3 minute read
The Power of Habit
Written by Expert Contributor Christine DeFilippis of Pop Fit Studio
If you’re like many people, you may have made a New Year’s resolution to start working out or lose weight in 2022. Maybe you wanted to get stronger, improve your endurance or just feel better and have more energy.
You may also be one of 90% of those who abandon their resolutions within a few weeks, or maybe you didn’t even start! Instead of beating yourself up over it, remember that willpower alone cannot help you achieve your goal.
Success is about learning new skills and building habits, which in turn will also boost your willpower. Imagine treating your workout the same way you do your morning coffee. What if it was just a given? For people who work out regularly, it is. That’s the power of habit.
The strategies below may help you in making your workout just part of your day. Start with one that feels right, and keep in mind it takes some trial and error to determine what works for you. Just like reaching any new goal, habit development is a skill that takes patience and practice.
Strategy #1: Habit Stacking
This means attaching a new habit to an existing one. For example, if you already drink coffee every morning, you could do a few sun salutations while your coffee is brewing. If you run the same errand each week, you could start scheduling a workout class before or after that errand.
Strategy #2: Schedule Your Workout
By putting your workout on the calendar the same way you would a meeting or appointment, you’ve eliminated the guesswork. You don’t have to think about when you’re going to squeeze it in — or risk letting another priority get in the way — because it’s already planned and on your calendar.
Strategy #3: Plan Ahead
Planning ahead as much as possible can help keep the "extras" from derailing your session. For example, if you have a predawn class planned, set your clothes out, and fill your water bottle the night before. If you plan to exercise on your way home from work, pack your gym bag the night before and set it by the door so you can simply grab it and go in the morning.
If you’re not seeing success right away, don’t beat yourself up and be patient. Despite what you may have heard, it actually takes more than 21 days to build a habit. It’s simply a matter of testing various strategies to find the ones that work best for you.
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