In Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, he writes about “keystone habits.” Keystone habits are those habits that have the power to start a chain effect. That is, establishing a keystone habit leads to the establishment of other good habits—almost effortlessly (I wrote about something similar this week, but I labeled it “strategic goals“). Here’s a quote from the book:
“Studies examining the impacts of exercise on daily routines show that people who start habitually exercising, even as infrequently as once a week, start changing other unrelated patterns in their lives, often unknowingly. Typically, people who exercise start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed… For most people, exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change. There’s something about it that makes other good habits easier” (emphases mine).
Note the statement that I bolded in the previous paragraph. “For most people, exercise is a keystone habit.” Those who establish the habit of exercise can probably expect other good habits to follow—and without near as much effort as it took to develop the exercise habit. I can vouch for this statement, as I have experienced it in my own life. I wrote a little about this in Success Breeds Success. Starting the running habit has led to so many other positive changes in my life—physical ones, mental ones, even spiritual ones.
That is why I am encouraging you, my readers, to fully commit to some kind of exercise program—walking, running, biking, etc. Because I care about you. Because I want you to experience the endorphin high. Because I want you to enjoy the bonus changes that will follow the exercise habit. If you haven’t already joined the 30-day challenge, may I encourage you to make the leap and commit to 30 days of exercise? And to give you some added help and incentive, let me tell you about an exciting app I just learned about.
GymPact is a program whereby you make a “pact” (i.e., a promise to yourself) to exercise X number of days a week. If you keep your pact, you get paid. If you don’t keep your pact, you pay! How’s that for incentive?! I love it!
Now, I know you’re bursting with questions, so here’s the link to GymPact. Click on the “How It Works” button on the linked page to see a quick video that summarizes the program. Here’s the link to the GymPact Support Center (aka, Frequently Asked Questions). This will answer your questions—how do I get paid, how do I pay, how often do I have to exercise, how do they know if I have exercised or not, etc. Unfortunately, it appears that the app is only available on the iPhone at this time, but it is being developed for Android.
Also, GymPact has just hooked up with Runkeeper, an app that I wrote about in My Favorite Fitness App. This is significant because prior to the Runkeeper/GymPact partnership , you apparently had to go to a gym and “check in” to verify you were working out. With Runkeeper, you can work out anywhere—walk, run, bike—and the GPS will verify your workout. So if that’s important to you, you will need to integrate Runkeeper with GymPact. You can do that here.
I am really excited about GymPact. Why? Well, it’s not because I expect to make a lot of money with it, but I think it could really help some who need that extra little push to stay consistent with their fitness endeavors. I’ve signed up myself just because it may tip the scales for me on one of my “lazy days.” I am going to take it slow and easy at the beginning as I test out the program, but in the near future, I may use it to help me incorporate at least a day a week of biking into my routine.
Are you already using GymPact? How about sharing with the rest of us via a comment what you think of it? What about Runkeeper? You know I’m sold on it. Do you use it? If so, I would be honored if you would be part of my “street team.” I love to cheer and be cheered on in fitness endeavors. Leave me a comment, and I’ll tell you how to find me on RK.
Have you taken on a new 30-day challenge this month? Please tell me about it in the comments. I love hearing from you!