Before you read on you should understand strong willpower is not a character trait – it is not something we are born with! You have to train the prefrontal cortex in your brain in order to have strong willpower. And like everything we speak about… it takes time and we are work in progresses rather than the finished product.
You can take the above title as an dyslexic slip up and/or realise it rings true.
We all have different definitions of ‘exercise’. To some it is an 80 minute fitness session where if you’re not calling out for mercy then it’s a failure, hyperbole maybe. Or for others it is a walk through the woods.
However you define it, it is always in your best interest to exercise at least twice a week. A good way I have found to do this is to create a habit – add some consistency to your life.
I got 66 problems but a …
On average it takes more than two months before a new behaviour becomes an habit- 66 days to be exact. This sounds like a tough ask… and I know the myth is it takes 21 days but unfortunately this is not true. So how can you make this easier on yourself?
How do you make an habit an habit?
- Take small steps – and most importantly, make it a tiny habit first. Here is a list of examples of how this translates to 2 of the most common New Year’s resolutions:
- Resolution: exercise more vs. Habit: Go for two 5 minutes run a week… giving yourself goals to represent when you want to increase the time
- Resolution: Eat healthy food vs. Habit: Start substituting that 1 daily morning pastry for a banana
- Hold yourself accountable: Tell others what you want to achieve (even better get someone in the same boat to do it with you) or write it down and look at it regularly! Peer pressure sometimes is a good thing.
- Set reminders up on your phone to do it! I honestly have the most abusive message which appears on my phone in the morning to remind me to eat healthy and exercise – please note i’m not recommending you bring out the catholic punishment belt to punish you into shape. But I just wanted to highlight how I do it.
And remember: Strong willpower is not a character trait – it is not something we are born with! You have to train the prefrontal cortex in your brain in order to have strong willpower. So slowly but surely is better than killing yourself today to make yourself better for tomorrow.
For reference the government’s guidelines recommend that the average healthy individual does 30 minutes of moderate cardio vascular exercise 3-5 times per week. And this is a good goal to aim for.
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