It is hot today in Michigan. The heat index is above 100 in most parts of southeastern Michigan. Today was an indoor day of reading, coding, writing, exercise, and spiritual study.
I was pondering consistency today. Why can we do certain things consistently and other things inconsistently? I have no problem reading, coding, writing, and my spiritual studies and exercises. I have always had trouble with consistent exercise. Why is it so hard?
I didn’t have any trouble with exercise in the Army. We exercised Monday – Friday without fail. Why do I have trouble now? I don’t have someone else telling me to do it every day. I have to tell myself to do it. That’s the part that is difficult.
Self-management is hard. It is hard because no one cares whether we do something, unless it is something we obligated ourselves to. Did you miss a workout? No problem. Did you miss a workout with your trainer or workout buddy? Big problem.
So how do you solve the problem? You solve it by making the self-management task so easy that your mind doesn’t fight it. You start with a mini-workout to get yourself into automatic mode. Once your mind expects to do something, the workout gets done because you trained your mind to expect the workout to occur. It has automated the workout task in its wiring. Once this rewiring occurs, the mind expects it to happen, and it solves the problem.
What I learned recently is we can undo this wiring. Fail to workout for a few days or weeks, and the wiring, which was strong initially, fades. You lost the habit, the neural pathway supporting this habit deteriorates, and BOOM—no more habit.
So now, I’m going back to the mini habit foundation phase. This requires doing something small every day so that your mind doesn’t resist it. One exercise for a few reps and that’s it.
If you are struggling with your exercise routine or need to establish one, here’s a great book for you to read, which tells the tale of Stephen Guise and how he started a healthy workout routine and diet by doing 1 pushup a day. The title of the book is Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results. Click on the link if you’re interested. I am not an affiliate. I enjoy recommending good books to my readers.
Well, that’s it for today, folks. I hope all of you have a terrific Saturday.
Until next time…