You may have realized that our name is a play on words with willpower. Willpower is often defined as the strong determination that allows you to do something difficult, such as exercising, losing weight, or even simply waking up for those 5 am workouts. Sounds easy, right? Just have a ton of willpower and we can all make awesome changes!
Not so fast…
Today’s POWER Pointer touches on the fact that research shows that a change in habit, as opposed to stronger willpower, may just be the key to making lasting positive changes. Forming a new habit is actually stronger and easier than being steadfast in your willpower. And the best part is, if you establish a habit, it can carry you through, even at times when you can’t seem to muster your willpower. Just as we fall back into bad habits when our stress-level is high and we have little self-control, we also fall back on GOOD habits.
So, what’s the best way to establish a habit? According to Dr. Barry Tigay, Ph.D., founder of Oakland Psychological Clinic, P.C., you can establish a habit in small easy steps, the key is to just be regular and consistent.
For instance, to get into the habit of exercise, the three components should be: frequency, duration and intensity, and they should be prioritized in that order. While some studies show that to turn behavior into an automatic habit, you have to do it at least 20-25 times, Dr. Tigay doesn’t even think there is a magic number to make a habit stick. Just the more you do something, at a mildly challenging pace, the stronger the habit will become and the easier it will be to keep doing it.
So think about that, if you transform that “sometimes” cycle class into a regular Sunday 8:30 am cycle class, you are more likely to show up, even when your motivation is shot. Who’s ready to start their WheelPower habit?