Habits not resolutions

After proving to be a complete failure when it comes to New Year resolutions I have decided to follow what seems to work better for me.

I have been using HabitForge since August 2010 and it has been hugely helpful in getting me riding bikes more regularly (I have now ridden a bike 428 days in a row).

So I have created two new habits on  HabitForge. One is a negative and one a positive and they are both aimed at my general health/wellbeing.

The negative one is to have no late night snacks. I am appalling for scoffing lots and lots of unhealthy stuff late at night. I know I feel better when I don't (and not doing this makes the biggest single difference to my overall weight) but I still do it. This bad habit sets me up for a number of others (such as very late nights), however, simpoly knowing how bad it is doesn't help me kick it. I find New Year resolutions don't work for this type of behaviour as it only takes one miss early on and the New Year resolution is broken and loses all it's impact. The daily habit instead helps me focus on achieving long runs of days and allows me to restart immediately after any failures. Anyway to allow myself a tick in the habit achieved box it will mean nothing but water or herbal tea after we finish our evening meal.

The positive one is something that I know I should do and do manage occasionally but not with much regularity is stretching. I don't mean a simple stretch while lying in bed but a set of stretches to improve my overall mobility and flexibility (both of which are pretty poor). Again it is strange to me why I find it so difficult to do regularly something that makes such a big difference (far less back pain and so many things are just easier to do when you can bend more easily). So again I am going to try the daily habit on this. To tick the box I need to do several minutes of careful stretching (I think just after my morning shower is the best time for me).

The first target for both these habits is 21 days in a row, at this point it is claimed your body/mind adjusts and you have got them ingrained. For me to be sure it takes a lot longer than that which is why I still monitor the daily cycling habit after well over 400 days in a row.

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