Earlier this year, I shared my monthly Habit Tracker over on my FB page … the post generated quite a lot of discussion and seemed to peak my readers’ interests. For many months since that post though, I’ve failed to use a Habit Tracker. My excuses for this vary, but mostly, I’ve settled on the fact that I personally don’t NEED that evidence or data to remain accountable. For me, writing my commitments here is sufficient … I wouldn’t want to let any of YOU down. And, I’ve always struggled with “data for data’s sake.” It’s just not worth MY time to mark down what I did or didn’t do each day (though I DO reflect each day).
And I DO love habits, especially the GOOD ONES. In recent times, I’ve been thinking about some of my habits … the ones I really need to shake and new ones I’d like to add into my life … here’s the breakdown …
Habits I want to shake …
- bedtime snack – I usually select either a bowl of cereal with yogurt or a half a muffin and a piece of fruit or maybe a handful of almonds. Even though I am opting for something relatively healthy, I’m not really sure that the bedtime snack is a necessary part of my life … at least not EVERY night.
- mid-morning granola bar snack attack – let’s just say, I have a LOVE for the bar! Especially Larabars, CLIF Iced Oatmeal Cookie Bar, or CLIF White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bar. In recent times, I’ve simply opted OUT of buying any of these items. I don’t really think my body NEEDS a granola bar EVERY single morning, even though they’re so stinkin’ tasty!
- procrastinating – one of my favourite “things” to put off each day is getting myself ready … I’m perfectly happy unmakeup-ed, hair unstyled, in my pajamas until the last possible minute … BUT, this doesn’t serve me (or those around me). In fact, it ends up causing a lot of unnecessary stress during an already stressful time of day. Putting it off is just a bad idea!
- the mindless social media scroll – several times throughout my day, I catch myself mindlessly scrolling FB or Instagram, seemingly “searching” or “yearning” for something to peak my interest or catch my eye … minutes tick by, and I’ve found NOTHING worthwhile (or at least very little) … and I always feel disappointed, particularly in myself for wasting my precious time with something so meaningless.
Some new “habits” I’m working on …
- daily exercise … I’m back at it … doing “something” every day for 20 minutes or so since the beginning of the month, and, of course, I feel SO … MUCH … BETTER!
- making sure I’m getting SOME fresh air every day (even 10 or 15 minutes);
- regular daughter dates;
- being more intentional with my early morning ALONE time … though I’ve always been pretty strict with how I use this early morning hour, I am trying to incorporate silence, prayer, a bit of journaling, and some reading into my morning routine each day (at minimum); this leaves me “fresher” and more prepared to tackle the day with the kiddos.
- regular (and immediate) kitchen clean-up after every meal (this is probably a no-brainer for most of you, but this is something I’ve really had to work on … I hate it, so I avoid it);
- having a big glass of water as soon as I get up;
- a regular whole body skin care routine (especially with winter approaching);
- following a fairly strict “family” morning schedule (who’s doing what and when);
- supporting the girls through their morning routine, and ensuring they READ, EXERCISE, and CREATE each morning before they head off to school (we’ve had three successful mornings of this so far).
And a few more habits I’d like to work on soon ….
- just two laundry days per week
- getting the kids to stop and take a look around the car before heading to the house … do they have everything that belongs to them?
- having a set time to do necessary online shopping (once a week)
- updating finances (once a week)
- renewing library books
- regular phone calls with a friend or family member
- watering the plants
- evening “reset” of the house (i.e. put things back where they belong)
I’m sure some of you reading this are rolling your eyes right now or scoffing at the insignificance of some of the items I’ve mentioned. But the truth is, I have experienced some VERY real feelings of overwhelm and anxiety when things get crazy, and with three daughters (and a husband who works A LOT), things definitely get a little wild around here sometimes. There’s MUCH I NEED to be well, and my children NEED a healthy mom.
Not only that, I have a BIG JOB influencing and showing my daughters “the way” … if I can get (and keep) my sh*t together, we’re all better off. Modelling good habits, like exercising and eating well, managing my time well, and making time for the things that are important (like them) will be the absolute BEST way to teach my children these important lessons.
And someday soon, I do plan on adding work to my daily schedule, so spending some time now getting a few good habits in place will certainly serve us all in the future.
We are given but ONE life … each hour that passes is an hour we can’t get back. Each day that passes is a day we can’t get back. I know, I know … this is so cliche, but it’s the truth. And because this is true, we absolutely MUST be good stewards of our time.
Thankfully, none of my current habits are too serious, but I think it’s wise for us all to examine some of our tendencies once in awhile (especially the “time suckers”) … am I having a granola bar because I’m hungry or am I having a granola bar because it’s 10 a.m. and it seems like a good time to have a granola bar? Am I stalling on something that is going to make things hectic later? Am I wasting my precious time with a ridiculous FB drama?
Question your habits and aim to do some purging. Or maybe think about a few simple ones you’d like to squeak in each day. I encourage you to do a bit of reflecting with this Habits Worksheet:
And if YOU need a habit tracker, here’s a couple of different versions for you to try …
Of course, you’ll have to do more than just download and print them! You’ll ACTUALLY have to use your tracker every day if you’re wanting to make any lasting change!
A little effort will make a BIG difference!
And, of course, I’d love to hear what you’re working on!