When a new member joins your club, they stand on the precipice of making a profound change to their lifestyle.  Starting to work out a couple of times per week might not seem like a major overhaul, but exercise is a unique sort of habit with wide-ranging implications.

Our lives are full of little habits that have developed over time, from the way we drink our morning coffee to our evening ritual when we get home after a long day.  But not all of them are created equal… Some, called “keystone habits,” have a compounding effect that influences other parts of our lives as well.

Exercise as a keystone habit

In his book, "The Power of Habit," Charles Duhigg explains: "When researchers look at how people change their habitual behaviors, they find that when some changes occur, it seems to set off a chain reaction that causes other patterns to change as well."

Exercise is one of the best examples of this phenomenon.  Many people report that as working out becomes a regular part of their lives, it suddenly becomes easier to make other healthy choices too, like eating better and getting to sleep earlier.

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It's all about self image

Duhigg continues: "The power of a keystone habit draws from its ability to change your self-image."

The reason keystone habits have such a profound impact on lifestyle is our innate desire for consistency.  Essentially, our internal narrative goes something like this: "I exercised, so I am a healthy person.  A healthy person would eat salad rather than a pizza, so I'm going have salad for dinner."

If we do not align our other behaviors with our newfound self-image, we are forced to grapple with an uncomfortable sense of cognitive dissonance that arises from our inconsistent choices.

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Helping members establish their own keystone habits

When new members join your club, resist the temptation to try changing everything at once. Beginners don't need a strict regimen that includes 3 exercise sessions per week paired with supplements and a radical new diet to "get fast results."  Instead, they need simplicity and focus to change one keystone habit” at a time, and then let the secondary benefits come naturally.

CoachAi helps your members build a keystone habit out of exercising at your club. Learn more 👉