Welcome to the latest edition of 52 healthy habits, where each week I tackle a new healthy habit and attempt to build upon these habits week after week. The reason I started this series is because I believe healthy habits are the the cornerstone of goal achievement. Whatever it is that you want to do in life, figure out the actions you need to take every day to get there and start building habits. It's not easy and I am certainly not perfect, but I hope you will follow along on my healthy habits journey as I succeed and fail along the way.
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My week one healthy habit was getting up early at 5:30am to work on my blog, business or work out, and while I massively failed that first week, I have improved drastically in weeks two and three. This week we got up early every day, even Saturday and Sunday. While it still feels hard even after a full eight hours of sleep, we are rolling on this habit. Day by day.
My week two habit was entering my calories into MyFitnessPal every day and I was able to do that (I don't do weekends for sanity sake) with little issues. I wanted to make my week two habit something easy since I was still struggling with the morning thing.
My week three habit was to hit the macros more closely on my macro shred program. While I haven't improved drastically I have set up an action plan for next week. I am starting over the 6 week program on Cori Lefkowith's 6 Week Macro Cycling Shred Program, I am really focusing on hitting the targets this time around. I wrote more about macro cycling on my Running with Ollie Blog if you want to learn more about what I am doing.
WEEK 4: Morning Pages
Now we are moving into week four! My healthy habit for next week is Morning Pages. Have you heard about Morning Pages? I listen to a lot of Podcasts and this concept seemed to be coming up over and over again on different shows. Morning Pages are three pages of a handwritten brain dump written shortly after you wake up in the morning. It's not a list, it's definitely not an article or a story. It is a stream of consciousness writing about whatever is on your mind. If you don't know what to write? Just start writing. You can write that you don't know what to write about and it seems useless. It's OK. You're not supposed to reread and certainly not edit what you wrote. It is for your eyes only, so you should really be able to pour your heart into it. Some even suggested having another notebook nearby for ideas or to-dos that might come up during your sessions since you're not supposed to analyze or edit, it is not a great place to store actionable ideas.
They said that some people may feel inclined to type their morning pages, but to resist the urge. It takes longer to write out by hard and forces you to slow down your thoughts, it's harder to edit (and harder to reread apparently, my handwriting is atrocious). I am committed to writing three handwritten pages everyday about whatever my brain and pen spill out on the paper. Worries, fears, goals, dreams, complaints, gratitude, nothing. Just get it down. Hubby looked at me a little weird when he saw me scribbling in my notebook. "Is that your manifesto?" he asked with a smirk.
It feels sort of like a teenage girl's diary minus the boy bands (unless you count Jack White) but I started several days ago (already missed a day or two) so next week I want to commit to the three pages every day, even on weekends. It takes about 20-25 minutes to finish, so good thing I've been getting up earlier. Depending on what I write, some days I think I will want to ceremoniously light the pages on fire and burn them in my backyard so I am sure no one will ever read them. I don't think that's what the creator had in mind. I have visions of my family going through my things in my home after I'm dead and finding Grandma's old "crazy" notebooks and even though I am already dead in this scenario, I die inside. hah.
So what are the benefits? According to some die-hard practitioners, a clearer mind, more creative thoughts and reduced anxiety. I'll take it. Seems like worth a shot.
I think there is some merit to this and I have faith in the process because once back in 2014 I started a 1000 word a day challenge. It lasted a whopping eight days. I opened a new free blog account and starting typing. It was amazing that after seven days of writing my mind never felt so clear. I wrote about it on that blog and I said that I didn't notice how much noise was going on in my brain until I cleared it all out. Then it felt so quiet in comparison. That was three years ago. It is plenty cluttered again. The reason I said I stopped doing the 1000 words a day is exactly the fact that I was typing and publishing online so I was editing myself. Maybe not saying everything I really thought and felt deep down inside for fear of judgement, criticism or ridicule (or trouble!). WIth morning pages you get it all out there (even if it is not fit for public consumption). I am excited about this new habit. I am excited to remember what that clear mind feeling is like because that is a foreign concept these days. I'll let you know how it goes. Just promise me if I die you won't read them.
You can learn more about Morning Pages in this article, the one I originally referenced in 2014 when I talked about wanting to stop typing my 1000 words a day and start penning them, but somehow I never did.
What healthy habits are you tackling this week? Have you ever heard of Morning Pages? Willing to give it a shot? I am excited about it. My biggest obstacle will be forgetting to do it with my morning foggy brain, so I'll have to make sure it is on my early morning to-do lists.
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I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help.
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While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.