October 2013

On habits and resolutions

When I read Gretchen Rubin’s book,  The Happiness Project, it was over a year ago and I was entranced. I had so often thought of things I wanted to do (uhh, like, blog) but never did. Maybe because I wasn’t super motivated, but more likely because I didn’t hold myself accountable, and got stuck under, “I’ll do it soon.”

And for a while I kept it in the back of my mind, kept a “think of resolutions” note in my to do lists, but nothing came of it. Then, a few months ago I started listing resolutions that I would have, if I ever did this. I thought of realistic, specific, attainable, important to me ones. I phrased them like Gretchen would. And I thought about them, and that helped.

Then I brought in technology. I found a habit tracker app. Something about that motivation, about getting the reminder pop ups and being asked “did you do this yesterday?” worked.

My current three resolutions are:
1. Clean one thing. (counted as anything other than the dishes and making the bed. I often get overwhelmed with cleaning our apartment, but also get noticeably anxious when the apartment is a mess. And I’ve found that in allowing myself to just clean one thing, I usually actually end up doing more than one.)

  1. Move your body. (which has coincided with me returning to yoga, which I am so glad about. Power yoga with a wonderful teacher is incredible for my body, the amount I sweat is amazing, the strength I’m gaining is wonderful, and the mood change in me is good for my soul. But, this counts as hiking, yoga, gym, a walk. My mind and emotional state is so much calmer when I’ve moved my body. Also, check out the book Spark.)

  2. Keep in touch. (this is the hardest one. I am an introvert by nature, which means that even though I feel perfectly okay with going longer periods of time without checking in with friends, I do, very much realize, that my friends don’t feel the same way — and their extroverted selves aren’t satisfied with that. So, it’s a give-and-take. Plus, I realize that I have gotten very black-and-white about this — like, either I had to go out every night and have long phone conversations each day, or nothing. But I’m giving myself a middle ground. So, Keep in Touch means that I send a text, an email, g-chat, see a friend, make plans, or have a phone conversation with a friend. I give myself permission to not do this every day, but the knowledge that it’s one of my resolutions keeps me doing it more than I might otherwise. And it’s meeting loved ones halfway. Which they deserve, and so do I.)

And…it’s going well so far. And I don’t feel internal pressure to do it like Gretchen did, where I change my resolutions each month or devote my entire month to them. Just having them in the back of my mind keeps me cognizant that they’re there — and let’s be honest, meeting them feels really, really good. Because ultimately, they’re all about self-care, and that’s the whole point, right?

Writing about writing

I spend so much time worrying about blogging, worrying that nobody would read it, worrying that I wouldn’t be a good blogger. But now, a year, two years later, I still am not regularly blogging and I still wish I was. So really, I’m just scared and I need to stop being scared and just write, even if nobody reads it, even if it’s just for me. Because time is passing and there is no magical moment when I’ll be ready.

%d bloggers like this: