit.
The routine is the behavior itself. In my case, it would be lifting weights. In your case, it may be running, yoga, pilates, etc.
The final part is the reward, and I would argue that this is the most important part. The reward is where your brain decides if the habit is worth keeping.
If you fail to reward yourself, you will not be motivated to continue the behavior and your new habit will fall apart.
However, if you choose the wrong reward (i.e. a box of donuts after you finish your workout), you can end up undermining any progress that you hope to gain with your new habit.
(For anyone that wants to dig deeper into the science of habits, I highly recommend checking out his book, The Power of Habit. Here is the link)
How to Put This Into Action:
If you have a habit you want to change, there are two important steps.
1. Identify the cue (the trigger for the behavior).
2. Identify the reward (the craving that it satisfies).
If you can do these things, it will allow you to completely change your habits and create new ones.
So I hope this helps! If you guys have any questions, feel free to let me know in the comments!