Help Your Members Make Exercising A Habit

habit

Members join a club for a reason. Usually, that reason has something to do with a fitness goal, like losing weight or improving overall health. Members typically have the utmost intention of hitting their target — however, it can still be tough.

Even though the goal is attainable, why do some members still not achieve it? Most likely, the cause is the member has not created a habit of exercising. A habit is formed when a member creates a trigger, establishes a routine and rewards him or herself for completion.

For example, Colgate tried to work out how they can sell more toothpaste. They concluded that customers were brushing their teeth once a day, but if they could convince customers to brush their teeth twice a day, overall revenue would double. So Colgate started educating customers that brushing their teeth twice a day would not only help with dental health, but also heart health and much more.

However, this still did not move the needle, until the behavioral scientists came in and told Colgate they were doing it all wrong. Colgate did not need to educate customers, but rather give them a sense of instant satisfaction. By adding a citric acid into the toothpaste mix, customers felt a tingling feeling from brushing their teeth, providing a sense of accomplishment that the behavior of brushing their teeth has achieved something.

Once that thought has occurred, dopamine — the “liking” drug — runs around the brain, causing customers to feel good about it. When a customer gets triggered to brush their teeth again as they are getting ready for bed, because the brain remembers the dopamine that was released the previous time, a little bit of dopamine is squirted out into the brain. This is called an urge, and it’s how all good habits and bad habits are formed, including the habit of exercise. If you can give customers an instant sense of reward, it will drive the habit cycle, which will get your customers to want to come back again and again.

It’s that simple! Just remember never to eliminate the reward within the habit loop, or frustration will kick in and the habit will begin to fall.

Nicole Maue is the marketing and PR executive for Myzone. She can be reached at nicole.maue@myzone.org or 312.967.6353.

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