01 March 2011

Creating Habit

I've done the bike/train ride combination to work enough times now that it's become habit, and instead of worrying about navigating the route, finding platforms, making connections, getting off at the right stop, I can settle down pretty immediately and get to work or take a nap.

I also have head space to enjoy the trip. Pretty chilly this morning: 34 degrees when I started my trip, 38 when I got to the other end of the train trip and got back on the bike. That proved an important four-degree difference, given a stiff wind, so that the second leg of the bike ride was really, truly pleasant, with a bright blue sky and warm sun at my back.

(This also exemplifies the importance of the idea that "there's no bad weather, only bad clothes." I was dressed for the temperature, which meant I didn't have to be uncomfortable, even on the earlier, colder end.)

I also played along with Plastic-Free February, after my initial snit about how impossible it in fact is to avoid plastic, by committing to bringing lunch to work rather than buying it at the student cafeteria, where I end up with a salad in a plastic bowl and some rice and beans on a styrofoam (!) plate.

(Here I sit, typing on a plastic keyboard in a plastic chair at a desk with a plastic top next to a lamp with a plastic shade, drinking coffee out of a plastic and metal mug. In a few minutes, I'll print some documents using a plastic printer and edit them using a plastic mechanical pencil.)

Bringing lunch, too, has become habit, enabled by planning ahead to make sure there are either leftovers from a recent dinner or bread in the house to make a couple of sandwiches.

Now: Back to Operation Get Off the Couch. I've been trying, with reasonable success, to work out at lunch time, but there are just too many days when I don't even take lunch. Which means bigger changes: making time to work out either early in the morning or late at night, before or after work.

So I'm going to try this: getting up 45 minutes earlier twice a week *** shudder *** to go for a 30-minute run. I'll save the longer workout for the days when I can get out at midday. But somehow, I need to change my habits to make a routine of getting more exercise.

I'll give it a shot for the month of March.