“Make good habits so they’re hard to break”

As a Type A person, I thrive on routine, schedules, and organization. Throughout the past few years, really my 30s, I’ve gotten my life together (sorry, 20s you were a shitshow). Much of this large success is due to small things, habits I’ve developed that I feel set me up for good days.

I was thinking about it recently on a run, and realized a lot of these daily success habits are also applicable to successful running.

Here are five things I’ve learned that are true to both a successful day and a successful run.

1. Make the Bed

If you remember 90s TGIF TV, or you’re a fan of reruns, you’ve seen Full House. Danny Tanner once said to his daughter, Stephanie, “You’re going to have a much better day knowing your room is neat and tidy.” And, I hate to call any words spoken by Danny Tanner wise, but he was right on this. There’s something about a made up bed that makes me feel like the day is going to be great. Plus, it’s oddly more relaxing at night to climb into a nicely-made bed versus one that’s still disheveled from the night before.

The same goes for running. Knowing you have a comfy bed at home ready to crawl into for your post-run nap or later night slumber can only make logging those miles better.

*I just realized this is the second time I’ve referenced Full House in my blogging career…and that seems like one time too many. For those interested, the first was when I included the wisdom of Steve, DJ’s food obsessed-boyfriend, in a food blog about how to stay on track during the holidays.

A good day starts with a neat & tidy bed

2. Create Lists
Got stuff to accomplish? Write it down, check it off. Is there a better feeling in life? Lists, whether a short to-do list or a long grocery list keep tasks organized and, I swear, make us more productive.

The same goes for running. Got a goal to run a 5k? Figure out how you need to get there, then work backwards with a list of tasks that will make it happen. Got a big race in the morning? Make a list of everything you need to bring with you so nothing gets left behind. My friend, JoEllen, a seasoned racer and pacer, once forgot her running shoes for an out-of-town event. So, yeah, it can happen.

3. Look for Positives
There are a ton of things that can cause a bad day. Traffic, long meetings, traffic, a fight with a coworker, traffic, a crabby baby, traffic…can you sense that I loathe traffic? But no matter the negatives in a day, there are always, I repeat, ALWAYS, positives. Some days, they can be hard to find. And, to be honest, some days, you just may not even want to find them. That’s okay. But always try to look for the positives.

The same goes for running. It’s so easy to have one bad run and let it take away from all the good ones. Plus, the bad runs, or workouts in general, teach us things and make us stronger. So the next time you have a crappy run, look for the silver lining. There’s always one, I promise.

4. Breathe
Busy. Everyone is busy. It’s almost annoying, everyone is just so damn busy. Whether you truly are busy or you’re just bad at prioritizing and making a plan to fit in everything you really want to do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by life at times. It sounds silly, but it helps to slow down and breathe. Even for just a few seconds, stop and breathe. It clears your mind, helps to put things in perspective, and gives you a chance to just be for a moment.

The same goes for running. Proper breathing technique is key to a good run; preventing side stitches, keeping a good pace, pushing through the tough strides. Not only that, running is a great opportunity to let go and relax. Concentrate on breathing and how each breath feels, and it will make running better.

5. Don’t Over-commit
At work, with friends, around the house, it seems there’s no shortage of things to get involved in or do these days. It’s tempting to want to say yes to everything, to put a million things on that list and set the goal of doing it all. But it’s good to say no sometimes. It’s good to keep some time in a schedule that’s unscheduled, with no commitments at all.

The same goes for running. Especially at the start of a new running effort or training program, it’s easy to overcommit. Yes, I will run 5 miles every day – well, maybe that’s not such a good plan. Over-committing in running sets you up for burnout, injury, or failing your own wild expectations. So don’t do it. Commit, but don’t over-commit.

Have you found any correlations to success in life and success in wellness? Comment or tweet me @LindsayIRL.


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: