I recently celebrated three months of consistent daily activity.
The parameters I set for myself (using my Fitbit for tracking)
I had been doing this sporadically but decided to get more consistent starting May 1.
I know that fr me, and likely for you, things that I do daily impact me more than the things I do every now and then.
It has been hot a lot of the time, and I am not a big fan of heat. Some days it has rained nonstop and I’ve had to get more creative.
Ideally, I like to walk and I like to do it in nature. At least once or twice a week I try to go to a nearby park with walking trails because it is more shaded, and because I love to hear and smell and see the sounds in nature and take pictures of them.
It helps to hit more of my self-care and “brings me joy” buttons.
And if I am quite honest, most days I do not want to go do it.
I generally plan on going first thing in the morning because it’s cooler and because I’m less likely to find excuses not to, but over the past week or two, I have been more focused on writing and doing creative things when I wake up and so I’ve put it off, which means I’m walking when it’s hotter and I have found myself going for walks late at night, sometimes right before bed, to finish up my goals for the day..
But I know that when I work out, I feel better - even if I don’t want to do it to begin with.
One day is only one day, which is just 30 to 60 minutes of walk time that I would be missing out on. So from a physical perspective, maybe that wouldn’t make much difference.
But I started walking consistently because of what it does for my mental health. Stress levels are greatly decreased and concentration is greatly increased when we have regular physical activity.
Especially in times when you are working on a lot of things that take a lot of mental and emotional attention, staying active is imperative.
But even more importantly, I know myself.
And I know that when I’m on a streak like this and I let myself off the hook for just one day, it changes things.
I don’t know the exact psychology behind it, but I know that is the way I work. Do you find that happens with you, too?
For instance, I made it a point to start each day with my Bible app. It wasn’t always long, but it was at least a verse or two, and I knew that I had gotten into God‘s word daily.
Well, sometimes things got busy and I started off a little differently and I didn’t do it first thing. But, I always managed to get it in.
But then, one day I didn’t.
Which doesn’t seem like a big deal, except to me it was.
And then, even though I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t happen this way, I found myself doing well for a couple of days and then missing a day.
Several years ago I was doing a workout program and started every morning with my workout.
Even when I went on a business trip and a business/pleasure trip, I still got my workouts in every day. I even talked my best friend/travel partner into doing them with me.
Even when I didn’t feel well, I got my workout in.
But one day, for no real reason, I didn’t do it.
And then I did not work out consistently again for quite some time.
I would go a few days on, a few days off, but without that real commitment to daily action...I know that I can let myself off the hook.
So what about you?
Do you have the best of intentions and yet find yourself falling short in the same ways over and over?
How does that fit into your patterns and your history?
And how can you use that to set yourself up for success rather than failure?
I worked with a client to help her design a daily action plan that worked best for the way her subconscious works.
For some people, that could mean committing to small things every day.
For others, that can mean committing to a range, like 3 to 5 times a week.
If you are just getting started, something more forgiving like at least twice per week might be a better fit.
But, if you know that you need more accountability than that, then don’t set your goals that way.
The most important takeaway here is to know yourself.
And the way to know yourself is to spend time figuring out what it is that you want or need or enjoy or despise.
There is no right or wrong, it’s just working with your natural inclination, which may change over time.
So which type are you? I’d love for you to share your goal with me! Click here to let me know.