Like every other year I have made New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 but this year I am going to pursue them differently. Instead of making a list and trying to tackle it all at once, I am going to continue to incorporate new habits, as I have been over the past 3 months, in 3-week increments.
My strategy so far has been quite effective. I am still brushing my teeth every night, drinking lots of water and avoiding my phone. My newest habit of trying to stretch everyday didn’t quite work out. For whatever reason, that has and continues to be a challenge. I have been stretching more, but not consistently. I guess that’s better than nothing but my concern is that unless it is a true habit, I will eventually stop doing it.
As I have been reading more studies and information on habits, I have found that the research is actually showing that the time it takes for an action to become a habit depends on the complexity of it and of course, on the individual. Though certain easier habits may take 21 days, others may take much longer to develop. So I am not sure what to do about this one. Do I keep trying to incorporate it or try again later? Or move on to another habit and accept defeat?
I have decided to keep it on the back burner for now, kind of in a holding pattern. I will still try to stretch more frequently, but I am also going to try to start Hot Yoga again. A friend of mine asked me about it and I think we will try to go weekly together. Hopefully the buddy system will help me with this particular challenge.
I haven’t weighed myself either. It’s been almost a month. Perhaps avoiding the scale over the holidays wasn’t such a wise idea but I have to say that not being a slave to a number is proving to be quite liberating. I will weigh myself next week and then I hope to only weigh myself weekly. My hope is that I will view the number that stares back at me with less emotion and angst. I want to shift my goals away from a number to something else-maybe a long distance run or a certain number of push-ups.
So what to do next? I have several habits I want to incorporate but seeing as I have spent the last 2 weeks at home getting things somewhat tidied up and organized, I thought maybe I should continue with that.
I have always found it particularly challenging to stay organized. I am always losing things-my keys, my wallet, my sweater (I probably have close to 10 black cardigans because I keep misplacing one and then buying another one). My husband, on the other hand, is very meticulous about putting things away and keeping things uncluttered. I watch the calmness he exudes and long for it. I never see him frantically looking for his keys as he leaves the house, or for his favorite pair of shoes as he gets dressed. I want to be more like that.
So, I am going to take 10 minutes every day to try to put things away. This means cleaning up my closet, putting my keys where they belong, filing the mail and generally decluttering.
But I think there is more to being organized than just the act of tidying up. There has to be a certain consciousness about it. I watch my husband and how he puts things away with care. He doesn’t throw his wallet on the kitchen table and then look for it, as it becomes buried under papers and knapsacks. He makes it a point to put it where it belongs, in the space he has chosen for it. I want to be like that. I want it to come naturally.
I am not sure if I will be able to be as well organized as he is. He is a different breed than I am. You know how they say opposites attract? I think we are the flagship couple for that cliché. My brain is wired differently than his. My hope is that I will still be able to change my patterns a little bit by adding some consciousness to my everyday actions. Afterall, that’s what this whole 20 habits in 60 weeks thing is about right?
So here I go, into 2014 with my first new habit of the year. 53 weeks and 15 habits left to building my better life by 40.