When inspiration strikes to take on a new challenge or make some positive changes, it’s a beautiful thing! You’re excited, and you start creating the perfect plan to accomplish what you’re setting out to do. At the beginning, when you are full of motivation, even tough things feel easier to do. But as the weeks go by, inevitably life starts to get in the way and before you know it, that “perfect plan” has gone out the window.
Sound familiar? Hey, we’ve all been there! The truth is, relying on motivation alone isn’t enough, because motivation comes and goes. This is where habits and skills come to the rescue!
Let’s take consistent training as an example. For so many of us, the motivation to exercise isn’t something we feel all the time. We might feel excited about training as a new year kicks off, or when we are participating in a challenge, but that feeling can dissipate for a variety of reasons. If it’s cold and gloomy in the morning, you might not “feel” like getting up to train when the alarm goes off. If you’ve had a stressful day at work, you might feel more “inspired” to hit happy hour with your co-workers than hit the gym.
A couple of months ago, I chatted with Breakthrough members Rich and Lisa about how they stay consistent with their training, despite busy work and family schedules:
LISA: I think at this point we’ve just tried to make it a habit. So, we don’t have to think about it. We just do it! RICH: It has evolved. Sometimes we drag our a**es out of bed to come here or just not feeling it, but we show up. BREAKTHROUGH: Well, we all do that sometimes! On those mornings you have to drag yourself, what helps you get here? LISA: Well, on my own I don’t like doing strength training, so I need a practice where it is forced on me. It’s good for me and I want to be strong, but I wasn’t going to get there on my own. I knew I needed a place where they focused on strength and weights and all that stuff. And it’s nice to do it with Rich.
So how do we get better at creating habits? By taking small actions that help us practice skills that support the habits we want to have.
Rich and Lisa’s habit of getting to the gym three days a week is supported by practicing the skill of showing up even if they don’t necessarily “feel” like it. That skill is supported by the small action of having set training appointments. I don’t know specifically, but there are likely other small actions that also help them practice that skill - like not hitting the snooze button in the morning, or getting organized the night before so they have less to do the next day before they leave for the gym.
Of course this process of actions, skills and habits doesn’t just apply to training! It works for anything and everything from other health and fitness topics like nutrition and recovery, to financial goals, to creative pursuits. When motivation isn’t there, habits help us keep taking care of ourselves, help us keep moving forward, and help us remember our value.
Help us Practice Skills
That Support our Habits
Yep. It’s pretty simple, but that doesn’t mean easy. As Lisa said, one of the things that helps her keep her training habit is that she and Rich do it together! Having support can make all the difference.
That’s why we created our new Nutrition Skills Accelerator 4 week program. It’s all about fast tracking your nutrition skills to help create habits for long term success, with the support of coaches and teammates. It’s open to non-members as well as members, and can be done remotely if you can’t make it to the gym, BUT the registration deadline is 4/27 so be sure to sign up ASAP!
Strength & Love,