by Asim Jalis
1. Loehr and Schwartz's stuff on exercise is pretty good. The
book is really about how to get a lot done without using up your
2. Will power and discipline are depleting energy resources. So
any strategy that relies on them is bound to fail long-term. They
reports studies in which people who used their will-power to
resist deserts the first time were less capable of willing their
behavior later in the experiment.
3. The key is to leverage ritual and routine. Ritual and routine
lowers the cognitive cost of doing something. If you do something
every day then you don't have to motivate yourself to do it. You
don't have to reason with yourself about why to do it.
4. The way to establish successful rituals is by keeping them
extremely easy at the beginning. Instead of starting on a
rigorous exercise regimen, start with something tiny, like a 10
or 15 minute walk every day. The size of the walk doesn't matter.
What matters is that you do it every day. Under no circumstances
can you skip the walk.
5. When I got back into going to the gym for several weeks I went
to the gym just to get a shower. I would shower and come home. I
kept my shaving stuff in the car so that the only way I could
shave was by driving to the gym. Once the gym habit was firm I
could build on that.
6. The advantage of forming a habit incrementally, with an
extremely low bar at the beginning, is that the other parts of
my life were able to adapt to it. The time I woke up, the time I
showed up for work, the time I went to bed, all adapted to my
routine of going to the gym every day. And so after a while going
to the gym becomes effortless.
7. A 10-minute walk done every day is more effective than
swimming for an hour at random times on random days of the week.
The key elements of a successful routine are: specificity of time
8. You can alternate behavior to break the monotony. Do one thing
on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and another thing on Tuesday and
9. Once a rhythm is in place the rhythm carries you. It is
extremely resilient. It takes a lot to knock it out of place.