Like many others, I find myself to be a creature of habit. When our oven glass spontaneously smashed, I took it in my stride and shopped for a new one. What was most inconvenient though, was that everytime I washed my hands in the kitchen (which happens very regularly), I would turn around and start walking to the other side of the kitchen to dry my hands on the hand-towl that for years has hung on our oven door, but was no longer there for safety reasons. I have lost count of the number of times I have done it – easily over 30 times in 2 days! It is so much ingrained in me as habit that I have struggled to change, even though the new handtowel is hanging at eye-level right next to where I wash my hands at the sink!
We all have habits we fall into on so many levels, from the small and insignificant things, such as the way we dry our hands and the way we stack our dishes, to the bigger things in life, such as the way we treat each other, speak to our children, respond to change, exercise, eat and spend our time.
In the second half of 2011 I set my 40 goals to complete in 40 weeks – I’m about half way and will be working on them until May. It’s been great to achieve some goals, prove to myself that I can do things, and challenge myself to try new things.
It’s time to go a step further though. In looking at 2011, I became so distracted in the different things that were happening that so many times I would neglect the basic areas of my life and thus struggled to maintain a healthy balance.
The online dictionary defines a habit as an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. I need to do some basic things regularly so that it becomes almost involuntary. I’ve heard many times in my life by different people that it takes 30 days – one month of doing something regularly to form a habit.
So in 2012, I’m going to try to develop/reinforce 12 habits in 12 months. Each month I will try to continue the previous habit, plus work on another one. I have broken each habit down into more detail so I know how I’m gong to measure my success, but here is the gist:
January: Have a regular, earlier bedtime (get more sleep!)
February: Read my Bible daily
March: Exercise Regularly
April: Read Non-Fiction books
May: Drink more water
June: Eat Breakfast daily
July: Set time aside to blog regularly
August: Do more intentional activities with my boys
September: Reduce Email/Facebook time
October: Floss regularly
November: Do physio exercises daily
December: The one that I’ll discover during the year I need to add!
They may seem very simple, but these small things are so important to me and pretty much each get neglected from time to time as life gets busy.
What do you find you neglect when you get busy or tired?