So this morning, as I woke up with an iffy stomach and a guilty conscience over the box of Junior Mints that I bought and ate at the movies last night, I started thinking about habits. We become like Pavlov's dogs in a way. (If you don't know what that is...google it.) We go to the movies so we think we need candy and popcorn. And it works in reverse too. We are tired or busy and we don't workout. We tell ourselves we can't. We spend time rationalizing and lamenting over our "inability" to get to the gym or have time to go for a run. Soon, it just becomes the norm. Tired or busy = an excuse to not workout.
I know from personal experience that we can form new habits or get rid of some we don't like. I know this because I'm living proof. I was not raised to exercise or eat healthy. I had to create better habits. I've heard people say that it only takes a week to form a habit, but I know for me that sure has never been the case. Maybe when it comes to short term success or doing something that may not be as challenging it works, but I think it takes longer to form habits that stay with you for years or a lifetime. So I started researching a bit, and I read an article in "The World Of Psychology" about habits and how long it takes to form a habit. This article said 66 days (approx 2 month). That made more sense to me.
Here's my challenge/plan for anyone that struggles to consistently workout: Get a calendar...buy one...print one off your computer...whatever...and for the next 66 days, I want you to workout 5 days out of EVERY week. It can be at different intensities, but it needs to be a workout. Walking leisurely without breaking a sweat or reading while on an elliptical doesn't count. Do it whether you are tired or busy. It doesn't matter. Mark it off on your calendar and plan for it on days that you are busy. I suggest writing out what you will do on what days at the beginning of each week so you have a clear idea of what you will do and can easily follow the plan you set for yourself. If you have one day that is especially busy, make that day your "rest day" or plan to get up an hour earlier and do it before your day begins. Worried you will be too tired? Go to bed an hour earlier the night before! Make NO excuses. Hang your calendar up in plain site and be accountable.
When people asked me how I lost weight and found time to workout 5-6 days a week when I had 3 little kids, was on 2 PTAs, and was running a household...I say the same thing every time. I made it my "part time job." I didn't call in sick or decide not to show up when I didn't feel like working. I treated like I would any other job that I didn't want to get fired from. Most of the time people would rather stay home than go to work, but we go. Why? Because it's our job and we are adults and know that as adults we have to do things we don't always like. We work because we need money to live on. Well, we should be taking care of our bodies because we need them in good shape to truly live and get the most out of our lives. It's just as essential in my opinion!
HERES the article I read from "The World Of Psychology":
HERES one about "10 easy ways to make exercise a habit": http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/exercise-habits