In the last post I wrote about finding the time to exercise and how to make room for exercise in daily life. But once the time to exercise has been found, how can you stick with it and make it a habit. One way is to apply the Coupling Technique.
What is coupling? In this case, you would essentially pair – or couple – exercise with something that you normally do already. By grouping a habit with a new task, the new task can soon earn Habit Status. Here are a few examples:
Couple: Waking up & exercise – Every day when I wake up, I exercise in my living room
Take kids to school & going to the gym – Every day after I drop off the kids, I go to the gym
Chores & running – Every weekend before I clean house, I go for a run
Homework & lifting weights – Every day after I help the kids with homework, I lift weights
You get the idea; couple exercise with something that you do with regularity. It could be church, kids sports, on the way home from work, on the way to work, and so on.
The philosophy for doing this is to build regularity with exercise, not have it be something that is done sporadically when it is convenient and you have spare time. If you try to exercise with leftover time, it most likely won’t happen. I don’t know too many people these days with leftovers in the time department. “Man, it’s 3:00. What the heck am I going to do with the rest of my day?” You just don’t see it that often. We are a busy society, but I guarantee that every person you have ever seen with a great body that exercises daily still has only 24 hours in a day. When you make exercise a part of your day, coupled with other regular tasks, it tends to somehow fit in.
If exercise is not yet a habit for you, what can you couple with exercise to make it a habit?