What Is The X Effect ?
Gave you heard of the X effect? It’s a pretty basic principle, according to which if you do one thing for 49 days straight, it becomes a habit. You notice it the first few days, but then it just gets in your routine. Here is why it is called the X effect: on a card or paper, you create a table with 7 rows and 7 columns (resulting in 49 boxes), which you can hang on a wall- each day when you do your fitness challenge, you mark it with an X on the card. It will help you on your days without motivation because you will see your progress. If you miss a day, you leave it blank, or you write the explanation in the empty box.
I’ve personally tried the X effect with 2 things. My goals were:
1. To do 3 sun salutations each day, ideally in the morning.
2. To do at least 30 pushups each day.
It seems modest, and it is. The point of the X effect is not to overwhelm you with how much you have to get done, but to get you started with a new habit. You can try this in different areas of your life, and watch yourself grow day by day. Eventually, with my two goals, I got into the habit of performing a few minutes of yoga daily because these 49 days helped me see what lovely effects it was having on my body- I was more flexible, I felt more energized before work, and believe it or not I felt like my upper body strength improved a lot because of all the downward dog times. I also started doing more and more pushups, because daily practice meant I grew stronger and stronger. Of course, I was not performing hours of yoga, or hundreds of pushups. Keep in mind this should be light, especially since you are doing this daily without rest days. If you go too intense, and you don’t rest, you might burn out quickly.
Here are a few ideas of what you could try if you want to start the X effect on your own. These are simple activities that you can easily turn into a habit, and which will positively influence your life and your health. Feel free to customize them according to your needs or level of fitness.
1. Squat Challenge
Try doing at least 30 squats each day. They can be body weight, and you can break them down into sets of 10, which you perform throughout the day.
2. Plank Challenge
You can try the X effect fitness challenge by doing planks each day. Try for instance to get one full minute of plank every day, and if you’re just beginning, there’s no shame in doing 3 planks of 20 seconds each at first. Remember to take it easy and especially to make this feel easy, otherwise you will get discouraged and this will not become a habit.
3. Pushup Challenge
If I can do it, so can you. If you’re not ready for normal pushups, try the knee pushup. Even starting with 10 pushups a day is something, because at the end of these 49 days you will have the habit of doing some exercise daily.
4. Meditation Challenge
Try to meditate for 10 minutes each day. Find 10 minutes in your schedule- it’s less than 1% of your time!- and meditate. It will bring you many benefits on the long run, and you will see that you have formed a new habit at the end of the X effect 49 days, and also you will notice your stress reducing.
Give the X effect a try, and show us your cards! Share your progress with us in the comments section or on our Facebook page, so we can all motivate one another to stick to it and make new healthy habits!