In an idealistic world, habits are formed by deciding to adopt a new practice, and following through with it struggle free. However, this is not the reality that we live in. Building any habit is in effect transforming some aspect of your lifestyle. Which is big! And also why it is going to take time, patience, and lots of practice. Luckily, there are many many people have successfully (and unsuccessfully) done this, and recorded it! Here are a few pointers we can offer you:
This is vitally important. You can do anything for two or three days without real reason, but if you want something to really stick, you will have to give it meaning. Reflect within yourself why you would like to start biking and write it down. Give yourself the logic you will need to help sustain your new practice.
Many people will often over fantasize about their end goal, fixating on the product forgetting about the process. This can sometimes negatively impact your chances of success because forming your new habit is essentially creating a new process. When scientists asked participants to also visualize themselves practicing the new habit they stuck with their new practice much more than if they had only visualized the results.
Graphic is from Bikeyface!
The simpler the task, the more likely you are to stick to it. For this reason, when first starting out biking begin small, commit to no more than 15 minutes of riding a day. Make it enjoyable for yourself and pick the same time of day Before you begin to tackle larger transformations such as becoming a full-time bike commuter- begin by riding every day for 5 minutes.
Set yourself up
Make it insanely easy to get yourself ready for biking. Do some minor rearranging, if necessary, and place your bike lock and helmet next to the front door.
Create a Trigger
Give your new habit a place to live. What is the last thing you do before you leave the house? Do you put your lunch in your bag? Put your shoes on? Lasting habits exist largely on routine triggers, knowing this you can create your own trigger. In order to do this, you will identify the last thing you would do before you set out on your bike ride (grabbing the keys, putting on your shoes, etc.) and attempt to do it in the same exact order every time. This will help your brain begin to prepare to go for your ride every time you grab your helmet and put on your sneakers.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
Research is providing evidence that in order to transform a new lifestyle habit successfully, it requires frequent repetition over an extended period of time. However, it is not detrimental for you to miss one day ( or even two!). If you were to miss a whole week, there might be negative impacts on your progress.
Another hot tip from Darya Rose: Utilize positive thought while practicing your new habit. When you are beginning a new practice it’s easy to lean-out and feed into discomfort, however, negative thoughts are not going to bring about desirable results. Instead, focus on the positive- embrace the outdoors, think about how good your body is going to feel, tell yourself how proud you are for sticking with your new habit. It will help reinforce the idea of the habit as a positive experience and increase the likelihood of it becoming second nature.