Habits Over Motivation

Man Running Through Town

Thursday morning was cold. The weather was slightly foggy & overcast, and I foolishly only brought running shorts & a t-shirt. Despite the conditions I ran 3.2 miles and I had an 8:57 minute pace which is the best time I've had in over a year!

This past year I've been hot & cold with running. On average I ran twice a month. But there were months where I didn't run at all. And one month where I ran eight times. There was no consistency. And every time I started running after a break I had to start all over again. Running 12 minute miles which is pretty bad for me.

Making A Habit

One of my new year resolutions was to run once a week. I want to make running a habit instead of something I did when I had a spurt of motivation.

The first run was slow but I felt energized by my new habit. There were two weeks where I ran twice just because I wanted to. The second run was slower but it felt good to push myself. To push past the minimum and know that doing something good for myself. And then last week when I was in Seattle and running along a brand new running path I decided to push myself. And I got that sub 9 minute per mile pace.

By comparison the fastest I ran last year was 9:30 per mile last May when I ran 8 times that month.

I've always been a fan of breaking a project into an infinite number of small easy steps. You don't get fit in a month. You get fit by committing to it every day. It doesn't matter what you commit. As long as you commit something. Do something to make yourself healthier.

My Lynda.com courses take 2-3 months to put together. And I break the deliverables into weekly & then daily tasks. It's not hard to script a course when you only have to write 500 words a day. It gets hard when you procrastinate and have to write 30,000 words the day before.

Tweaking the Habit

I'm happy I'm running once a week but I want to tweak the habit. I'm still not remembering to run. I usually remember when I see someone in athletic clothes. I'm going to add a reminder to my to-do list Tuesday night. I'm going to put a reminder to set out my running clothes. It's small enough I can't not do it. And with my clothes & shoes out it will make it that much easier to run the next day.

I hope that you're building habits for whatever you want to get done this year. We're not even two full months into the new year and my habit is already bearing fruits.

Happy habit making!

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