mnmlist: Changing habits – Running
Why is it so hard to change our habits? Have you ever tried not to do things that are just on auto-pilot?
I challenge you to try and go to bed without brushing your teeth. Try even considering the possibility of not brushing them. It’s hard. It’s hard, mostly, because there really isn’t
a good reason not to.
Earlier in the year I tried to make a weekly exercise routine part of my weekly habits. My reason for doing this was so that I could be fitter for skiing at Easter. Guess what? After my skiing trip, I stopped running. I didn’t have a reason.
I’ve started running again. This time I’ve got a new reason and I remind myself of the reason often. It’s simple. I feel better. Also, I’m more productive, I enjoy my food more and I glow with an incredible sense of smugness. Bonus.
However the reason isn’t enough on its own. I have to do some other stuff too.
Here is the full list of strategies I have used to go running every other day for the last month:
1. I remember my reason
And I never forget it.
2. Costume is everything
My aim is not to run. My aim is get out the door in my running gear.
3. I only compete against myself
There will always be someone who can run faster and further than me. I go far enough to feel the benefits without making me dread going out next time or getting injured.
4. I plan my runs
I don’t wait until I feel like it. (I hardly ever feel like it.)
5. I go running in the morning
I can’t run when I get home from work. I know I run best in the morning.
6. I leave my stuff out so it’s the first thing I see in the morning
It’s hard to ignore.
7. I reflect on how good it feels.
Busy people can move too quickly to the next thing.
8. If I miss a run (which I haven’t for a month) I don’t use this as an excuse to give up
This is not keepy-ups. It’s not about how many you do in succession, it’s about the habit.