The One Habit To Rule Them All

If you’re anything like most people out there, you’re probably bad at good habits. Sure, you’re brushing your teeth two to three times a day, you shower and occasionally clean up the house. But when it comes to creating good habits that are beneficial for you, it often ends up as an afterthought. It’s something you do because you mean well but quickly give up for various reasons. If you don’t want to settle for mediocrity in your life, you need to develop good habits. A bunch of real good habits. And stick to them.

The problem with good habits is they’re often not fun to do. You know it’s good for you but it’s just not fun. It can take long to suffer through until the habit is formed. This is where most give up. A scientific study in 2009 looked into the time it takes to form habits. They figured it can take between three weeks to nine months for a habit to become second nature with the average time around the two months mark. That’s asking too much for most people.

Since habits have different levels of engagement and complexity to them, some are easier than others. It’s when you’re trying to do something that requires a good amount of commitment and efforts that your good habits muscle is getting a good workout. It can be overwhelming at times and become tempting to give up.

If you want to get better at it and do something that will be useful for you, in the long run, take on the habit the most successful people in the world practice every day. Behold the king of habits: Fitness.

Fitness is a habit forming habit

Fitness is something anybody can and should do. It teaches you discipline. You need patience, perseverance, and consistency to reap the benefits and see changes in your body. It’s a commitment. Not just something you do when you feel like it. If you want to learn how to create habits properly, learn from fitness. Make it a priority. Make the time for it in your calendar. Fitness also teaches you how to control yourself and become aware of your body. You learn how to control your eating and what to eat. You understand better how your body works and how to work it.

Tracking your progress helps you lay out your progress. Fitness also forces you to do research to better understand your body and what it takes to be fit. Ultimately, It teaches you to suffer for results and to experiment with various ways to obtain them. It helps you be more creative. If you give priority to fitness, you will learn the foundations of what it takes to create good habits and stick to them.

It’s all about mindset

By taking your training seriously, you develop a mindset of personal development. By pushing yourself physically and mentally, you willingly bring yourself to your limits until you shatter them and notice you have achieved something incredible. You will come to realize that if you can achieve this for yourself, you can push the boundaries of everything you know. Anything you want to accomplish becomes possible.

Discomfort is something you will start to like. No pain, no gain. There is no progress with it. It builds your mind to work through anything boring or painful until you have reached your objective. It paves the way for you to undertake any task and allow you to see it through. This is where you will separate yourself from the majority and be able to accomplish something most can’t do. You will do what it takes to obtain results. You won’t give up.

It makes you healthy and productive

Simply from a health perspective, it’s a no brainer why you should care about fitness. Aside from the usual weight loss and muscle gain argument, it’s a great stress relief and can help you sleep better over time. It also has an immediate benefit of lifting your mood and providing you with the energy to power through the day. You’ll be more awake and your mind will be sharper.

In his book The 4 Hour Body, Tim Ferriss asked Richard Branson, the owner of the Virgin Group, how to become more productive. He simply replied, “work out”. He says that working out helps him be productive for up to four more hours every day. It works for me!

One of the most important benefits that I get out of fitness is the positive effect on my cognitive functions. After working out, I can concentrate more easily and focus for longer. My memory is also better as a result. It allows me to do my job better. In other words, taking the time to work out every day can have a huge impact on your productivity and ability to perform.

Where to start

You don’t need to spend 2 hours in the gym every day. Get your heart pumping and break a sweat for at least 30-60 minutes every day. You will notice a difference. You can walk, run, lift weights, do yoga, swim or anything you want. Just break a sweat. Work on consistency and forming a habit of showing up and getting it done. Make sure to track your efforts as well. Any effort that is not deliberate is wasted. If you don’t track anything, you will be unable to measure your progress and degree of success. You can apply it to any other aspect of your life. It also helps you stay motivated and to keep your eyes on the prize.

While some will advocate to do it first thing in the morning, I simply work out based on my schedule. You can do it in the morning if you’re a morning person or want to take on the habit to be one. You can do it at night after work or during lunch breaks if your office has a gym. Go for a run or do body weight exercises if they don’t. You can also do it whenever you feel a slump in your energy levels to get them right back up. Your job is simple. Make the time and do it. I work out early in the evening so that I can stay awake and not fall asleep too early.

Do it!

If you want to become a beast at building good habits or to improve your productivity, get started with the one habit that can help you rule them all. Get moving every day, get fit and apply what you’ve learned from fitness towards your next big hairy audacious goal. If you’ve been on and off for years, get back to it once and for all and stick to something that can only be of benefit to you for once in your life. You will be thankful you didn’t give up. If you’re already on the fitness train, keep going and go achieve big things!