I don’t care what anyone says, going to the gym is not a habit.
I’ve been going to the gym for years, and it’s still not automatic.
The thing is, many times when people talk about acquiring habits, they’re confusing them with rituals.
Rituals are distinct from habits.
A habit is a behavior that you repeat until it becomes involuntary (or nearly), while a ritual is a pattern that you perform deliberately.
Brushing your teeth (hopefully) is a habit. Washing your hands after you use the bathroom (again, hopefully) is a habit. Sitting down and doing creative work is a ritual. Cooking a healthy meal is a ritual.
The way that we ingrain habits and rituals into our daily routines is the same, but rituals always require a certain amount of deliberate effort. Rituals, when repeated often enough, certainly become easier to perform, but they never have the automaticity of a habit.
That’s why I’m a Ritual Coach rather than a habit coach. I teach others how to introduce productive, meaningful rituals in their lives, how to deal with the inevitable barriers that arise, and how to eliminate friction in order to perform them with the most ease.
I’m not teaching anyone how to brush their teeth regularly. I'd rather talk about how to do the hard stuff. The stuff that you know you need to do in order to move forward but that you’ve never been able to do consistently before.