Let me start out by saying that I am not an expert in the area of building a habit. If you are looking for a magic trick, I sadly don’t have it. If you have the magic trick, please help a sista out and let me know what it is. This comes from my personal experience, and nothing else. So, you might wanna lower your expectations. Anyways, lets proceed.
Have you ever experienced a Sunday night where you are struck with an extreme amount of motivation to develop a new habit/begin working on a goal starting on Monday morning? I honestly think bedtime on Sunday night is the witching hour for motivation and good ideas. Have you ever decided, “Beginning tomorrow I’m going to start waking up at 5:30 and working out before everyone else gets up!”?
Yeah, me too.
And how many of you actually get up on Monday morning and do it? What about Tuesday? If you’re lucky you might catching yourself doing it on Wednesday. But Thursday? Forget about it. And then the cycle repeats itself. Do you want to know why?
Because of your highest level of training. Let me explain.
Forming a habit or trying to reach a goal has a lot to do with your mentality as opposed to your skill. So, how is your subconscious supposed to know how badly you want to get in shape/write that novel/practice your new hobby/insert goal here? Well, it looks at how you’ve handled something like that in the past. It reaches for the lowest bar, which is typically your highest level of training. And yes, this sounds counter-intuitive, so let me give you an example:
If you wanna wake up every day for the next thirty days and work out, but you’ve only made it to day 4 when you tried to do it in the past? You will probably teeter out around day 4 again. Sure, you might be able to push to day 5 or 6, but overall your subconscious reaches for the highest level of training. Since your previous highest level of training was giving up on day 4, that’s typically where you will quit this time around. And if you’re anything like me, you get really frustrated and wonder what.on.earth.is.wrong.with.me?! Well, let me tell you people, ITS A VICIOUS CYCLE AND IT NEEDS TO END.
But, I have good news, friends! It doesn’t have to stay this way. Let me tell you about my recent experience:
Personally, my HLT was about six days.
For me, until recently, getting into the habit of exercising looked like getting up early to work out for about 6(ish) days in a row until I decided to quit. I couldn’t have told you why I quit, I just did. But then I read Girl, Wash Your Face [I may never stop talking about this book, sorry not sorry]. Rachel starting talking about reaching your highest level of training, and it really helped me because now I have something to work past instead of wondering why I usually quit a few days into the routine. So this time, I pushed past day 6 and now I’m starting week four of working out in the mornings. And no, I don’t do it every single day (because I tend to get unhealthily obsessed if I do), but I’ve made a lot of progress!
Please hear me when I say that I know there are many other reasons why starting to accomplish a new goal might be difficult. This is just something that I learned and wanted to share with you in hopes that it might be encouraging to someone.
So now I am going to ask you: What is your highest level of training? Push past it and don’t accept defeat before you even start!
*The main idea for this post, and the term “Highest Level of Training” came from Girl, Wash Your Face, so I cannot take all the credit for this post**