Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Forming a habit, and improving performance

The other evening I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. She was looking very chic, very glamorous, and very French. It helps that she is French, but nonetheless she was on form. We had good fun catching up on a lot of news.

At the end of the evening she let slip that she has been making it a habit to get to the gym by 6am. It’s good, she reasoned, I don’t have to think about it, I just do it. I’m still half asleep so I hardly notice how tough it is, and by 7am I am showered and set up for the day. I hate to think what time she has to get up, but it’s certainly a great habit for top performance. And it showed in how vibrant she looked and sounded.

Lately I have been in the habit of starting my morning with sun salutations. 6am yoga has become a welcome and rewarding habit. Like my friend, I know that when the alarm sounds I should be finding my mat and brushing away the excuses. So far it’s working and I’m feeling happier, stronger and more supple.

Aristotle famously said that “we are what we repeatedly do”. He is right, and the antithesis to paving your road with good intentions that never get implemented.

Performance is a lot about finding good habits that make a difference for you, and then following through. So often we know what we need to do to improve performance, but somehow lack the will to make it happen.

Exercise is right up there in the performance big hitters. I’m finding it oddly empowering to be meeting up with my toes on a regular basis again.


  1. Makes you wonder if the only way of doing healthy things is by not thinking too much...

  2. Never thought of it like that, but now you mention it... My ability to think about anything at 6am is pretty limited, and so far the bending and stretching is still on track. Forming a good habit is so powerful, it's steering clear of the bad habits that is so much more challenging!

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