Why You Should go to the Gym The First Day of a New Job

February 15, 2017

Gretchen Rubin has good advice on how to form lasting work habits.

So it’s your first day at a new job. You want to make a good impression, and so the last thing you should focus on is starting a new habit like going to the gym, right?


Gretchen Rubin, author of three New York Times best sellers and a LinkedIn Learning instructor, has done extensive research on habits. What she’s found is that the habits we form are incredibly impactful, with up to 90 percent of our day governed by them.

Think about it yourself. Sure, each day has its own unique aspects, but the vast majority of your life is dictated via your routine, aka the habits you’ve formed over time. Therefore, if you want to change your life, you need to change your habits.

So let’s go back to the point teased in the opening of this article. When you start a new job – or really, have any big change in your life like a change in relationship status or a new child – it represents a clean slate in our lives.

What happens during that clean slate is that many of our old habits are wiped away because our routine is altered. Therefore, it gives you the opportunity to form new habits, Rubin said in her LinkedIn Learning course on creating great workplace habits.

So if your goal is to go to the gym more – or spend more time with your children or read more or whatever – the absolute best time to start is on the first day of something new. That’ll quickly incept the new activity into your routine to the point it’ll become a habit; and once a habit is formed, it’s very hard to break.

Bottom line, most of us look at habits as a bad thing we need to drop, like smoking cigarettes or eating poorly. But you can just as easily form good habits, like working out or always leaving the office by 6 p.m.

And one of the best times to form those new habits is whenever you confront a new chapter in your life, like starting a new job.

Want to learn more? Watch Rubin's full course, Creating Great Workplace Habits.

Other LinkedIn Learning courses you might be interested in are: