Building Habits

I love cheesecake. It’s delicious. I often feel powerless against it. If I’m at a restaurant that might have it, I’m usually going to have some. If my family were bakers, I would probably have a much different physical appearance than I do now. 

A lot of our ability to create good habits depends on our environment. For example, during the Vietnam War, a number of our soldiers became addicted to opioids. However, when they returned from the war and admitted themselves to rehab nearly 90%…NINETY..of them were able to kick their addiction. Why? Because the environment in Vietnam was conducive to using opioids. They were there. They had access to it. They had downtime. Why not use it? Once they returned home, they didn’t have quite the access to it. They didn’t have the idle time they had in Vietnam. It was much easier to kick the habit. Contrast this with domestic users who were admitting themselves to rehab and only about 1 out of 4 would be able to do away with the addiction. Why such a vast difference? Because their home life environment had much more access to the drugs. Sure, they could kick the habit during their rehab stays, but once they returned home their “willpower” was no match for the constant triggers.

Creating good habits is really a product of the environment you create. The first step to doing this with exercise is shifting the paradigm in your brain. Exercise is just as vital as brushing your teeth or taking a shower daily. You don’t go to sleep without brushing your teeth. You don’t go an entire day without taking a shower. It’s just something you know has to be done. Exercise should be viewed the same way. It is vital to your health. The fallacy of exercise and health not being directly linked has long been disproven. Exercise extends your life and the quality of it. Period. End of story. 

Once you believe that it’s vital to your everyday routine, the next step is to set up the environment in your life to cater to it. Get your spouse involved. Make sure your kids know exercise is important. Put your workout clothes and shoes by your front door before you go to bed. You will have to make a conscious decision to not take them with you before you leave. If it’s a Thursday or Friday and you want to get an early jump on the weekend, plan to work out in the morning. Even if you just happen to go through the motions when you get there; the important thing is that you start a habit streak and keep it going. 

I don’t care what happens, I’m going to create the environment that forces me to go to the gym Monday through Friday. If we allow ourselves to skip Thursday for Thursday Night Football with friends, it’s going to be that much easier to skip Friday for the start of the weekend with friends. You have to realize that the key to the change you want isn’t about performance, it’s about the accumulation of habits. 

A a study completed at Stanford, a photography professor split his class into two groups. The first group was going to be graded on the amount of pictures they took over the course of the semester. 90-100 pictures would result in an A. 80-89 pictures would earn you a B. It didn’t matter what the quality of the pictures were. The second group had the entire semester to turn in just ONE picture, BUT they were going to be graded on just how GOOD that one picture was. The result of the experiment was that the first group ended up with not only more pictures, but VASTLY superior ones. Why? They were taking so many pictures than the other group that their eye for great shots was improving daily. They were practicing developing them more. They were just getting in so many more reps than the other group that not only the amount but the QUALITY were just vastly superior. 

You can worry about perfection later. Just get in reps.


To learn more about how to get the habits started and to have the accountability to help, contact us here or text us directly at 210-361-3114. And if you’re already in the habit of health, keep enhancing those habits!

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