Habits


By Coach Chris Collins, CPT


Happy new year, everyone! As 2017 gets underway, we are afforded an opportunity to both look at the past and the present. As such, it is a time when many will make resolutions to improve their health and fitness. 

You’ve probably already noticed the influx of new members at other gyms. Where before there might have been a smattering of cars dotting the parking lot’s landscape, there is now row after row of automobiles waiting patiently for their owners to take them home, and away from this new wrinkle in their routine.

So many of these new members will go great guns for a few weeks or even months before they sink back into their old routine of finding reasons to miss their workouts. A select few will stick with it, and in the process realize the change they’d been seeking.

What separates these two groups?

A couple of years ago, I read a good book by Charles Duhigg entitled, “The Power of Habit.” It would be impossible to enumerate and discuss all the insightful takeaways within that book in this blog, but maybe we can touch on a few of the key points.

Duhigg, a reporter at the time, got the idea for his book from observing military operations in Afghanistan. Through further research, he found that 40% of our daily actions are the result of habits and not decisions. For efficiency, the brain looks for triggers to produce habits, which are reinforced by a reward. Once this habit loop is formed, the brain begins to crave the reward and makes the habit preferable to other behaviors. 

Of course, there are many examples from Madison Avenue in the book. The chapter on early toothpaste marketing alone makes the book worth reading. Learning more about the nature of human behavior can give you a great perspective on how to go about establishing change in your own life, regardless of which goals you want to attain. Here’s to you sticking with those habits in the coming year!


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