Why wait? Get a head start!

Why wait

I’ve seen a few things over the last few weeks stating people saying-

“I can’t wait till the New Year so I can relax/get more sleep/start training/sort my life”

I have thought the exact same thing myself. Things have been fairly hectic recently and putting stuff off until January is a great bit of procrastination.

The 1st January is a fantastic line in the sand that’s really difficult not to look towards and think what you are going to do differently and of how it’s going to be different..

For me (as ever) it is about my running and training. I think to myself – You’re not in great shape now, so what’s another 3 weeks of inactivity and munching mince pies going to do?

Christmas and New Year’s is a frenzied time. Work Christmas parties, friend’s Christmas drinks, friend’s Christmas dinners, finishing work stuff, shopping, travelling, visiting family. It’s so easy to sack it off and wait till January.

My point is you’re going to come down with a massive bump come the start of January for whatever your new year’s resolution is, especially if its health and wellbeing related. So why wait? Why not start now? Or at least start creating the habits that with serve you in the future?

On Rich Roll’s podcast with James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits (which I’ll write about more later) talks about identity. For whatever your goal is, you have to think about the lifestyle you need to live to achieve that goal. The goal may be a marathon PB, but the habit that needs to be formed is living the lifestyle of a marathon runner. A person who doesn’t miss training sessions or eat 5 (mini) mince pies. Warms up properly and does their recovery. You can start forming these smaller habits now.

One of his practical tips was to apply the 2-minute rule. Scaling a habit down to the first 2 mins of its behaviour. The goal that day might be to run 10km. The first 2 minutes of that is putting your kit on. After that, it’s getting out the door. If you get these to habits sorted, the chances of running 10km are much higher.

A mindset tip from the podcast was to get 1% better each day and start creating small habits (this also taps into the 2-minute rule).  An example of this for me is in regards to tidiness. If I see something on the bedroom floor – I’ll pick it up and put it away. If I see a mug sitting empty in the hallway (of which I see many) I take it to the kitchen. After doing this for some time, I now can’t not do it. I’m becoming a tidier person, which will work towards the goal of having a tidier house. I’m creating the identity of a tidy person.

The next 3 weeks are not going to get me to my health, fitness or running goals, but they get me closer to being a person who has the habit of cycling to work every day, training/running 3-4 times a week and who runs to work once a week. It also gives me a three-week head start on January, starting a little fitter and a little lighter.

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