Old habits die hard. But, sometimes, new habits are just as reluctant to take life.
How long will it take to make a good habit, like exercising regularly, stick? The question has raged between academics and life-hack gurus through the ages.
Some adhere to the 21-day-rule (or myth) – popularised in Psycho-Cybernetics by US author and cosmetic surgeon Maxwell Maltz back in 1960.
More recently, a 2009 University College London study found it took subjects anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a habit, settling on an average of 76 days.
We believe it’s somewhere in the middle, which is why our Summer Burrrn Challenge runs to 42 days. The challenge: complete 4 Fiit classes every week for 6 weeks.
Perfectly manageable. Long enough to establish a routine you’ll stick to. And with a reward at the finish line to keep you on track.
Psychologists have identified 3 clear rules for making new habits stick:
1. Find a simple and obvious cue
2. Clearly define the rewards
3. Turn desires into cravings
With the Summer Burrrn challenge, the obvious cue is taking on 4 Fiit classes per week. Committing to finding time. Making it a routine. At Fiit HQ that means every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday is Fiit o’clock.
The rewards speak for themselves once you get started. Numerous studies have shown regular exercise revitalises your body with feel good endorphins, diminishes stress and improves cognitive function.
Plus, by tracking your heart rate and reps in each class with your Fiit device, you’ll literally see your fitness improve before your eyes. Another squat PB? Guilty!
Pretty soon you’ll start craving each workout. And that’s when the magic truly happens.
In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do and How to Change, author Charles Duhigg argues that particularly strong habits produce “addiction-like reactions” that means “wanting evolves into obsessive craving”.
Your brain switches to autopilot and habits become ingrained.
Rather than fighting this reaction, reframing this craving for the purpose of making fitness addictive means something that used to be a struggle will quickly become a habit that you won’t want to kick.
Whether you’re in the Summer Burrrn challenge or not, set your weekly class goal. Stick to it. And make fitness your way of life.
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