By Leo Babauta
Today â€” and every day this month â€” the most important part of your Get Active habit is to get started.
And have fun.
OK, so that’s two most important things: get started, and have fun.
Let’s talk about getting started.
Most people fail at their habits â€” especially ones like exercise and other physical activities â€” because they put off starting. We procrastinate, and the procrastinate some more. Then we’re not doing the habit at all. So get good at starting the habit, by practicing daily!
Here’s how to start:
- Focus on just getting any kind of movement. If you’re going to go for a fun run, just move to get your shoes on. Then put them on, get out the door. Movement begets movement, while inactivity kills the habit. Just close the laptop or phone, and get up. Head toward the place you’re going to start. Any kind of movement is all that matters.
- Count it as a success if you just start. You don’t need to do 10 minutes or even 5. Just start. If you get out the door (for example), that’s a win. Once you form the habit of starting, say in a week or so, you can form the habit of continuing for a bit more. Just take the first step.
- Close the screens. Laptops, desktop computers, phones, tablets, ebook readers, TVs, video game systems. These devices kill starting. So close them, and go take your first step.
- Watch the rationalizations. Sometimes, when you feel like procrastinating, you’ll start to rationalize why it’s OK to not start. Don’t accept these excuses your mind is making up to weasel out of starting. “I don’t feel like it” or “Not doing it this one time won’t hurt” or “You deserve a break” or “I’ll start in a few minutes” don’t cut it. They’re just squirmy excuses. Instead, say, “It won’t hurt to start!” or “I deserve to have fun and play and be active”.
That’s it â€” just take the first step and start moving, count that as a success, close the screens, don’t let yourself weasel out.