Run, run, run

Habit formation experiences

They say habits die hard. But forming habits itself involves a great of mental and physical effort. How do you rewire your mind (and body) to stick a routine? Do goals help? Are leaderboards for real?

In this session, Shrayas Rajgopal shared his experience of how he became habituated to running, and how running helped him develop anchors in the last three months of the #lockdown.

Summary of the session:

  1. Your sense of motivation has to be anchored into a purpose. Therefore, clarify why are you taking up a habit. Get your intention right.
  2. Start small. But repetition is at the heart of habit bulding. It is only when you repeat that your body and your mind starts recognizing the activity and adapts to repetition. Do it until your habit activity is second nature.
  3. Then modify/add a challenge, once the mind and body have adapted to the habit. Repeat. Small increments is what matter most. Repeat.
  4. Accountability - have an accountability partner to who you are responsible for reporting. It could be a coach, a partner or someone who is genuinely interested in your growth. But seek a non-judgmental partner.
  5. Keep it simple. Follow your actvity with your body’s feel. Don’t jazz up with devices and gadgets.
  6. Some days will be hard. But get up, show up and do the activity as per time. This is how your build habits (and also how you build communities).
  7. Take your habit slow. A high is temporary. Cadence and gradual adaptation is the magic.
  8. Some habits are a matter of mind. Don’t burn yourself out by overdoing.
  9. Pain is a good indicator of how your body is adapting to your habit. Pain is of two types: perceived pain and real pain. Perceived pain is illusions of pain that the mind creates. Actual pain is distress. Don’t mistake one for the other.
  10. The more you work, the more results you get. (Isn’t that remote work has ended up becoming?) This is a hard NO. Rest is mandatory to perform better.
  11. Sleep and rest help in building the physical and mental muscle of your habit. Add rest between your habit actvity.
  12. Perform ancillary activities that help you build the strength of your core habit actvity. Like strength training for running.
  13. All the good stuff happens when the pace is in place.
  14. When you are building the habit, sensitivity is everything.
  15. Start small. Everything that is initimidating, just cut that thing off.
  16. Focus on your habit. Distractions are everywhere.
  17. Put in the time. Don’t give in to excuses. You will thank yourself later when you don’t give in to excuses.
  18. Don’t push yourself more than you require.
  19. Play the long haul. Habits yield results when you focus on the long-term than the short-term.

Post questions that you’d like Shrayas to answer in the Comments section.