What’s the longest you have ever kept a streak that required discipline?

365 day running challengeWhat’s the longest you have ever kept a streak that required discipline?
Maybe you’ve set a New Years resolution to exercise everyday. How long did it last?

Last November 11th, 2018, my son challenged me to run everyday for a year. How hard is it to run 365 consecutive days? I like a good challenge and time with my boy sounded great. Initially the time and distance mattered less than the goal to run everyday for a year. After 100 days in a row, we were in a good groove, so as competitive boys do we upped the minimum distance to 3km per day. No problem right? What if my body can’t handle it, what if I’m sick, injured, don’t have time, or it’s too cold? I definitely realized my body’s several limitations.

I also learned the value of mobility. Stretching became my new best friend every morning to reduce tightness and the chances of injury. I learned the value of creating daily habits to increase my chances of success. Everything was going great until…Day 328.

7:23am on Saturday Oct 5th, after a great night celebrating the start of Oktoberfest, I became acutely aware of how easy it is to miss the mark! How is it you can make a decision and hit a daily target 326 days in a row but wake up day 328 to realize my streak was over. How on earth did I miss day 327??? My streak was over.

The set back was merely a set up to celebrate my son’s VICTORY with him. Still, I wonder how is it that after consistently achieving my goal for 326 days, running in Mexico, Bancroft, Sudbury, Chicago, Roundlake Centre, Conestoga Lake, Lake Huron, and home how could I miss one simple day. Once again, I think what I learned from this experience is more important than accomplishing the goal in the first place.

So I started asking myself some great questions:
How does a person create habits and keep them?
How do you remind yourself to do the things you want to do?
How do you give yourself a command and attempt to follow it everyday?
What can you do to remind yourself of your goal?

Here are some things I have pondered since this failure and some way to prevent failure to execute in the future.

  • Use visual cues – sticky notes, mirror notes, running shoes you have to step over….
  • Create a daily calendar you see and check off physically check off (like an advent calendar with a daily reward of chocolate)
  • Get an accountability partner and make sure you connect everyday (my son and I usually checked in daily but I started my day early and finished late on day 327 and didn’t see him).

What do you use to ensure when you give yourself a command you will follow through. Needless to say my son Cade won and finished the challenge Nov 10, 2019. I persevered and ran 326 +39 days in a row. #prouddad #perseverance #commitment #winner Together we finished strong but he didn’t miss a single day.

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