Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Making a Habit and The First Day of School

Today J went for the first time on the bus, she had her first day of first grade, she ate lunch for the first time at school and she made a lot of new friends. This girl is growing up too fast.


M was really sad when she realized, this morning, that she wouldn't have J to play with or any of the neighbor kids because they were also going to school. Most of the kids in our neighborhood are J's age so I'm really excited for M to get into preschool in September and make her own friends.  For now, I told her that I will be her friend.  After we got J to the bus, and ate breakfast, we went on a walk which turned into going to the park.  M was convinced that if you put your hands up on the slide like it's a rollercoaster, you will go faster. 


We didn't stay too long because V didn't have shoes on (I didn't think we would end up at the park instead of him having a nice stroller ride) and the wood chips were bothering his feet. But he loves the slide too. 



We went home and did some chores and M played in her room for a while before we had lunch and went to pick up J. They entertained each other the rest of the afternoon. Maybe having them apart will help them get along better.


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I had a reader ask me about how to make morning running more of a habit. So I thought I'd share a little bit about habits today.  You can also read about how I became a morning runner HERE

They say it takes 21 days, at least, to form a habit.  So I think the first thing you have to do when you decide to make good habits, is to give yourself a time frame of at least a month. Especially when it's a running habit because runners need to take off days so that they won't get injured or burned out. Mark it on the calendar. Circle the day that you want it to be more of a habit than something you have to work for. If you're a visual person and you need to see your daily progress, mark the days off on the calendar that you DID go out for a run. 

I love what THIS article says about making habits. It talks about how there are three "R"s to making a habit: Reminder, Routine, Reward. I think this is a really good way to think about how a habit starts. You have some kind of trigger (or reminder) to do the actions (which becomes a routine) and then you get the reward (the consequence, good or bad, of the routine...the outcome).  For the sake of this post, the routine, the habit we are forming, is running. So we just need to talk about the reminder, and the reward.

PC: James Clear of JamesClear.com

Think about the things you do during the day, think about when your run will fit best into your schedule. If you're trying to fit your running in during the morning (like I've been trying to do) think about the things that you do during the morning to help you get out of bed and go.  

Some people like to eat a little something before a run, some people like to get their morning started and then go for a run, and some people, like me, like to get up and go on a run before anything else happens in the day. I know that if I don't do it that way, it will be a lot harder for it to get done at all.  So for me, my reminder is my alarm in the morning--when my alarm goes off, I know it's time to get going on a run. 

But let's talk about making getting out of bed in time to run a habit (I think this is the biggest part of this habit and it's the part of the morning running habit I need to get better at, especially now that school started).  I totally get the snooze pusher people because I don't normally look forward to my alarm going off. In fact, I hate the sound of an alarm and I hate the feeling that I get when my alarm does go off. Hopefully my habit of waking up will become enough of a habit that I will someday be able to do it without an alarm. But how do you get yourself out of bed without pushing snooze at all? 

If an alarm isn't enough to get you out of bed, try putting some kind of visual reminder by your alarm clock. Find a motivational quote to stick to it, blocking the snooze button so that you HAVE to see it to hit snooze.  One of the quotes that I like to tell myself over and over when I'm having a hard time getting out the door for a run is "If you would have left the first time you thought about it, you'd be done by now." (I don't know who said that, but I like it) It isn't always true. The first time you say it you probably wouldn't be back by then, but if you keep delaying it becomes true. You can also try putting your alarm across the room so that you have to get up to turn it off, then you're out of bed anyway and might as well get going (This is what Trevon does).

The outcome, or the reward of getting out of bed the first time your alarm goes off, is that you have time to go out on a run in the morning. That's pretty self explanatory. And then the rest of your day will go more smoothly and you'll be much more productive. 

Now let's talk a little bit about rewards. I'm a big fan of rewards. Yes, I do bribe my kids for certain things (I just bribed them with a donut if they stop chewing on their hair for a couple of weeks) and sometimes I bribe myself. I feel like running has a lot of big rewards by it's self in the first place, but when you need some extra motivation, I think it's a good idea to put extra rewards in place.

Remember how I mentioned marking off the calendar?  The day you picked to circle--to be the end day that you hope running has become more of a habit--think of a reward that you wouldn't normally do for yourself, and if you make it to that day, and feel like you've earned it, reward yourself with that. Go get a donut, get a pedicure, go see a movie, make your favorite dinner, give yourself an extra hour of you time. What ever sounds good to you. 

I think when you're trying to break or form a habit that you're really interested in it's much easier for you to find the drive and the motivation to do that. I think a lot of habit forming also has to do with setting goals. You can find the energy, time, motivation, etc to run in the morning if it's something that is important to you! 

Who's kids are already in school?

What are your running goals or habits you want to make?

What do you do in the mornings to make sure you get going?






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