Although we steadfastly believe that new goals can be set at any time, for us, the new year is ceremoniously when we commit to our yearly goals. In 2022, Eugene and I decided to embark on a journey that intrigued and intimidated us—we committed to 365 days of running.
Here’s a not-so-well-kept secret: I’ve never been a fan of running. I’m at home in a boxing gym or spinning class and I’ve never regretted a heavy lift session, but running has always felt monotonous to me; I never get the well-advertised runners high. It was exactly for this reason that I made running 3.5km per day (a little over 2 miles) my 2022 goal. After living through cancer, a global pandemic, and surmounting the many obstacles you face when running a company, I needed to prove to myself that consistency in the face of a massive challenge was possible.
Setting a goal that—quite frankly—scared me, was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. That’s not to say that all goals have to feel so massive (even smaller daily habits, like drinking eight glasses of water, have a major impact); but pursuing consistency in the face of adversity can transform your sense of self in ways you could never imagine. I ended this year feeling more confident than I have in a long while. Showing up for myself on rainy days, hot days, and cold days, despite travel and time zones, at times when I felt not at my best, reminded me of my inner strength. We ran in New York, Barcelona, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Madrid, Milan, London, Florence, Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv. My knees thankfully survived and I feel ready to take on anything in 2023!
The two things that were the most effective in helping me maintain this habit were establishing accountability and habit stacking. I was grateful to have my husband and YourCoach COO, Eugene, participate in this goal with me. What’s more, we were sure to take a photo every morning after our runs to document our compounding accomplishment. The days that we were in different cities, we made sure to send photos to each other as soon as the run was complete. Not only were these photos an awesome memory of 2022, but they also created an accountability album that served as a source of steady encouragement for both of us.
What’s more, I was also able to integrate running into my existing morning routine. I knew that each day when my alarm went off, I’d have a glass of water, put my running outfit on, and head out for the daily run. Embedding this habit as a core component of my daily AM routine meant that I needed it to pursue the rest of my day. It started to feel like second nature and became impossible to miss.
On the other side of the coin, if ever I were to push off running to later in the day because of travel, I found I enjoyed it even less—it felt more of a chore. This further reinforced the power of habit stacking and taught me that “eating the frog,” doing the least enjoyable tasks at the start of the day, works well for me. This might not be the same for everyone. For example, some people might focus best at night, or thrive during a midday workout. What’s important is understanding what works best for YOU and adapting to your own needs (or helping coaching clients understand and adapt to theirs).
What I’ll be incorporating this year
This year, Eugene and I are both continuing to prioritize movement, and I’ve chosen to pair another activity I don’t much enjoy with activities I’m super fond of—I’ll be incorporating pilates into my routine 5 days a week (hey, I’ve learned my lesson with 365 days nonstop!). Pilates has never come easy to me, I don’t yet understand the ‘centering yourself’ part and frankly, I don’t so much enjoy the ‘slow’ and the flow, but I’m excited to undertake this challenge and see how it might have an impact on my flexibility and range of movement and my attitude towards pilates!
I’m also taking accountability to the next level thanks to a new health habit challenge our YourCoach team has embarked on. Led by our Director of Health Coaching Operations, Ashlee Honeycutt, and Health Coach Coordinator, Rowan Lischerelli, we’ve set weekly habit setting and tracking sessions to mirror the health coaching process, helping the full team better set and achieve their health goals.
If you’re interested in joining our YourCoach Health Challenge, send us a note! We may very well be looking to open it up to the community, including prizes to keep you motivated.
I’m wishing all our practicing health coaches, their clients, our industry partners and their members every ounce of health success in the year ahead. I firmly believe that we can uplift each other to become our best selves.