Creating Good Habits

I’ve been thinking about going back to the gym for almost 3 months now. There are many reasons why I should. This is so obvious, it is silly to even need to enumerate them…

I know without a doubt that adding regular exercise to my weekly routine would be highly beneficial. It would promote good physical and mental health, get me away from the hussle of my work routine, allow me to be more productive when I get back to work and give me something to get motivated about when I see results. I am paying monthly membership fees anyway, so it would actually make sense to use the gym, right?

Danny, my massage therapist, reminded me again yesterday that I have to take that first step. I have now decided that this is a very important element for my general health and keeping in line with my work on The New Happy Me, I must structure my day to include going to the gym in my daily routine. I have no excuses.

I want to open a parenthesis here, I promise it will be relevant. Danny also told me about something extremely interesting yesterday: the neuroplasticity of the brain. This is a concept explained by, among others, Nor­man Doidge in his book The Brain That Changes Itself. I would like to pick up the book one of these days as it sounds very interesting (it is also compelling and motivational too apparently); even when a part of the brain becomes dysfunctional, work and practice allows neurons to re-link and the brain re-learns what it had lost (or learns what it never had to start with). This becomes miraculous when you consider brain damages caused by trauma but think about what you can do on a personal level for things you want to “teach” your brain to be comfortable with… something like enjoying exercise perhaps?

Danny also told me about the 21 Day rule of forming habits. After our talk yesterday, I did some of my own research and there are many books about it and online mentions of this theory. The brain apparently picks up on a change when it is asked to form the link for 21 days without interruption. This creates a new habit. Food for thought… or reason for action! If all it takes is 21 days of pushing myself to do something, with the potential of integrating a desirable habit successfully in my lifestyle, then I’m in!

Now I am simplifying all these concepts but I want to relay a straight forward message; when we decide and put our minds to it, we can accomplish anything. I am proud to announce that I went to the gym this morning. It wasn’t an easy work-out but I had to start somewhere. I was eager to get back home and write about it (notice I’ve been writing my blog every day for over 21 days now…! ) Knowing that the end result is The New Happy Me is well worth the effort! :)

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