the first few habits

HILARIOUS SELF MOCKING INTRO

If I was a better man I would have designed a better app. An app so addictive that any lucky punk who happens to download it would immediately be hooked, inspired and permanently wired for fitness success. But I’m not. I’m a simple soul with simple website journal thing. If you use it wisely, you’ll get a lot out of it. If you don’t, you’ll be like, er…what now?

That’s what I did. Well excited I was when I first got my own site ready. Then, after a month, I forgot to log on to it for 3 whole weeks. Pretty lame from the man who spent most of his pocket money getting it made and months waiting for it to be ready I’m sure you’ll agree.

A common problem when things aren’t really habit. You start well, but then forget.

Now that I’m a little wiser, I have taken the liberty of offering a few habits you might want to consider doing when I first give you a HabFit site. But first…

A FEW COMPLETELY UNORIGINAL BUT STILL NECESSARY THOUGHTS ON HABIT CHANGE

Before the real habits, here’s what I have deemed to be a compulsory reminder of a few things about habits. You should bare these in mind:

Use Small Steps – try and do too much and you’re likely to bugger it up. Start small and get used to the new habit & you’re on the road. Then it’s easier to add scale.

Get inside the human mind – psychology exists. Use it.

Environment – Science told me that we need to be efficient in order to survive. I’m telling you that if I have a chin up bar in the room I’m likely to train on it all day just for fun, but if I have to walk 10 minutes to the gym I’m skipping my workout. Your environment matters, we are all naturally a bit lazy. Structuring your environment will increase the chances of doing what you planned. Removing the barriers between you and what you want to do will decrease the willpower you need to make yourself do it.

Accountability: Make it matter -Being a gambling man, I do enjoy the occasional flutter. So, I’m going to gamble on a betting example to make my next point…

So, you’ve committed to doing just 10 press ups every day for a month (pretend) – in which scenario are you most likely to stick to your plans?

1) you’ve made a bet with a one armed man. If you fail just one day, he is allowed to cut of your left arm & take it for himself.

2) no consequences.

I’m guessing, in scenario 1 (which I admit is ridiculous on many levels) you would probably do it. It would be on your mind and there’s no way you’re going to forget or just not feel like it. If there are no repercussions, the odds of you skipping out or forgetting are elevated. When planning on doing something, within reason… find a way to make it matter. If you fail or forget to do it, find a way to make it matter to you even more.

Triggers & Reminders – technically speaking, a real habit is something one does autonomously. It saves cognitive energy expenditure. Usually, something happens to ‘trigger’ habitual behaviour. This can be useful in training – if getting home from work, stripping out of your business attire can trigger your grabbing of the chin up bar – this would be a pretty sweet example. Before you know it, you have begun.

This becomes even more important in app / internet land. All these companies are trying to get you habitually addicted to their stuff. If use becomes habitual, they are in the money.

THE HABITS ONE SUGGESTS YOU START WITH TO GET HOOKED ON HABFIT

And getting hooked on HabFit is entirely useful.

The First Habit: Do one thing a day to make your site better. All these other habits can be phased in. This is my first rule, if I commit to doing one thing a day to improve my site, I find it forces me to look for photos, videos or review my waiting lists almost daily. This, for me at least has the desired effect of making me look at my HabFit site every day. This means I get the subconscious priming benefits of viewing my goals/images of exercises I’m working on, and keeps what I want to achieve on my mind.

THE OTHER HABITS – which one or ones will you start with?

1) Hunt Cool Training Vids – Watching videos of people training well can be extremely useful. You can learn technique, you can see exactly how people with great technique train and you can get ideas you’d never have thought of otherwise. Mainly though, it’s inspiring. Good music & good training may well inspire you to copy and practice so you can do what they do. If so, make a habit of collecting and regularly watching some of your favourite clips.

Ps not mine please! I make mine to teach you stuff, but there’s much more inspiring out there I’m sure. Get some variety.

2) Fall in love with your homepage – load it up all the time – One of he main benefits of HabFit, if you do it right, is that by frequently opening your homepage, flicking through the photos, you can continually remind yourself of what you’re striving for.

I suggest that you open your site every time your at a computer, then frequently flick through your homepage slideshow. Here you should have images and graphics that inspire you and remind you of what you intend to do.

3) Checklist Something – The habit checklist is a powerful tool. You don’t need to use it forever, but it can be of great help when you’re installing new habits. What’s your key life or death habit right now? If you have one, get on the habit of checking off whether you did it or not. Do that every day and you can see your progress. How long can you keep a perfect streak going?

4) Hunt Images – You may like using Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube (take screenshots), fitness mags, google image searches or many other places. You may be more motivated by action shots, or of the physique you want to attain. Either way, if you figure this out and make a habit of collecting these photos it will really help you make your HabFit site useful. Leave it untouched for ages and will become stale. Improve it often and keep it novel and you’ll find yourself visiting and thinking about training more and more.

My HabFit site is full of images. People with great bodies inspire training. For me – it’s skills I want to master that I save images of. Right now, I’m working on my handstands, building on the (seemingly eternal) journey for a perfect Front Lever and many other things too. I find it helps to continuously be fed images of these things being done well. It helps motivate, but also connect the dots between training sessions – it helps me realise how I can do things better.

5) Work on your Habit Waiting List – I discuss this concept in reinvention II. It’s simple really. I suggest slow, patient change for most punters. It’s more realistic. But, it doesn’t mean these effects can’t snowball.

If you keep a habit waiting list of all the healthy habits you could enjoy doing in the future, or, if you’re sufficiently into your training -a list of all the skills you can see yourself mastering in the near future, this can help you stay patient, motivated and focused on what you have right now.

Making a habit of frequently reviewing your waiting lists, making a few notes on how and when you could master them can be very inspiring. Especially once you have a couple of new habits or skills under your belt – then it doesn’t seem like a fantasy list – but an actual list that you will get to soon.

6) Record Something! – Some like to make detailed notes on their training, some on their food, some both. Some may like to use the checklist, some won’t. Some may like to take regular physique shots, or store weight or measurements frequently. Others will like to video their best training and store it on their HabFit sites at the end of the month. Whatever thing or things appeal to you, I certainly recommend the habit of recording something, and doing this regularly on your HabFit site.

7) Do the Monthly Review!…and enjoy it – It’s not habit like an every day habit. As you probably gathered, it’s more of a monthly thing. But making the monthly review something you do every month is probably the habit I recommend the most. If every month, you make the habit of analysing your progress, working out how you can do better and how you can enjoy it more, and then you spend some time updating and making your HabFit site inspiring – then I reckon you’re going to get more out of your HabFit site, and far more importantly – more out of your training.

BEWARE – I wouldn’t recommend trying to do all of these habits straight away, especially if you’re not currently doing a few already.

FIND SOME TRIGGERS – WHEN WILL YOU DO IT?

As discussed above, a true habit will have something that happens to trigger it to start. If you don’t have one, you may well forget to do what you planned to do. This is frequently the case when internet/apps are concerned. Here are a few triggers you could use to remember to use your site:

Every time you get in from work, view your site – it may help sway the decision of whether or not you will do your training/eat well tonight.

Put a link it on your iPad/phone home screen – then it will catch your eye, hopefully triggering you to open it up.

As soon as you complete a physical habit – a good time to check you did as intended and to note down any progress.

As soon as you put your exercise pants on – to get you in the mood and remind you of what you are training for.

Whenever you sit down with a cup of coffee – even if it’s just for a minute. Sit down to relax, have a little browse and then continue with whatever you were going to do.

Just before you go to bed – it’s always good to remind yourself what you’re working on and what you intend to do the next day last thing at night.

PROFOUND CONCLUSION TO EXCITE READER

Use HabFit wisely, it will keep you organised and motivated. Don’t, and it probably won’t. Cheers.

MORE FROM THE HABFIT BLOG

THE FIRST BLOG: This is the first blog I wrote. A little intro into what’s to come and some thoughts on how you can use HabFit.Press here and you’ll see it.

REINVENTION: Some ideas on how you can make a fresh start and completly reinvent & redesign your physical body. clicky.

REINVENTION ii: how you could actually start your fresh start. read it here.