Actively trying to cultivate a new habit, a good habit, is hard. Habits usually form by accident, often with no conscious thought, and those kinds of habits don't tend to be the type we would knowingly cultivate.
And once you've got a habit, breaking it is even harder. Not impossible, mind you, but certainly difficult. If you've got a bad habit you're wanting to break, the best piece of advice I can give you is: don't go it alone. Find someone - a friend, family member, trainer etc. - who can be your accountability partner and help you stick to your goal of breaking your bad habit. Of course, the other thing you can do is contact Pat and Hilal at Evolving Physiques, who are experts at helping others break bad habits and cultivate new good ones, they are also excellent accountability partners.
But, as mentioned above, sometimes a habit just happens. Usually it's not a great habit, but, every now and then, you realise that you've cultivated a good habit without actually meaning to. I had a realisation like that today.
Since I started my most recent twelve week challenge at EP, I have been sitting down at the beginning of my warm up and meditating. Early on in the challenge I did an athlete's visualisation to help get me into a head space for my lifts, but I found that, as I continued on through the challenge, the more I tried to focus on my visualisation, the more distracted I became and, consequently, the more mental energy I expended bringing my thoughts back to the image in my head.
So, recently, I just started meditating for five minutes at the start of every single session at EP, before I get into my warm up. I just focus on my breath, bringing myself back to the feel of air coming in and out of my nostrils every time my thoughts wander. One of the many benefits of meditation is that it releases energy and improves concentration and I have discovered, since I started meditating rather than forcing myself to visualise, I generally have a better, more results-driven session.
And I realised something else too.
The moment I walk into EP, my mind and body go 'it's time to meditate', without me even thinking about it. I just grab a mat, head over to a space out of everybody's way, and turn inwards to prepare for my session.
I have cultivated a good habit, that has benefited my training and assisted me to achieve results, without even trying.
Something to celebrate, methinks.
Last week was Week 6: half way through the summer challenge!
As most of you know, my big goal this program is about regaining the muscle and definition in my arms that I lost over my holiday, but I've been enjoying some other benefits too.
Since starting weights again, I'm less tired during the day, more focused, and my endurance has increased dramatically. I have less pain in my back and I'm sleeping better, all the while getting stronger and feeling great.
But, back to my arms. How have they been going? Well, have a look.
So there you have it. No magic, no steroids, no supplements, no celebrity-endorsed fad diet or the latest 'trendy' workout: just consistent training with a goal-orientated focus.
Now, I don't know about you, but I think my arms are just looking...
You don't find the willpower - you create it.
Me With No Apologies.