Places Pointer: Habits

Pretty much everything you are, think, feel and do is a product of your habits.

Most people enjoy working out. It releases feel-good chemicals and contributes towards positive changes in many forms. But no matter how determined you might be, we can guarantee that everyone has off days. Some even fully swerve back into old ways that negatively impact them.

What if we told you that you can trick your brain into forming habits out of your goals as well as breaking old ones in a few simple steps?

Habits are formed through a process of cue – craving – response – reward.

We know it takes 21 days to form a habit, but how can you keep your fitness routine up for longer? We’ve rounded up how to utilise each of these processes to make your habit forming that little bit easier…

1. Find your reason.

Humans function on purpose, and those who have a defined reason for achieving their goals are more likely to achieve them. Make your reason for doing something clear and remind yourself frequently.

2. Break down your goals.

Many studies into human behaviour have found that most people relapse and rebound because they set unrealistic goals. Before jumping straight in, break them down into palatable steps to minimise failure at the first hurdle.

3. Trigger the brain.

Reminding yourself in the form of a cue will eventually send your brain into autopilot overtime. Doing something like leaving out your gym kit at the end of you bed, setting the alarm early or sticking reminders in places you’ll see them will kick your brain into gear!

4. Vary your activities.

Having a variety of activities in your workout plan - lifting weights, walking, running, swimming, cycling, aerobics classes - will ensure that you can do something whatever the weather or time of day. Don’t forget that the gym, swimming, and group exercise classes are included in Premium memberships, giving loads of options! Our Virtual Studio gives you access to 1000s of on demand and live stream workouts too!

5. Have a workout partner.

Agreeing to exercise with a friend means you won’t want to let them down and it’s less likely you’ll talk yourself out of your workout. Exercise becomes a social occasion, which makes it more appealing. Plus, a little friendly competition will make you work harder and see results faster!

6. Rewrite old habits.

Research shows that replacing an old habit with a new one stops old patterns of behaviour. This means creating a new physical pathway in response to the cue which will eventually engrain the habit mentally, without thinking.

7. Reward yourself.

Arguably the most important part of the habit pathway is reward. It incentivises our brain to repeat the action.

Reward yourself every single time you achieve your habit, spending time doing something you like, a treat or even a simple reminder of the intrinsic benefits. Top tip: use our Journaling Pointer to keep a track of your progress and see the internal wins. Ready to make the first step? View our memberships here.

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