Last year, for the first time in my life, I chose and created habits. It all started when we were hanging out with some friends and the topic of flossing came up. It was stated that the longest any of us had flossed every day was a week and that it’s like psychologically impossible to go longer. In my head, being the rebel I am, I thought ‘okay, well that’s as good a challenge as any, I’m gonna floss every day.’ For the first week I was surprised that every single day there was something gross in between my teeth. But it took a solid SIX weeks for flossing to feel like an important, necessary part of my routine. Basically, it took six weeks for it to be a habit and not feel like I was making a great deal of effort to do it.
Once that habit was established I realized I could probably make other habits and help my well being. If you recall I wrote on the habits I took on in 2014. They included:
- Flossing daily.
- Drinking 16oz of water in the morning before eating or drinking coffee.
- Eating breakfast daily.
- Dry brushing before every shower.
- Washing my face every night.
So, how have those held up? Very well! The only one that gets a little muddy right now with an infant is drinking water. I basically drink water all night long so sometimes I don’t drink a dedicated 16oz in the morning. However, the less Ida feeds at night the more I’m bringing that back into play. Also, there have been a few times when I knew my chances of getting a shower on a given day were slim, and involved a five minute window, and in those times I’ve skipped over the dry brushing. I know that it’s temporary that I’ll have to rush showers like that because it’s all due to having an infant. In general though, these are a big part of my routine and I have successfully established them. I never miss a night washing my face, I never miss breakfast, I NEVER miss flossing. Seriously, once you start that, you can’t go to bed without flossing. Morning breath is so much worse without it. So so much worse.
Anyway, for 2015 I decided to skip the goals and resolutions and decide what new habits I want to establish. After looking carefully at areas I need improvement the obvious two that came up were diet and exercise.
My diet is extremely clean, filled with whole foods, lots of fruits and veggies and water. So what’s the problem? I eat chocolate. Like every day. Christmas didn’t help that at all. As soon as I give birth to a baby and start breastfeeding I get STRONG cravings for chocolate. Now that Ida is over two months old I think I can more easily avoid chocolate and would like to confine it to a certain day of the week….Sundays. Every Sunday Shane and I set aside the evening for a movie night. I make up a tray of random veggies, fruits, cheese, olives and what not for us to munch on in place of dinner while we watch our movie or show.
I think it’d be a perfect time to include chocolate as a treat. So my first habit of 2015 will be to avoid chocolate except for Sundays.
Next up, exercise. How can I make that a habit? I don’t know. I think if I said something like ‘three days a week’ things would come up and suddenly I’d realize a week was gone without exercising because I put it off. To avoid the avoidance I have to make it more unavoidable. How? Well I figure I should try to be intentional and do some exercise every day. That doesn’t mean going to the gym every day, which would be financially impossible since paying for child care for three kids daily would definitely not be doable. I might go to the gym two or three times a week and then do squats after the boys go to bed another day or take a walk if it’s nice outside, etc. Intentional movement, daily. My most successful exercise stints involved daily movement (30 Day Shred, Insanity, etc) and I think that will very likely keep it in my mind. If evening comes along and I realize I haven’t exercised, I can simply hit a hundred squats or do a few sun salutations real quick. It doesn’t have to be an hour of weight lifting. Missing a day here and there due to circumstance or sickness won’t be a big deal if I’m doing daily movement.
So, those are the two habits I’d like to focus on for 2015.
- Avoid chocolate except on Sundays (more of breaking a habit which is arguably harder than creating one).
- Move intentionally every day.
Including these habits to my existing ones will hopefully lead to a healthier and more energetic mama. I need all the energy I can get! I can only imagine how insane things will be once Ida is out of the newborn stage and starting to move. Fortunately, the older she gets, the older and more independent/helpful my little super heroes get.
It’s always nice to have Batman do my little errands and chores. And Spiderman to help with Ida.