I wrote a post on my fitness regimen a while back. I am happy to report that I will be completing 3 years end of this month. The biggest thing is that I work with a personal trainer who is simply brilliant/world class. I can’t believe that a guy like me who hated exercise is now a fitness evangelist !! - kudos to my trainer.
I have several insights to share if you all are interested?
Today i want to write about how i went from doing 2 pushups to 50 pushups everyday?
Exactly one year back, 2 years into my fitness program, I decided to become ambitious and put exercise into my daily routine. Just then I came across Stanford Prof BJ Fogg’s brilliant Tiny Habits program [we have since adopted the broader Fogg Behavior Model for software design in my team].
Prof Fogg’s insight is that the best way to change ourselves is by building that change as a habit. While others have also talked about that, Prof Fogg’s brilliance lies in the 2 big ideas in his method to build habits:
1. Make the habit tiny enough to make the Cognitive Cost of adopting that habit close to zero.
2. Anchor the habit to a pre-existing habit, so that it becomes an extension of the pre-existing habit.
I applied these 2 ideas to create a Tiny Workout:
1. I chose pushups based on my trainer’s advice and decided to start with 2 pushups – doing one was easy, but doing 2 was a bit difficult but not too much. So the Cognitive Cost is low.
2. Next step was to choose an anchoring habit – i chose rolling off the bed – something i have to do everyday (i am sure you do too )
With this design, i started in September 2012 – roll off the bed and did 2 pushups which took me 2-3 seconds.
By April 2013 i had hit 15 pushups and i noticed for the first time, my triceps breaking out. Per the ABC theory i believe in, I started seeing benefits.
In the next 4 months, i made such rapid progress that it amazed me no end. On August 18th, i hit 50 pushups – wow – not sure i would be this happy even if I had climbed Mt Everest
During the course of my journey when i hit 25 pushups, with my trainer’s help i added hyperextensions, lower-half supermans and some stretches.
Today the count stands at 50 pushups, 40 HyperExtensions, 20 lower-half supermans and some stretches. And the whole routine takes 4 minutes up from 2-3 seconds. I plan to increase the workout duration to 10 min over time. Please wish me luck.
One of the things that worked for me is a resolution I made – never skip my Tiny Workout. Even on an international flight, I surprised my fellow passengers and the stewardess by doing my Tiny Workout I do it when i am travelling and even when i am on vacation.
After i hit 20 pushups i changed the anchor habit to post-morning ablutions because i found it hard to do pushups without emptying the bowels. Since the habit had already formed, i was able to switch the anchor seamlessly.
I have since taught Tiny Habits to many people who find it very effective. I have also personally formed new habits in other areas of my life.
Have you all tried Tiny Habits?
A big thanks from the bottom of my heart to Prof BJ Fogg.