The Power of Habits: Secret to a healthy lifestyle
What do successful people have in common? Successful habits.
For example, one of the common habits that is found among hugely successful people is regular exercising. Many people do not desire a daily exercise routine, but it is very important. Getting the blood flowing with daily exercise is the key to a healthy head that is clear, ready to work and do great things.
The 55 years old American President Barack Obama starts every day with 45 minutes of weights or cardio in his personal gym. ‘The rest of my time will be more productive if you give me my workout time’ Obama tells his personal assistants.
What does it take to form a new habit?
Most people believe that habits are formed by completing a task for 21 days in a row. This 21-day myth began as a misinterpretation of Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s who was a plastic surgeon in the 1950s. However, it is proven not to be true by scientific studies.
Habit doesn’t come overnight. Commitment is critical if you want to make a habit stick. If you want to start exercising, go to the gym every day for your first thirty days. Going a couple times a week will make it harder to form the habit. If you can make it through the initial conditioning phase, it becomes much easier to sustain. Activities you do once every few days are trickier to lock in as habits. Depending on the level of individual’s effort, commitment and dedication, it can stick as habit in 1 to 2 months, according to scientific observations.
2. Slow and Steady wins the race:
Elephants can teach us a lot about personality development. Elephants are extremely intelligent animals that display complex behaviors and have a very high capacity for learning.
The basic formula for their training behaviour is: Stimulus+Response+Reinforcement = Conditioning. The animal is given a variety of cues for a specific behavior in the form of either an audible, tactile, or visual stimulus. Depending on how the elephant responds, a positive reinforcement for a desired behaviour usually is given in the form of a food item, verbal praise or an enrichment item. Conditioning occurs when the elephant’s correct behavior is achieved and reinforced consistently through repetition over an extended amount of time.Punishment is never used.
What does it tell you? The process of forming habits could be a really long process that needs patience.
Get inspired, have a role model and reward yourself after achieving a desired result. It might take time but don’t give up.
3. Track your goals:
According to Gretchen Rubin, the author of the book ‘Better than before’, two pillars of habits are:
Scheduling: If it’s on the calendar, it happens.
Monitoring: You manage what you monitor, so find a way to monitor whatever matters.You do better when you know someone’s watching–even if you’re the one doing the watching.
If you are serious about making changes to your life and forming habits, it is crucial to know the importance of tracking your progress.
Use wearable fitness trackers and mobile apps. Taking your fitness into your own hands with a tracker can be extremely empowering. To hit fitness goals using a tracker makes the whole process easier, more fun as they make you get out and accomplish something that seem much more motivating.It helps us make better choices with food and workouts because we are aware of what we are actually doing. It is a great feeling to realize that you are on the right path in your fitness journey.
Start with making small changes to your lifestyle and start reaping the benefits!