Coach Lisa posted a great blog on her site which provided some helpful insights on how to form good, healthy habits. It's a quick read and has some real world applications for those who are looking to make changes for the better. As always, thanks for sharing your insights Lisa!
The entire post "3 Ways To Form Habits" can be found here as part of her regular "Fitness Friday" musings, and we've included it in its entirety below:
Fitness Friday: 3 Ways To Form Habits
What’s shaking friends? It’s Friday and I’m relieved that it’s been a good week! As I’ve mentioned before, your ability to stay committed to your goals is tested when things get rough. One of the things I learned early on in weightlifting is that when the weight gets heavy, you revert to your habits. No matter how great your warm-up sets look, if it isn’t a habit, it’ll get lost. Same thing goes for nutrition, exercise, or anything health-related. If it isn’t a habit, when the going gets hard, it’ll disappear. For today’s Fitness Friday, I thought I’d talk about three ways to start making some of those “tendencies” into habits!
GET OFF AUTOPILOT
Routine is great and it’s one of the best ways to stick to habits once they’ve formed. But if you’re trying to get into something new, your regime needs fixing. And for that, you need to get off autopilot! Let’s take an example. Say you want to start working out in the mornings. Part of what needs to change is your morning autopilot activities. As much as we all love to get up late, drink of our coffee, and read the newspaper, getting that workout in isn’t going to happen unless you make time for it.
The beginnings of trying to start something new like this means you’ll likely be uncomfortable. When the alarm goes off, you’ll be tempted to stay in your warm bed. The idea of exercise is horrendous, especially if it’s something you know will be hard. Getting up the truly the hardest part of this process, so being uncomfortable in this context means you’re on your way to forming that habit!
TINY BITES BEFORE BIG GULPS
Part of what makes habit forming hard is fatigue. If you’re like me at all, when an idea gets into your mind, you want to go all out on it. That’s great from an enthusiasm perspective, but not great if you’re playing the long game. Let’s take following your nutrition plan. You’ve gone as far as calculating your macros, you’ve tossed out all of the junk food in your house, and you’ve loaded up on protein and veggies up to your ears. Great! After two months of eating nothing but chicken and vegetables (which isn’t as awful as it sounds, to be honest), the donuts at the office start to look tempting.
Much like CrossFit workouts that are in the 10-12 minute time domain, if you go out super fast in the first two minutes, you’ll likely fatigue at the end. Same thing goes for habit forming. Taking things slow and in moderation means you’ll end up better for the end game. Rather than going cold turkey for weeks on end, approach each day with intent to finishing it as you planned. Each day you’re successful is a great confidence boost and easy to get through. Promising yourself you’ll be good for long stretches makes it hard and also makes falling off the wagon more likely. Stick to the small bites before going all in!
SWOLEMATES, MFP PALS & FIT FAM
I always find that having a group or a friend going through this process is super helpful! Nobody likes suffering by themselves and finding your support group is critical to keeping those habits alive. If I didn’t love all of my classmates at 6AM, it’d be pretty hard to keep showing up. At the office, I don’t want to let my team down, so working hard to make sure I’m the best teammate and leader motivates me. Whatever it may be, having a solid support system is always helpful.
One of the most awesome moments during my training comes when I can celebrate with my friends. Just today, a few of my friends re-discovered their ability to do barmuscle-ups and it was so great to watch! Their bravery to keep trying inspired me to push harder too! The result was that for the first time EVER, I strung two bar muscle-ups together! It’s so great to be able to share that excitement with your friends and have them watch your progress too!
So whatever you’re working on or towards, hopefully you’re able to find ways to stay motivated and keep those habits alive! With the long holiday coming up, hopefully you’re able to stay on track and keep your habit forming tendencies alive! Happy Fourth of July friends!
-Lisa G (Stilettos to Snatches)
Happy weekend, all!
WOD for 07-01-17:
"Team Air Force WOD"
AMRAP 20 Minutes With a Partner:
20 Thrusters @ 95/65 lbs
20 Push Jerks
20 Overhead Squats
20 Front Squats
Only one partner working at a time on barbell movements (barbell reps do NOT have to be split evenly). BOTH partners must perform 4 burpees at the top of every minute, including the first (at 3-2-1 GO!).
(Compare to 10-15-16)