The Power of Habits

January 07, 2022

The year was 2018. I knew I was in trouble when I saw the reflection of my body in the window of the train, and I groaned. I really let myself go, I remember thinking to myself, in active disgust. I can’t deal with this.

A trip to the bathroom at the time revealed that I was close to weighing in at 90 kg, an incredibly unhealthy weight. This was, for me, a weight bordering on obesity. I was most certainly overweight. I realised that it was time for action.

Unfortunately, like most people, I was also lazy when it came to working out. It took me a long time to realise the severity of my weight gain: it wasn’t until 2021 that I really threw all of my strength behind working out and setting the goal to aim for my target body weight.

For the last six months, I’ve been hitting new levels of physical fitness I haven’t felt in years, maybe even ever. Here’s three key takeaways I wanted to share with you, along with some links to two books and a talk I would recommend.

Key Lessons

Do not underestimate the power of habits. Not only is it so that making something a habit can be helpful, it also means you’re putting less strain on your mind, since habitual actions are executed without any active thought. Do keep in mind that we can also build undesirable habits. To break an undesirable habit, you may want to change some of your routines and make undesirable things more difficult.

Suggested reading: The Power of Habit

Small improvements yield incredible results over time. If you improve 1% at something every day, a year later, you will be 365% better at that thing when the year is over. Results compound over time! Do not underestimate this. There are various ways to ensure you can turn something into a habit — but framing something differently, making it more attractive, seems to be the easiest way.

Suggested reading: Atomic Habits

Pursuing something you dislike will be very difficult. Perhaps even impossible. If you cannot muster enthusiasm for something, you might need to shake things up. You will easily become depressed, sad and angry if you are forced to take on a challenge you loathe. You need motivation if you wish to be able to push through when it gets hard.

Suggested viewing: Become UNBREAKABLE

For me, emotional stress and a painful breakup was the catalyst for this change. Don’t be like me — living in mediocrity — and make changes to your life faster.

It won’t be easy, at first. But it does get better. If you manage to form habits, sometimes it’ll be possible without thought.