January 17, 2023

100 Days of Exercise

My longest streak yet. Aaaah, it feels amazing!

The three things that helped me:

1. Identity shift

In the book, Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about identity-based habits. He says that for habits to stick, we should create a new identity first. Our behaviors are results of who we are (or who we think we are). So with an identity change, you can change your habits too.

I changed my identity 100 days ago. I said to myself: I'm someone who exercises everyday. And so that's what I did.

2. Simplicity

I removed barriers. There weren't so many rules—like the time of day I was going to exercise, or the place, or whether it's HIIT or yoga or running.

There was one rule: 45 minutes of exercise everyday. And that made it easier to accomplish, whatever the circumstances.

  • Slept in? That's okay. Exercise in the evening.
  • Going to the beach for 3 days? That's okay. Swim or run.
  • Absolutely no energy? That's okay. Flexibility and some walking will do.

While having a specific time and place is good for habit building, sometimes you're forced to ignore your own rules. That's okay. Just make sure you still do your daily exercise. Wherever, whenever, however.

And, as I always say: consistency before intensity.

3. Accountability

We have an accountability group. Nothing fancy, just a Facebook Messenger group where we sent our pledge at the beginning, and then send updates everyday.

And it helped me so much. I made a pledge, so I'll do it.

There's also pride in not breaking a streak. There's the wanting to keep going, especially because other people know about it.

And so here I am, 100 days later, thanking my past self for sticking to it.

The best part: I know this is just the beginning of a more disciplined, intentional life. More good habits to build, and more rewards to come.