We have become much more health conscious over the last few years. One of the centerpieces of any strategy to improve your long-term health, should be working out more. Many people struggle with working out, because it can be difficult to build exercise as a habit. Willpower isn’t your problem. You see, building good habits is not about willpower, it’s about creating an environment that promotes that habit. An ideal way to integrate exercising in your home is to set up a home gym.
Why Environment Matters
Your environment is an invisible hand that regulates your behavior. Habits are not driven by willpower, motivation or grit. These are all finite resources, and even if you try and use willpower to build habits, your willpower will diminish over time. Success in building habits depends upon environments that make it easier to do that habit, rather than hinder them.
Principles for a Good Home Gym
First, you have to understand what your exercise goals are. For example, do you want to build muscle, or increase your flexibility, or improve your reflexes, or something else. Your home gym has to reflect the goals that you have.
Automate Your Workout Decisions
Then, break down your habits into decisions that you have to make for each workout session. For instance, if you want to do your exercises in a particular sequence, set up your gym equipment to follow that exact sequence. Remember, willpower and thinking are finite resources. You want to do things automatically. The moment you walk into your gym, you don’t want to have to make many decisions.
Get in the Flow
Think about the flow of your daily life. Once again, your goal is to remove obstacles, and to make things easy for you. If you want to exercise in the morning, for example, if possible, have your home gym in the direction of your morning routine, so that it’s easy to walk out of your bedroom, and go straight into your home gym. In this way, your exercise routine gets in the flow of your regular routine. If, on the other hand, your home gym is outside the house, it can be hard to workout in the morning because of all the decision making you need to do to get outside, so either move your exercise time to when you return home, or to a time when it’s natural for you to be in the vicinity of your home gym. The idea is to have a day dominated by flow.
Remove Negative Influences
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Before you can make those positive changes, you should remove any negative influences on your mood and your ability to exercise. Anything that distracts you from exercising, whether it’s a television, or a bowl of sweets, or a stack of magazines, or something else, should be removed. For instance, when Japanese TV makers wanted to improve their productivity, they redesigned their workplaces so that they did not have to make any unnecessary movements throughout the day. Anything that distracts from your exercise goals should be removed.