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Habit Forming

Jun 23, 2013
Habit Forming

To achieve any goal that we set for ourselves, it is important to understand what the goal is and how we plan to achieve it. Simply saying ‘I’m going to get fit’ then doing sporadic bursts of exercise with no structure or progressive planning normally ends up with loss of interest and lack of results. Unfortunately there is no magic pill or hidden secret to getting results fast!


The most important thing we need to do to progress forwards is actually look backwards. Ask yourself, why am I not where I want to be? What have I been doing or not doing that has been holding me back? This could be drinking too much alcohol and eating too much junk food, not sticking with something for long enough to reach your goal, or just constantly making excuses that deep down you know aren’t good enough. Once you have identified what has been holding you back it is time to change these areas and the best way to do this is something I call Habit Forming.


Habit Forming is simply making something part of your regular routine by pushing yourself to do the task until it becomes second nature to you. For example most people I speak to on initial consultations tell me that the first thing they do in the morning is have a cup of coffee. When I ask why this is, the simple reply is normally “that’s just what I do.” This has become a ’habit’ for them, they haven’t done this all their lives it is something they have done regularly over time and now do without thinking, it’s a habit they have acquired!


The best way to do this is to start with something simple, for example challenge yourself to eat a healthy breakfast every morning and/or train at least twice a week. Setting goals that are too hard will mean you will most likely stray from the task and break the habit therefore setting yourself back to the start. Once eating a healthy breakfast and going training twice a week are no longer challenges and have become a habit it is time to set new goals. Maybe be more specific about exactly what you eat through the day and up your training to 3 time a week, and so the progression continues. It is this structured progression that leads to quality and lasting results.


Once these bad habits are changed to good habits you are now in a strong position to start moving forward and achieving your goals. Now you have proved to yourself you can commit fully to training regularly and eating healthy make sure to structure the right training and nutritional plan for your specific goals. Obviously this is where things get a little more complicated so make sure to get the correct advice and structure from a professional.


This can be applied to any area of your life not just physical training. Take your time be realistic and achieve each goal before setting a new one and you will be surprised with the results you will get. If you have any questions or just opinions on this please feel free to email me at


Written by Personal Trainer Ian Higgins. Click here to view Ian's profile!



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