How to Build Training Habits that Stick

The end goal is to have fewer mental obstacles between us and our desired outcomes, whether that’s sticking to a new training plan, learning a new skill, or changing our mindsets.

Resolutions rely on our motivation, our resolve, our ability to muster the intention to do something despite the obstacles that stand in the way.

While resolve can be a useful tool to overcome singularly difficult moments, when we’re talking about transforming our bodies and becoming better athletes, that’s going to require much more than a single moment. That takes consistency. 

And when our outcomes depend on doing something regularly, with high frequency, we’re going to need an easier trajectory, an easier path, that does not rely on something as fickle as motivation.

That’s where habits come into play.

Decisions, no matter the size, are a mental burden.

Choices create options, and every option has to be processed and weighed against the others, the pros and the cons. And in our modern world we have more choices vying for our attention than ever before.

So how do we turn routines into deeply ingrained habits, so they become second nature?

The end goal is to have fewer mental obstacles between us and our desired outcomes, whether that’s sticking to a new training plan, learning a new skill, or changing our mindsets.

How do we build habits that stick?

Here’s coach Zahan Billimoria’s three strategies for creating routines that quickly turn into lifelong habits:

1. Lower the barrier to entry. When you start a new routine, aim for frequency, not perfection.

2. Keep it familiar. Eliminate as many decisions as possible and stay consistent.

3. Make it fun. Crank the music, move in natural patterns of human locomotion, and enjoy the present moment.

When we remove the obstacles that stand in the way of our desired outcomes, it’s much easier for a routine to evolve into a positive habit, and then we can escape the boom-and-bust style of training for only a single event or season.

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