I missed the departure of a group walk on a gorgeous fall day, so I headed off on my own hoping to find them – it would do me good! I caught up to them but our paces varied (I am a power walker!). I socialized and walked a bit with the group, then traveled the rest of the way solo at my own pace.
On reflection, I realized the value of the group’s walk—everyone was just where they were (or at the right place for them). The point was that they were doing it. I used to tell my patients to start with small steps and set a minimum to commit to even when they were too busy or tired. At least, every single day, walk to the mailbox no matter what. That way, you don’t break your habit. That’s why people start but then drop a new behavior change. Sound familiar, say a new year’s promise? One day there is an excuse to stop and then it becomes increasingly easy to not continue the next day, etc. You break the habit, feel as if you have failed and give up.
The secret is to find a way, even if you become a marathon runner, to always come back to that committed minimum at the committed frequency so you can always succeed. You have to get the mail anyway, right? To my fellow walkers, I applaud you! Keep it up!