Getting those bursts of motivation, saying to yourself you are going to go hard in the gym from now on, happens to all of us.
But after the hype fades, we often find ourselves back where we started. And it sucks! Right?
Well what if there was a way to stay consistent without all the fake hype we feel? The answer to that is to have a winning mentality in all facets of life. If you want to be consistent in the gym, then you need to be consistent in your eating habits, you need to be consistent your studies, your work, your relationships, and your life.
Charles Duhigg, the author of “The Power of Habit” found that individuals who create good habits in certain areas of their life are often able translate it to other areas quite easily. So with that knowledge, if you wanted to stay consistent with the gym but have struggled to do so, the best thing you could do is become consistent with something else first.
For example, start becoming consistent with eating a healthy breakfast everyday. That’s not as hard as exerting maximum physical energy, right? So, let’s say you do this day after day, it soon becomes part of who you are. Once you have successfully become consistent in one area, you are ready to move on to the next. In this case, it’s the gym.
Humans are creatures of habit, while it is difficult to get into a habit, it is also difficult to get out of a habit. It is up to you to manipulate your mind into getting into the habit of going to the gym (read more on this) consistently. Once that is firmly sealed in your brain, it will stick with you for life.
Habits emerge simply because our brain look to conserve as much effort as possible. So now that we know that habit is ingrained in our DNA, how can we manipulate it to go to the gym consistently?
The Habit Loop
Having the signal that tells you it is time to initiate the habit loop. In the case of the gym, the cue can be an alarm going off, the sound of weights clanking, a notification on your phone telling you to go the gym or whatever you desire. The purpose of the cue is to get you ready for the gym.
The routine is when you actually take action and complete the task. When you are in the gym, it is up to you to ensure you put in the work. Having a schedule is something that can really help, so you know exactly what to do when you get there.
Ah, the best part!
This is when you reward yourself for the hard work. Certain things like a smoothie, a protein shake, taking a warm shower all count. The purpose of the result is to trick your mind into believing that the result of your action is the following reward.
This methodology isn’t too different to how we treat our pets. When you first get your puppy, you give them a treat whenever he/she does something good. We are the same way! We just need to treat ourselves.
The Habit Loop is a concept taken from Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit.