Happy New Year!
Remember the famous New Year’s Resolutions we all used to make? Yes? You still do? Congratulations. I’ve long since thrown in the towel.
However, I’m going to try to cultivate some new habits.
New Year? New Habits!
As you likely know, the research shows it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Particularly hard habit? Maybe longer. You want it to become a strong habit? Probably longer.
So I’m going with six weeks.
I’m not going on Whole 30. (I’d die.)
I’m not going to try to kick carbs or lose 30 pounds or stop drinking or never scream again.
Always and never, I’ve found, don’t work great in my life. I fail, beat myself up, and then utterly fall off the wagon.
So instead, I picked a few self-improvement habits I’d like to grow, regrow, or strengthen.
- Read more. This is crazy. I love to read. I love words – heck, I’m a writer who’s not reading, what the what?!?!? But the reality is, time’s just gotten away from me. It’s why I’m blogging less. I’m managing my time poorly. I used to read before bed. I’ve turned to other things – iPad, tv, just crashing altogether. But I have a stack of books I’m dying to read and I’m going to return to my habit of reading every night. The blog will be a heck of a lot more lively when I do that too because it’s where I find my greatest inspiration.
- Actually exercise. Ahh. The holy grail. Here’s the thing, I have a buddy. My buddy and I have both gained a few pounds (me more than her) and want to be better. She’s my neighbor. So I’m going to walk down to her house three times a week. We’re going to work out. And we’re going to do a little six week challenge that involves eating better too. No drastic diets. Just smarter choices. Which leads me to…
- Don’t drink at home. Except on Saturdays. I’m drinking a glass of wine at night. Not only does it dehydrate me and add calories, it’s not a great habit. I’m not going to say no wine ever on a weeknight because I do attend cocktail receptions for business. But I’m going to keep it corked on Tuesday nights in the living room – or any other night for that matter unless it’s the weekend.
- Count to ten. Silly? Well, the kids and I are still struggling with patience. For the hundredth time I’ll mention age seven, and now eight, presents lots of parenting “opportunities” for me. I lose my patience. I’m not going to say I’ll never raise my voice again, but I can count to ten. Aloud. In their face. It gives me a chance to pause and think before reacting. And it gives them a chance to consider their next options. Which will likely bring better results.
That’s it. Four small changes. They’d each yield a better year. I’ll mess up. But I’ll try. Six weeks. New habits.