It's been 3 months since you've gone to the gym. You used to go everyday without thinking. It wasn't even effort. Now, as every day passes, the thought of working out gets a little heavier. Why?
It comes down to Newtons First Law of Intertia, that, if a body is at rest it will stay at rest. Or if it's moving, it will keep moving until acted upon by a force.
Like a marble which stops rolling, once we stop moving it's harder to start again.
Remembering this, as it relates to your habits, will help you frame resistance in a completely new way. As Anthony Moore wrote, "if you can understand this law, you can become more productive and effective than most people ever will".
We all have areas in our life that we'd like to improve. 6 pack abs, work on the side-hustle or do more home cooking. Without any momentum though, it's easy for these habits to feel insurmountable. And thanks to our friend inertia, once they're at rest they'll stay at rest unless acted upon by a force.
Here's the thing though. There are certain "forces" we can leverage to kickstart good habits. And if you create momentum in these 3 fundamental areas - exercise, diet and sleep - you'll get on a roll and make gains in every other part of your life. In this article, 3 really simple yet highly effective habits which I use to create unstoppable momentum in the aforementioned areas.
Read-on to discover 3 powerful hacks to kickstart your roll.
I train everyday (weights, running, swimming, surfing) and rarely experience muscle soreness. I put that down to one thing - stretching.
It's the first thing I do in the morning after grabbing a big bottle of water. I stretch my glutes before moving onto my hammys and whatever else needs attention. For bonus points, try combining stretching with deep breathing and visualise stressors leaving your body as you sit a little deeper into the stretch.
When I stretch first thing, it's a moment for me to connect with my body. It's a moment of self-love. Plus, it enhances the mind-muscle connection so that you're more effective during a workout.
Paradoxically, the act of being still in the morning keeps me moving towards my goals. It maintains my inertia and helps me train more effectively. Stretching requires no equipment and doesn't need to be complicated - just try it, release them endorphins and feel goood.
When I cook at home, 3 things happen.
It improves my mood. When I'm in the kitchen I'm learning recipes, creating meals and feeling accomplished. And from what we know about the gut-brain connection, cooking nutrient dense meals has been proven to improve your wellbeing.
Another benefit is that dinner becomes leftovers, meaning that you don't have to eat store-bought, calorie dense meals the following day. It's a healthier option which will also save you time.
Cooking at home also saves money. You'll begin to learn which meals are cost-effective. I'm happy to spend big on quality food, but it's not necessary to eat well at home.
All of these things combined means that cooking meals Monday - Thursday will maintain the inertia of your good habits. When I cook at home I sleep better, train better and feel better. It keeps those marbles rolling.
A good day starts the night before. And I'm not going to tell you to get your 8 hours. There's a 10 minute hack I use nightly which puts me to sleep with a smile on my face and maintains my inertia for the following day.
It's simple. Before I turn off the lights to sleep, I write down 3 things:
1) What went well that day.
2) The most important tasks of tomorrow.
3) What I'm grateful for.
This 10 minute exercise has a stack of benefits. When I focus on what went well, I tell my subconcious that I want to repeat it. Taking a moment to reflect also allows my brain to slow down and prepare for sleep.
The second part is about writing down the most important tasks of tomorrow. "Important" means the deep work that will carry you towards your goals, not just admin work to feel busy. This practice helps me identify what to prioritise and I become more intentional in my morning waking state.
Plus, studies show that people who practice gratitude at night sleep longer and wake up feeling more refreshed. In fact, when I wake up in the middle of the night, I try to think of things I'm grateful for to fall back asleep. That's because thoughts of gratitude suppresses the stress hormone cortisol which can keep us awake.
This simple nighttime habit has a profound effect on my week, enabling me to sleep better, be more intentional and maintain my momentum into the following day.
The wrap up.
Which parts of your life would you like to improve? Are there good habits which have fallen behind? Remember, radical change isn't required. A small tweak to one of the fundamentals might be all you neeed. Try one of the above hacks and get those marbles rolling.
Thanks for reading guys!
Just a quick one - I've organised a Christmas appeal to raise funds for Brainchild Foundation. They do incredible work supporting the families of children with brain and spinal cord tumours. However lately, thanks to covid, their fundraising efforts have been restricted and they need our help. I'm hoping we can raise 5k and help support families doing it tough this Christmas. You can help by sharing the below appeal or by making a small donation. I will be forever at your service! Thanks guys.