Habits in the Making

With more time at home, I've really focused on working on myself.  While I went to the gym often prior to this quarantine business, it was often more when I felt like it vs. a habit.  As I come to think about it, I couldn't really say I had many habits. I am doing the best I can in this current situation and developing some pretty solid foundations that I hope will carry me on when things get back to normal.

There's conflicting information out there when it comes to habits and at this point I really think it is up to the individual.  Looking back on it, if it isn't a habit already, it is probably going to take a lot of hard work.  Habit I feel implies that the choice you are making is the easy choice.  Depending on who you ask the number can range anywhere from 21 days to 90 days to form a solid habit.  I say, don't let the term "habit" fool you.  If you've spent the last 34 years waking up at 10 am and think that 21-90 days of waking up at 5 am is miraculously going to make that a habit, your kidding yourself.  Forming new habits has to be intentional even well beyond the 90 days. More on that later.  These are my focuses during this quarantine.

Physical Activity

Notice I didn't say exercise.  I do participate in exercise but more importantly I am trying to tie the exercise into a more rounded regiment of physical activity.  I'm doing my best to wake up at 5 am to get in your typical workout, but then I wanted to incorporate more physical activity throughout the day.  One of the things I've done is a push-up regiment.  Every 20 minutes I put down 10-25 push-ups depending on how I am feeling that round.  It truly is based on feel; sometimes I crank out 10 and other times it might be 30.  By the end of the day though, my goal is at least 300 push ups total.  Other ways I've worked on increasing my activity is taking the boys to the church parking lot and letting them ride their bikes.  Usually I will get in a good mile to mile and a half walk in each time.  Sometimes the boys like to challenge me to races which usually means sprints thrown in.

Writing

As you can probably tell, I've worked on getting more writing into the day.  My goal right now is to try to produce at least one blog a day.  I set aside time in the morning before my workout to put in at least 30 (thirty) minutes of writing in.  Eventually I want to get to producing some really high quality content, but right now, I am more focused on getting my thoughts to paper.  The purpose of doing this is, again, just to get into the habit of doing the writing.  Some days I falter and procrastinate and that usually means a brief lunchtime session or even a quick after work session.  I am hoping that by being intentional with my writing though, that I'll make it a long term priority in the future.  It helps seeing all of you come to the blog each day.  In case you are wondering, while I am writing everyday, I am producing the blogs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Thank you for reading!

Goal Setting

Journaling or goal setting, it doesn't matter what you call it.  I've really honed in on this over the last several weeks. Before getting to work each day, I put on paper what I want to accomplish.  I've dabbled in this in the past, but I've used it to really help me focus on work as I am trying to get used to this stay at home order.  I am lucky enough that my job affords me the opportunity to work from home.  I usually put down five to eight goals that I would like to accomplish throughout the day.  I will even throw meetings on there as sort of a morale booster.  As I accomplish my goals, I put a nice big red x in the checkbox and do a little dance. Getting to put the check on the paper is a bit of an adrenalin rush and an endorphin hit.  I can see this really developing into a long term habit.

Writing out Gratitude

I haven't started this habit yet, but it is something I really want to start doing. With all the bad news going on and the constant negative energy, there is still a lot that I have to be thankful.  I do try to practice gratitude each day by recounting all of the truly wonderful gifts I have in my mind.  I want to focus on getting these on paper though.

Reading

Last but not least, reading.  I love to read but making it a priority is challenging.  This year I've set a goal of reading 30 books and have been tracking it via Goodreads. The site is a great way to keep track of this goal and motivates me to read more.  I try to set aside at least 10 minutes a day of reading.  Mostly I am into the autobiography, self-help genre.  I love learning about great leaders of our time.  Usually I will try to find 10 minutes before my workout, after I've done my writing.  Sometimes throughout the day though I'll sneak in a 5 minute break from work and try to get a few pages in.  Lastly, if we are sitting on the couch at the end of the night binging Netflix, I'll keep a book handy on my phone's kindle account and catch a page or two.

I hope this inspires you to pick up a new habit or two. What are your favorite new habits? Do you find maintaining a habit to be easy or hard?

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