It was the year 2014 I had relocated back to my home for a new job, I had to start doing something about fitness. I had been to the gym many times in my life before but for a short span of time, I was never focused enough to see the results so I ended up leaving it after a few months.
This time I and my brother decided to join it together just to keep our motivations in check. The reason my motivation was higher than the rest of the time was that I had suffered from cervical the year before this one.
The journey began with getting a membership for 6 months each and not with my own money but by borrowing it from a friend.
Building the habit
The hardest part of anything in life is trying to get the right thing, we all know what is right for us but we all struggle to shed our lazy skin.
Resistance inside our brains has killed more people than cardiac arrests.
When I started lifting weights I felt how weak my body was and lifting even 5kg was a challenge.
Just to give you a little insight into my regular weekday I travel to the office by taking a train and it takes me around 1.5 hours one side so in total it takes me 3 hours every day. A lot of times while traveling you don’t get to sit because of the rush on the train. Since I am not a morning guy the only time I can go to the gym is after coming home. I made a point to immediately change and leave for the gym, the monkey brain tried to trick me into stopping me by giving myself excuses like I am tired and I need to rest, despite that I made sure I do it for 3 days at least to keep myself at bare minimum fitness levels.
Slowly week after week I just kept on counting my 3 days of the week and not thinking anything else not even checking my weight that’s how weeks turned into years and this year in September I would be completing 6 years of working out.
Maintaining the habit
The real challenge is not the first month of gymming it’s when the honeymoon period with motivation gets over. I have seen so many people faltering after a month or two because they don’t see a visible change in their body which just affects the effort they are putting in without seeing the output.
“Don’t put in average effort and claim that you want exceptional results.” James Clear
This explains why people will never achieve a good shape or would feel satisfied with the fitness routine. I think the key to maintaining the habit is to tie it to a reward like at the end of the week you would have a cheat meal.
The habit should come into your daily routine and should not feel like you are going out of the way for doing it. It should be like after A you subconsciously have to do B like while having dinner you watch TV or Netflix.
I call it average effort because you are not feeling the connection between your mind and body once you feel it that’s much greater than any output you will ever see.
The investment you do in your body would affect every aspect of your life you start getting into shape, your confidence level goes up, you just start feeling optimistic about things, given enough time if you can change your body you can almost achieve anything once you put your mind to it.
Forming a habit takes time and our monkey brain tends to procrastinate, example this article which I planned to finish a month earlier. So you have to fight the resistance, just don’t plan a lot of things and try ticking simple checkboxes for the day.
I would highly recommend anybody trying to build habits read the book Atomic habits by James clear its a great read you will end up working on his advice for sure. Also, there are various habit-forming apps or trackers which can help you with constantly reminding you to follow your schedule as well as track your progress.