Forming New Habits
We’ve learned plenty about habits since we embarked on our new life of full-time travel 195 days ago.
We worked out every day for the first 2.5 months with vigor. Now that we’re settling into travel life, we’ve endured long, exhausting travel days, sick days, and, of course, we’ve encountered those motivational slump days. Despite all that, we still average five days a week of activity — and we’re happy with that.
Forming good habits is an ongoing process and there are always reasons not to do them. Work commitments used to be my classic excuse to avoid exercise. Going to the office early to get a jump-start on the day was my typical justification. Now, it’s the heat. It’s often too hot even early in the morning, which makes it hard to do any exercise for the rest of the day. Work also impacts the day with web calls, conference calls, videos, writing, and other projects.
However, we listened to an excellent podcast by our friend DG Gregory from Second Half Comeback, which gave us a new completely new perspective. This is the perfect accompaniment for anyone looking to create change in their lives and reinvent him or herself. DG interviewed James Clear, an expert on habits. Just a couple of simple tips from this interview made such a profound impact on our workouts, we thought it essential to share these with you.
Our two BIG takeaways
1. Make it easier on yourself to get started: Getting started is often the hardest part of working out. As Clear states, “make the start more mindless”. For example, if I have a bottle of water sitting next to the bed and I take a huge sip before I work out, I can’t make the excuse that I’m too dehydrated to exercise. Similarly, if Troy has his gear and the mat laid out, the exercise routine open in his notepad, and a stopwatch to time the exercises, he’s made it easy to get started. This small habit creates no hesitation and no time wasted. Miraculously, I JUST DO IT.
2. Get into doing the habit before worrying about the outcome: For example, I should commit to just working out every day. I shouldn’t worry about performing it entirely or perfectly every time. Sticking to the schedule, even if it’s for five minutes, is better than not working out at all. In fact, if you look over the course of a full year, rather than a week, all those short workouts add up to a lot of activity over a longer length of time.
These two ideas have made an immense improvement in my workouts. It’s easier to get started, especially knowing that every increment of exercise is working towards the goal of staying healthy.
These two takeaways work really well to kick-start any habit. Sometimes it’s the small tips that make the biggest difference in making a change or solidifying a new habit into action.
Looking for a new exercise routine to start? Try our last workout, challenging? Yes! Feel amazing when you are done? Yes!