There is thing which makes many people flinch and come up with all possible reasons why not to mess up with it. It is too cold, it is too warm, I do not have time, I am lazy, I do not have sneakers, it is dark, it is crowded, it’s empty, etc. Still, sport is extremely beneficial, probably the most beneficial thing what you can do to your health during the whole day. Half an hour sport of your own taste, three times a week is enough to significantly improve your life quality, your health, your appearance, your mood and even your mental health. Sport is such an amazing life-quality booster that it is seriously addictive.
How to get addicted to sport? Just do it! I know, easier said than done. But seriously, the magic of developing the addiction is to develop a habit. To split it down to more tangible acts, I will model the process in five steps:
#1 Choose your sport (difficulty: 10%)
This can be anything you like, you have some experience in or realistically you can do it, you can make time for it and it is available. If you are above sixty, do not choose bungee-jumping, because it is not good for your backbone. Choose something practical like running or swimming, or something you are attracted to like football, beach volleyball, martial art, dancing, yoga, etc.
#2 Create a nurturing environment (difficulty:20%)
Now, let’s make sure that you can practice your own chosen sport at least three times a week. If it is running or gym, you can usually go any time, but if it is a course, most probably it is on fixed days. Make sure that you have time on those days when you have your class. Do not be overly enthusiastic if your sport is not in fixed times, because that makes easier for you to procrastinate. Even if you can go any time, choose your days and timing exactly. Best to orientate the center of gravity towards the beginning of the week, so if you have to skip one lesson, you can still make it up during the same week. So, for example Monday, Wednesday and Thursday is a very viable variation.
#3 Buy the equipment (difficulty: 20%)
If this is about running, then it is easy. You just need good sneakers and it is basically enough for the beginning. Take your new sneakers, put on your oldest t-shirt and shorts from the bottom of the wardrobe, maybe a baseball cap that the neighbors do not recognize you, and set off to the closest park. There are other sport arts where it is much more complicated, and expensive to buy all equipment like skiing or golf. In those cases, the difficulty of this point is more than 20%.
#4 Build the habit (difficulty: 100%)
This is the trickiest part, and only because of this point, I decided to add the difficulty level to all other points as well. This part is namely the most important, the most difficult and the one where the most people fail. Building a habit means that you have to continue for at least one month. During this period there can be no excuses to skip any lesson. Skipping just one lesson in this “probation” period increases your chances to give up by 50%. Cancel friends, cancel the cinema, cancel your bad mood, forget about your flu and any other excuses. In the first month you have to do it 100% according to your plan.
#5 Improve (difficulty: 50%)
If you got to this point, you can take it a little bit easier. Now you have your habit, you rewired your brain, you are addicted to sport and most probably you have a certain level of joy and satisfaction while doing your freely chosen activities. At this point and onwards, it is important to develop yourself, otherwise it will be boring, and you risk giving up later. I do not speak about major improvements; small but constant steps are as good as getting ready for the marathon in half year. Develop your performance, improve your equipment and read about it. If you started jogging with your new sneakers, this could be a good time to upgrade yourself and to buy other running equipment. If you skip a lesson during this period, it is not a big issue. Also, if you are addicted to cigarette, if you skip one, you can smoke two in the next round - I believe...Similarly, with sport, if you skip one lesson, you can make it up. Your mind, your heart and your body will push you, because it is your habit.