Habits – take 2 – How I incorporate a new routine

First a disclaimer: This is how adopting new routines works for me. As I wrote in last post , you need to find the way that is working for you. Of course, you are welcome to take inspiration from my method. It is a mixture of different tools and techniques I have taken from different sources 😉

First – I set up my plan in my journal. Written reflection helps me and so do check lists.
I build my plan up like this:

  1. Outcome Goal – what is it I want to achieve
  2. Motivation – why do I want to achieve this
  3. Progress milestones – usually 5, I try to spread them over the period I am incorporating the new routine and try making them realistic
  4. Critical drivers – what do I need to incorporate this routine
  5. Accountability – I am better at incorporating new routines, if I am accountable to someone or something
  6. Things to-do – if I need to do something for me to incorporate the new routine
  7. Celebration – how and when to celebrate
  8. Tracker – often a daily check to mark ‘complete’ or other measurements which helps me to track that I am sticking to my plan
Current tracker

And more concrete, those how want to see, this is my current plan for a new routine

  1. Outcome Goal – want to run 5K under 30min on the 12th of May 2022.
  2. Motivation – I have previous had great joy in running but dropped out of the routine a couple of years ago and want it back. I want to do something for my health, and it needs to be something I can do without special equipment and when travelling.
  3. Progress milestone:
  4. Setting up a running program on my running watch. To be completed before week 1 (I need to have a clear plan to follow when doing sports with a goal, especially in the beginning, when I know it is going to be hard)
  5. Getting into the routine of taking gear out in the evening. This should be an automatism by the end of week 4 (I need to jump in those cloths in the morning, even though I do not run right away in the morning, I first do my journaling. But being ready for running removes a lot of friction and potential excuses later on (I.e.: of bad weather))
  6. Lose 4 cm on the waist, to be achieved by end of week 13 (I am not running out of the wish to lose weight, but get more muscles and less fat, as a part of being healthier. Therefor losing centimeter on the waist is a good indicator for that process. I have put 4 cm as a goal after 3 months, have no idea if it is realistic and will update it, when I have more data – that’s the scientist in me speaking).
  7. Run 5K without needing a break by the end of week 17 (I have trained up from nothing before and that was possible. There is no additional pace/running time goal on this, just the running for 5K)
  8. Race in Copenhagen: 5K under 30min, by week 24 (This is both a progress milestone and an accountability. Knowing when I must achieve my goal helps me keeping focus). Here my plan also ends, because after 24 weeks, it should be a routine.

Critical drivers:
a. Setting up my journal with weekly trackers, before week 1 (As I wrote, this is a way for me to incorporate a routine).
b. Run 3 times a week (As I have trained up before, I know that it is possible for me with 3 times a week to achieve that I can run 5K. Furthermore, it is also the time I want to use on running)
c. Track waist measurements, every fourth week (Seeing that something is happening, helps me to keep my motivation).
d. Buy ticket for run, end January (Having the ticket is also a motivation for me besides a driver)
e. Continue running after my training program has ended, week 18 (I know in the beginning, sticking to the running program will help me to get me out the door, as it is set to 3 times a week. But when it ends, I still want to run 3 times a week)

Accountability:
Keep tracker up to date
Weekly check-in with a friend to chat about if I am keeping to my training and if I am not, why
Things to-to:
Find a way to celebrate each week when I have completed all trainings
Measure up 3K, 4K and 5K route to when my training program is done
Celebration:
Halfway – end week 12 Drawing course
End Dinner in a Michelin restaurant
For both celebrations, I must have completed all trainings. Of course, if I miss a training because of an injury, I am excused. The main milestones need to be accomplished though.
Tracker:
I make a 24-week plan, because that is the number of weeks to the race.
As I want to run 3 times a week on certain days, these are marked in the plan and when I have completed my run, I fill out the marking or if I have shift days, I fill out the day I run.
I track the completion of all my routine as a percentage: so, if I do run 3 days a week, it will be 100%.
And as stated I track my waist measurement once a month.

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