Zero to 45 Consecutive Days: How I Developed a Daily Exercise Habit

This year, I am focusing on habits that help me develop new skills and take care of my health. One of these habits is doing push-ups every morning. I went from not doing push-ups at all to doing them every morning. As I write this, I am on a 45-day streak. From zero to over a month non-stop, this is how I did it.

This post was originally published on Belle Beth Cooper’s blog .

Start small

Since the release of my Productive Habits course , I’ve focused on building new habits. One of the techniques I focus on is to start small. I’m a big proponent of this method, as are other habit and lifestyle experts like BJ Fogg, creator of Tiny Habits , and Leo Babauta, creator of Zen Habits .

There are two parts to starting small: making your habit so simple that you can’t say no , and focusing on consistency .

Let’s start with simplification. I do five push-ups every morning. Very little. I wouldn’t call it a full-fledged workout. It’s not enough to just sweat. But it doesn’t matter, because it is greater than zero .

When you start with a new habit, you want to find the least amount of that habit you can do and still feel something. I could start with one push-up, but after one or two I don’t feel anything. Five push-ups are enough to feel a little struggle, but not enough to get you started with a hard work. Getting down to the floor and doing five push-ups is trivial, which is exactly what you need when you’re just starting out: something so trivial that you can’t say no.

The second part of starting small is to focus on consistency. You want to strive for quality, not quantity. This is not about doing 50 push-ups in a row, or losing weight, or collecting six dice. We are talking about push-ups, regardless of the number, every single day .

I recently started adding five squats after push-ups. But after a few days, I found that I didn’t want to do squats every day. Sometimes I was in a hurry to do push-ups, so I skipped the squats.

And that’s okay. Because all I have to do to keep my streak going is five push-ups.

It’s only when I’m confident that I’ll do five push-ups every morning, without being reminded, no matter what happens, will I focus on doing more push-ups or adding more exercises that will become part of my daily habit with no excuses. …

Keep it in focus

I always focus on developing one new habit at a time . If more, then I forget something or try my best to support them every day because my attention is broken.

To help me focus on a habit I’m currently developing, I write it down in two places: in my notebook and in my to-do list.

I use a notebook to keep my daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists. At the top of each daily list, I write the habit I’m working on. When I have worked out my daily habit, I will cross it out. This is a helpful reminder throughout the day, whenever I look in my notebook that I need to quit my habit if I haven’t already.

Another place where I mark my habit is in the task list. When I review my monthly review and select a habit to work on a month in advance, I’m doing a task for a new habit with a due date on the last day of the month. I try to keep this task visible every day in my main task list (you can do this in different ways depending on the application you are using – for example, using filters or saved searches, adding an asterisk, high priority status, or setting the start number to the first number months).

Add it up

Aside from starting small, habit folding is perhaps the most beneficial method I’ve found for forming new habits. Habit accumulation means using an existing habit (even one that you didn’t create on purpose, such as waking up, showering, or brushing your teeth) to trigger your new habit.

For push-ups, I use the shower as a trigger. Every morning I’m going to take a shower, turn on the water, then fall and do five push-ups while the water heats up. I’ll have to adjust this as I do more push-ups so I don’t waste water, but for now, I just make better use of the time I usually stand and avoid cold water.

From zero to 45 days in a row: how I developed the habit of exercising daily | Belle Beth Cooper


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