My first Quora answer

Quora recently announced a massive breach of user data. Thousands of users are canceling their accounts.

But as you know, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so I’ve signed up today and answered the first question that popped on my screen. 🙂

“What is the best way to form and keep a habit going? For example like working out and dieting.”

I’m pretty bad at forming habits myself, but I somehow managed to keep going to the gym for the past 4 years, while also losing or gaining weight. So I’ll throw in my two cents.

Some of the reasons why it stuck with me:

  • worked out 5 days/week – this is considered to be bad advice as beginners should not work out as often as intermediate/advanced lifters. But as long as you don’t overdo it, you’ll be ok. Not taking day offs made it easier for me to turn it into a habit.
  • made it lifetime goal – I made it clear to myself that I won’t be doing it just for one year, or two, or until I reached a certain level. It’s a lifetime goal.
  • lowered my expectations – I don’t know a single person to be completely satisfied with the progress they made. They’re all happy because they look and feel better than 6 months ago, but “it could’ve been a bit better”.
  • for weight loss/gain – nothing worked best for me than starting to track my calories, see where I’m at, and then go up or down based on my goal at the time. Drastic changes to your diet won’t stick. You have to slowly adjust it, eating less/more, replacing one bad food with a healthy one.

As for forming other habits, you should do what most people recommend: force yourself to do it for a long period of time while also finding some kind of satisfaction/pleasure.

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