Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1 Hour of New Habits per Day

The forecast is a steamy 92 degrees, but it feels like January to me because I can't spend this month examining habits without resolving to change some of mine. I've made resolutions before, lots of them, and you probably have too. It's not that we don't know what we should be doing, it's just damn hard to do it!

There are many reasons it's hard - our brains and bodies are actually wired to resist change. Forming new habits requires discipline.

"Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly."  Julie Andrews  

I have been disciplined about writing every day, and I feel good about it. But here are some of the many other habits I've vowed to develop in the past:

Even little habits require discipline
Floss, keep food journal, exercise daily, meditate,wash my face before going to bed, go to bed early, drink lots of water, eat dark, leafy vegetables/whole grains/lean protein, cut out sugar & junk food, take a multi-vitamin/vitamin D/ calcium supplement, be thankful, keep a gratitude journal, expect the best, stay on top of terrible tasks, send birthday cards and thank you notes on a timely basis.

Not to mention lose 10 pounds, write a book, discover my life's purpose, spend quality time with my kids and husband, contribute meaningfully to my community, organize my closets, improve my tennis game, start playing golf, travel the world, read the classics and become a sexy hot vixen - all before I hit 50.

I do some of these things some of the time but, unlike making my bed and brushing my teeth, they're not habits. I know they're worthy goals, necessary goals, but looking at the long list is overwhelming. How can I make so many changes? And realistically, how much time do I have to devote to this stuff anyway?

Let's say I have an hour. An hour a day I can do. And I want to pack as much into that time as possible.

Here's the breakdown of how I'll spend the 60 minutes I'm devoting to new habits:

10 mins - Quiet Contemplation (to increase feelings of well-being, connectedness, gratitude, optimism)
5 mins - Keep Food Journal (to be mindful of diet calorically and nutritionally)
15 mins -Tackle a Terrible Task (handle something awful but important)
25 mins- Vigorous exercise (must include sweating and panting!)
5 mins - Bedtime beauty routine (remove makeup,wash face, moisturize, floss!)

There, I've written it and so I shall do it! Oh, and based on my experience yesterday, if I need help I will ask for it.

Hey, if you had an extra hour, what changes would you make to your daily routine?


Christie said...

Hi Marjie,

I read your post this morning and thought about it often as I went through my day. So I think I've got that extra hour sorted out now. :)

If I had an extra hour, I would spend half of it moving more. Walking, running, skipping -- anything that gets my butt off my chair and out the door.

Of the half hour remaining, I would spend 15 minutes maintaining good relationships or establishing new ones. I work at this already, but there never seems to be enough time to send those, "hey, I'm thinking about you" notes. (I wish I could stay on top of birthday cards and thank you notes too!)

I would spend the final 15 minutes, learning something new. There is a rather large collection of instructional-type books on the shelf next to my desk just begging for a few moments of my time and energy.

Now, all I need to do is invent a 25th hour! (Or maybe, reorganize my priorities a little.)

Thanks, once again, for the food for thought.

mary hudson said...

Dear Marjie,
You fulfilled your life purpose the day you were born. You are an essential part of all things. Many things have affected you of which you have had no control, but the way you react and the choices you do have and make are entirely up to you.
Your existence makes my life richer.
Aunt Mary

Marjie Killeen said...

Christie - yeah, finding that hour is the problem. I need to look for new habits that don't take any time (like thinking positively and asking for help!) But right now I'm heading out for a run. Well more like a fast walk. It's 94 degrees out there!

Mary - Aw, lucky me to have an aunt like YOU.