I like to think that I’m fairly motivated when it comes to running. I know that running makes me feel better, both mentally and physically, and thinking about my post-run self is usually sufficient motivation to get me out the door.
Of course, there are those times when my running mojo is in the toilet and I just can’t seem to muster the will to put my sneakers on and just get out the door. We’ve all been there, right? As is the case with most healthy habits, sticking to a running schedule can sometimes be tiresome. That’s where treats come in.
In her book, Better Than Before, habits and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin says that giving ourselves occasional treats can boost habit formation. “When we give ourselves treats we feel energized, cared for, and contented, which boosts our self-command – and self-command helps us maintain our healthy habits,” she writes. “Studies shoes that people who get a little treat in the form of receiving a surprise gift or watching a funny video, gained in self-control.” Rubin explains that if you deny yourself treats you’ll start to feel depleted, resentful, justified in self-indulgence, and more likely to break your good habits.
I thought about Rubin’s strategy in terms of my own habits. When I treat myself to an iced coffee or a few minutes of watching funny videos on YouTube, I feel happier, more energetic, and ready to face some of the items on my to-do list, including going for a run.
Treats make life more fun and interesting. Of course, it’s important to keep your treats small and not too indulgent, to avoid developing unhealthy habits while trying to retain the good ones. Here’s a list of healthy treats for runners. Please share other ideas in the comments. Although not all may work for you, pick some out so you can plan some treats for yourself in the near future. You deserve it!
Hot bubble or sea salts bath
Listen to audiobook or podcast while running
Buying a new running visor
Watch a favorite show while running on the treadmill
Playing with a dog or cat
Downloading some new songs for your playlists
Run to meet a friend for coffee
Buying a new pair of running socks
Taking a nap
Playing a game with a kid
Researching races to run
Reading running quotes
Running at a totally new and beautiful location (like near water)
Running with a friend to catch up
Foam rolling session
Reading Runner’s World magazine