Creating a healthy habit takes time. You have to know why you want to achieve a certain goal. Then it takes deliberate action each and every day, consistently, to make it stick. Instead of overwhelming yourself with the bigger picture goal, try breaking your habit down into “actions per day”. Here’s how.
Image by Moyan_Brenn.
Actions per day (APD) is a play on “actions per minute”, a video game term that describes the superhuman number of actions professional Starcraft players blaze through to move closer to a victory. For our purposes, we’d measure the actions we take per day that move us closer toward our fitness goal. These actions can be things like weighing yourself, going to the gym, taking a walk, making a healthy choice at a restaurant, trying a new food or activity and so on. Each of these count as one action. Set a target APD for the week, tally up your actions that week and make it a goal to gradually increase your number of APDs week over week until it all becomes very second-nature.
NerdFitness also notes:
Some actions you will take are going to be habitual. It might be difficult to start running or eating veggies, but eventually it’s going to be a breeze. These are the best ways to accrue actions because while they may difficult at first, they get easier and easier until they don’t even feel like work. Eventually, you are living a healthier life on auto-pilot.
One-time actions are basically anything else that helps you pursue your fitness or health goal, like signing up for a gym membership or learning to cook a meal.
Every one of these actions should be related to your health goal, and progress is measured over the number of actions you take toward it. To see NerdFitness’ example of how this looks in a week, check the article below. It isn’t going to be perfect, but what’s important is that you take action in the first place.
How to Increase Your Actions Per Day [NerdFitness]