Making New Habits and Taking on September

Monday 4 September 2017 by

Running, Cornwall, Clay pits

Working out is hard. It’s not as straightforward as people like to make it out to be, especially when you’re trying to maintain a life outside the gym as well. Which is why I have my off weeks (sometimes months). Ultimately, the trick is really simple, even though it might take a while to catch on. It all comes down to habits. Create a habit and it becomes harder to break it than to maintain it. Fitness is basically the same. Or so I’m told.

Perhaps I’m preaching to the converted. Perhaps everyone reading this already knows and have already put their habits in to practice. But I certainly haven’t. My fitness is spotty at best at the moment, and considering I’m hoping for a slot in the London Marathon next year, it’s about time something changed.

My habits are simple really – drink lots of water, walk every day (I have a Fitbit now which is amazing), and workout at least three times a week. But how can you keep that up when you are trying to get on with normal life?

Drinking water

They tell you to drink 2 litres of water a day. This is a rough estimate because everyone is different, and they certainly count cups of tea in that quota. But for me I find it really hard. Instead, I am trying to catch myself and form a good habit. I have a 2 litre bottle that I carry around with me when I can (or a smaller bottle if I’m out and about) and it’s my challenge to drink it all in a day. If I manage it, then I add a little tick to my bullet journal. At the end of the month, it’s nice to see lots of ticks!

Walking

Like I said, I have a Fitbit now so this is even easier than it was before. Before, I would often go for a 20-minute walk if I hadn’t left the flat all day. Now, though, I can see just how far I go – even when I am at home. 10,000 steps are surprisingly easy to reach if you’re staying as active as possible, and with reminders every hour, it’s nice to be able to step away from the screen for a few minutes and make my quota.

Working out

This is the toughest habit yet. Every workout (for me) requires me leaving my flat and going to the gym or running around Stratford. It’s all too easy to wake up and just sit there for hours, letting it go by for so long that I’ve “run out of time to workout”. We all know this is a lame excuse. Which is why I am doing several things. First, I am laying out my workout gear the night before. It’s right in my eyeline when I wake up so I can’t avoid it. It also makes it easy for me to go – no faffing around. Then I plan my week according to what I want to do – if a day is busy, I don’t try too hard to squeeze in a workout, I just accept that I might not be able to do it that day and not beat myself up about it. It also comes back to those reward ticks in my bullet journal. If I give myself little ticks or stars for every workout I’ve done, and if I can make it a whole month with three workouts a week, I get a reward. Seeing my achievements on paper make all the difference. And finally, it’s down to holding myself accountable. Whether it’s my friends or my social media, I make sure someone knows what I’m planning to do. The rule of thumb is that if at least 3 people know what I’m doing, then I have to do it. That’s the idea, anyway.

I’m by no means winning at this right now. I’ve yet to reward myself for working out three times a week, but September is the month of new starts (apparently) and suddenly I am feeling confident again. I am confident about my running, about the gym, and about getting up in the morning with time to spare. With my trusted bullet journal mapping out my habits for me, I know where my downfalls are and why and I can work to counter that. Fitness is never linear, and so progress can feel slow and boring, but it is there and it will come eventually. It’s just about laying the foundations for success, and not feeling guilty when something doesn’t go to plan.

Do you have some tried and trusted methods to staying on track?

Related Posts

Share This

1 Comment

  1. CurlyChrisCoach

    Excellent to break it down into these steps for success. I would add, attack from both ends… recording the successes as you say… and…have a clearly defined goal towards which those steps build.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *