Strengthen the commitment

Over the years and hundreds of workouts inside and outside I’ve always said to whoever I’m training with ‘no matter what time we start or end a training session, I never regret it.’

Sure, there has been resistance in getting going, ‘excusitis’, no shows, procrastination…but as repetition and a string of show ups started to occur frequently – even if just working out for one minute something always changes.

The reason for not regretting – never regretting a workout is the feeling that comes afterwards both physiologically and psychologically. You just feel better.

Due to those hundreds of training sessions there are supportive preparatory routines built around ‘showing up’ that have directly helped.

For e.g. most evenings before supper or putting the children to sleep the gym bag is already packed and stored in the car + gym shoes and clothes are ready where I can see them when I wake up.

Doing this has eliminated the delay in the morning for searching for matching socks, what to wear and whether to rather evaluate the temperature and go back to sleep. Basically, it has strengthened the commitment.

Here’s what Duhigg says:

“If you want to start running each morning, it’s essential that you choose a simple cue (like always lacing up your sneakers before breakfast or leaving your running clothes next to your bed) and a clear reward (such as a midday treat, a sense of accomplishment from recording your miles, or the endorphin rush you get from a jog). But countless studies have shown that a cue and a reward, on their own, aren’t enough for a new habit to last. Only when your brain starts expecting the reward—craving the endorphins or sense of accomplishment—will it become automatic to lace up your jogging shoes each morning. The cue, in addition to triggering a routine, must also trigger a craving for the reward to come.”

After I finish a workout I take a few minutes to celebrate the win. I savour and appreciate having started my day in this particular way.

It does not have to be running or working out. It could be anything that you deem will contribute towards your potential.

Try it out – set up a cue, a routine and a reward and see how it works.



p.s. at the time of writing this my next reward is in approx. 4 minutes and counting. A nice stretch break! (Cue + routine + reward).

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