My friend and I were talking about habits yesterday and what we would like to add to our daily routine this year. It’s a fun conversation to have because you can see how everyone differs. For example, my friend is in the habit of emptying the dishwasher first thing when she wakes up, while I’m in the habit of waiting until I have too many dishes piled up on the counter before I empty mine. On the flipside, I MUST MUST MUST make my bed first thing when I wake up but she’s not in the habit of doing so. These habits make us all unique. I find them kind of fascinating.
We are going to be having our kitchen cabinets painted this month, which means it will be out of commission for at least a week and I can’t waaaaaaaaaait to take everything out and put it back in again. Is that weird? I’m in this headspace of editing the crap out of my life right now because all of the stuff I have is OWNING ME. I just want simplicity. I want better habits. I want a better foundation & routine.
This first week of the new year, I’m looking into my everyday habits and trying to figure out what I want to add and what I want to keep. I am also trying to be super realistic about this because life gets in the way and some habits never stick and some die hard.
Let’s talk about some of my habits and how I plan to change them…..
-making lunch for Cooper
If I make lunch the night before, my mornings run smoother. But lately, I’ve been doing it right before we leave for school and HOLY COW it’s stressful. I think we’d both be in a better mental space if I didn’t wait until the last minute on that one. I also want to get HIM in the habit of making his own lunch. He’s done it before!
-forgetting that I need to pluck my eyebrows
High school aged Tracy used to be on top of i (oh man my brows were so sparse!) And in high school I used to reapply makeup throughout the day like clockwork. Current Tracy is like heyyyyyyyyy I guess I can go as Frida Kahlo for Halloween this year and not look in the mirror until it’s too late. The thing is, I’ve kinda put my physical self on the back burner. In the Fall, I was in the habit of taking a shower and putting makeup on before dropping Cooper off at school and I could see that it actually put me in a better mood. I fell out of that habit, though. When I look like a scrub, I kinda feel like one. SO, with that said maybe I’ll be better at looking my best this year so I can feel my best. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to immediately put pjs on after dropping him off when I work from home 😉
-checking my phone the second I wake up
Such a bad habit! I need to stop going into my whole cyber loop of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Email before I even have a sip of coffee! It sucks my energy, wastes time and can subconsciously put me in a mood if I’m not careful. I want to kick that habit and fill it with a little meditative time so I feel more grounded before I start my day. I feel like this will be a big challenge, but I think it will make the most impact. I just have to set some ground rules for myself.
-keeping up with my blog schedule
What 2015 taught me is that consistency is awesome, but it can also be really boring. I focused so much on getting in my requisite posts each week that I didn’t allow enough playtime in the kitchen or time to put into other aspects of my work. I want to spend a little more time feeding my creativity so I don’t feel tapped out. I want to put better energy into this blog and I think that means I’m going to be cutting some things out and adding in what feels right for me- right now. Like…this kind of post and more home/organizing stuff.
-dealing with paper immediately before it becomes a problem
I’ve been really good about not bringing more paper into the house. Putting the recycling bing right outside out garage door has helped! I just need to work on the piles that I already have going on here….It seriously took me 2 hours to find my expired passport yesterday and I finally found it in between a few books on a bookshelf. WTF?!
-spending 15 minutes every night as a family straightening things up
Here’s the thing. My house isn’t going to clean itself. If I do it all by myself, I get resentful and then I’m all yelling for no reason for everyone to PICK THINGS UP BECAUSE I CAN’T DO IT ALL ANYMORE. This is a habit I want to build for the family. I’d like us to set a timer and clean up all the mess we were responsible for. I think having the family room cleaned up before we sit down to dinner is a reasonable request! Let’s see how we do.
-making exercise a priority
It makes me feel better. It helps me clear my head. I fell out of the habit…. like BIG TIME. Time to fix that.
-checking in on my phone less and being more present.
I practice this a lot and then fall out of the habit because I get unintentionally sucked back in. I turned off the email notifications on my phone because I knew that if I heard the alert sound or saw it on my phone, I couldn’t NOT check my email- even if I couldn’t respond. Sometimes I get complicated emails and then I’m all stressed when I need to have my energy in a better place. My time with my son is limited. He’s only this age once. He deserves my full attention.
But then on the flipside, I need to be more on top of my emails (who doesn’t?!) and I’ve thought about giving myself specific times of the day to deal with emails. I tried Mailstrom last year and it helped me get my inbox to zero but I have a hard time taking action with all my TO DOs in my inbox. How’s your inbox? Do you have a system? TELL ME EVERYTHING.
-clearing out the pictures on my phone and lessen my redundant backups
Because it means I have to delete things I don’t need in sooooooooo many places and then I get burned out and stop doing it altogether. I’ve thought about setting an alarm on my phone to remind me, but I worry that I’ll just snooze it and never do it. For the past year, I’ve been waiting until I’ve been on an airplane to clear out my phone. At one point I had 15k photos on my camera roll. Ummmmmm. Have any tips? Do you have a system that you like?
-doing research before jumping right in
I have a habit of figuring out things as I go because I am impulsive and like to just START. Then, when I’m deep into whatever I’m doing, I realize that I never thought things through and how they would change long term or how I needed to organize things for the future. I’m at this place right now where I’ve created a bunch of messes for myself because I didn’t do my research. I’ll give you an example— naming files on my folder. I’ve created a few different systems and instead of dealing with all my files and doing it over, I started a new system and my brain can’t handle anymore so I don’t want to finish. I have two almost full hard drives filled with pictures that I haven’t felt like sorting through. In 2016, I’m transferring all of my photos to Lightroom from Aperture and am starting with a clean slate. I’m also finally setting everything up our banking stuff in Quickbooks like a fricking adult. But…instead of jumping right in, I am doing my research. I don’t want to screw this up. It feels good to be more thoughtful and deliberate. I know it will pay off in the long run.
-cleaning my car out at the end of each day
Sometimes I wait a week or two for things to get reaaaaaaaaally bad in my car for me to clean it out. It’s really stupid because I’m creating more work for myself. After awhile, my car becomes a closet and Cooper and I have SOOOOO many clothes/bags to bring in. I’m gonna make a habit of being better about bringing stuff inside. My laziness is getting on my nerves.
-putting things back where they belong
After spending a whole weekend cleaning out our garage and taking down holiday decorations I got rid of soooooooo much stuff. At one point I realized how many duplicates of things I had of things and got so mad at myself. Like…. it’s cool that I have a tupperware for crayons but when I find ALL OF THE CRAYONS in our house at once and put them ALL away, there’s not enough space for all the crayons. Do we really need that many crayons? Or do we have so many crayons because I keep buying them because they’re never where they should be?? This happens on so many levels at our house (hello, SOCKS!) and I am sick of not having a place for everything. I want to reduce the things we have to the things we need and manage things better. Less is more, right?
-reading before bed
It’s easier for me to fall asleep if I get lost in a book before I go to bed. It distracts me from the running TO DO lists I have in my head. Right now I’m reading this book and it’s totally messing with my dreams (in a good way!). I’ve been doing this for the past week…so I think I’m on my way to creating a new habit. I think it’s probably because we had a habit of watching 3+ episodes of Friday Night Lights every night for a month (Tim Riggins 4EVA!). We’ve finished it now so reading is the new FNL. Or until we find another show to binge watch 😉
These are just a few habits I’d like to have/change/rework in 2016.
What about you? Do you have anything you’d like to add? Rework?
If you’re thinking of re-working some of your habits, here’s a list of books that might help:
- The Power of Habit
- Better Than Before
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Making Habits, Breaking Habits
- Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior
- The Willpower Instinct