On January 1, I started to run again. The last time I ran regularly was probably sometime in 2015.

I can’t say exactly why I started again, other than I just felt like it that day and so I did it.

Then I did it again the next day, and the next. And that has led to me running pretty much every morning of 2018.

In the dark. In the cold. And, in some cases, in the rain.

I’m committed, people. Or a little crazy.

To be sure, I’m not running fast, or very far, but I am slowly building up the time that I run vs. walk each morning.

I attribute this new running habit mostly to the wave of momentum I get every January 1st when the new year starts. Last year, I rode the wave all the way through April to get 10k steps every day for four straight months.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to run every day for four months straight, but I am saying that, for me, the power of the New Year is a force to be reckoned with.

I’ve written before about the power of the clean slate and also about the power of exercise. But just because something has power doesn’t mean it’s easy to harness that power.

Regular exercise has been one of the hardest routines for me to keep up, especially when I travel. Even when I’m home, I much prefer reading in bed or sitting at my desk and writing, especially in the early morning hours.

However, as an upholder, I’m really good at making myself do things I don’t want to do, but that I know I should.

I’m also lucky that the benefits of regular exercise make themselves apparent pretty quickly. I have more energy, for example. I’m also finding it easier to drink more water throughout the day (I start with at least 24 oz before I leave for work). I’m using my standing desk more at work. I’m sleeping better.

Here are some of the other strategies that are helping me with this habit:

  • Podcasts. While I run, I listen to podcast episodes and that feels like a bit of a reward.
  • Accountability. I’m sharing my progress with running on Instagram Stories and with my personal trainer.
  • Routine. When I run, it’s usually at the same time every day, on the same running path.
  • Incremental challenges. Trying to go a little farther or a little longer each time to build up endurance makes each run have a new goal.
  • Realistic expectations. Since I don’t want to get injured, my expectations for speed and distance are VERY low.
  • Do what works. I usually intersperse walking with running since this is how I first learned to run and it works for me.
  • The right gear. Especially when I’m running in the rain, having a billed hat and light rain jacket have helped make me more comfortable.

I’m not sure how long I’ll ride the new year wave, but I’ll take all the help I can get with the habits that I struggle with.

To think on:

  • Does a new year serve as a motivator for you?
  • In what ways are you riding the new year wave?