Tag Archives: habits

Embracing Limits and Such

Embrace —Synonyms
2.  adopt, espouse, welcome. 3.  seize. 7.  comprise, cover, embody.

Apparently, I’m not built for speed. I try… over and over. But it seems the only things I accomplish when I try to speed things up are a) finishing at the same pace as my slow runs (how exactly this happens I’m unsure) and 2) I hurt myself. Since neither of these outcomes are stellar, I’ve decided to just let it go, and embrace what I am!

Onto other things. Over at SUAR Beth blogged about the Subway Commit to Fit challenge. The whole idea is to make a commitment to healthier choices. Anyone who knows me, knows that I think diets are HORRIBLE and rarely work. Bottom line is the faster you take off the weight, the faster it comes back and brings it’s friends (evil, evil, evil). But choosing to make one healthy change usually has a ripple effect that spreads across your entire life. The easier it is to make that change(deciding to walk outside 2 nights a week for 30 minutes), the more likely it will become part of who you are and as a result is more likely to hang around.

Crystal, over at Am I runner… or just crazy, is celebrating her 6 month anniversary with running (yes, we runners do odd things like that). Congrats to her!! What a great commitment to a healthy change! Her post got me to looking at my dates. Today (10/7/10) marks my 277th day of my lifestyle change. 40 weeks…. approximately 10 months! That is almost a YEAR! (and yes, I make my parents proud of my mad math skills… college really paid off).

Back on February 4th of this year I blogged about habits (here is the link if you would like to read that brilliant work of literature). And how for changes that are hard it could take long time for them become part of your regular routine. But, isn’t that what makes things great? Those things that are hard, take a lot of work and investment, and really hang around? A great marriage, a great friendship, a great family? All those things develop over time. All those things make you want to cry, want to quit sometimes, but you know they are worth digging deep for and hanging on to. And when you finally realize that they are part of who you are, you’d never change a thing.

That’s what one healthy change can become. That’s what deciding to run on the treadmill one day in Dec. of 2009 did for me. That’s what saying “yes” to running a half marathon did in my life. Will I ever become an elite runner, no. But can I say that running has changed my life for the better, yes. I’m glad I’ve stuck to it; aches, pains and all.

Whatever that one change is for you… embrace it! Now, where’s my chocolate….

Habit Forming?

As I went to bed last night, this was the thought that flicked in my brain, “How long does it take to form a habit?”. This was in correlation to my new running lifestyle. It is something that I would like to see becoming part of my regular routine.  So, today I’m researching it a bit, and I found some interesting information here. If you don’t want to go read the article, this is the bottom line: the harder the habit, the longer it takes to form.

For example, if your goal habit it to eat one piece of fruit a day, then most people were able to achieve that in about 21 days. However, if your goal was to do 50 sit-ups everyday before breakfast, they found that most people took on average about 66 DAYS, and some even longer than that. Here’s a summary quote from the article:

“What this study reveals is that when we want to develop a relatively simple habit like eating a piece of fruit each day or taking a 10 minute walk, it could take us over two months of daily repetitions before the behaviour becomes a habit. And, while this research suggests that skipping single days isn’t detrimental in the long-term, it’s those early repetitions that give us the greatest boost in automaticity.

Unfortunately it seems there’s no such thing as small change: the much-repeated 21 days to form a habit is a considerable underestimation unless your only goal in life is drinking glasses of water.”

This actually helps me set realistic goals. I would like to make running a habit…but I can cut myself some slack if it doesn’t happen in a month. This is good to know! I’m not a failure… I’m just normal (ok… well maybe not normal, but you get the idea).