Habits: The Key to Everything

Currently I am in the process of weeding out my bad habits, of which there are many, and supplanting them with some good ones. The most successful so far, primarily as it is the one I started with, is regular exercise.

Now bear in mind that, at this stage, one of my bad habits is smoking. The worst when it comes to fitness. Thankfully I am feeling it as more of a blight as my general fitness increases but it is the one thing I am really struggling with and am finding difficult to break. (The whole truth here is that for years I was a habitual smoker of marijuana. That habit I have well and truly broken but unfortunately I have noticed an increase of smoking regular tobacco as a consequence)

The exercise habit I started very small and was very fortunate to receive a weight bench and cross-trainer for free shortly after beginning it. This meant I was able to set up a small gym in my shed which certainly helped as it provided ease of access.

For the first few weeks I actually did very little exercise, not even breaking a sweat, and considering how unfit I was that is quite a statement. What I was doing was creating a new habit of simply putting my fitness wear on and going into my shed for a while. It is so much easier to push yourself on, regardless of how little you want to do it, when the actual exercise isn’t very tough and doesn’t last very long.

Once that habit was set, then, and only then did I start to increase the weights I was lifting and the time spent on the cross-trainer.

Now, after roughly 8 months, I am in the position where, by the second day of no exercise, the thought of it becomes like a thorn in my mind, a constant nagging, as the habit calls me to be fulfilled. It consumes me until I get out there and get it done.

It was this first small success which has helped provide me with the inspiration and hope that I can reshape myself into a better version of myself. If I can create one habit out of nothing, despite the smoking and lack of fitness, I can achieve anything.

One thing about people with good solid habits which has struck me is their ability to continue with their good habits regardless of their mood. I have always been the type of person who reacts emotionally to things and who, when feeling really low, lets that consume me to the point where trying to do anything is a struggle. But seeing that the successful people in life, the ones with strong habits, are almost the opposite. Whether sad or happy they fulfill their duties. Their habits seemingly overriding their emotional state. I believe I have reached that stage with my exercise. Now I just need to apply that to everything else.

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