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How to make a winter training plan you can actually stick to

That morning jog you love in summer can become a chore in winter.

Running in winter requires extra motivation.
Running in winter requires extra motivation.

Winter is coming…

The morning jog that you dutifully developed over the past few months is about to be put to the test.

Instead of the bright summer sun, you’ll be greeted by the relentless autumn wind.

Yet you know that fitness has tremendous effects on at-work performance, since you read about how marathon-running CEOs lead companies valued 4% to 10% higher than CEOs who don’t run marathons.

But running in the cold is way less fun, so how can you protect that habit?

Business Insider consulted Walter Mischel, the Columbia University psychologist whose work has helped psychological science understand how self-control predicts success.

Mischel, author of “The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control,” said the first step is understanding what’s going on.

“What is happening is that the pleasure value of jogging is going down and the effort value and the discomfort value of jogging is going up,” he said. “You have to ask yourself, ‘how much is this really worth to me?’”

If it is worth the while, the next step is implementing an “if/then” plan.

“You have to heed the delayed consequences,” Mischel said. “When it’s 7am. and the alarm rings, I put on my warmest jogging clothes, and I go.”

And if that pattern is put in place every morning, it becomes a normal part of the day.

“If you’re serious about it, then you makes an if/then plan,” Mischel said. “It’s like jumping in the shower, even though you don’t feel like it; it’s automatic.” 

“You take the decision away, and thus achieve a sustainable habit.”

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Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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