'Do something 21 times for it to become a pattern'
The truth is in the (christmas) pudding, so I I put the theory to test by doing 31 days of fitness in December. 30 minutes every day of either running, cycling, yoga or gym work. It was time to switch up my routine, push myself with a new challenge and take my mind to different places to see what I would find.
Here's 10 things I discovered:
1. You'll always find time or find excuses.
2. Sometimes quantity is not better than quality.
3. Be open to new types of fitness (mine was Boxing Yoga and I loved it).
4. Be honest with the people around you about what you're doing and why you're doing it.
5. Take time to make time. Plan ahead and you'll be surprised how much more time, and energy, you'll have by not having to make last minute decisions.
6. I need Strava back in my life. I'd like to think my fitness has improved but my mind is far too emotional to be factual. 2016 - the year I make the Strava return.
7. Consistency is worth it (I beat my 5K PB at the end of the month). Let's bring the weekly hill session back in 2016.
8. I love fitness. There's so much joy and development to be found in the F word.
9. This too shall pass. Even when you're feeling shit, it won't last long. Keep going.
10. I like running and cycling. So much so that I've booked onto my first duathlon in February 2016.
To answer the original question of whether repeating a task 21 days turns it into a habit, it would be yes. But with the caveat that even habits that you form need continual practice and development. Don't expect fitness to get any easier, but allow it to be more enjoyable and fulfilling (I'd much prefer that anyway).
I'm off to celebrate finishing the 31 days with Champagne. Like a boss.
Then, I'm waking up and riding in the morning. I choose starting 2016 as I mean to go on - in the saddle and in search for coffee.
Happy New Year.