Wednesdays Call to Courage Video: Create An Action Habit

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When I decided to quit smoking, I knew I needed to replace my addiction with a good habit of action. It had to be something that would make me feel good, strong and healthy. 

I chose running. In order to become a runner, I needed to run daily. I had to change. I needed to establish a habit of taking action. I couldn't just think or talk about running. I had to run. 

That winter, there was a brand new indoor track at the university I was attending. Every morning, before leaving home, I would pack my gym bag and run in between my classes. 

The first day, I couldn’t even get half way through one lap. It didn’t matter, my mind was made up. I had a goal of increasing my mileage by one mile per month. I would run every day no matter what. 

I ran day after day, week after week and month after month. I discovered that I loved running. I never skipped a run. 

There was a road race in a town nearby the following May. It was there that I ran my first 10K. I finished in last place. It didn’t matter. Running and I were having a mad love affair. 

Soon after, Hubs quit smoking and began running too. Then we began entering our daughters in the fun runs.  Over the years, we took our running shoes with us on vacation. Hubs and I ran together in different citie,; in various States. 

I never quit running.   

I signed up for a half marathon in Santa Barbara this November. It’s hot in Arizona. Real hot. It means I’ll have to run very early in the morning in order to beat the heat.

Some mornings it’s difficult to get started. It doesn’t matter. 

A long time ago, a friend told me that the greatest distance is from where I put on my shoes on my feet to the door. It’s so true.  Any obstacle in my way is only in my mind.  I still love running. 

In the video below I give you the short version of creating an action habit. You can also read the longer version below.

How to create your own action habit for anything you want to achieve: 

Create enthusiasm. Wake up and smell the day. I have a playlist of my favorite upbeat music. I mix up my running routes.  I soak up the sun.  

Make a commitment; do your most important thing.  Do it first. Don’t quit until you finish. If I really need to push myself, I’ll sleep in my running clothes. You have to be willing to do what it takes. When I feel unmotivated, I sign up for a run. My entrance fee is my commitment. 

Just get started. Running a short distance is better than not running at all. Take a 10 minute break and pick up where you left off. 

Don’t be hard on yourself. The world doesn’t end if you miss a day or two. However, it is important to get right back on track.

Be prepared. I have my running shoes and water bottle ready to go the night before. I know what I need to do. I need to take action; I need to run. 

It’s been 25 years since I quit smoking and I’m still running. It’s like breathing, it works for me. 

What life-long habit of action have you created? What habit would you like to create? Please share with us below.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Victor July 3, 2013, 8:29 am

    Tess,

    I love running too! I am thrilled that you are training for the 1/2 marathon for November! I laugh when I read that you have to run early in the morning, because otherwise it’s too hot! When I was training for my long run which was in May, I had to bundle up and brave the cold. So funny how you have to work your runs around the elements. 🙂

    I wish you the best on your training, and I loved the message that you embedded within your story — that our obstacles are just a product of our minds. Very well done! Good luck!

    -Victor

    • Tess July 3, 2013, 11:01 am

      Victor,

      When I lived in Michigan I braved all of the elements. I remember one road race that I ran in a blizzard. It was hard to see where I was going and when I finished I had snow packed behind my neck. I rarely missed a day in the first 15 years. I fell on ice and hit my head hard several times. Crazy stuff, but to me it was a break from my four kids and if I didn’t get outside and get my run in…it wasn’t a pretty scene. haha

  • Cathy Taughinbaugh July 3, 2013, 8:45 am

    Hi Tess,

    That is great that you are running the half marathon in Santa Barbara. I ran one a couple of years ago in Orange County with my daughter. It was an amazing experience. Glad you are able to work around the heat. That is a wonderful goal and you should be very proud when you accomplish your run, as not everyone is able to go the distance. Best of luck to you. Enjoyed the video as well!

    • Tess July 3, 2013, 11:27 am

      Cathy,

      This isn’t my first 1/2 marathon, I’ve even ran 3- 25Ks. Just not for two years. It will be interesting to say the least! Thanks for your support!

  • Elle July 3, 2013, 9:43 am

    Wow Tess, you are one impressive lady. Do I need to tell you again, you’re my heroine!

    As someone who thinks walking is good for me, the concept of running a half marathon is totally outside my conscious awareness. What a great exchange, an addiction for a healthy habit. You go girl. 🙂

    The vid is great.

    xoxo
    Elle

  • Tess July 3, 2013, 11:28 am

    Elle,
    I do love walking as well. I like anything outdoors! Thanks for being my friend!

  • karen July 6, 2013, 2:19 am

    Hi Tess, when I stopped smoking I started eating chocolate! Now I have to start and get a healthy alternative. Its easy to substitute a bad habit for another bad habit.
    Thanks for your article.

  • Betsy/Zen Mama July 7, 2013, 3:51 pm

    As usual, the best advice Tess! I have a few new habits to work on and will use your tips! Just get started is the best part for me… I just need to do it!
    Thanks!
    xoxo
    Betsy

  • john mwendwa kitaka July 7, 2013, 5:35 pm

    Hi Tess.

    I have been reading through many of facts about fear, failures etc. I have failed many in quite many things in my life. I now know it was caused by the fear of failure. I have decided to take action to transform my life. My first step is to start running. I am happy because i already know that i won’t fail!! Thanks for the inspiration.

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