Gyms and Fitness Clubs

What Kind of Habits Do You Have?


Webster's defines a habit as "the tendency or disposition to act in a certain way, acquired by repetition of such acts." A habit is developed over time.

Oftentimes, a habit is referred to in a negative way. This can be a habit such as drinking, smoking, or eating the wrong things. Obviously these are habits that can have a negative impact. It's unfortunate, but sometimes we don't realize we are doing these things. We've repeated the action so many times that the behavior has become second nature. Because of this, a habit can be a very powerful thing. And if the habit is a bad one, it can lead to problems.

A habit, as we know, can also be a very good thing. Exercising, brushing your teeth or wearing your seat belt are examples of good habits. In his book Success is a Choice, Rick Pitino, former head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team, talks about how habits develop consistency. But this consistency can work in our favor or against us. It's obvious that the development of consistency with a good habit is positive. However, consistency with a bad habit can result in failure.

If you are involved with a habit that you know is not serving you in a positive way, try to replace it with a good habit. A habit is a habit, right? Its been said that it's easier to eliminate a bad habit if you can immediately replace it with something else, a new habit. Hopefully, then, this new habit will have a positive impact on your life.

What better a habit to start than exercise? Think back to the story at the beginning of the chapter. Maybe the same thing happened to you. Your great intentions to start and stick with an exercise program failed.

Don't be discouraged if this has happened to you. You are not alone. It's amazing how many people give up exercise after only a couple of months. I've seen it over and over. In fact, close to 50% of people drop out of their exercise program in the first 90 days.

Those who give up on exercise after only a short period of time, do so because they haven't fully formed a habit. Remember, habits develop consistency and consistency leads to success. If your New Year's resolution to start an exercise program and lose weight failed, don't worry, at least you took action by trying. Don't look at it as personal weakness that caused you to fail, but rather the inability to develop exercise into a habit.

James O. Prochaska, author of over 100 publications, including three books, and internationally recognized for his work as a developer of the stage model of behavior change, says, "People who take action and fail are twice as likely to succeed as people who don't take action at all."

So whether you're a newbie to exercise or you've failed numerous times, let's look at how you can change your life by making exercise a habit.

Those who give up on exercise after only a short period of time do so because they haven't fully formed a habit.