Happy New Year!
…Or maybe it isn’t.
Maybe the beginning of this year has left you feeling disengaged and overwhelmed already. If so, I’m right there with ya.
So, what do we do?
I’ve learned now more than ever that habits and small changes are the foundation of a healthy and fulfilling life. Motivation will leave you time and time again; but true strength arises when you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and do the work when you don’t feel like it. Habits make the grit it takes to do life just that much easier.
The unplanned day is like a blank canvas. After experiencing a particularly difficult month/week/semester/what have you, those unplanned days can nourish you beyond belief. They can bring space and ease into an otherwise hectic existence. Yet, left unattended, unplanned days can leave you feeling apathetic; on a journey with no destination and about a million distractions. This year, I encourage you to add a few pencil marks to that blank canvas and create a masterpiece.
“That’s all fine and good, but how do I actually apply that information?” You say.
Grab some paper, a writing utensil, and a clear mind.
1. Goal Review
Take an hour or so to do a really deep dive into what you actually want to accomplish this year. You can write them all out. Select 1-3 of the most essential goals from that list. Then, you want to figure out WHY you set this goal in the first place. Really dig deep. Make that why shake you to your core. We want 100% authenticity here. 🙂 Dry your profound tears from your eyes and then identify ACTIONABLE STEPS and the REWARD that is associated with completing that goal.
For example, one of my goals is to meal prep every week so that I can still have a nourishing meal when I run out of energy to cook and so I can stay on track with weight loss. This is a weekly habit that I do when I run out of food in the fridge (Usually every Friday). It involves gathering recipes, making a shopping list, buying the food, and batch cooking as needed. The Reward? Delicious food that makes me feel amazing, inside and out.
2. Track Your Habits
The single BEST thing I did in 2017 was start my bullet journal. It allowed me to visualize and quantify where I was spending my time and energy. Have some place where you can record your progress. It can be in the bullet journal or even in the notes on your phone. Your habit trackers have to be in a place where they’re accessible and fun to fill out. Every time you complete a habit, make a note in your habit tracker that it is complete. You will be shocked at the end of the month how much (or how little) you can do a specific habit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to do a serious goal reset because of the information I’ve gathered from my habit trackers.
3. Learn How (and When) to Pivot
You want to be programmed so that you do the habits that make you feel alive every day, without question. Your habits will soon feel routine– that means it’s working. When everything starts to be unbearably boring, Take one (and only one) page out of Ross Gellar’s book and learn to pivot. You don’t have to punish yourself with a routine that you hate just because you think you need to do it to get where you want to be. I am not saying to never do anything hard or uncomfortable. We need to embrace discomfort to grow as humans. In fact, it’s extremely uncomfortable to start forming a new habit. What you need to figure out is when something hurts because it’s good for you, and when something hurts because it’s bad for you. Keep the good things and pivot away from what isn’t. If one of your goals is to spend 10 minutes of quiet time every morning and you can’t bear to listen to Andy from Headspace’s voice one moment longer, it’s okay. Make yourself a coffee and sit on your front porch. Notice the sound the cars make as they move along the pavement. Laugh to yourself about how that is a perfect example of how you should experience your thoughts in meditation. Take a deep breath and feel grateful to be alive.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg has been such a gamechanger for me on this topic. It has forced me to look at my habits in a clinical way and has opened my eyes as to why I do (or don’t do) things I say I’m going to do. 10/10 such a great read. (If you click on the title to buy the book, you will be brought to Amazon using my affiliate link and support the blog at no extra cost!)
Yoga With Adriene is a WONDERFUL YouTube channel and I’m going through her 31-Day TRUE Yoga Challenge. It will help you move your body in a really intentional, loving way. It’s totally free and totally awesome. (This isn’t sponsored, I just love her).
I am wishing you a wonderful foundation for 2018 and a beautiful transformation. 🙂
I can’t wait to see how you blossom this year!