3 Lessons from 21 Days Of Running

21 consecutive days of running for at least 30 minutes. I had picked a daunting task for my first 21 day challenge. This is especially so for someone who rarely runs.

I struggled. I suffered. I had good days and bad days. I persevered. And I eventually successfully completed the 21 days of running challenge.

Here are the 3 lessons that I learnt from the experience:

1. Overcome inertia by taking small steps

I experience inertia whenever I do something new or even have the intention to do something new. I had the same with this challenge. In the beginning, the prospect of running 21 days consecutively seemed daunting.

I’d still put on my shoes and start moving. A slow jog. Eventually becomes a normal jog. Then all the aches (real and imagined) slowly melt away. Then it becomes easy.

Everyday I’d overcome the inertia by just taking a small action.

This applies to everything that we attempt. Taking the action first. Do not keep reading about it. Do not keep thinking about it. Take the action and you will soon find yourself barrelling towards success.

2. Replace the negative self talk with positive self talk

In the early days of the challenge, I would find myself thinking… “What if I give up halfway?” “What if I get injured?” “What if I don’t enjoy the journey?”

I’d recognize the negative self talk and replace it with positive self talk. I’m running again. Oh wow, I’m on a 5 day winning streak. I am surprising myself each day I continue with this.

The positive self talk would be around how running is in alignment with the fit and healthy person identity that I want to embody.

Being aware of our self talk is highly important. We can focus on positive self-talk and that can help us achieve our goals.

3. Be accountable

It was 10pm. I had just attended a 3 hour class on Zoom. Before that I had an intense day of work. I decided to rest for a while. Before I knew it, it was already past 11pm. I was tired. I had enough reasons to not run that day. But I still ran.

I had to be accountable to my group and my friends on Instagram.

To be accountable is to be held responsible for delivering on the commitment that you made. In this instance, my group was holding me responsible for completing my challenge.

You are more likely to achieve your goal if you have an accountability group. In fact, the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) discovered that people have a 65% chance of reaching a goal if they have an accountability partner.

The power of taking the action, positive self talk and the importance of accountability. These are lessons that we read about and encounter on a regular basis. But to experience it through a challenge allows us to truly understand how they can make an impact on our lives.

I’m onto my next 21 day challenge and I encourage you to pick one too!