I have some thoughts on making routines and habits to share with you today. And I am just going to start out saying that this is coming from the person who just doesn’t get routines and has a hard time doing the same thing twice.
I’ve been working really hard this year on forming habits and routines in a way that works for me. I’m obviously not an expert, but wanted to share these 5 steps that worked for me.
I’ve managed to form some new healthy habits this year, by being a little creative in how I approach them. And my favorite habit that I have formed this year, by far, is this blog.
I went from blogging very inconsistently and even taking a year break to posting several times each week. And for this ENFP, that’s a very big deal.
I can’t say that I have fully mastered habit forming, but blogging consistently was the one of the habits I really wanted to form this year and here I am still going strong! So, in case your sort of a hot mess like me, I thought I would share the process I walked through to get here.
Today, as I sat down at my computer like I typically do as Ruby goes down for her morning nap, I really didn’t want to write a blog post. See, I gave myself a little break this past week, because it was a ‘holiday’ but, it was hard. So, I’m already feeling a little out of “routine”. But, here I am pressing on, because it’s what I do, this is now a part of my day.
And actually, today was just was just what I needed to confirm that this is a habit. And it’s a good one that I hope to continue to keep up.
For me, this was realizing what I can do, right now. I wanted to completely redesign my blog, make it look beautiful, switch to wordpress, write more posts like this, all on top of editing my pile of family photos and posting them here. But, really, the heart of what i wanted to do was to just share. To be creative and to connect.
For me, this happened to be an easy one. Around the time I started blogging again, Ruby started to finally nap well. She started to consistently take a two hour nap twice a day. So, after she went down for her morning nap, I would use that time to work on my blog. Either editing photos, or writing a post.
I wanted to set a goal to post every day of the week. That seemed very doable with Ruby’s schedule and I was really determined to get to work on a lot of photos that I wanted to edit and share.
It’s very helpful to associate your new habit with an already formed habit. For me, this was working on my blog after I put Ruby down. They seem to go hand and hand now, along with coffee, of course.
So, now that you’ve visualized how your habit will occupy your daily life, make it even more attainable. For me, it was switching from every day, to creating 16 blog posts a month. Which would make about 4 posts a week, and it would even leave a little room if I wasn’t able to post 4 times one week.
My original vision was to post every day and that’s the habit I wanted to form, so I still strive for that. However, I never feel defeated if I miss a day, because I look at the bigger picture and then make up for it later in the week to stay on target for the month.
Forming a new habit is hard, so it’s important to leave a little room to fail. I would have totally given up if I tried to do this every. single. day. So, easing up a little enables you to actually form a habit and do it well, or even better!
And keep in my mind that habits and routines come from doing something regularly, so it’s important to be consistent.
I could probably make another step, but part of this and visualizing your habit is to actually put it into practice. But this is obvious, right? Right??
So, here’s the part that I just realized today.
I have been working on this post and it has been filed away as a draft for a while now. I knew it wasn’t quite complete and was still missing something. Or rather, I wasn’t sure that I had actually formed a habit.
So, it was today, as I mentioned earlier, was the first day that I really didn’t want to blog. “Why am I even doing this?” I asked myself. And then, that’s when I needed to repeat through the steps I shared above.
Today I reminded myself that I want to share our story, that I want to get out my thoughts, create a community, and to share the photos I’ve taken. Sometimes that looks like taking a break from editing your daughters first birthday photos because they’re all green and not perfect like you want them to be. Maybe it’s cutting yourself a little slack when your husband works long, long days, and that means you work long, long days.
But, then I need to make room, to do these tasks, to create new content, because even thought right now. in this moment, writing this post is not what I want to be doing, I know that it will make it easier tomorrow, and then maybe I’ll have the energy to edit those green tinted first birthday photos.
And now, that I am wrapping up this post, I am so glad that I took the time. It was just what I needed, to be a little creative, to communicate my thoughts, and to not spend my time doing ‘nothing’.
Here’s the fact. Forming good habits can be hard, it’s important to keep working through, and when you start to thinking just about the moment, cycle back through these steps, and remind yourself of your dreams.
What do you think? & I would love to hear, what steps do you take to form habits?