In today’s episode of The Better Self Show I bring a bit of a crazy idea I got sometime ago which helps to understand how physics can play into creating new habits with the help of this metaphor I thought of.
You may understand the episode better if you listen, but if not just bare with me.
Isaac Newton formulated some important laws of motion. The first one says that an object will remain at rest or in constant acceleration unless a force acts upon it. The second one that the force necessary to move an object is directly proportional to the object’s mass… Or something like that!
And the most important part is that there is friction when trying to move objects. For our case, kinetic friction (when the object is moving) and static friction (when the object is at rest).
Now with the theory out of the way… When trying to create or incorporate a new habit into your life you can see how these forces may relate to the process. Let’s say that you want to start doing exercise as a new habit.
When an object is at rest, due to kinetic friction, it needs a lot of force to move. And when the object is in motion it needs less and less force with greater velocity.
When you try to do exercise for the first time, you will need a lot of force to start creating the habit due to static friction, and when you have been doing exercise for like a week, 2 weeks and so on.. the more you do it the less force you need to perform that activity.
And let’s say that you have been doing exercise for sometime but that you suddenly stop for a week or two. When you get back at the new habit, you may also need to exert some force but not as great as before because you have ‘muscle’ memory, or your body and brain remember that you were already doing exercise before even though you stopped for a bit.
The thing that builds the most static friction, or the resistance to start a new activity is self sabotage. Which is the self talk that we all have inside in form of resistance towards starting a new thing.
The will power is like the force needed to move the object. The more will power you have, the easier it will be to get that habit going in less time and viceversa.
Lastly, consistency is what keeps the habit strong and reduces friction so the activity you want to perform takes little energy like being in auto-pilot mode.
And I’m not gonna go too crazy on these, if you are more interested you should listen to the episode 🙂
I hope that you enjoyed the episode, that it brought some value to your life and remember that you can support the podcast to help me to keep going with it.
Thank you so much!!