How-to-Build-a-Fitness-Habit-Contender-CrossFitA well-known habit-building framework outlined by author Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit, is made up of three stages: cue, routine, reward. These three stages apply to any habit you’re in the process of developing, including a fitness habit.

The 3 Stages:

1. Cue
The trigger that alerts your brain to go into auto mode. Common triggers are the time of day, a specific location, your phone buzzing, friends or family members, or even certain emotions.

2. Routine
The routine is the automatic behavior that gets triggered by a cue. It’s the physical or mental action taken because of the cue (aka the habit itself).

3. Reward
The reward is the benefit you get from the routine. Rewards make our brains happy, which is positive reinforcement and encouragement to continue the habit pattern.

With time, the cue-routine-reward loop gets programmed into your brain, and we start doing certain behaviors without much or any thought. These habit loops can be useful, like waking up and automatically brushing your teeth. But some may not be as good, like snacking on a bag of cookies every afternoon.

If you’re in the process of creating a fitness habit, think about cue-routine-reward. For example, let’s say this is your current situation:

Cue – your alarm goes off at 5 am.
Routine – you hit snooze too many times and miss the workout.
Reward – you stay in a warm bed.

But what if the cue stayed the same, and you changed the routine?

Cue – your alarm goes off at 5 am.
Routine – you grab your water bottle and get in the car.
Reward – you get a challenging workout with your friends.

Ultimately, your reward could be losing weight, feeling more energetic, or improving your health. However, since these types of rewards can take time to achieve, then it’s helpful to be aware of some of the more immediate rewards.

Creating a fitness habit doesn’t happen overnight. However, if you take a look at your current habits, you might be able to pinpoint how you can change your routine and earn the results/rewards you seek. Be patient and give yourself some time to form your new fitness habit.

Contender CrossFit in Corpus Christi is here to help you in your pursuit of better fitness. We provide quality programming, knowledgeable coaches, and a welcoming community. Are you interested in learning more about what we have to offer? Contact us today to get started.