I reckon I’ve had more attempts at establishing a running habit, than it ever took to break my smoking one! Facebook told me a few days ago that the good intentions started way back at the beginning of 2009. And I can’t count how many more times I’ve started, only to let myself grind to a halt due to injury, or illness, or holidays, or whatever excuse I’ve given myself.

The fact is that I like running. It’s easy to do, since I don’t need to learn any special, sports-like skills to do it; it’s inexpensive in that I don’t need any equipment beyond a decent pair of running shoes; I only have to motivate myself as far as the front door; it’s good thinking time (when I’m not yelling at Kimber to stop annoying those dogs and give them their ball back); and I always feel really good afterwards.

So now I’m determined. I don’t want to be one of those people who gets to their sixties and seventies and suffers from ill-health because they didn’t keep themselves fit in their forties. In the past I’ve set myself some ridiculous targets, without thinking about how I’ll achieve them: I’ve literally wanted to run before I could walk. So I’m being more realistic in the hope that it’ll give me more of a chance of establishing a good level of fitness. A level of fitness commensurate with someone who drinks wine and eats crisps. I’m not expecting to become a pro-athlete, or get the body of a supermodel! Just to keep fit and healthy and enjoy exercise.

I’m taking a three-pronged approach to this, hopefully last, attempt to establish running as ‘a thing I do’. I’ve bought myself a GPS watch that’ll help me record my runs and keep to my training plan. I love a new gadget, and the fact I’ve spent £100 on this one should be enough to spur me on, even during my least motivational days. Secondly, I’ve signed up to Runkeeper Go, which is sending me a new training plan each week to help me reach the goals I’ve set. And thirdly, and probably most importantly, I’ve enlisted the support of my friend, Emma, who’s running a half marathon in a few months. We’re going to encourage each other and spur each other on, even though we’re obviously not at the same level! It’s going to be really motivational for me to see what runs she’s doing, and to exchange notes on how we’re doing. I love that technology allows us to do that from opposite ends of the country.

What have you been trying to establish as a habit? Share it in the comments below with what’s been stopping you, and what you think you could do to succeed this time. And if it’s running, get yourself onto Runkeeper and let’s encourage each other!