Good and Bad Habits

By in Self-Improvement

Are you like me? Do you always have an excuse not to exercise?

Being healthy has always been important to me and after years of depression, I was determined to never allow myself to go there again.

We have the power to do a few things that will give us a better quality of life, like exercising. Good and bad habits can be formed and broken.

If you can find something you enjoy and build it into a habit you’ll find great satisfaction in doing it.

Today I took the high road and did a two-mile run. Before you’re too impressed I have to be honest and tell you, I’m not one of those marathon runners. In fact, I passed a man today who was walking and quickly said to him, “I’m not running a marathon!”

He smiled back as if to say, “I can see that.” 🙂

The truth is I run strictly for my own sake. (Actually, I really don’t run, I shuffle.) When I run, every step takes effort!

I never had the desire to run a marathon because I knew I would always be the last one across the finish line and I don’t enjoy competing. I’d rather just compete with myself.

For me, running is about paying attention to my body because I know it’s good for my health. I know what my body requires so that I can actually stay in shape.

I never thought I would enjoy running until about 15 years ago when my sister, Becky, would constantly ask me to run with her. We lived in the same neighborhood and I would see her pass my house on her run.

I had my excuses for her though! I’m too busy! My knee was giving me trouble at the time!

Those excuses were not good enough for Becky. She continued asking me to run with her. ( I finally caved after two years.)

As I huffed and puffed alongside her she encouraged me the whole way!

When I started my knee hurt and I could only run a few hundred feet but each run I did a little more. Before I knew it I was running a mile and then two and in a few months, my knee no longer hurt.

There’s an old verse I’ve known all my life that says, “Provoke one another to good works.”

My sister provoked me to do more than I thought I could. I committed to running every day. Rain or shine, ice, snow or bitter cold. I ran in 6-degree weather and loved every minute of it! I never missed a day even when I traveled.

It became my routine and my day was not complete without doing my run. It was one of my daily habits.

To create a habit takes 21 days. For me, those first 21 days were the most difficult but after that, it truly was a habit. (Thanks, Becky, for provoking me!)

One night as I was running up my hill I got off the snow covered road as a car went by. It was late in the evening and I stepped aside to be safe.

When I did I heard a twig crunch beneath my foot. Except it wasn’t a twig, it was a bone in my ankle! I still had a long uphill climb to my house. I had no cell phone on my person.

I didn’t have a choice except to hobble in the freezing cold. I walked because I had no other choice but quickly after making it home, I couldn’t walk another step. The next morning it was confirmed that my ankle was broken.

That was the end of my daily running I had enjoyed for a number of years. Breaking my ankle certainly wasn’t a hardship but it forced me out of my routine. I couldn’t believe one little misstep was all it took to mess up what I enjoyed for so long.

Good and bad habits can be formed and broken.

What I know about habits is once you’ve tasted a good disciplined habit you will always remember the benefits. That’s why today I still enjoy a good run.

Although I have to admit, I need to go back to the basics and start over by running for 21 days to rebuild that habit.

And I need to do it soon because my excuses are driving me crazy!

What about you? Any habits you know you need to form that you’re making excuses for? Try sticking with it for 21 days and see what happens. I’d love to hear about it.

This article first appeared in Anne’s Weekly newsletter! To subscribe, click here. Each week, Anne sends a short inspirational email straight to your inbox. As a subscriber, you’ll also have first access to new events, books, and more! Click to subscribe.


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