How to form long lasting habits

Often when I meet a client for the first time in the inital consultation they will bombard me with a list of things in their life that they are not happy with and that needs to be addressed. Dealing with these issues is far more comlex than a 45-60 minute personal training session once a week. Although this is a great starting point it wont be enough to get a client to their desired goals. Rather than avoiding these barriers I teach my clients to identify and address these issues so they can manage them head on s in order to establish new habits.

The purpose of this blog is to inform, eduacte and empower you to create long lasting habits backed by the neurological science behind how habits are formed. I will share with you a few methods that can be implemented in your lives to form new habits.

What is a habit and how are they created?

The simplified answer;

'Habits are actions that our nervous system has learned through repetition'.

This may or may not work in our favor, depending on the formed habit.

Studies have shown, upon waking up at least 70% of our actions are based on habitual behavior (making our bed, cleaning our teeth, eating or not eating breakfast) We don’t think about these things they tend to just happen in pretty much the exact same order each day.

Why is this?

Through a process called “automaticity”. Neuron circuits formed over time through repetition of a specific action fire in our brain enabling us to perform the activity automatically. Don’t get lost in the scientific terminology, this is just a fancy way of stating that; Because we have a habit so deeply ingrained into our behavior, performing the action requires very little physical and mental effort.

The goal of creating a habit is to get into a state of “automaticity”

In essence, the best way to form any habit is through continuous repetitions of the chosen behavior/activity.

The hardest part of creating any new habit is starting.

A simple method you can use to start and stick to your new habit is referred to as;

‘The procedural habit method’

1. Think about the habit you want to form.

(e.g. you want to do 30 minutes of exercise 5 x days a week)

2. Proceed to visualize each sequence of how that habit will look in the exact order you want the habit to look.

(e.g. getting up in the morning, making a coffee, packing your gym bag and towel, driving to the gym and exercising) similar to following a recipe in a cookbook!

3. Execute the habit shortly afterward.

Research has shown that by just implementing this simple visual strategy you have a far higher chance of not only partaking in the new behavior but also sticking to it.

My advice when it comes to attempting to form any habitual behavior is to start small. Ofcourse, identify the big picture but don’t attack the goal from an unrealistic approach.

Like lifting weights in the gym or improving any aspect of your health and fitness you must slowly build up volume over time to successfully progress.

Lifestyle changes don’t come easy and they certainly don't feel natural.

Perhaps consider a change in your current environment.

Do the people you surround yourself with support the new habits you are trying to install? if the answer is a resounding "No" the best thing you can do is remove yourself from the environment.

Will this be an easy process?

no, but nothing worth having comes at an easy price.

It sounds cliche but when you start surrounding yourself with likeminded individuals your challenges won't feel so 'challenging'.

Speak soon,


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