The Domino Theory – for the newbie at gym…
When it comes to diet and exercise, sometimes the first few steps are the hardest, one moment we feel all enuthasitic about achieveing a goal, then we hit the first hurdle and life has got in the way and its all blown out the window. Why is this?? human behaviours are often tied to one another, if we can make a small effort to start something and repeat it, it can trigger futher achieveble goals that we never even considered were possible.
Lets take for example: Mrs Blogs. Everyday for 20 years she never made her bed, a seemly trival task unless guest were coming over. At some point enough was enough and Mrs Blogs managed to make the bed four days in a row. Once she finished making the bed, she found she also did the laundry, then tidied the cupboards, then hoovered and cleaned the bathroom. None of these extras were even a consideration intailly. The only target was to make the bed. The bed making became a chain reaction of a full blown attack on household chores. Mrs Blogs felt elevated – she had experienced the domino effect.
How can we make this relevent for our workouts?? If we are talking basics – its just getting out. Starting with what we feel we can cope with and then progressing. Isnt this the opposite to what we told? Go hard, go fast and for long as possible!! – well no wonder the bed never gets made!! The targets are too big for where we are at RIGHT NOW.
Every fitness fanatic started somewhere. I often find on my running route- I aim to just leave my house- I start running with an intial target of 30mins with an approx 5k route in mid, I might pick up something for dinner half wayish. Doing a circular route around my house ; at any point I could short cut back into the middle of the circle and be home. Every road I run down there is a left turn I could take and be home but I don’t ?? and why? Because I came out the front door! That was the hard part. Here’s my dominos I always complete the routine despite not always intailly aiming too:
It’s always good to make a list of barriers and motivations. Write these down when you feel motivated! Not deflated!
Barriers: worked all day, its cold & raining out there, tired- only had few hours’ sleep, i need to be back for dinner, I will do it tomorrow. Motivators: I will feel better for it, I’m getting something for dinner on the way, it might be raining but I will warm up, this will wake me up, it will help me achieve my goals, that’s a session ticked off this week.
This can be adapted to any style of workout: Weights for example- initial target of x3 sets of 10 at 15 kg- ends up being- x2 sets of 10 then the 3rd set goes up to 20kg.
To make good habits this will need to be repeated, prioritising it over many things that you would otherwise be doing. Eventually becoming part of your lifestyle until you can’t be without it! Of course attitude is VERY important too, there has to be an element of self-belief and deserving of the goal– “I have what it takes ““I am good enough” “I want this change & I deserve it” it’s important to be around encouraging people who are supportive of your goal who cheer you on. But also develop the character where you love yourself!! And you can motivate you- when others seem negative so you don’t become reliant on someone else’s attitude.