Here’s (yet another) pictureless post. I’ve really been enjoying writing lately, so there may be more of these to come. Hope that’s cool.
Anyway, I wanted to write about habits, and healthy habits at that. I found this definition of what the word means:
Habit: regularly repeated behavior pattern: an action or pattern of behavior that is repeated so often that it becomes typical of somebody, although he or she may be unaware of it.
I’ve heard somewhere that it takes 7 times of repeated action for it to become a habit. I don’t know where I heard that, but I have to disagree. I want to talk about the importance of doing something just one time to turn it into a habit.
Habitual behavior is great because like the definition states, it soon becomes so typical of somebody that they may even become unaware of it. Best example I can think of here? Flossing. I never used to floss. I’d go to the dentist every 6 months and they’d ask me, and I’d say, yeah, I floss once in a while. And that was over-exaggerating it for sure. I never flossed! But now, I floss every day. At least once a day. How did I turn this into a habit? I bought a back of floss sticks and put them in my car. Have you tried floss sticks? They’re great! I don’t know about you, but cutting off my circulation in my fingers while jamming my fingers back into my molars wasn’t too enjoyable. Flossing that way just wasn’t gonna happen. Floss sticks changed all of that. Now, whenever I’m in the car I automatically open my compartment between the front seats, grab a floss stick, and go! Oh, and by the way, last time I went to the dentist they noticed. They actually for once complimented me on my flossing! And I thought I could lie and they couldn’t actually tell the difference…Ha!
So I strongly believe that once you do something the first time, it’s likely to repeat (and repeat and repeat…) When I was in Laguna Beach a few weeks ago I took this beach boot camp class on the ocean. The instructor had us doing all of these new exercises, many of which were completely unfamiliar to me. He made a comment that although the movements may be foreign, our bodies are capable of improvement in very short amounts of time. He encouraged us to repeat the exercise to get our bodies used to it and learn how to balance in this new position. The exercise I’m talking about is balancing on one foot and touching that foot with the opposite hand while leaning forward and putting the other foot up in the air. Supposed to tone your glutes and help balance. It’s hard! I was falling over left and right! Definitely was gonna take some getting used to…
But ever since Laguna, and ever since I finished my half marathon, I’ve been taking this trainer’s advice and trying out new types of exercises, such as that one. This new exercise has become a go-to of mine, along with some others like squats, lunges, spider-man push ups, planks, knee raises, and butt kicks (for lack of a better way to describe). Also, sprinting. What I usually do is run about 2 miles then start doing these other things in circuits. It’s definitely become routine, and habitual. I was sore at first, but now not so much.
With something like Yoga or Pilates, or running, it’s the same thing. It may be intimidating to start out, but once you just try it once, you’re very likely to incorporate it more often. Same with early morning work outs or dieting. Don’t you find that he first day of your diet is the toughest? Then you get used to it. And it’s not so bad. I think that especially with dieting, when you’ve been eating greasy foods then you switch to healthy fruits and veggies, your body is immediately thrown off. But fight the urge to retreat back! I promise-after some time, you actually lose your cravings for french fries and onion rings, and a salad or a piece of fruit sounds better!
Anyway, it just takes one time to break the habit. Try new things! I mean, there are so many new foods, exercises, healthy habits you hear of others trying/doing- so why can’t you do it too? You only live once, so you might as well break your unhealthy habits and give the healthier ones a try. Nothing to lose- and SO much to gain! Remember: Just once.