When it comes to achieving staggering consistency with your running program, making your running exercise a habit is the way to go. Human beings are creatures of habits. No doubt about it. Much of the scientific evidence has come to this conclusion as well. People are bound to repeat 95% of their mental and physical patterns on a daily basis. And that percentage is pretty conservative, since the real figure is probably higher.
Habits are activity neutral, meaning that you can take any type of activity and turn it into a daily custom. Running is no exception. By abiding to the right habit-forming principles, you can turn your running routine into a daily habit, thus join the top ranks of regular runners and reap the greatest health rewards. As a result, here are the 3 conditions for forming a habit.
Make It Clear
To form a habit, you need to get clear on it, meaning that you must know in length all the details and technicalities regarding your new running routine. Make sure to come up with training plan in which you’ll be depicting all of your workouts, training schedules, and other details you find crucial for your training. Having a training log or fitness journal can help you take the guesswork out of your training. But letting momentum carry you forward with your training plans is a sure way to suffer from confusion, lack of motivation and eventually a painful setback.
Commit To a 28 Day Plan
“If you can commit to do an activity for 4 consecutive weeks, nonstop, you’ll definitely turn it into a habit by the end of the month” says Tony Schwartz, the author of “The Power of Full Engagement”, a highly acclaimed book on performance and personal management. And according to the same author, the best way to form a habit is to start what he calls “a ritual”.
Unlike the word “routine”, a “ritual” has many positive associations to it. Think of the word “routine” and the first thing that pops into your mind is boredom and forced labor. On the other hand, if you think of your running workout as a ritual, this will trigger a more positive and productive association in your brain, thus leading to better performance.
Get an Accountability Partner
Life is not a solo journey and your success with your running program is the same way. To get leverage on yourself, enroll the help of your family and friends into your new vision. Social rejection is one of the worst experiences that you can ever undergo. This is actually ingrained into the roots of biological makeup, so why not use it to your advantage.
Ask a friend or family member to hold you accountable for your actions. Share with him (or her) your new training plan and give him the permission to inflict the right punishment if you ever start to veer off the right course.
Of course, you need to be flexible with your training schedule. Something will eventually come up and throw you out of balance. In that case, you need to just go back on the fitness wagon and move forward.