January 22nd, 2019.
This date marks for me a hundred days of walking every single day.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
It’s a habit.
Going for a walk every day takes effort, but it slowly becomes a habit. I don’t have to think about going for a walk anymore, or even “make the time”. It’s such a given. I have to do it. There isn’t any other option. Just like everyone eats every day, I go for a walk every day.
It doesn’t take that long to create a habit. You may think it’s impossible for you to walk every day. It really isn’t. It’s 20 or 30 minutes of your time. Do you call a friend, parent or spouse every day? Do you listen to music for that long? This is no different; it’s something you can do without thinking. And the best part is you can these other things I’ve mentioned at the same time as walking.
It’s a mindset.
I read recently about changing your mindset when it comes to productivity: Don’t think about ways to become more productive; think about the things you want to do today. It’s a shift on where your mental focus goes.
Don’t think, “I should exercise more.” Or, “I should be more active.” Think, “When am I going on my walk today?” Your mind is moving to action, rather than theory.
It takes time and effort.
Being healthy doesn’t come easy. Why do you think it’s harder to cook your own food than to go out to eat? Because it’s harder, more involved, takes more thought, and more time. Human beings are, at their basic core, lazy creatures who want to make life easier rather than harder. It takes conscious effort, time and commitment to make any stride against our natural tendencies. But it’s worth it.
It changes your approach to being active.
“I want to be more active.” How often have you thought this? And what did you do to try?
Maybe you made a resolution:
“This year, I’m going to eat healthily, not go out to eat, get eight hours of sleep every night, and work out six nights a week.”
How did that go for you?
Look, workouts are great. Building up muscle, getting a six-pack, whatever it is that you’re striving for — those can all be good, healthy, things. But if you jump into something without building up strength first you’re more likely to fail.
If you go from sitting in an office 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, to working out hardcore six nights a week, you’re bound to give up quickly and maybe even harm yourself in the process. Best to start small: instead of never going out to eat, limit yourself to once or twice a week, till you can build up to once a month, till you build up to “as needed”. Start with 2 or 3 lighter, easier workouts.
Or… start going for a walk every day.
The point is activity. You’re not comparing yourself to that guy next door who is always working out. You’re not comparing to that super skinny girl you see at work every day. You’re comparing who you were yesterday to who you are today. You are growing and changing at your own pace. Let yourself start small.
You feel more alive.
I have more mental clarity. I think and process information more healthily (seriously, walking outside does wonders for your soul and mind). I’m calmer because I don’t have pent up energy. I’m happier because walking feels good (yay, endorphins) and I know I’m doing something to improve my health. And because I’ve committed to this, I’ve felt more motivated to commit to other things.
So, in short, I feel more alive.
If I can go from being completely inactive to walking every day, you can too. I found all these wonderful things through this experience. And so can you. And you might even learn more than I have.
I challenge you to try it.
I’ll be over here, going for my walk, ready to cheer you on.