Remember at the beginning of July when I talked about my back-half of the year goals? I decided it was time to focus on some good habits through the back-half of the year. Plenty of research suggests it takes about 66 days to establish a new habit, so I decided to start focusing on a new habit each month.
So far, I’m through Month 1 of my 6 month habit fun!
I decided my first habit to tackle would be planning for the next day.
To track my progress, I set up a handy little tracker in my bullet journal. I figured I’d be grabbing my bullet journal each evening for my new habit, so the tracker can easily live there!
So far, during July, I was about 50/50 completion. Not bad, I guess, considering it was a new habit.
In the process, though, I learned a few things about myself that made a difference towards the end of month 1.
First, I learned it was easiest to complete my new habit of planning for the next day when I tied it to an existing routine. After all, habits are supposed to be something that you do without thinking about it.
I decided that my planning time should happen during my bed time routine. My typical evening routine consists of a shower, hair washing, blow drying, washing my face, etc.
It seemed like a great idea because I do a lot of thinking in the shower and come out with brainstorm ideas and tasks that need to get captured. So why not move that planning time to my bed time routine?
That worked, at first. But then I noticed that I was skipping a few nights of planning because I was just too tired. I even would skip a shower JUST because I could barely keep my eyes open. So…. no planning that night.
I realized that the problem was leaving that LONG routine to the end of the long day had me exhausted. I had gotten into the habit of delaying the bed time routine because I couldn’t stand the idea of showering, etc when I was so tired. So I was staying up later, avoiding the process, which made everything worse!
So I moved that whole routine, planning time included, to right after putting the kids to bed! Once I kiss them all goodnight, I head straight for my bathroom to wash my face, shower and blow dry my hair! And then it’s downstairs for planning time. I start the tea kettle and sit at the table with my planner. And by the time the tea kettle shuts off I’ve basically finished my plan for the next day.
And because I was no longer needing to delay heading to bed because I was already ready for bed, I was actually getting into bed earlier!
Sometimes it just takes a refresh of existing routines to get some inspiration.
Another thing I learned was that I am very driven to succeed if I have external influences and pressures. If I was trying to do this whole process all by myself, then I would let myself down quickly. But because I’ve stated I’m doing this on the blog and in videos, I’ve got you all to keep the pressure on to actually complete these habits.
I mean… it’s not like you’d all yell at me if I dropped the ball. But I’m just pretending you are all putting the pressure on 😉
So I’ll be perfecting this habit all through the month of August. But a new habit started up August 1.
I’m tackling water intake now!
I drink more water when I have a visible container to drain. So I grabbed a 2 liter pitcher, filled it with water, and put it in the fridge. My goal is to at least finish one of those.
I also drink more water when I have a glass with a straw. Something about a straw…
And with the lessons learned last month, I’m tying this water drinking to existing habits. I can’t have my morning cuppa until I’ve had one bottle of water. And I drink the same at each meal. So that’s basically my 2 liters right there! Anything beyond that is a bonus!
So far so good on these new habits!
How are you at establishing new habits? Have any successes to share? Tell me about them!