There’s a myth that says it takes 21 days to create a habit. I think it takes a bit longer than that, especially when it is an activity that is complicated or time-consuming. Exercise falls into this category, so it takes time and consistent effort to really make it a habit to do it every day.
This month, hubby and I are trying out three new 30-day challenges. One each for thighs, butt, and arms. We aren’t specifically trying to target fat in these areas (which in itself is a myth), but wanting to work in more strengthening exercises in addition to our cardio.
For me, adding exercise is best in small doses. These challenges start with just three exercises each and gradually add in two extra exercises and higher repetitions. We are in the first week right now, and the whole routine takes us less than five minutes to complete! By the time we get to the end, I anticipate it taking between 15-20 minutes total. By adding them in gradually, we use this 30 days to condition our bodies and prepare for more strenuous exercise in the future.
So what happens when our thirty days are over? That was one of the first things my husband asked, of course. The answer to that is: anything. We could keep going, adding more and more repetitions, or adding in new exercises to try out. Or we could find a new 30-day challenge to try. The important thing is to stick it out and then keep going.
The more often and the longer you do something, the more likely it is to become a lifelong habit. I would much rather have a good exercise habit, than a bad couch potato one.
So, if you are looking for ideas to start a new habit of your own, try out some of the 30-day challenges listed below, or make one of your own. It doesn’t even have to be fitness related! Commit to thirty days of no binge watching, or a month of drinking one full glass of water right when you get up in the morning. It could be thirty days of cleaning the toilet every day, or four weeks of no fast food. Make it yours but make it attainable for you.
And then when that thirty days is up, look at your accomplishment and marvel at how much you have improved, or how nice your bathroom looks, or how much better you feel, and then keep going or add something new to your good habit list.
Links below are the challenges hubby and I are doing for the month with great printables that make it easy to track our days: