One way to look at building a consistent habit is as a three-step loop. Charles Duhigg explains more about this loop in his book, The Power of Habit. This process can apply to a fitness habit or any habit you’re hoping to create in your daily life.
The habit loop has three steps: cue, routine, reward.
The cue is a trigger that tells your brain to go into auto mode.
The routine is the habit itself. The physical or mental action taken because of the cue.
The reward is the benefit you receive. It’s what makes your brain happy and encourages you to continue the pattern.
Over time, this cue-routine-reward loop gets hard-wired into our brains, and we start doing things without even thinking. Some habit loops are good, like waking up early and working out each day. And some are not so good, like eating a cookie every afternoon when your energy starts to slump.
If your goal is to create a fitness habit, keep this loop in mind. For example, your cue might be your alarm going off each morning at 5 am. The routine could be jumping in the car and driving to the gym, and the reward is how you feel after completing a tough workout.
Or another trigger could be getting in your car after work and seeing your gym bag all packed and ready to go, sitting on the passenger seat. The routine would be driving to the gym. And the reward would be a post-workout sense of satisfaction.
Your ultimate reward might be losing weight, increasing your energy, or improving your health. However, since these rewards can take some time to develop, also be aware of the more immediate rewards you gain after each individual workout.
Creating a fitness habit doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and give your new habit some time to form.
Cannon Fitness and Performance in Houston is here to support you with building a consistent fitness habit; contact us today to get started.