So, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can make working out a habit. A habit is defined as: noun
1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street.
2. customary practice or use: Daily bathing is an American habit.
3. a particular practice, custom, or usage: the habit of shaking hands.
4. a dominant or regular disposition or tendency; prevailing character or quality: She has a habit of looking at the bright side of things.
The habit I would like is that when I get in the morning-regardless of the day of the week or the time instead of turning on the kettle for my coffee and getting in the shower etc…I want to automatically, without too much thinking head to the basement and start walking on the treadmill.
Someone once told me that if you repeat the same behavior 16 times it becomes a habit, I can’t find anything to support that but some people say 21 times. Today I read about this woman who exercised 100 days in a row and thought that would certainly make a habit?
I love NPR (Fresh Air) so I am loving listening to this guy talk about how habits are formed and broken. He talks about a “habit loop”- it consists of a cue, a behavior and a reward.
When I think about the habit I would like to build the reward is pretty simple-feeling healthy and strong, lose a few pounds and find my waist again. The behavior is already defined above although I am willing to expand that to any form of exercise-walking, biking, swimming-for at least 30 minutes.
Okay, now we are getting to the hard part…the cue. in this instance the cue (or lack of cue) is being snuggled in my bed at 5.30am…and 5.35…and 5.45…when it is sub zero outside.
If you listen to the podcast from NPR (Fresh Air) linked above the guy says I should go in increments and change one thing at a time. I don’t have any ideas what cue will get me up everyday other than springtime, warm weather and sunshine but I’ll think about it…too tired at the moment!