On March 19th I had my first class in a running group. I had always wanted to start running. I know it’s great for my health, stress reduction and mental/emotional health. I never had a desire to run marathons or triathlons – maybe a 5K, but that’s it.
Having said that, I didn’t quite believe I could start running. But I attended my first class and was able to run the required amount.
I kept attending and kept increasing my distance and speed. Eventually I was running 5 days per week and feeling pretty good about it.
Then I moved and started a new job and my life got busy. At first I just let a day or two pass without running – I was still running 3 times per week. But it’s a slippery slope I tell ya!
It’s now been two weeks with absolutely NO RUNNING. I’m so sad. I know I feel better when I run. I know I can do it. I simply made up excuses as to why I couldn’t quite fit it in, but that I would surely do it the next day!
I think this is quite common for people who are starting a new habit (exercise, meditation, cooking, sleeping better, etc).
Lots of energy and motivation in the beginning. Then life gets busy and it’s easy to put it off for a day, or two, or a week.
Fortunately there is a way to get back on track fast. Spend a few minutes thinking about why you started your new habit in the first place.
Why was it important for you to start? What value did it fit with?
For me, I value my health and know that running will improve my health. I saw impressive changes in my body quite quickly, so I know it works.
It’s important for me to remember how good it felt to run, how easy it was once I got into a good pace.
It’s important for me to remember how it fits with my long-term goal of being healthy and having a good quality of life as I age.
Once you remember why you wanted to start your habit and why it’s important to you – do something to make it a bit easier to resume your habit.
For me, I will bring my running clothes with me to work so I can go right after work, instead of coming home and getting busy with house stuff.
For you, it might be playing certain music that motivations you, attending a class, saying No to another event so you have the time and energy to resume your habit.
Do something that makes it easy to get back on track.
Now that I’ve written this post, I’m already feeling my motivation coming back. I think I’ll throw on my running clothes and shoes and get a quick run in before I talk myself out of it.
How do you get back on track when you’ve let go of a healthy habit? Let me know in the comments!