I talk a lot about goals on this blog, but not so much about habits. In my post about getting out of a funk, I mentioned choice. I am a firm believer that by changing our choices, we can change our lives and our habits.
So, what exactly is a habit? James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, states:
Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day.
These are the habits I’m working on changing:
1 // Taking My Daily Vitamins
I know I don’t really need to explain why I need to do this, I just need to do it! I’m adding a phone alarm to go off at 10am, as a reminder take my vitamins each day. I recently started taking them after breakfast, but just in case I don’t remember, I’ll have my alarm clock to remind me.
2 // Spiritual Reading
I am not a religious person, but recently I have been in serious need of some spiritual input. I need something, and I don’t know what. But I know where I need it. Last night I bought In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon.
I wouldn’t call myself a Buddhist, but I take a lot of comfort in Buddhist teachings. I’m going to be reading each night before I go to bed.
3 // Walking Outside Every Day
I talked about my looooooooong struggle with getting in shape, and as I was reading through my old posts I saw how much I used to walk. And I remember it feeling really good to get outside. I’m going to find a way to get this into a daily habit. I’m not sure if I’m going to ensure I do it on my lunch break, or at the end of each work day.
4 // Complete All To-Do Tasks Each Day
I have a bad habit of just putting an arrow next to my tasks each day and telling myself I’ll complete them the following day. Unfortunately, the tasks just migrates from day to day, and I don’t get them done.
I’m holding myself accountable for each day, to cross off each to-do item. This is good for two reasons: I get stuff done, and I think twice before adding a ton of stuff to my to do list. If I don’t think I’ll get it done, I’ll schedule it for when I have the bandwidth to do so.
5 // Saying It’s OK, When It Isn’t
When something is wrong, or I’m feeling bad, I’m letting it be known. I’ve made a conscious effort to start this already. James Clear states:
Because bad habits provide some type of benefit in your life, it’s very difficult to simply eliminate them. (This is why simplistic advice like “just stop doing it” rarely works.) Instead, you need to replace a bad habit with a new habit that provides a similar benefit.
I’m replacing just saying that everything is OK, which my brain thinks is a good way to avoid conflict, with saying exactly what’s wrong so that I can actually work through the issue and resolve it.
6 // Falling Into the Scroll Hole
We all do it. Open Facebook on the phone and start scrolling. And then continue scrolling until before you know it 45 minutes have passed and you’re feeling like Gollum searching for his precious.
It’s never a good thing, and it always leaves me feeling lousy. So I’m limiting my scrolling to two minutes. I’m literally going to set a timer. And if I feel like reading some more, I’ll open a book on my Kindle app, see number 2 up there.