Keeping Your Resolution on Track Using the Principle of Three

Chris Tse Blitz Conditioning Edmonton Barbell

I’ve heard that upwards of %25 of people aren’t able to maintain their resolution by January 7.  Ok that sounds a little negative especially for the first blog of the year.  Let’s look at it half full:  %75 of all people maintain their resolutions after 7 days which is awesome! So how do the 75% keep their resolutions?

It takes about 90 days to adopt a new habit in any maintainable way.  For some this may seem like a daunting task especially if we’re looking at something that’s self improvement related like working out more.  My key strategy has always been to break it up into small guaranteed wins.  I recommend that people break a habit change up using a principle I’d call: “The Principle of Three”

I’ll use exercise as an example but we can extrapolate this to things like quitting smoking, increasing the amount of time you’re reading, etc…

1) First start with committing for 3 days.  So exercise for three days straight.  If you’re just starting off, try a smaller amount of exercise, 10 or 20 minutes.  Do something that’s easy too, maybe a treadmill or stationary bike, or some basic functional movements.

After 3 days, rest, take a few days off and pat yourself on the back.  Our bodies need time to adjust, give it that opportunity!

2) Now commit to 7 days but this time, go straight for 3 days, and take a day off, then go again for another 3 days and then rest. Bump up the time you’re exercising by 5 minutes each interval of three days if you can.

3) Now commit for 3 weeks with the same principle of 3 days on, and 3 days off and then rest for a few days.  Here you can bump up the time interval as your schedule permits.  Change up the exercises too.

4) Now commit for the rest of the 90 Days!  Always try and keep exercising at the exact same time during the day. Schedule it into your calendars and block it off so nothing can interfere with it!

Got it?  Seems way easier when we break it down to smaller bite sized chunks!  Remember what we’re trying to create are positive and permanent lifestyle changes.  These times are both stressful mentally and physically and we need to appreciate the fact that our bodies need to rest during these times or we’ll stand a high chance of not maintaining the change.  This Principle of Three is actually quite founded in science so try it out!

Remember goal setting night on January 11th!  Come on down and we can really hash out some amazing goals, laugh a lot and just have fun with the community.  Click here to register.

About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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