Whether you're aiming to kickstart a new fitness routine or reignite a dormant one, the principles outlined in "Atomic Habits" can be your beacon of light.
Let’s explore how to apply Clear's wisdom to craft a workout routine that seamlessly integrates into your daily life.
1. Make it obvious
The first step in building a successful workout habit is to make it obvious. Clear suggests that you create a clear cue for your habit, an implementation intention, and a visible reminder.
Cue: Set a specific time and place for your workout. For example, decide to exercise every morning at 7 AM in your living room.
Implementation intention: Clearly state when and where you'll do your workout. This makes it a concrete plan in your mind.
Visible reminder: Lay out your workout clothes the night before. When you see them, you'll be reminded of your commitment.
2. Start small
Clear introduces the Two-Minute Rule, which advises beginning with a tiny version of your desired habit. If you're struggling to start, commit to just two minutes of exercise. Often, once you start, you'll naturally want to continue.
3. Make it attractive
To make your workout habit more attractive, consider pairing it with something you enjoy. For instance, listen to an audiobook or your favorite podcast while exercising. This not only makes the workout more enjoyable, but also creates positive associations with it.
Set up a rewards system for yourself after completing your workout. It could be as simple as enjoying a healthy smoothie or taking a few minutes to relax. These small rewards can reinforce your commitment to your fitness routine.
4. Make it easy
Clear emphasises the importance of environment design and reducing friction when establishing habits. Set up your workout space in a way that encourages exercise. Have your yoga mat, weights, or resistance bands easily accessible. If your workout requires equipment, have it ready and organised so you don't waste time searching for things.
5. Make it satisfying
Focus on immediate rewards when working out. Think about the instant benefits, such as increased energy and improved mood. This reinforces the positive experience and keeps you motivated.
Tracking your progress is another key element of satisfaction. Keep a workout journal or use a fitness app to monitor your advancements. Seeing improvements over time can be highly motivating and help you stay on track.
6. Habit stacking
Habit stacking involves attaching your workout to an existing habit. For instance, do a short exercise routine right after brushing your teeth in the morning. This creates a seamless flow between your daily activities and your workout, making it easier to integrate into your routine.
To ensure you stay committed, consider introducing an accountability factor. Share your fitness goal with a friend or family member who can hold you accountable. Alternatively, find a workout buddy who shares your fitness aspirations and exercise together. The social pressure can be a powerful motivator.
8. Make it inevitable
Sometimes, you need to make your fitness habit feel inevitable. This can be achieved by implementing a commitment device. Invest in your fitness routine by signing up for a class or hiring a personal trainer. The financial commitment can serve as a strong motivator to follow through with your workouts.
9. Habit reset
Don't be disheartened if you stumble along the way. Habit formation is a journey, and setbacks are part of it. The key is to set a clear restart date and mentally commit to getting back on track. Remember, every step forward, no matter how small, is progress.