Building Good Habits (Fitness Habit)

The difficulty of each habit is not the same.  It also depends on the individuals’ characters and strength.  It is the best way you adjust according to yourself.  To some individual, exercising regularly is a piece of cake while some deem it is very difficult.  Willpower, discipline and motivation are fundamental building blocks for building good habits.  If you reach a high level of willpower and discipline, you are almost guaranteed successful on the process as long as you prioritize it.

For those people who lack willpower and discipline, it is still possible to build a good solid habit with some techniques and tips.  The following will illustrate a behavior model and 3 tips deducted from the theory, which help you better understand the human behavior.


Fogg Behavior model

This model proposed by Dr. BJ Fogg from Stanford University will help us understand and design behavior for building habits.

Fogg Behavior Model (B=mat)

Behavior (B) = Motivation (M) x Ability (A) x Trigger (T)

From the model, X-axis represents Ability and Y-axis represents Motivation.  When someone with sufficient ability and motivation, they are like to perform the behaviour.  If triggers occur, it will lead to behaviour happened.  On the other hand, if one of the element is missing, it cannot surpass the Action Line, then the behaviour will not happen.



Seek happiness and avoid suffering.

Seek hope and avoid fears.

Seek social acceptance and avoid rejection.



Time:  The time required.

Money:  The financial cost required.

Physical Effort:  The physical effort required.

Mental Effort:  The mental effort required.

Social Deviance:  The acceptance from social aspect.

Non-conformity:  Does the performer used to the behaviour?



Facilitator, signal, spark, cue

Dr Fogg suggests that we shall make sure the triggers exist, then enhance the ability.  The last one is to increase the motivation because motivation come and go.  It requires frequent stimulus.  It is better for us to enhance the ability then motivation.


Fogg Behavior Model usage

Most people quit in the starting stage.  As mentioned before, it requires discipline, willpower and motivation.  It is advised to start with easier target.  Take this as an example: someone lacking willpower and discipline tries to build their physique without any prior experience.

Since the motivation of why he want to build his physique is not likely to change.  We will solely focus the actual behaviour routine that leads to the result.  With usage of the behavior model, 3 ways are suggested:

  1. Small Target: set a small goal, like ONE set of push and 3 times a week at home. Then increase the intensity (reps/sets) gradually.  (Ability: easy to do)
  2. Immediate Reward: reward yourself with your favourite food/drinks/TV shows etc.  The rewards better be attractive and fulfil the primitive desires.  (Motivation: increased)
  3. Environment set up with triggers: Surround with triggers like dumbbells, fitness videos, motivational videos. (Triggers: everywhere; Motivation: may also increased)

Simple routine that can be easily executed.



When you start and persists on the training, you will probably see some result in first couple months.  Nevertheless, you might think the result is far from satisfactory or the process is slow.  You may feel like quitting.  Lacking patience is a common issue for most people nowadays.  When you rush training, you may get injured and quit.  If you think the target is so far, you may quit.  If you hit a plateau and lose your motivation, you may quit.

To be honest, it takes at usually 2-3 years of consistent dedicated training to have an amazing result.  It is lots of hard works. It is never a easy path.  If it was easy, everyone would have it.  It is worthy because it is hard.


Chain Effect

The above tips are just used for those people to start their journey of fitness.  It requires much more efforts if you desire amazing results.  When you start exercise yourself, a chain reaction will be triggered.  Simple workout routine as above can lead to significant change.  You will be benefited by Newbie Gains.  Your strength and physique will be improved in the first few months, as well as your confidence.  When your friends, classmates, colleagues notice and compliment your gains, you will increase your motivation significantly.  Thus, you will train harder than before and more result will come.

When you become stronger, the original “hard to achieve” target will become easier.  As a result, you need less motivation to execute the difficult routine.



In the beginning, please do not rush.  High target without foundations will probably end up failure.  Meanwhile it might lead to injury, and also jeopardize your confidence. On the other hand, a simple easy routine with the tips provided can definitely help you build a good habit and a good result from it.  It can also apply to different habits like meditating, reading.  First habit, then result.



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