Thursday, February 05, 2015

Is it a habit yet?

Well, as I've just tweeted, I passed 2 million steps and 1000 miles yesterday (4th February 2015). I've been recording the data since September 1st and I haven't missed my goal of 10000 steps a day yet. It's a record by some way given that I purposefully took a day off at 104 last time I did the 100 day challenge.

So, apart from some self-congratulatory back slapping, have I formed a habit yet? Actually, I don't think so. A habit is something you do almost automatically. It's a response, something you do because you always do it. It happens without much predetermined thought. Getting up and going for a walk everyday takes discipline, so I guess you could call it a disciplined habit, but most of the habits we do without thinking require no discipline at all and are usually bad habits. Maybe all habits that require no thought are bad habits.

No, habit is not the tight word to describe what I'm currently doing. At least not the right word for me. If I think it's a habit I'll more than likely stop thinking about it and that inevitably leads to a breaking of the habit. So I'll continue to call it a disciplined choice. There are days when I really don't feel like hitting the mean streets of Ockendon and pounding away at my goal. But I choose to do it.

Take yesterday for example.

I had two funerals to do and a visit to make. That doesn't sound like a lot of work I know, but funerals carry their own stress for me and I like to be there early so I'm settled and ready. Having said that, at yesterday's second funeral I managed to leave a candle in the chapel office and had to nip out doing a piece of music to get it! I did tell the family what I was doing, just so they didn't think I was running away! I've also got a nasty cold and I've got my torn calf muscle. Add to that the temperature and the fact that I didn't get ready to go out walking until gone 5:00pm and I definitely didn't feel like doing it at all.

But I did. I made he disciplined choice to exercise. Even with base layers, mid-layers and top layer on it was still cold. I wore a hat and gloves and I still found myself having to take some painkillers for the ache that gets in your face when it's been too cold for too long. This is why it's a disciplined choice and not a habit. You have to choose to do something like that, it doesn't come naturally. Of course once you're into your stride you mostly forget about everything else. You remember how much you get out of simply being outside and the pleasure of the walk or run. holding onto that memory is what helps making the following day's discipline choice to get moving.

Speaking of which, it's time to pull on the trainers and get out there again. Normally I'd be off to tennis, but I'm rehabbing my calf, so no tennis this week. All my steps will have to come from running or walking in circles.

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