If you listen to the loudest voices and the wittiest memes in the fitness world, you’ll very quickly find out that there are things you’re supposed to be doing every day. Sit in a squat, walk a certain distance, move every joint through its range, hang from something…#EveryDamnDay. Ultimately, if you listened to all of them, you probably wouldn’t have much time for anything else.
I find that when a lot of people keep finding variations on a theme, there’s usually something to be learned. We keep finding value in daily habits because our brains are incredibly adaptive. We’re so good at learning by doing that our brains can literally change based on our behavior. When we do things regularly, our brains pay attention. (If that sounds interesting, stop reading this, and go research Neuroplasticity.)
You might read about “5 Things Successful People Do Every Day” and “This Morning Routine Will Change Your Life!” and think it all sounds cheesy. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter. We all do things habitually, some people just put more stock in these habits. For you, maybe it’s brushing your teeth, humming a certain song, turning off the lights in a certain order, then walking a certain route to your car, and turning on a certain radio station–all without a second thought.
This is important. Imagine having to think about every breath, every step. This auto-pilot is a big part of who we are. The fact that we can actually control aspects of it is why you have to read so many headlines.
So here’s my recommendation: the habit of habit. Pick anything you want, and commit to doing it every day for a specific amount of time. Not because that thing is necessarily good (I don’t even know what you’re picking!) or because I said so, but because there’s learning to be done. Simply by choosing this, you will have to confront a lot of questions: how specific should you be in defining the habit? How will you remember it every day? When and where will you do it? What if you miss a day? What if you don’t want to do it anymore? Does it change over time? There will be plenty more, but I’ll stop ruining your fun!
See what you learn. Then write it up, and share it with us on ThinkMovement.net.
If you do want more specific advice, I’d be happy to consult. Shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll talk through any obstacles in your way.