Meet your Goals with New Running Habits
New year’s resolutions. They are always buzzing around like flies this time of year. I’m not big on resolutions that fizzle out.
Most years (even though I usually don’t set resolutions) I do something a bit different. I set small or even big goals for the year and then support them with mini habits. Consistency pays off and doing the little things leads to big changes!
I’m going to teach YOU how to use mini habits for a better year running!
What are Mini Habits?
The idea behind mini habits is to not make a drastic change. Instead, try to make tiny little changes that are easy to do. Want to do 100 pushups? Start with just doing one per day. Eventually, that will become 2 per day and you have this small easy habit that can grow.
A habit is an automatic reaction to a specific situation that becomes hard to break. It is something that becomes so ingrained in us that we have to fight hard to change it.
Why Mini Habits though?
As Steven Guise said very well in his book:
“The reason people fail to change their lives and fail to instill new habits is that they try to do too much at once. In simplest terms, if your new habit requires more willpower than you can muster, you will fail. If your new habit requires less willpower than you can muster, you will succeed.“
Mini habits require very little effort on your part. If they don’t require effort or willpower you will complete the task. There are many benefits to starting mini habits over huge changes. A mini habit will provide a quick with that will motivate you to keep going and are so easy that you won’t convince yourself that you don’t have time. It also allows you to develop a base that you can build upon for other habits.
The “This is too hard” trap
When we decide to make a big change our minds will automatically tell us it is too hard. Eating a salad every day for lunch (don’t recommend) is difficult to do. BUT you can start with just adding one vegetable serving to the side of your plate. Instead of telling yourself, you are going to work out for 30 minutes every day, too hard, just do one pushup in the morning.
Small tasks like these keep your brain from thinking it is too hard. In fact, your brain will probably think the opposite. This is the basis behind mini habits. Small tasks that seem so simple and easy to do that they become ingrained in your day.
How to Use Mini Habits to Improve Running
So how can you use these concepts to have a better year running? Start with mobility. Each night before bed do a minute of mobility exercises for your hips. Hips are a base of support and problem area for runners. A minute is easy. A minute is doable. A minute could keep you from getting hurt this year while running.
Here is one of my favorite mobility moves for your hips. The BEST part? You can do it in bed! Makes it even easier to do right before bed or right before getting out of bed in the morning (or both!!).
Another GREAT habit to start is keeping a running journal!! Just a quick jot of how you felt after your run (or before) and the type of run you did!! Give as much or little detail as you want! This should only take you about a minute to do after your run!!
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Start running with Mini Habits
Dr. Abby Siler, PT, DPT is a Physical Therapist with 10 years of experience in a variety of settings. She has spent the majority of her time treating athletes in orthopedic clinics and worker’s compensation cases. She is a runner herself for the past 15 years and a lifelong athlete. Dr. Abby loves to teach runners how to stay injury free and out of her clinic.