Establish the Pattern, then build on it

When you are trying to establish a new daily behavior pattern or habit, the focus should be on getting the habit established.  To do this you need to focus on eliminating or minimizing obstacles to carrying out your actions every day, or at least most days.

Typical obstacles are inconvenience, time spent and will power required to overcome inertia.  If you want your habit to last you will need to take all of these into account.

For example, suppose you are starting an exercise plan that requires 30 minutes travel each way and a vigorous one hour work-out.  The time required and the pain experienced would likely derail any but the most motivated to repeat the regiment more than a very few times.  The exceptions may be a motivated athlete training for an event or someone under the influence of a coach.

For the less motivated, an exercise program that is shorter and less painful would be more likely to succeed.  If you select exercises that can be performed in 15 to 20 minutes in your home or office, you have lowered significantly the barriers to daily exercise.  If you connect exercise with another activity you like such as listening to music or watching a short video, suddenly a daily routine is obtainable and even pleasurable.

Once the daily pattern is established, it has momentum.  Incrementally, it is not that costly to add 5 minutes or another exercise to an established regular pattern of exercise. In this way, from small beginnings, a modest exercise program can be gradually expanded.


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