If you remember my post a few weeks back, one of my goals this year is to be more active physically and so I have been running three times a week for three weeks now. I am pleased, but must admit that it is quite a struggle; a struggle to get out of the house, a struggle to get started and to get going, but at least I feel good when it is all over!
While running this morning, I started thinking why it is that everything is so much harder when we are just starting out and how that often makes us give up before we haven’t really started. That, for one, is the reason that I am still not running the marathon, even though I have started (and stopped) running so many times in the past.
So why is it that some things I have succeeded doing and other things I keep failing at? There are some things that I today take totally for granted doing, like sticking to our budget, even though that was such a hard task to begin with. I clearly remember the struggle of sticking to a spending limit at the supermarket or by cutting out almost all take away. And now, it has become a routine and even hard to think that we ever did it differently.
I think two key elements in succeeding taking on a new habit are consistency and accountability. Consistency, because if we keep going at it, day in and day out, in the end it will become a part of us, something that we can’t imagine doing differently and even gets to be easy. Some say to go on for 21 days, others 90, but I don’t think you can really put a number on it. We just have to keep going until we can’t stop!
Accountability is being accountable to ourselves as well as to others. In my experience, being accountable to others gains me more success than being accountable to myself. That is why it is easier to lose weight by being weighted regularly at Weight Watchers or at the health clinic or why keeping a budget is much easier when you have committed to show someone else your bank statements every month.
In the case of this running thing, my strategy is to keep going and hope that it catches on and for regards to accountability, Dear Husband and I have decided that we are holding each other to it; on the days where I want to stay in he pushes me to get out and vice versa. As I know that I have succeeded in creating healthy habits in my life, I hope that this will be an additional one!
What are the things you were successful of creating a new habit and what are the things you still struggle with?