Thursday, February 11, 2016

New Year, New Me, Part 3 ~ The Habits

Inspired by this post, I decided to start tracking my daily habits in my bullet journal

My habit list included things I already did (though not necessarily daily) like 10,000 steps and swimming, things I want to do more of (writing, time in nature) and a whole new morning routine, inspired by this post, by the same blogger. Her routine of 'SAVERS' is made up of silence, affirmation, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing.

I know some people say not to start too many habits at once, but I found having a great big habit list to be liberating, because I can always accomplish at least something on the list, and if I get to the end of the day without getting much of anything done, I can eat a carrot and x off "5 a day" or drink a couple glasses of water and mark off "hydrate." I also added "reading" to the list partway through the month, not because I need encouragement to read, but I was curious how often I do (turns out, pretty much every day).

I'm surprised how well I did in January, and that the morning routine was the most successful part. It's nice starting the day off well. I have some glaring blanks, however, most notably under "gratitude" and "kindness." I've already talked about how hard gratitude is for me, but I've decided that if I focus on a specific event (I'm grateful my son asked how my day went), rather than a general state of being, I can fool the evil gods.

Kindness threw up a similar roadblock: what exactly is kind? Is it kind to pick up someone's papers off the photocopier and take them to them, or is it just nosy? Is it kind to let a car in ahead of you when you've got nowhere in particular to be, or does it only count if you're in a hurry? Is it kind to treat your kids and husband well, even though that's what you're supposed to do? I don't know why (I think it's my Catholic upbringing), but it seems like an act of kindness is only really kindness if you don't want to do it. I see I'm going to need to work on that.

At the end of January, I realized my habits fell into five general categories--morning, health, nature, brain, and being a good person (I don't have one-word phrase for that yet)--and I arranged my February list accordingly. My morning routine evolved from SAVERS to YSAVRS, for: Yoga (I have book of different yoga routines for each day of the week, each taking about 10 minutes, which is all I have time for), Silence (about a 3-breath meditation is all I can manage), Affirmation (I still find these pretty corny, but I'm going with it), Visualization (I'm a natural daydreamer, so this is easy for me), Read a Poem (I've wanted to get more poetry in my life for a long time, but it doesn't work for me to read poem after poem after poem; one a day sets just the right tone), scribble (a paragraph dashed off in my journal--much more accurate and realistic, and less fusty that "scribe").

Speaking of habits, I gave up on the Gretchen Ruben book. I hate to say it, but it was kind of ... boring. Or maybe she was boring--every time she described some trait about herself, like wearing the same type of clothes every day, not liking travel, only eating plain food I was like, "Gah! I don't think I want to take this woman's advice for fear of turning into her." So I returned it to the library.


  1. I seemed to have missed your last few posts, sorry! I have come across a few posts about bullet journals they sound like a good way to keep track of everything going on!

  2. I love my BuJo! I too, track what I call 'daily goodness' and even if I don’t get to certain things that day it’s nice to see an overall trend of good things going on from mediation and yoga to making art and reading, and of course, writing about a blessing that day. As for kindness, I don’t think kindness should only be counted if you go out of your way to do it. You are being too hard on yourself. Some people are miserably selfish all of the time! If you let the person in ahead of your car, that's kind, no matter what. And that's coming from a former Roman Catholic gal so I’m all filled up with guilt! ;)

  3. It's so appropriate that I return to the habit of reading your blog and this should be my first post. Happy to be back.


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