I’ve been wondering recently, can I think of a new way to help me to keep my habits? I’ve decided to start by making it public, putting it out there and allowing you, readers, to ask me how I’m doing!
I realised that habits were helpful things and also a bit of a lifeline when I was ill with depression (I have a hormone condition which gives me episodes). When my brain was dead and fuzzy and I struggled to look human, wear earrings, work, talk or eat, I was still able to a) have a shower and b) go to my church.
This was because they were ingrained habits, that ran themselves. For instance, I’ve been going to Church every Sunday, for twenty years, so even when I felt like crap, I found myself trundling up the hill, which ultimately helped me with my mood and lifted the fog for a short while.
So I looked further into habits. I am a great fan of Gretchen Rubin, and she’s written a book on habit keeping and understanding your personality type and how best to keep habits going.
If you can lock in a habit for 21 days then you won’t need any self-control or discipline to keep it going. I wanted a range of daily, weekly, monthly and annual habits, that would help me work with my hormone condition and remain well. To have things I do, without work, that are good for my well-being and run themselves.
Steve Jobs and Barack Obama had a habit of wearing the same thing everyday as it was one less decision to make, and gave him headspace for more important things.
I’ve worked hard to identify the motivation behind my resolution to keep habits. This is covered in my post about my ‘Who I’m becoming’ life aims, which you can read here, if you’re interested to learn more.
My habit type, identified in Gretchen Rubin’s book is that I need external accountability to keep a habit. So I’m putting on here what my habits are, what ones I want to adopt and which ones I find impossible to keep (which are in pink)
Disclaimer – mum/women-type issues discussed below!
- Glass of water when I wake up
- No mobile for one hour
- Make breakfast for Mike and Isaac (husband and son)
- Half an hour of prayer and worship
- Ok here goes the honesty…pelvic floor exercises on app (the one I find impossible to keep, even though they take, like, one minute!)
- Habit I’d like to add to my day and struggle to do – short physical exercises for me and Isaac for PC muscles
- Get up and dressed
- Brush teeth (wish I could get discipline for brushing Isaac’s at this moment…)
- Tidy kitchen, water plants, tidy lounge
- Check my inboxes
- Lunch with Isaac
- Do some work/ have some me-time (might involve watching Hollyoaks) while Isaac naps
- Go for a walk and see a human being in the afternoon
- Dinner with Mike and Isaac
- Clear up dinner (if it’s my week not cooking) straight after dinner. (Sometimes do this, sometimes not, always regret it the next morning when I haven’t done it…)
- Clear up toys with Isaac (with the most wonderful ‘Tidy Up’ song (sometimes we manage this and sometimes we don’t…)
- Put Isaac to bed and brush his teeth
- Collapse. No not really. Well, a little bit.
- Do something friend/ date night/ TV (doh) based. (Although I wish I could spend this time doing more enriching things like editing my photos, baking, painting my nails – how, how to do this when you’re knackered by this point? And when I do manage it, I feel so much better for it.)
- Do mindfulness and Examen in living room (so as not to fall asleep so easily…)
- No phone in the bedroom. I have an alarm clock. 5 – 10 minutes reading
- I wish I could nail the habit to brush my teeth at this point – I confess I don’t always manage this…
- Glass of water
- Plan my week on Sunday night (sometimes manage this, always better when I do!)
- Phone my mum
- Phone my closest friends
- Do housework and a wash (who am I kidding, this is most days…)
- Water the plants
- Change Isaac’s sheets
- Do work on a Friday
- Volunteer for Mind Charity Shop
- I wish I could go to a weekly core group to share my faith with other Christians. Hopefully sometime soon.
- Have date night with my hubby
- Go through my budget
- Go through my photos on my phone
- Do Lifemin. Hit and miss.
- Go to Church
- Have some time for me.
- See my Spiritual Director
- See my best friend
- Have a family day with Mike and Isaac
- Have a work retreat day. I sometimes manage this and sometimes don’t. My business and cash flow always benefits when I do!
- Have my hormone injection
- Have a mini-break with Mike and Isaac
- Go to a Theme Park to scream my head off
- Enjoy being outside in the Seasons – i.e. bluebells, the seaside, fireworks and winter illuminations
- Go to a gig?
- Take part or host an art exhibition to show and sell my art
- Go to my hormone clinic
- Go to training events to grow my knowledge
- Go on a hot holiday just before the busy Christmas season
- Celebrate mine, Mike and Isaac’s birthday
- Go and see my Dad and my step mum in France
- Go to Spring Harvest
- Go to the Mind and Soul Conference
- Have my ‘Thanks’ party in grey January
Here’s the point of this blog post…
The reason I’m writing this blog post in the first place is that try as I might, I can’t ingrain the habit of doing my daily pelvic floor exercises. I don’t know why, because they only take a short while.
My motivations for wanting to nail this habit are:
- Jumping on bouncy castles
- Jumping on trampolines
- Going nuts in a ball pool
- Dancing like no-one is watching
- Not having a ‘problem’ when I get scared or surprised or fall down a step (or trip up, let’s be honest)
- Not having a ‘big problem’ when I have a stinking cold and am coughing all the time
Here is me doing some of my favourite things that are a lot less carefree and more difficult these days…
So, I’ve put it out there. Said what every mum and or woman is thinking, probably. I’d love encouragement, ideas, stories etc on how I can really nail this one elusive habit!
I hope you might find something useful in this post, too.