It’s a marathon, not a sprint: Breaking old habits and creating new ones
With the holidays and the new year starting to come in quickly, we are presented with a time of tranquility and reflection. The end of the year is the perfect time to assess your habits, who you are today, and what the future can look like.
Whether it’s to limit alcohol intake, exiting a toxic friendship/relationship, or wanting to be more tidy/organized at home, there are little habits that help us achieve these goals. Oftentimes these habits are ingrained in us, making it easier for us to stick to old habits, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep evolving.
Let’s dive into a few ways to reflect, assess, and live in the now.
- Grab a pen and paper and write down your good habits and bad habits.
- Write out ways you can improve your habits, and break down the how/when in the plan.
- Share one of your habits, what big goal they lead to, and your improvement plan to inspire other Sisters.
Living in the now is what I think of when people say things like “be present, get off your phone”. In order to live in the now, we have to stop letting the past distract us from moving forward or setting unreasonable expectations for ourselves in the new year.
What are your current habits that you want to assess? Here are some tips that can help you reflection during the holiday season:
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
When thinking about your current habits, it’s important to look at the whole picture. Ask yourself what area(s) in my life do I want to improve, and how do my habits prevent me from getting there.
For example: I would love to get into a morning exercise routine to improve my mental health, but I’m a night owl that doesn’t go to sleep until maybe 3 a.m. some nights.
Acknowledging the whole picture allows us to find a solution that’s reasonable for us. Using the example, my solution would be to opt-in for a mid-day exercise like a walk to improve my mental health. The truth is breaking a sleep cycle that is difficult and arranging your new habit to fit in your day can make it more manageable.
Another way to think through habits is as an area of opportunity. Maybe you currently are okay with your habits, but want to improve an untapped area in your life. Think through what it would take to get there. Do research on what may have worked for others and see how you can make that fit into your lifestyle.
Slow down, we’re full.
Here to say “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” again.
Living in the now means not trying to cram in all your wants at once. Appreciate where you are in your journey. If there’s something that’s really important for you to keep working on but it’s not reasonable, scale back and revisit.
For example: I want to stop eating after 6 p.m. every day because I have major heartburn and indigestion before bed. However, I just started working the night shift, and I need food to keep me going. This is important to me so I’m going to snack lightly instead and find food that won’t upset my body.
Attending your own marathon also means it’s okay to break your new habits into digestible pieces to fit you. The best way to do this is pick THREE things to work on per quarter, or what time frame seems reasonable to you. During this time, create a plan of how you’re going to achieve these milestones and how you’re going to fit them in your day.
Here are some examples of things to achieve:
- Stop battling with laundry
- How? Do a small load of laundry every day.
- When? Start load in the morning, switch load during lunch break, fold and put away before bed.
- Eat at home more often
- How? Pick a meal subscription that’s affordable and is easy to make.
- When? Cook a meal from the subscription box Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Overcome fear of public speaking
- How? Practice a public speaking prompt with a loved one.
- When? Once every two weeks, on a Sunday.
It’s easy to get in your own head and beat yourself up for not being where you thought you’d be. First, you are NOT alone. Many of us put ourselves on a timeline to reach a goal, get disappointed when we don’t achieve our goal but fail to acknowledge that it’s our timeline, and we can adjust accordingly.
Maybe the last paragraph encouraged you to give yourself grace and celebrate where you are now - you deserve it!
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