Saturday, November 30, 2013

5 Things I Learned Walking 90 Miles in November

1. Starting is almost completing.  You have to start. Start as small as you want to but start. If your goal is to start walking then put your shoes on. If it's to get the house in order empty the sink and clean it or make your bed. Life has a certain momentum and if you just start it is easier to continue.

2. You must keep the end in mind. You must conquer the impulse of now. I know you don't want to; I don't either. None of us wants to get out of bed, or vacuum the house, or go to work, or discipline the kids but we do. We do because we can imagine how we will feel after. When we are dressed and the house is clean, we've done a good day's work and have grown children that we're proud of . We must look past the impulse we have to do what is comfortable and convenient now and imagine something better...later.

3.The discipline is in the doing.  You aren't going to wake up one day and have will power. You aren't going to love exercise or healthier food or studying magically one day. But as you do it, the next time becomes easier. Over the course of time it's part of your life and you need less and less discipline to keep doing it.

4.You have time for the things that you are determined to do.

My son in law is a police officer and I'm pretty sure he's never heard anyone say that they really wanted to smoke crack today but didn't have time.

"Yeah I was so busy at work and coaching my son's little league team, I really wanted to get high today but couldn't work it in."

You will make time for what is important to you. You will arrange your schedule to accommodate your addictions and weaknesses. The alcoholic always has time for a drink, the shopaholic can always stop at one more store,  the lazy person always has time to watch more television. If relationships, exercise, spiritual growth, education, eating right, and being productive are important to you, you'll find the time to do those things.

5. Publicize your goals and you are more likely to stay on track. Want to get something done? Make yourself accountable to someone else. I can't tell you how many days there were when the only reason I walked was because I told you what I was doing.  It also gave people a chance to encourage me. My college age son would even ask me how my 90 Mile November was going when he saw me, thanks to Twitter.

Overall I noticed a lot of health benefits during the month. When I started I'd taken a month off while I was renovating the upstairs and for the first week or so I thought the third mile would kill me. About 2 weeks in I missed a day and had to make it up by adding a mile and a half the next two days. My back hurt so bad I felt like crying and ran a good bit of the last mile because running hurt less than walking. But just the other day I missed a day and walked the entire 6 miles the next day to make it up. It felt great.

Remember that all health benefits aren't measured on a scale. My stamina increased by a great deal and I had a wellness check last week that included a whole range of tests that turned out very well.  I can get really excited about a nurse telling me the results of my blood work are beautiful. My mood improved and I felt less stressed and happier in general, some of which may be due to my walking outdoors. Research shows that there is a great psychological benefit to spending time in nature. Over the past month I got to enjoy watching the season change completely and note differences in the trees and animals. It meant keeping tissues in my pocket, sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, gloves, and scarf in my car but the fresh air and sunshine were worth it. I also feel like since I was outside everyday for a 3 mile walk I acclimated better to the change in the weather.

What do you want to change? Use these 5 things and get started. You'll be a month ahead of everyone else come New Years!


  1. Well, this is great advice… for anything… which reminds me, when does 31 Cocktails in December begin? I am totally determined to make time for that :)

  2. Let's just drink them and not blog about them. ;)