How broken windows impact your health and fitness

In Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point he brought to light the idea of the broken window theory – although it’s been around since the early ’80’s.

The broken window theory is fascinating, and I believe it applies so much to our health and fitness.

It suggests that people on streets with lots of broken windows, graffiti, garbage, etc., are more likely to throw trash on the street, graffiti the walls, and overall have much less respect for the property on that street than if it were gleaming.

Think about it this way…

When you’re in a sparkling bathroom you’re way more likely to keep it that way.

When former Mayor Giuliani first become mayor of NYC, he went after the small infringements like meter skipping for subways, graffiti, and getting rid of the guys that washed car windows whether you asked them to or not.

He felt that if you attack the small nuances, the serious ones like assault, rape and murder would diminish.

He was right.

So, I believe this applies to us as well…

I find that:

When my office is messy, I’m not nearly as productive, organized and on point.

When my kitchen is messy, I tend to order in food more.

When my laundry is piling up, I skip the gym because I don’t have any clothes to wear.

When I don’t have healthy food stocked up, I’m way more likely to eat unhealthy.

I try very hard not to let the small annoying things build up.

Seems like common sense but it can make a BIG difference, and it’s certainly not common practice.

Like —> spending just 5 minutes every night cleaning and organizing, stopping at the grocery store (no matter how annoying it might be), and doing laundry every week, as opposed to letting it build up.


Is that they become DAUNTING! As tempting as it is to say, “Alright, I’ll do everything once…”, it’s much more effective and way LESS daunting to do a little every day.

I find that when I stay on top of these small but impactful tasks, staying consistent with my diet and exercise is easier.

Just like nothing begets nothing — consistency begets consistency.

So, if you’re unsure of what to do this evening, why not spend some time cleaning and organizing?

Small things can make a big difference and we might as well make them work in our favor.


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