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Today I began my second week of walking.

It’s a new routine for me. I put the kids on the school bus, bring along my dog and my iPod, and walk. For about an hour.

Now, I know that doesn’t sound like much. But for me, it’s been life-changing.

I’ve spent the past couple of years beating myself up for not going to the gym, or for not working hard enough when I got there. There’s a voice in the back of my head that belongs to the trainer I hired a few years ago. That voice is quick to point out that I’m not working up to my full potential.

While that worked in my favor for a good long while, it has also worked AGAINST me. Ultimately it resulted in my twisted all-or-nothing thinking that kept me out of the gym, if I couldn’t do things HIS way.

But with the start of a new school year came a fresh start for me, as well. I knew I had to find an activity that I liked, one that I could do for the rest of my life. It sounded so cliche, and my trainer-voice berated me, telling me that walking was for wussies, that I should be LIFTING HARD and almost puking…but I learned the had way that his was was not sustainable. Not for me, anyway.

But I knew I needed to start a new, sustainable habit. So I decided to follow Martha Beck’s advice from The Four Day Win:

Step 1: Pick a Goal (in my case, walking for 2 hours a day; that should shut up the trainer-voice)

Step 2: Play Halvsies until your goal is ridiculously easy to attain (2 hours down to one hour down to half an hour down to 15 minutes down to 10 minutes: THAT’S ridiculously easy)

I haven’t done the rest of the steps yet; maybe I should:

Step 3: Identify a Reward

Step 4: Identify a 4-Day Reward

Step 5: Make Sure the Action and the Reward are Linked

Any ideas for a great reward? What works for you?