8 Tips that really create new habits

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We are almost one month into 2019. How are your goals coming along? Do you even remember what your goals were? Are you struggling to stick to those goals?

Even if you love to run, there are probably parts of running that you wish you did better . . . or did at all! It’s so tempting to just run. And some runners can. And some runners can’t.

I hope that you find a tip here that makes it easier to create a new habit you’ve been struggling with.

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I would not be out that early without my accountability buddies!

Find an accountability buddy
It’s easy to give up on goals when we’re not being held accountable. Sometimes it’s easy to let things slide when you only have to answer to yourself.

But what if you had a friend holding you accountable? Or a spouse? They don’t have to have the same goal as you. They actually don’t even have to have any goal at all, but it works better if you’re both trying to achieve some kind of goal.

If you know someone is waiting for you, aren’t you more likely to stop procrastinating and get there to meet up with your friend?

Do the hard thing first
Are you struggling with making foam rolling a habit? Try doing it before you run. Or even first thing in the morning. It’s easy to blow it off after your workout when you’re tired or just don’t have the time. This goes for anything that you know you should do, but just never seem to get around to.

Create a trigger
This is an ‘if that, then this’ situation: if that happens, then this must happen next. Do you want to become a morning runner? Set up a trigger for yourself. Maybe it’s “if I eat breakfast, then I get into my workout clothes”. Or “if I drink coffee, then I go for a run”.

Ditch all or nothing thinking
If you run a long race, what do you think about in the beginning: how many miles you have to run, or running the mile you’re in? And as those miles keep ticking off, do you think about how many more miles you need to run, or the miles you’ve already run?

If you’re trying to create a habit and you miss a day — are you really going to throw the baby out with the bath water? Instead of thinking “what’s the use, I’ve already blown it” think “I’ve managed to do _______ for 10 days, I can get right back to doing it”.

Give  yourself a star
Buy or make a calendar. Write down the habit you’re trying to create (and when you will do it) for every day for the next month. And give yourself a gold star on that calendar every time you complete your new habit.

I know, I know, it seems childish. And maybe it is. But you know what? It also works!

Get techie
Can’t be bothered to buy a calendar and gold stars? Your phone can help you create new habits, too. Yes, there’s an app for that. In fact, there are lots of apps for that. Just search on “habit tracker”. The best apps will remind you to take action.

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Want to eat a healthy breakfast? Make it up the night before so it’s grab & go!

Make it easy
Creating new habits is hard. If it were easy, there probably wouldn’t be an app for that. Whatever habit you’re trying to create — make it easy:

  • Want to become a morning runner? Lay out your clothes and gear the night before. If you need coffee, set it up on a timer if you have a coffee maker that has one. Otherwise get everything ready so all you have to do is press a button in the morning. Make sure everything is charged before you go to bed.
  • Want to start journaling your runs? Put your journal (with a pen) wherever you will see it first thing when you come in from your run — or even journal in your car before you go home.
  • Need to foam roll? Same thing as above — make sure it’s the first thing you see when you get back from your run (or before you go out on your run).
  • Want to start actually eating something in the morning instead of skipping breakfast? Make a smoothie the night before and have it in a blender bottle in your fridge. Buy (or make) oatmeal cups so all you have to do is add water and microwave. Put scrambled eggs in a mason jar so all you have to do is warm them up.

And don’t forget to start small
If you run a long race, what do you think about in the beginning: how many miles you have to run, or running the mile you’re in? And as those miles keep ticking off, do you think about how many more miles you need to run, or the miles you’ve already run?

If you’re trying to create a habit and you miss a day — are you really going to throw the baby out with the bath water? Instead of thinking “what’s the use, I’ve already blown it” think “I’ve managed to do _______ for 10 days, I can get right back to doing it”.

Talk to me:

What goal are you struggling with?

Have you broken it down into small steps?

What goal are you acing?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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20 thoughts on “8 Tips that really create new habits

  1. The problem is that you have to want bad or feel it’s important.

    In other words, change your mindset. I have friends who say they can’t lose weight or quit drinking. A health issue arises and they can do it.

    So the things that I feel are important like running several times a week, I do. I use many of your tips which make it easier but I would run anyway.

    Other things like planks, working out and running before work. I can get by without so I don’t. When I think I need to do them, i will with or without tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that doing the things you don’r really “like” first is very important. I know that I tend to get lazy when after a run and don’t want to foam roll. Now what I do is get in a good quality 5 minutes of foam rolling in the morning and then a quick foam roll after a workout.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What goal are you struggling with? Losing & keeping off those last 10lbs.

    Have you broken it down into small steps? Yes, one meal at a time.

    What goal are you acing? Exercising 6 days a week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I know I will run in the morning, I make sure to get my stuff ready the night before. If I don’t do that, it takes me longer to get out the door.

    I never skip breakfast. It is my favorite meal of the day. I make a few jars of overnight oats so all I need to do in the morning is add a bit of water and warm it up.

    Thanks for linking up with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. fabulous tips, I am going to share on my FB page!

    I think a lot of these things I already do easily. Most of my friends are runners and I train with a group (and a coach) and go to the gym with my friend Vincent and my husband so there’s always accountability around.

    the thing I struggle with the most? food and weight. Long ago I was a member of a little group on Yahoo (remember Yahoo! Groups?) and we would check in with each other every single day. Plan of the day, talk about challenges, whatever. But being online and social media has changed so much I just can’t get one single WW partner for daily exchanges to save my life. I thought my FB page could help but it really doesn’t. I used to go to WW meetings, but I just don’t anymore because their schedule doesn’t fit mine. So yeah. I have a lean husband who can eat anything and he does what he can to support but it’s not quite the same. I think getting over it and accepting I’m on my own is just going to have to be the solution.

    I think I ace daily activity. It may not be a full workout but I walk or bike everywhere. I go to the gym 2 – 3 times a week and I try to run a minimum of 2 times per week right now. I also ace drinking water and currently am acing taking the stairs at home and not eating any junk at work.

    My goals are definitely in my mind still though I do need to adjust those as well with the surgery that will take place (hopefully) soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love all of the tips, but I like the “ditch the all or nothing mentality” best. So true! We have to reflect reality in our training. We may not be able to accomplish everything we would like to, but anything is better than nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are all such great tips. Running is pretty ingrained, so that is rarely a problem for me. Foam rolling (and other glute activation exercises before my run are so difficult for me to be consistent with! I’ll get out on my run and think, dang, I forgot again! I’ll try setting my foam roller on my dining room table at night to see if that helps me remember. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So did that get you to foam roll? I will say moving my foam rolling to before my runs definitely helped. I was good about doing it afterwards, but then sometimes I’d just get tired & skip it.

      I’m not tired before (although sometimes in a rush). But still, I usually get it done this way!

      Like

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