A few months ago, I read The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. It’s the story of a top lawyer who goes on a journey to discover himself after having a cardiac arrest in the court room. It may not be high literature but one thing from the book stuck in my head. The lawyer learns techniques from a Himalayan monk to transform his life. The monk teaches him a way to introduce healthier habits in his life- like eating more fruit, exercising more or meditating 15 minutes a day. The trick is ridiculously simple: do whatever it is you want to do for 21 days in a row. It may be hard at the beginning but after 21 days it will become as natural as brushing your teeth. Every evening, you don’t ask yourself: “Do I feel like brushing my teeth tonight?”. You just do it, almost automatically.
Lately, Nick has been nagging me to exercise more often: “Why don’t you go jogging?” He asks almost everyday. I always come up with a good excuse:
- “It’s too hot today.”
- “It’s too cold today.”
- “I just ate; It’s not good to exercise right after eating.”
- “I’m hungry; I’ll pass out if I go with an empty stomach!”
- “Now, it’s raining!”
- “It’s too late; I’m afraid to run in the dark”
- “I already walked from the tram stop to work and back. And from the apartment to the tram stop and back. Its like 4 times 10 minutes, which equals 40 minutes of exercise. It’s enough!”
- “I’d rather have a nap instead,” and so on.
When Nick hears my excuses, he usually starts laughing and calls me a slack-ass. But I am anything but a slack-ass! Besides, I want and need to exercise more regularly. So I decided to use the 21 day technique to get me started on jogging. Also, I thought it would be a good topic for my blog. Of course, my ultimate goal is not to go running every day of my life. Once every two or three days would be enough in the long term. But I hope that after going running for about 30 to 60 minutes every day for 21 days, I’ll become addicted to it and then it’ll be easy to go once every 2/3 days.
Why jogging? It costs nothing more than a good pair of shoes, I can do it anywhere, anytime, it makes me go to the forest breathe fresh air and I don’t need more than 5 minutes to get ready for it. Mostly, I feel great for the whole day after going for a run (the brain starts to create endorphins after only 20 minutes of exercise). Running is also good to stay slim, firm and to sleep better.
To get started, I decided to allow 2 exceptions to the 21 day challenge. I won’t go jogging if:
a) It is pissing rain
b) I do another sport the same day (badminton, yoga,
I told Nick about it and he was excited. I tried to convince him to do a 21 day challenge himself to show his support : “You could cook for 21 evenings in a row!” I suggested. “Go to hell,” was his answer.
Bravely, I decided to stick to my plan without his support and started yesterday. As I came back from my first run, Nick cheered and exclaimed: “I’m so proud of you!” It seemed like nothing could have made him happier. It’s weird. I mean, some guys ask their girlfriends to wear French maid outfits or stuff like that. But for Nick, nothing is sexier than a strong-minded sweaty girl.