My Secret to Making Myself Go Running in the Mornings — and how to apply frictionless setups to your life

I just came back from a “run.” I say “run” because people walking to work were passing me by — my speed is super slow.

This is my third day of “running,” and I’ve figured out a secret weapon to push myself out the door, so I wanted to share the plan with you. You can apply this to anything in your life that you’ve been postponing, not just exercise (maybe you’re already a gym bunny or a Comrades marathoner, good for you!)

The first key word is FRICTIONLESS.

Friction is the feeling of two things rubbing together :-) and it generates heat. Sometimes that’s a good thing!

But when I want to get outside and move, friction means all the things that stop me: I’m hungry, I have to go to the bathroom, it’s too cold outside . . . and I should really check my email, right?

In runners’ magazines, they’ll give you lots of normal tips like the following, and I agree with them because they reduce friction — they stop me from stopping myself:

  • the night before, lay my running clothes out the night before, including the shoes and socks
  • the night before, set my phone and carrybelt by the front door, with the house keys
  • as soon as I get out of bed, get fully dressed in my running clothes
  • boil the kettle and make my tea and cocoa before I go (yes, they will still be warm, I only run for 15 minutes!)
  • choose my playlist (I’m listening to Blinkist audio book summaries, I can get one book done per 15 minute run)

These are all solid pieces of advice, and they work. BUT HERE IS MY SECRET WEAPON: the night before, I turn my wifi router in my house OFF and turn my phone onto AIRPLANE MODE.

What does this mean?

When I wake up, I won’t be able to see the list of Facebook messages from the Seeker Sisters, my daily coaching group for high vibration women, God bless them. I won’t be able to see the little red flag with 52 new emails. I won’t have a voicemail from my Mom. Yet.

No social media = no friction. I promise myself that as soon as I get back in the house, I’ll drink that tea and cocoa and sit right down to get ALL the news and ALL the messages and ALL the promotional coupons from PicknPay :-)

There’s a personality test called Kolbe that helps you determine your professional strengths and weaknesses. One of the points is called “open loop / closed loop” and the Kolbe test scales how comfortable you are with leaving things hanging — or do you, like me, feel compelled to complete things?

Me, I am compelled to complete! I can’t pass an open door without closing it, I can’t hear a joke without finding out the punchline, I must know what time the plane lands in Qatar, even if it’s three weeks from now. So how do I get myself out the door and go running? Don’t open the loop! Don’t look at the phone! Don’t open the laptop!

Dr. Wayne Dyer, the author of many inspirational books including You’ll See It When You Believe It, writes that 99% of our self is outside of our bodies. You know that your self is actually spiritual, not physical, but have you ever considered it at 99%? Wow! So when I want to tune in to my spiritual self, I can use the physical body to do so, but my aim should be to tune inward, not outward.

So that’s why the first 10 minutes of my morning is quiet, device-free, and just me putting on my shoes and boiling the kettle. A click of the lock and out I go.

Personally, I run for 15 minutes, come home and write (my nighttime dreams, journal, afformations (the “magic questions,” and blog articles like these), I do all my output before I allow any real-world input.

3 questions for you to get you out your own door:

What stops you, in terms of friction, from doing what you strongly desire to do?

Which systems could you put in place to decrease friction?

How does social media prevent you from getting stuff done that demands focus and output, such as meditation, writing, creation, or being face-to-face present with real live people, including children? How can you minimize its impact (turn off notifications, put the phone on silent, check it only once per hour)?

Wishing you serenity, calmness, and the ability to get a LOT done in a frictionless, guided way!! Please do email me if you have other secrets along these lines, I’d love to hear them and share them.

Love,

Shan