I’ve been thinking a lot about habits and how to create better habits in my life for 2021. These last few weeks have been tumultuous, to say the least, with sleeping patterns, food patterns, and technology patterns out of control, I knew something had to change.
I kept telling myself that I’ll get to it in February when the treadmill I decided to invest in arrives. It feels like most people I speak to are feeling the same stretch finding ourselves in a new year with the same restrictions.
I found myself overcome by throwing myself into work, and that led to an almighty crash this weekend when I was brought to a very quick realisation that that was not a plan, and to procrastinate with setting habits this year would not be unhelpful for me to reach my goals but would set an unhealthy spiral.
So here are 5 habits that I’m intentionally adding to my year that are manageable for our current climate.
Keep asking questions
I’ve noticed that when life feels stagnant or hampered it’s easy to slip into a state of numbness and avoiding at all cost answering difficult questions or even facing mundane tasks. I recently discovered a podcast that Matthew McConaughey talked about this very topic. He said,
“ If all we are doing is asking ourselves questions, but we never come up with an answer… Well, that can lead to some very imbalanced insanity at times.”Matthew McConaughey, said through an interview with Tim Ferriss on You Tube. Watch here.
Whether you feel comfortable journaling this out, or just having a coffee and some quiet time with yourself, or you need some help to talk through and sort out those questions in a safe place, then I highly recommend reaching out for help.
I know Grace, at Piece by Peace cbt a wealth of experience and knowledge on resources that can help.
Reintroduce a bedtime routine
With Christmas and current events, it’s really easy to stay up late and overlook some of the normal habits we would have if we were going out to work, school, or life before 2020. If you are on furlough, I can imagine this is a really important one for some of you as it is for me. Whilst I am still working remotely, and have a shorter commute, it’s something I’m honing in on this for my own life. If we are going to be healthy and productive this year, then boundaries around bedtime are just as important.
That means, giving ourselves time to switch off and relax. It may feel great to watch just one more episode of that Netflix series for the moment, but it will most certainly not feel as great when you are behind on all levels the next day. I can vouch for that!
Turn the laptop off
Whether you are working from home or you are entertaining yourself through furlough, having time away from your screen is a habit worth forming and if you’ve read “7 tips on How to stay focused and reach your goals in 2021” blog post from last week, you’ll know that removing distractions is an important task to feeling a sense of achievement in this year.
We may not be in control of everything right now, but we are in control of the habits we set, and clearing up our bad ones by reintroducing or creating new ones will be worth it in the long run.
Drinking more water, and eating better home-cooked meals.
I can’t be the only one that’s struggled in this area over the last few months, right?
Basically, I’ve got a slow cooker, and I intend to use it!
Any good slow cooker recipes welcome.
Learn something new
This is probably one of my favourites and one that I’ve pretty much created now. I’m making an intentional effort to avoid getting caught up in the busyness for busy’s sake to actually work on learning my craft. That means eliminating trying to do 20 tasks at once, but slow it right down to focus on the task at a hand. To do this I’ve had to review and revamp my own systems of planning and work.
Setting habits in place will take some time and work, and would it be a blog post if I didn’t mention James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits“? It’s really one for the to be read pile this year, if you haven’t already added it. Here’s the link to the book on Amazon if you want to check it out.
Neuroscience & author Dr. Caroline Leaf taught me how to unwire bad habits in this YouTube video. I’ve read a few of her books and they’re amazing, in my view. I’ll like them below, but this is where I learn that it takes 63 days to form a habit.
It takes 21 days to break a habit down or a pattern of thought, and 42 days to build a new habit.
Not only is this insightful, but it’s a great reason to set smart goals when you are thinking about the bigger picture, but also realistic milestones or daily tasks when thinking about the habits you want to create.
Let me know if you’ve started any new habits or planning to in 2021?
If you are still looking for a journal, I know Frame Your World has a few left. Grab your NEW journal from here, and make my small business owner feet dance.