*For those of you on the IBC email list, sorry for any problems with today’s email. YOU CAN FIND TODAY’S POST BY CLICKING HERE. I switched to a new (and totally awesome) system, but there was a small hiccup with this morning’s email. Thank you so much for your patience. It will be fixed moving forward. For those that want to join the IBC email list, there is a link in the side bar and at the bottom of every post. Have a fab Monday!!
Habit: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary
For the past six months or maybe longer, I’ve been feeling a bit out of sorts. Previously on the blog I’ve rambled about “being in a rut” or “not feeling like my self”. While I thought I managed to find solutions for those temporary situations, something was still missing. And, the worst part about it is that I’ve just come to accept it. Meaning that feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, and stressed was how things were going to be. Using excuses like “I never have enough time” or “I’m so busy” was really starting to annoy me. Because, upon reflection, I have all the time in the world and I’m honestly not THAT busy. And while I recognized certain areas for growth in my life, I never did anything about them. Day in and day out I continue to function the way I always have. It was silly for me to expect my situation to change, when I really wasn’t doing anything to change it.
Last week I spent a lot of my time reading (and by reading I mean listening to the audiobook while I shoveled snow). The book was You are a Badass (How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life) by Jen Sincero. To be honest, I love a good self-help book. However, I have never found one that was actually that great. That was, until I read this book. I can’t remember how or why I stumbled upon it, but I honestly look at is as a little gift from the universe. It couldn’t have fallen into my lap at a more perfect time. There’s so much that I took away from this book and I heartily recommend it. (I do say this with caution, however, because not all self-help books are for everyone.)
After finishing this book, I realized I need to make some changes. Big changes. As the title says, I wanted to “stop doubting my greatness and start living an awesome life.” I mean, who doesn’t, right? So, I did a lot of thinking and have successfully devised a plan. And, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, my plan is all about habits.
Over the past 30 years, I have developed some not so attractive habits. Habits that I know are preventing me from being all that I can be. Habits that are holding me back from living the life that I want to live. So, I’ve devised a plan. This weekend I sat down with a pen and paper and began constructing a list of 52 habits I wanted to change about myself. One for each week in a year. I feel I should also mention that I don’t want to change who I am at my core. I’m glad to be who I am. Honestly. But, at the end of the day, I feel like I’m not as happy as I could be and that I’m not taking advantage of this one and only life.
Right now I have roughly 25 habits on my list – things I want to focus on over the next year. I assume that in the next few months the list of 52 will be complete. I plan on focusing on one new habit each week. I will give it my all. No matter how hard or annoying the task is, I will fight to make it happen. I will reach. I will push.
The plan is to focus on each new habit for 21 days. (If you are wondering where I came up with that number, during my first job out of college, my boss always told me it takes 21 days to build a habit.) So, if you put the pieces together, each week I will be focusing on adjusting three habits about myself. Not too overwhelming, right? I feel that three is a manageable number. If I attempted to dive in and try to change all of these things at once, I would be overwhelmed.
Once the 21 days are up, I will reflect on each habit to see if it’s leading me in the right direction. To see if it’s making me a happy person or helping me live a more awesome life.
These habits range from very simple things to a few that will be a bit more complicated. Let me share a few examples from my list: Exercise at least thirty minutes a day before noon. Meditate daily. Write for one uninterrupted hour a day. Create a manifesto and read it aloud every morning and every night. Develop a tight, but still flexible schedule/routine. Drink one green smoothie every day. Break the relationship with the snooze button. Be kinder.
Part of me wanted to keep this habit journey to myself and part of me wanted to share it here on IBC. As you can see, I decided on the latter and here is why. First, I’m hoping that this process will be a transformative part of my journey and since IBC is how I’m documenting and sharing that journey, it should be a part of it. Secondly, I’m hoping it creates some sort of accountability for me. There is no doubt that this is going to be a challenge. And finally, I hope that if any of you are feeling the same way, you’ll join along with me.
I will use IBC as a way to keep you updated on my progress. It may not be a weekly thing (unless that’s what you want), but maybe every other week I’ll check in to share my progress. If self-helpery isn’t your thing, feel free to ignore these posts. And don’t worry, I’ll still be sharing the usual creative, delicious, colorful IBC content you’ve come to expect.
I also wanted to mention that this is a process. And, while I hope that by sharing it someone else might be inspired to make changes to live the life they want, I’m in no way saying that this is THE way. It’s just how I’ve decided to move forward and better myself. And, there’s a chance it may not work. However, I feel like I’m at a point where I have no other choice and my brain and the universe are telling me that this is how I need to proceed. So, let’s do this! This change begins today. Thank you for joining me on this journey.