I started off this journey with a goal to create a better body. To gain the health benefits of being leaner and fitter, but also (and mostly) for vanity. I wanted to look better. That in itself has always been around as a desire, and after multiple spells of making effort over the years, this time it has stuck. I’m doing this and continue to do so. It’s now gotten to a point where I don’t ponder if I’m going to work out, but instead have to plan timing and which workout to do. Habit has truly taken place.
When I began, I needed short-term targets. My goal of 100 workouts, though quite a big target, was easy to break down into 4 or 5 workouts a week, each and every week. Really short-term numbers that would add up, but would also be of a size that I could really focus on. Since the holidays I’ve had, the numbers continue to increase. I have a target of 250 now, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not really chasing them any more. I don’t care about the numbers, because I have reached the point where exercise is a habit, and therefore I don’t need a goal to keep me doing it. At least, a short-term goal isn’t necessary. Instead, I focus on getting my body to where I want it to be. I can move away from the smaller picture that used to drive me, as the work ethic is now secure. I don’t even need to remind myself of the long-term goal, because I know it will come. Each time I go and exercise, I’d another step towards where I want to be. I work hard, feel good that I’ve achieved something, and then move on to other activities for the day. I’m sure that makes it sound like exercise has maybe lost a bit of focus, or my desire is lacking, or the enjoyment is lost. Actually, if anything, I’m enjoying working out more. My array of workouts has increased. My running times have dropped significantly. I’m lifting heavier and better than ever. I am driven to keep doing better than the last time. When something becomes a habit, the doing part becomes easy. The part that’s hardest when you’re starting out, which is the actual motivation to attend, disappears with habit.
So, what’s the point of this post? Well, I suppose I wasn’t expecting exercise to become a habit. I wasn’t expecting to just know I’m going to workout and not need to motivate myself to do it. I thought I’d always have times when I didn’t feel like it and have to motivate myself. I thought I’d always been looking for a way out. A way to avoid the effort for a day. The same as many people do, and the same as I have done before. It’s amazing that it all changes, and I didn’t expect it.
Changing habits is hard. Creating new ones take time. However, if you can keep looking at short-term goals, and work on achieving them, eventually, that things which was so hard to start and to keep with just becomes something you do. It happens magically, all by itself.