Creating a very simple version of your new habit is extremely important to creating a habit that sticks.
But at some point, if you keep doing the exact same thing the exact same way, it will become boring and the results will mostly likely come to a halt.
My goal a few months ago was to re-establish the habit of exercising.
Here is the process I used to do that:
I wrote previously about the Habit Change Formula and the Seinfeld Method and about how important those 2 steps are in the Habit Change process.
Today I’m going to talk about the 3rd part – “Tweak The Habit To Produce Better Results.”
To understand how to tweak an exercise habit, it’s important to understand the criteria used to create the habit.
I wanted to keep things as simple as possible so I came up with the following criteria for my exercise habit:
- Bodyweight Only
- Upper Body and Lower Body
- Able to do anywhere
- 5 Minutes Or Less
- No Equipment
Again, the first goal was to create the habit of exercise, NOT the most incredible fat burning workout. That happens later.
So the solution given the criteria above was: 10 Perfect Pushups & 10 Perfect Air Squats as these two exercises address all the criteria above.
And to keep things really simple, I decided to do 10 of each. Fast, easy and simple. All the key ingredients to creating the new habit.
However, after a few weeks the routine became boring and I wasn’t seeing new results. So I decided to tweak the exercise.
There are many ways to tweak an exercise routine to make it more effective but some of the most common ways are:
- Add More Reps
- Add More Sets
- Add More Exercises
- Change the Angle/Position of Exercise
- Reduce Rest Time
- Add Weight
So over the past 12 weeks I’ve done all of the above.
- Add More Reps: In the beginning I was doing 10 Pushups and Air Squats, now I do 40.
- Add More Sets: I was only doing 1 set of each exercise. Now I do 4 sets of each exercise.
- Add More Exercises: I’ve added pullups & chinups to the routine.
- Change the Angle/Position of Exercise: I change the angle of each exercise from wide to narrow.
- Reduce Rest Time: Since I’m doing more reps, I need to rest less between sets to stay within my 5 minute window.
- Add Weight: To stay within my 5 minute window and continue to make progress, I need to work harder during those 5 minutes. Adding weight makes each rep harder so I can do less reps but achieve greater results.
As you can see, the habit starts out very simple but if you continue each day and make slight modifications, you can quickly accelerate progress.
So if you’d like to create the habit of exercise, I encourage you to give this formula a try.
Step 1: Pick 1 simple exercises to do each day.
Step 2: Make it a goal to do just 1 rep of 1 exercise.
Step 3: Do the 1 rep (or more) and then mark an X on your calendar (Seinfeld Method).
Step 4: Continue doing that each day and if you start to get bored or feel like progress is not happening, make a slight tweak to make it harder.
Step 5: Track the changes and progress. This helps on the days that you really don’t feel like doing the workout. When you see your calendar full of X’s, you won’t want to break the change.
As always, if you have feedback or questions, feel free to reach out in the comments section below or send me a note through the contact form.