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

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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.