Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Habit formation is hard. Especially starting a PT program. You’re breaking away from old habits and acquiring new ones. You’re literally forming new neural pathways. This is difficult work. It’s not easy. We’ve already have a pathway established. We don’t have to think about it. It’s automatic.
If the road you took home from work was closed due to an accident, remember the feeling of taking unfamiliar roads to get around the accident? You’re a bit unsure, even with GPS. You go through the same process for forming new habits.
So how do we form new pathways? How do we break the cycle of the easy and transition into something we don’t want to do, but know we should? We reframe it.
Jerry Seinfeld shared a big secret to his success. He hung a large year at a glance calendar on his wall and wrote a joke everyday. After writing that new material he would put a big red x over the date. After a few days a chain of x’s forms. After 10 x’s in a row, you don’t want to break the chain. It’s a challenge to yourself to see how many x’s can you string together.
That’s great Shitbreak but how do we make it stick? Loss aversion is the key. Humans are hardwired to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. How do we apply that to our PT program?
Print out this calendar and hang it where everyone can see it. Announce to your wife/gf/hair stylist your intentions of working out everyday and putting an x on that date. Then tell them for everyday there isn’t an x, you’re going to pay them $20.
Don’t feel like working out today? Thats fine it’ll just cost you $20 bucks. Too cheap? Adjust the price up until you feel the sting. You’ll definitely prefer working out to giving up that money. Use this method to get you started on your new habit. Don’t have anyone to show your calendar of x’s to? Start a post in the forums and take a picture everyday. Let’s challenge each other to get stronger. Why?…BFYTW!