I started a new habit this morning, and I’m hoping you’ll start it with me.
It’s no secret I’m a HUGE fan of walking – I’ve spent the past two years carless and walked pretty much EVERYWHERE. I wrote about how much important walking is with a little help from Hobbits. I’m also a huge fan of small changes repeated over time until they become permanent habits.
So I challenge you today to join me in the “A Mile Every Day” Challenge. This month, I challenge you to walk one mile, every day, when you wake up. Yes, I understand November is cold. Yes, I understand mornings are usually time for snoozing, watching TV, and rushing out the door to get breakfast.
I want to see if you can change that.
I want you to have an awesome morning…and it starts with a morning walk:
- This is a habit that takes less than 20 minutes. It should take you roughly 12-20 minutes to walk a mile if you’re walking with purpose. Factor in a few minutes to tie your shoes (unless you still have velcro), put on your coat, grab the dog’s leash, etc – you’re looking at roughly 20 minutes.
- This is something that you’ll have no excuse not to complete. Because it’s the FIRST thing you’re going to do in the morning, it’s quite difficult to blame your lack of progress on the day getting busy later on.
- It’ll wake you up faster than a cup of coffee. I’m not telling you to give up your caffeine, but this will help you immediately get out of “snooze” mood and into “I’m going to dominate today” mood. That’s a good mood to be in. THEN, you can have your coffee 🙂
- It’ll allow you to plan out your day and be more productive. Use your mile to plan out how you’re going to be MORE productive. What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get to the office? What are you going to eat for lunch? What time are you going to work out? What three important tasks are you going to accomplish today?
How to be successful
Sounds simple enough.
It’s just walking, right?
However, because this sounds like something that’s so easy, you might not put forth any effort towards completing it. However, this isn’t JUST about walking. It’s about proving to yourself that you can start something and stick with it.
I’m going to help you make the decision even easier.
- Make it impossible to miss. Set the alarm on your phone and name it A MILE EVERY DAY! Put a post-it note on your alarm clock. Hang a sheet that says “A MILE EVERY DAY” on your bathroom mirror. Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get out of bed to pick it up.
- Sleep in your walking clothes or have them RIGHT NEXT to your bed! That way, all you have to do is roll over, put shoes on, and walk out the door. The fewer steps between you and the action = less willpower required = more chance of success.
- Have your route mapped out – I use a FitBit to walk a half mile from my apartment, and then turn around and walk a half mile back. If you like to walk the same route each morning, map it on Google and follow that path!
- It needs to be the first thing you do. Not after you check email. Not after breakfast. Not after watching the news or playing one game of Doodle Jump on your phone. First thing! Obviously today won’t be that first thing, but you still need to get your mile in!
- Hold yourself accountable. For every morning that I skip my Mile in November, I’ll pay $10 to my friend Evan. How are you going to keep yourself accountable? Do you have a co-worker who will do the challenge with you? Who can help you stay accountable? I can think of 10,000+ people that can help…
- Create a reward. Like with our old pal Link from Legend of Zelda, reward yourself with things that reward you back! Buy yourself a new, slimmer outfit, get a massage, or sign up for a class you’ve always wanted to try. I’ll be rewarding myself with a class that’ll help me move forward on my Epic Quest of Awesome.
- Try something else: Do you have a really good reason why you can’t walk a mile in the morning? Maybe you live in a bad neighborhood or in a high tower in Rivendell? Is there a hurricane outside? OK, instead of the mile, try doing a single circuit of The Beginner Body Weight Workout. The important thing here is that you do it every morning, just like you would the mile.
I’ve created a spreadsheet in Google docs that couldn’t be easier to join. You put down your name and you add an X next to the day every time you complete the day. Put your money where your mouth is, and make your declaration public!
Yes, I realize I’m posing this in the afternoon; you can do your first mile when you get home today. HOWEVER, when you wake up tomorrow morning, no matter how chilly it is, strap on your shoes, grab your coat, and go for a walk around your neighborhood or block.
Good luck, my dear Rebel friend!