The key habits have been set, and now they are about pushed out into deeper waters. But it’s only going to be a gentle push. Habits are the life force of a fitness transformation, and they have to be set up to last. That means balancing the challenge against the limits of the human psyche. It doesn’t matter how motivated you are, starting off with drastic changes ends with the programme derailing sooner rather than later.
That’s the ‘train insane’ mindset. And it’s not the mark of a champion. Instead, it usually manifests in fits and starts, with lengthy spells of getting stuck in a rut.
You might end up marching through the gym doors next January with the intention of training your ass off six days a week, unrelentingly, until you reach the body that’s worth the couple grand you’ll throw on a summer holiday. And things may start well enough, but motivation never lasts, however strong and unique you are.
It’s like the tide, it ebbs and flows, and inevitably comes with slumps. This won’t be a problem if you have healthy habits to fall back on, but there’ll be a big chance that your fitness routine won’t hold up against bad weather. Because drastic changes won’t allow habit loops to actually settle.
Habits don’t work without a clear reward secured at the tail end of the action. If you’ve started hard and fast, then it’s just a pile of extra stress that’s been added to the mix. The brain is unlikely to interpret any of that as a reward for good behaviour. The reward here is the goal body itself. And that’s nestled somewhere in the distance, weeks, months, maybe years away.
This is why small-scale additions to your routine work for the long run. You’ll have the time to gradually adjust to new behaviours, and actually start to relish the process. The reward will start to manifest in the day to day grind, not the land beyond the sunset.
Here’s how you can hack into the system and speed up progress. Enjoy the habits for what they are, actions that stabilise and brighten your mood, while offering up healthy stresses that allow the body to continuously adapt.
Bulletproof Meditation – Week 2 Walkthrough
Week 2 of Bulletproof Meditation extends the time to five minutes. It’s not a huge amount, and won’t be beyond the busiest of busy people.
- Try and keep this to the same schedule as Week 1. Habits adapt quicker when treated to identical cues. Time and location are the strongest available.
- Make sure you’re comfortable. The lotus position may be the typical setup, but if that involves you shaking throughout the session, you’ll be better off picking a spot that allows you to settle and focus on just breathing alone.
- Follow the breath for five minutes, and try not to open your eyes to check the timer, scratch that itchy spot that’s just appeared behind your ear, or shuffle to get into the ‘right’ position.
- Once the timer hits, think of five things in your life that you’re grateful for. This might be next to impossible, so you can focus on things about yourself in order to make it up to the five count.
- Perform a quick mental self check to see if you feel any different to how you were when you started the meditation. Notice faint improvements to mood levels, a slight suppression of general anxiety? You’re on your way to completing the habit loop.
Next up on Week 2’s Bulletproof Habits, will be fasting. Stay tuned as we make the most of food shortages. Chances are you’ll be using a lot less toilet roll as well. It’s a proven winner right across its list of features.