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Habit formation: Beware these 3 habit breakers

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So far we’ve gone over the 3 stages of forming a habit, told you the importance of keystone habits and unveiled the truth behind the 21 day habit formation theory. If you’ve followed our steps, by now you should be working hard, focusing on small changes every day and slowly but surely getting into a routine.

However, forming good habits is a continuous process. No matter how ‘in the flow’ you may be, it’s important you are prepared for setbacks and interruptions that could potentially throw you off track. Don’t let your fitness regime stall. Look out for these situations and avoid spending weeks getting back on track once you return to normal.


Changes to your daily plan, like illness or vacations, can potentially throw a spanner in the works. If these do threaten your training progress, the best thing to do is try to keep your daily schedule as normal as possible. Even if an injury or illness prevents you from training, set your alarm at the same time in the morning, get up, and do the best you can to stay on track. Being on holiday doesn’t mean you have to stop. Instead, slow things down. A slow run along the beach in the morning, stretching session before bed, or visit to the fresh fruit section of the buffet, instead of the pastries, are ways to keep your habit in place, even when mentally and physically you are somewhere else.

Try not to panic or get demotivated. Sometimes these interruptions are a blessing in disguise. See it as a chance to take a well-deserved break and allow your body to fully recover and come back twice as strong.


Everyone experiences disappointment and discouragement. Even world class athletes. Days when you don’t reach a PB. When you feel weak or don’t like what you see in the mirror. Maybe you’ve been so consistent and focused, but someone’s comment on your weight gain has left you feeling like this isn’t working and your hard work isn’t worth it. Remember, this setback is only temporary. You will most certainly have to push yourself harder during these periods of disappointment to stay on track. But it’s like a wave you must ride. As long as you stay on top and don’t quit, you’ll get back into the flow. Bad comments are usually a sign of jealousy. Not many have the willpower to do what you do. Remember that.


Ever heard of “The killer instinct”? This is the ability to maintain concentration, composure and self-control when things are going well. Often athletes let a positive frame of mind slip away because of overconfidence. This can result in good mental habits being replaced with bad ones, which can cause you to slack. Confidence is believing in yourself and your abilities to continue being at your best. Cockiness is when you believe that you have already made it. That you are the special one and therefore no longer have to give it your all. When you are cocky your standards slip. You start skipping training because you think you’ve done enough. Don’t let this happen. Sure, you should be proud of yourself. But always believe there is more you can achieve.

Unfortunately good habits are not as simple as brushing your teeth. You must prepare to be faced with struggle and willing to put up a fight. But these small changes are the first step to achieving huge goals later in life. Put in the work now, and reap the rewards later.

Good luck on your habit formation journey. Remember, you can return to our habit formation series whenever your willpower is low or you feel yourself straying from the plan. There’s a good reason why you are doing this. Stick at it.