Putting Your Heart Into Your Habits …

Written by Eric Ulchakere

May 20, 2020

How’s your New Year’s resolution going?

I was talking to my friend the other day about how I had gone on a run for the first time in months, and how sore I was because of it. She told me that she had made a New Year’s resolution to work out twice a week, and, although she hadn’t forgotten about it, she had almost completely given up.

This was a total surprise to me, because out of the two of us, I would say she is in better shape. During our first year of college, she was the one who would walk across campus, even when it was cold and dark out, to make whatever fitness class she had signed up for that week.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t make a resolution at all this year. I don’t think I’ve ever held to a resolution for more than a week or two into January. But if I had made a resolution, it would undoubtedly be about running. I ran a lot in high school and more or less quit when I got to college. I was never super great at running, and I had liked running in the afternoon, which was hard to fit into my schedule.

So I had told my friend that I would start going running again during the summer, and I think it’s safe to say that neither of us really believed me. I haven’t been a “runner” for almost three years now! It isn’t really a habit of mine any longer. If anything, it’s just a memory of a habit.

To all of our disbelief, I actually started running again. I’m not going to tell you my stats, but my first run was a little over a mile, and I was sloooow. I’m sticking to it; I have a plan that will have me going on 3-mile runs during August.

When I think about why I have decided to take exercise more seriously, while my very healthy friend is currently in a little slump, is because I only have one year left of college, and I’ve been told by a lot of people that the habits you form while when you’re young tend to stick with you throughout life. I figure the more work I do now, the less I’ll have to do later.

I want to be a runner because it makes me feel great. It helps me to relax and it’s good for my body and mind. If I don’t start now, I might never do it. Running isn’t something I want to do, it’s something I know I need to do.

My friend is on a different level than me, even if she is in a mini-slump right now, because she has exercised consistently throughout the last three years. My goal, or my “resolution,” is high-stakes because I need to prove to myself that I can see it through.

And who knows? Maybe by next January, I’ll set a real resolution of running a 10k. But until then, I’m going to go on another very slow, very short run this afternoon. We’ll see what happens.

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