How I Made Walking an Easy Habit - Just Walk It!
We have all seen clinical trials and studies showing the benefits of walking on your heart, mind, and body. We all know walking is essential. It is one of the few things that everyone agrees. It is simple, has immediate effects, and can be done anywhere.
So why don’t we? I suspect it is the age-old difficulty of making new ideas part of your life. Habits. I’ll share how I did it, but I love to hear how others have made walking a simple part of their lives.
For me, it was a matter of thinking a little differently during everyday activities and creating a new habit. I started by trying to park further away from stores. That seemed simple enough. I live in a “geographical oddity”: I’m a 20-minute drive from everywhere. The simple act of buying milk is a 2-hour commitment if I walk. So I decided to change where I park instead. I usually look for the closest parking spot, so now I would look for something further away. That's a nice idea, but there was a trick to it becoming a habit and not just a fleeting thought. I used the 5-Second Rule. In the beginning, I didn’t always remember to park further away. But if I did remember, I would quickly say to myself, “Just Walk It!” and immediately move to find the furthest parking spot. When I committed to act within 5-seconds of when I had those thoughts, I started doing it. Now I have a new habit. The groans from my kids when we park tell me I’m doing something right.
If you’re unfamiliar with the principle behind the 5-Second Rule, Mel Robbins describes it this way:
“The moment you have the instinct to do something, you gotta move within five seconds, or your brain will talk you out of it.”
I did two actions within the 5-Second Rule to help make it stick for me. First, I came up with a phrase to link all my knowledge on exercising and walking to action: “Just Walk It!” Second, I came up with a simple act, parking farther away. Now, when I go shopping, as soon as I pull into the parking lot, the phrase, “Just Walk It!” pops into my mind, and I park where there are always parking spaces available, about as far away from the store as possible.
So, consider using Mel’s 5-Second Rule when it comes time to act as you think about how you can get more walking in. It is incredible how quickly your motivation (internal voice) shifts to help you after making the first movement to action. A few decisions like that, and you're well on your way to making a new habit.
Just Walk It!
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