Bundling habits.

How could you use your exercise habit to your advantage with other habits?

I am listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear. One recommendation to build habits that you want to develop is to tie the habit to a reward – so you can only do X (the reward) when you do Y (the new habit you want to do). One of the examples in the book is someone who likes watching TV and can get sucked into binge watching shows; and who also wants to start riding his bike. To get him to ride more, he somehow hooked his bike to his TV/or computer used for tv, and set it up so that his show would stop if he wasn’t riding a certain speed and he couldn’t watch if not riding. As you might imagine, he started riding his bike a lot more!

Most of us couldn’t figure out how to set up such a complicated system; and anyone who doesn’t live alone probably would have some unhappy family members even if they could pull it off. But the idea is a fun one.

If you are reading this, and already a triathlete, chances are that you have already achieved working out as a habit. Something you do without thinking about it just because it is something you do. There may be things or systems that motivate you, but you have figured out what that is and it isn’t the challenge it might have once been.

Could you use that to your advantage? Could you actually tie another habit you want to develop into your workout routine? Perhaps you want to listen to more books – could you always listen to a book when running or on your bike? Or, while I don’t think that treat foods should be eaten just because you exercised and burned calories, I do think you could choose something that you only eat after a certain ride or run. Perhaps it is a ride to a special coffee shop with a treat you love – and you decide only to visit the coffee shop if you rode there? I guess the treat isn’t a habit you want to develop, but maybe you would look forward to that ride more?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.