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The Subtle Art of forming a habit

When it comes to health and fitness, the talk is always about workouts and diets. Often times it’s the little things like consistency and discipline that get overlooked. Let's delve into the art of habit formation, uncovering simple yet powerful strategies to seamlessly incorporate health and fitness into your daily life, transforming it from a chore to a joyful pursuit.

Reduce friction

While adopting a new habit, the initial burst of enthusiasm with which one starts often fizzles out quickly. One major culprit behind this phenomenon is friction – the resistance encountered in completing the tasks associated with the habit. Consider the classic "new year, new me" scenario: hordes of individuals hit the gym in January, only to abandon their resolutions by February. To combat this friction, it’s essential to streamline your routine by prepping in advance. For example, lay out your gym clothes and pack your gym bag the night before, minimising the decisions required in the morning rush. By reducing the hurdles to starting your habit, you pave the way for consistency and success.

Realistic expectations

Another pitfall when it comes to habit formation is setting sky high expectations. It's important to understand one's capabilities and circumstances before expecting anything to come out of following a particular habit. For instance, expecting to quit all forms of sugar overnight is a recipe for failure, especially if you rely heavily on your morning coffee. Instead, adopt a gradual approach and break down your overarching goal into manageable steps. Start by cutting out one sugary indulgence each month, gradually transitioning to healthier alternatives. By setting achievable targets and celebrating your progress, you cultivate a sustainable habit that withstands the test of time.

Chain habits

A habit, that requires significant effort can be daunting, especially if it’s out of your comfort zone. In this case, tethering your new habit to any of your daily routines might be extremely useful. If stepping into a gym is intimidating, then begin by incorporating a daily walk into your post-meal routine. Over time, this can be transformed to walking on the treadmill in the gym. As you grow accustomed to the environment, gradually introduce new exercises to keep things fresh and exciting. By piggybacking onto established habits, you leverage familiarity to propel you forward.

Failure to adhere to habits stems from the monotony and discomfort associated with the habits. It's important to realise that some habits require minimal effort while others require significant dedication. The key lies in understanding the size of the task, breaking it down into manageable chunks, and setting realistic expectations so you stay motivated for longer to develop a habit. With these simple lifestyle tweaks, sticking to multiple habits will become second nature.

Let's overcome the fear of failure and embrace the simplicity of habit formation. Small steps, big changes – that's the magic formula for a lifetime of health and wellness.

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