Saturday, October 10, 2020

210 Days - A Habit Times 10?

Back in the spring, we things started to shut down, I was concerned that I needed some routine in my life. I was unemployed and soon my kids were going to be home all day, every day for at least a while. (It turned out they were home for the rest of the school year but even when they started 'school' online there was little routine to what they were doing.) The reality of Schmursday was about to be very real for us. Family dinners each night (in spite of crazy schedules for other meals), semi-standard bedtimes (maybe not normal but at least consistent) and a daily walk were my best stab at having routine.

Little did I know when I started my plan to walk at least 30 minutes a day that I would be sitting here in the fall, having completed my 210th day in a row yesterday. It feels good. I have always heard it takes 21 days of repition to make a habit and I can tell you that having walked that many days consistently, I don't want to not walk. Even when it would be easier to just chill and not worry about it, I still recognize that I need to find a time to get out there. I would hate for a silly reason to be the reason that my streak comes to an end...that is serious motivation.

I would say that over 95% of my walks have been over the same space, around my neighborhood. I have 'met' many other people that live in my neighborhood and although I haven't had an extended conversation with them, they are a friendly and familiar face when we cross paths on our individual journeys or while they are working in their yards. I have come to meet most of the neighborhood dogs and know which ones are a little too yippy, which ones don't like people walking near their yards and which ones are so well behaved, patient and kind. I have watched the flowers, tress and bushes through three seasons. There are some really pretty plants that I will consider next time I update my landscaping.

The few not around my nieghborhood were to the ice cream shop with my husband; twice around the pool while my daughter was at practice; once around a park with my brother, his wife and our girls and once with his wife near their house; twice around the car dealership while my car was being serviced for a warranty issue; and once around the hotel while traveling for a night.

Most of the time, my weather has been good. Sure, I have adapted to morning, afternoon or evening to hit the 'best' weather for the time of year or on a daily basis. I had one walk where there were a few pop up showers and I had to pause under a tree for a while (timer paused) and then continued my journey tree to tree to maximize my walk time and to keep reasonably dry. I had one wear I simply didn't have enough time and had to finish the last 5 minutes walking a loop around my first floor.

My committment was at least 30 minutes and I have walked anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour, with the majority around 45-50 minutes.

I am glad that I made the committment and have stuck with it. It really does feel good. I know that it has been a huge help mentally - a chance to get away from things and decompress. I know that each day, I am walking hills and getting my heart rate elevated and helping to keep myself healthy. When my friends joke about the Covid 20, I know that my walking consistently has offset my less than stellar eating and drinking habits over the past seven plus months. I know that working remote I simply don't get the steps I would at the office - to/from car, to/from coffee pot, to/from meetings, and so on. It used to be that on a typical day I would get 10K at the office without a walk and now, I'm not always able to get that many even with a walk. My hope is that I will keep up the walking even as other parts of life return to normal and I can couple improved eating, a more active day and my walks to help me lose weight too.

This is one habit that I hope I can keep up for the long term. What new habits do you have?