Thursday, January 10, 2013

What's Working for Me

Specific thoughts that helped me with running, 
big picture ideas that can help with all good habits.

     The first step to making my home feel good is making me feel good. A little selfish, I know, but I feel more inspired to attack the annoying chores like dishes, laundry, and sweeping the floors when I feel accomplished in taking care of my personal health first. When I succeed at eating right and exercising I feel like I can conquer the world! In the spirit of everyone posting about New Year's resolutions (weight loss, exercise, diet etc.), I though I'd post my latest "Better Yourself" venture...
     Lately, running has been my thing. I've tried to get into running over and over again. It never lasts. But this time something's different. Here's what I've found is working better for me.

     First of all, I lowered my expectations. I'm not trying to run everyday. Not nearly. In fact, I'm OK with once a week if that's all I can fit in. This keeps running as something I can enjoy doing, lifts the pressure a bit. Especially in the winter months, I only go when I really want to and you know what? I find that makes me want to more!

     The next thing I did was download the Nike+ app for my phone. This has made ALL the difference. Nike+ tracks the distance you run, your average pacing, your pacing per mile, your overall time AND tells you when you break your personal records! Armed with this many statistics, you can always find something you did better than the previous run, and knowing you're making progress every time feels really good. The best part about the whole deal? The app is free. Ta-da!

     Lastly, I use getting the right equipment as a reward to myself for keeping up. In all good habits that I try to develop (going to the gym, running, drinking more water, etc.) I reward myself for sticking to it by setting aside a few dollars here and there to purchase equipment that makes the habit easier. For running? I told myself if I was still running regularly and enjoying it when winter came that I would buy clip-on tracks for my shoes so I could run in the snow.

     Well, the first snows have fallen and here are my Yaktrax! $35 later, I'm running on the rail trail through a peaceful winter landscape! I love it! Next I'm working towards an armband for my phone :-)

Running in snow is kind of like running on sand. Holy sore quads, Batman.
      In conclusion, my suggestion for successfully getting into new, healthy habits is to find inexpensive things (like free apps!) to make your new habit  fun, or at least positive. I don't think it's the best idea to go out and immediately drop hundreds of dollars on equipment and accessories for whatever it is you're trying to do. Then I feel too much pressure and a lot of guilt if I don't feel I've justified the expense. Work up to the purchase of small, useful things that keep you going because they make the habit easier and save the big purchases (like, perhaps, a pair of running shoes) as something to strive for in the long term. It seems right when I'm about to get bored, I hit another goal I've set for myself, treat myself to something new, and I'm inspired to jump back in. 

     Hope this helps!

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