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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My 12 for 12 - little habits I want to fold into my days

Those who know me know I love me some New Year's Resolutions. I love making them and I love looking back to see if I kept any. Usually, during that week between Christmas and New Year, sometimes even earlier, little ideas percolate in my brain, nudging me towards that Oz of Perfection that, though I laugh and tease about it, I believe all of us are journeying towards. 

This year was a little different. For the first time in a long time I wasn't chafing with dissatisfaction about myself, my health, my body, my house, my work. Not that there isn't room for improvement or progress or movement - just that - this year I was in a really happy good place. I didn't want to make any grand changes. Who would - when standing in a really happy good place? I just wanted to make some little changes - some 'start small', baby step, trim tab shifts. And I wanted it to feel positive - to feel enriching. I wanted to add some good habits to my life.

Those infamous "They" say that it takes 21 days to create a habit and as I got to thinking about 2012 and how many good habits I might want to add it suddenly hit me - I could
add one good habit a month and I'd have 12 for 12. The cuteness of the thought - because I do realize it's a little sloganey - tickled me. Actually finding 12 things turned out to be something of a challenge since they had to be small enough to be things I'd want to do every day yet important enough to matter to my life.

The ground rules were that I could play around with any of these habits at any time, but each one was to be the star of its own month. Each one would be given a full 30 days of constant attention. And they did not have to be all about weight and health. Each month I could chose the habit that either appealed to me the most, or that seemed the most necessary to concentrate on. If - during the year - some Other Better Habit revealed itself to me I could swap it out for one still on the list.

So. Here are my 12 for 12 in no particular order:

1. Food Tracking
I know this is good for me. I know it's important. I know this is the next step I have to take to get rid of this last 12 lbs. I don't HATE tracking food - but I haven't made the effort to do it. This is the First Good Habit I'm working on.

2. Wear a pedometer and get those 10K steps
10K steps, 4 activity points, whatever you want to call it - the goal is to build into my life more movement - I move - but not enough.

3. Drink 6-8 cups of water every day
I live where the tap water is absolutely delicious. Even at work!! So tell me why I forget to do this? Idunno - but I do. Good habit to get into

4. The Charles Schwab list at work
At least he's the one credited with the idea - you list the top 5 things you need to do tomorrow. Prioritize that list. Then - do those 5 things first, every day, even if you do nothing else. If there is something on that list you did not do today, it becomes the top item on tomorrow's list. The key here is you do it every day. I've diddled with this and know it works - but - I've not been consistent with it.

5. Read my 5-year play every morning - because it is so durn easy to forget what I'd planned to do until it's review time and then I have to confess to all the things I failed to do! (a corollary to this is - have each of my staff read it at least once a week too - but that's another list)

6. Compliment someone on my staff every day
I really like the people who work for me - and they deserve to know it. Also - in order to compliment someone you have to look at what they're doing - and when you do you often notice strengths they have that could be used in other areas of the workplace. People get tired of doing the same thing all the time but they always love being asked to do what they do well. I need to take advantage of these strengths to enliven their day while also enriching the workplace!

7. Read some fiction every day. 
I love stories - I run a library for goodness sake! But I have grown so weary of what's popular in fiction these days that I have quit reading it. One more snarky woman struggling with her dysfunctional family and looser weak man ... ugh. Still and all - I don't like it that I'm so ignorant about current fiction. Time to at least dabble in the subject.

8. Draw 20 minutes a day. I will never get any better if I don't practice every day

9. Select a big life goal - a big personal thing - and take one step towards it ... every day.
I want to take a boat up a fjord in Norway? How would I go about it. What step could I take today that would get me there?

10. Ditto at work - Select something from the 5-year Plan and step one step closer to achieving it - or to realizing it's not the goal we wanted to achieve and getting it out of the plan.

11. Clean the kitchen every night. I am a morning person and am often really tired at night. It's easy to get up at 5 and clean the kitchen - but seeing a dirty kitchen first thing in the morning starts my day off with a tiny bit of ugliness. How about starting it off with something pretty instead?

12. Pray. Take a little time to step deep into myself, deliberately, and touch base with what's really important.

And there you have them. All are things I sort of do or do now and then or do once in a while. But just think how lovely 2012 would be if I made them daily habits. Mmmm Mmmm. My My My. Yes. Just think! 

1 comment:

  1. Great idea, Bess! And really nice goals. Kudos to you!