Life has a way of getting people comfortable. Will-power alone is not enough to pull you out of the stagnant places that life pulls you into. That’s when some tricks is needed to pull yourself forward.
To say that tomorrow I’m going to start a running career… is laughable to me. However, for the sake of this post, let’s assume I am willing to run and be a runner.
The traditional mindset of carving out a bit of time out of a very busy schedule to run long hours will not easily work. Many have tried and failed.
The Mind Trick
If I had to make this work, I’d have my running shoes set up right next to my slippers by the bed and have my running outfit set up in the bathroom next to my towel. That way, when I get up, I see and am reminded to set up to run. I also know that right after I suit up, I like to drink some water… I’d put my fitness tracker next to my water bottle as another reminder to go run.
Instead of planning a few miles, as a rookie, I’d plan just to quickly run down the block. That way, if I overslept a little, I won’t be in trouble with the goal. A quick run down the block is not going to hurt my plans to get to work on time. (and if I did get up early enough, going around the block wouldn’t be hard to think of once already running down the block)
Then, to make a point of increasing my mileage, I’d get off a stop early on the bus and speed walk home or job home. Each day, I’d increase the distance of my run and each afternoon I’d fiddle with how much distance I’m covering until it becomes a normal part of my routine.
By linking part of the morning routine with the new habit I want to build, I’m anchoring it to an already set up routine. I do get up early to prep the day. I do shower. I do drink water. I do commute to and from work. The routine is already there. Adding a small component is no trouble. I do it all the time, like how I manage my laundry around my job, manage groceries around my job, and other activities.
It is all about adjusting small things. In time, the run will pick up distance, speed, and time. Before you know it, I’m running regularly and it’s a part of my lifestyle.
Motivational Monday Appointment
There are many things in life one wants to reach and do. There is only but so many hours in a day. What small pieces of your dream can you link to an appointment, anchor to an appointment, to increase your odds of completion?
Most of my photography and blogging efforts have been anchored around things that normally take place in the course of a day because carving out separate time is not easy. Without that anchor, this blog wouldn’t be. Without the anchor, many other habits I like wouldn’t live.
This becomes ever more important when life changes pace and leaves one disoriented. The quicker an anchoring appointment is set, the faster things can be attached to it and brought back up to speed.
An anchoring appointment is a solid recurring appointment, like work, that happens at the same time every week. Usually multiple times in a week. Plans can be reliably set around such an appointment. Work, meals, lunch breaks, commute times, and weekends are excellent examples of appointments that serve as anchors.
Go out and have a great week this week. Stay motivated to reach your goals. Anchor new goals to existing anchoring appointments to ensure you’re on your way to your dreams this week.
With the time change of the weekend, what better time to review how best to use your time and get yourself up in better gear with better habits of success.