Starting New Habits: Running one song at a time
A friend of mine recently suggested I start running one song at a time. I was familiar with the concept, but not necessarily naming it this way. Actually naming the overall idea has really helped me hone in on how important the concept itself is and definitely not just when it comes to running.
I go through spurts with jogging and whenever I stop, I find it a challenge to start it up again. You know what I mean? That happens with lots of habits that make us feel good, but that take a bit of discipline before they become a part of our life. Do you have a routine you’d like to start, but haven’t quite made it a habit yet? Then here are a few things to keep in mind.
The main idea behind Running One Song at a Time is finding some element of pure enjoyment. I love music and I love the way my body feels when I move it. So, I recently re-started my jogging routine by finding some gooooood running songs for my iPod. I know what kind of songs make my heart feel big and expansive and make me want to move so those are the kind I chose.
I put my running shoes on & walked until one of those songs came on and then I jogged to the music. Just one song in the beginning. Sometimes I took a break and then I ran for another song, but usually not more than 1 in a row in the beginning. The key was that I let my body decide. I didn’t say to myself ‘ok. run for 2 minutes and then walk’ and I didn’t say just run 10 blocks first and then take a break. I actually didn’t think at all. I just ENJOYED the music and listened to my body about when it wanted to listen to another song & run a bit more.
I’ve always known the importance of starting off with small goals in the beginning in order to keep that motivation flowing. But this felt a little different as I was letting go of all of the ‘shoulds’ and any rules about what is ‘best’ when you start off jogging. I quickly increased my song selection to 2 and then 3 and then 5 and soon, I was running the entire 3 miles. It felt free and easy and enjoyable and had nothing in common with the ‘no pain, no gain’ mantra we often hear.
So, keep this in mind next time you’d like to start or re-start a new routine or habit. What might you do to connect with some element of pure joy in this new activity? How can you truly listen instead of pushing in a way you think you ‘should’ push? Ask yourselves these questions, be curious and enjoy experimenting with this.