At the beginning of the year I started with the 30-day Jumpstart Challenge, which I could not finish. I realized I wasn't conditioned to exercising daily, so I decided to get in the habit. I started with seeing how many days I could go with just 10 minutes of exercise. To hold me accountable, I posted a sign on my door at work. Each morning that I changed that number I smiled, knowing I was doing something good for myself.
Some people tell me, "You can't exercise EVERY day." Yes, you can. And you should. If you do it right, it will only help you. How do you think athletic people stay athletic? No, they may not run 5Ks every day, but they train, work hard, and stay active in other ways all the time.
The first week was hard. Harder than it should be. I found a lot of excuses, but I ignored them. After two weeks, it got easier. The excuses were fewer. The "just do it" mentality was starting to sink in. Co-workers started to ask about my streak. After about 20 days, a co-worker put a sign up on his door. People started making friendly bets to see who would quit first. After 4 weeks, people started to compliment me on my changing figure.
Every day is different and exciting. Some days I run intervals or do 45 minutes on the elliptical; other days I weight lift followed by pilates; sometimes I do kickboxing or Jillian Michaels' 30 day shred. Many days I get home from work and I'm tired, but I spend 15-20 minutes in front of the TV doing lunges, squats, jumping jacks, core work, or lifting weights. Most days my 10-minute minimum turned into much more. On days that I only did the bare minimum, I still did *something*.
Last night I got home from a business trip at 10:00. I had not done any activity except walking quickly through an airport. I decided that I would follow a yoga video to help me sleep. Before I knew it, I had spent 40 minutes in relaxing yoga poses and was extremely glad I didn't break my streak. I slept better last night than I have in several weeks.
A few days ago I decided that every 30 days I will increase the "minimum" activity minutes by 5. By the end of the year, I will be exercising or doing something active for an hour a day. It seems like a lot, but really, what's another 5 minutes?
Today I posted day 33, which is day 3 of a 15-minute daily streak. I actually look forward to the exercise now. It's a time I can decompress, de-stress from the day, and do something good for me. I love the after-exercise glow. I look forward to challenging my body in new ways.
This streak is the only thing that has kept me going. The streak is now a habit. I enjoy breaking my own record -- daily. This is a lifestyle. You either want it, or you don't. No excuses!
How many days can you go?