Fuel Yourself//

3 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Take the Long Way Home

Making a change in your commute is tough, but adding in a walk has major physical and mental benefits.

Maridav / Shutterstock
Maridav / Shutterstock

You’ve made the decision to get off public transportation one stop early and walk the rest of the way home, yet whenever the time comes to hop off the train or bus, you simply don’t budge. Your heart is in the right place, but your head (and, well, your feet) just haven’t caught up. If you are struggling to complete your Microstep, these tips will help you see it through. 

Ask a friend to tag along 

Identifying an accountability buddy could be the difference between skipping your Microstep altogether and finally sticking to it. Research shows that partnering with others is a simple yet highly effective way to stay motivated to reach your goals. To get started, identify a friend, coworker, or neighbor who has a similar commute home, and ask them to get off one stop earlier with you. That way, it will become a joint endeavor — plus, you’ll have someone to hold you to your Microstep and provide support along the way. 

Make a walking playlist 

You can make those extra steps far more pleasurable by adding some music to your journey. A 2018 study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that participants who listened to music, rather than a podcast or nothing at all, experienced increased enjoyment while walking. And what’s more, research has shown that listening to fast-tempo music while exercising lowered study participants’ “perceived exertion.” In other words, they were able to turn their attention away from their fatigue and feel as though they were expending less effort. 

Discover something new

Doing the same walk everyday can get monotonous. But when was the last time you intentionally sought out something new during your commute? Whether it’s that mom-and-pop grocery store you’ve always wanted to check out, or a tiny art gallery you never noticed until now, make an effort to explore something new on your walk home. You can try something as simple as poking your head into a storefront or saying hello to a neighbor you’ve met in passing — either way, this practice will help you keep things fresh and will give you something to look forward to on your new walk. 

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