In theory, sticking to a workout routine seems easy enough. You have your daily workout line-up, and all you need to do is check them off as you go. But life tends to get in the way. Whether it’s a lack of time or a lack of energy, it’s a constant struggle to achieve your fitness goals. But research says the “copy-paste” method can help you learn how to stick to a workout routine for good.
The copy-paste method involves identifying and trying out an acquaintance’s goal-achievement strategy, and in a new study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, researchers found it’s a great way to learn how to stick to a workout routine. In the study, they analyzed the behaviors of 1,028 participants who had the goal of exercising more. In the end, they found, the ones who used the copy-paste method spent more time exercising than the others. Researchers think the copy-paste method works so well for a handful of different reasons.
First, behaviors are typically more appealing when you learn them through observation. If you see a strategy from someone you admire, you’re more likely to want to mimic it—especially if it’s someone you know in real life. It’s also something you can customize, since you can copy the behaviors of friends who are into what you are (and who may share the same goals you do), be it running, yoga, or weight training. So if you’ve been struggling with figuring out how to stick to a workout routine, just get some tips from a friend. Copying their routine and trying it out for yourself could be the missing puzzle piece you’ve been trying to find for years. Who knows—before you know it, you might be the one people are going to.