Goals are important
|An arbitrary goal, doesn't fit in|
any plan but I feel good
For example as an individual runner, it makes no real difference to my life running 10km just under an hour. Or a bit faster at 51 minutes. But the difference in the sense of pride and achievement in my progress was real.
Your environment matters
Periodically I pause from running then have to restart. Sometimes this also involved a house move and I need to find a new route. On one of these occasions I picked out what appeared to be a nice loop of around 5km but it felt awful. It kicked off with a hill to get it out of the way followed by a flat section. The next day I did the route in reverse. Bingo! Much better. Faster time and I was much happier other the run. Small changes in your environment can make for better performance ... And more joy. If you are having difficulty getting the job done, and the order of tasks does not matter, then try mixing it up. Sometimes "the obvious" way isn't the one with the best flow.
Your environment matters part 2
Music can give you a massive boost. Since the 2012 Paralympics I have started my runs with Public Enemy's Harder Than You Think. It gets me psyched up. Now I've been using it for so long a Pavlovian response kicks in and when I hear it I expect to run. On a previous route I even timed the last 200m to coincide with the bass kicking in on Moloko's I Can't Help Myself. At work I do a similar thing and tailor the music to suit the mood I need. Something uplifting before a meeting, or something with a rhythmic beat for writing.
Habits can be good
The other thing about restarting running is that you get out of the habit of going. When starting again I look at one metric - it could number of runs a week, average pace or distance covered. It doesn't seem to matter you choose to start. As going out starts to form a habits, you can move the first metric then move the next one. Much like impact mapping.
Don't care too much what it looks like from the outside
|Me looking stupid, but I don't care :-)|
- Lessons in discipline from long-distance running
- Does setting arbitrary goals (times or dates) work?
- Speed in Software Development - differences in sprint and marathon paces for software development.
- NY Times How To Live Wisely - How Harvard used reflection with its undergrads to focus on what matters
- The Best Way to Learn Something? Make a Lot of Pots - the best way to get better is to do things repeatedly. Forming habits to do things can help this.
- Best self journal - design to help you achieve your goals
- How to Build a New Habit: This is Your Strategy Guide