This past year I simplified. There were a lot of things I stopped doing. I am a perfectionist. I have a tendency to build up elaborate habits and outsized expectations. I love goals but extreme expectations + perfectionism are self-defeating. It does not inspire. I had to take a hard look at myself and change. In 2020, I am stopping a couple of habits and adding a few. I am sharing my goals and my process here as we enter the new year in the hope that it will inspire some of you to look at your own self-defeating patterns and thrive in the way I know you can.
Habits to end this year:
Habit 1: Stop drinking coffee (a little bit of caffeine goes a long way for me). Allow myself 2 cups of tea daily.
How: This I will do immediately, no transition. I can’t go halfway with coffee. For me it has always been all or nothing.
Habit 2: Don’t look at the phone or any screen 1 hour before bed.
How: I will buy an alarm clock for the bedroom. I will charge my phone in the kitchen overnight and will plug it in an hour before sleep.
New habits to start and work on this year:
Habit 1: Set a realistic daily schedule for myself. I wrote a schedule this past year but did not stick with it too well. However, just putting it together taught me how to set more realistic expectations for myself. I also now have a better sense of what does work and what I really need. I will spend thirty minutes at the end of every month to assess if the schedule is working for me.
How: I am already doing this one. On the 2nd, I sat down with my schedule to revise it. I also added a recurring invite for 4th Friday of the month to assess my schedule and modify.
Habit 2: Take ten minutes every day to either journal or meditate.
How: I will carry a small notebook with me to support this habit. I put a reminder for myself on my phone to do this every day before lunch. I have my favorite meditation app and I have a notebook and pen in my purse.
Habit 3: Keep my current fitness schedule: 2 fitness classes per week + walk every day + take stairs whenever I can.
How: I just keep doing what I have been doing. Keep my expectations in check. I do not need more. This level of fitness keeps me healthy and happy. It is also a fitness routine that I know I can commit to and keep.
Habit 4: Set realistic expectations. Focus on “stretch” goals that are inspiring.
How? This is a tough one for me. I think I will need to write my expectations down, question them and revise them. I expect this habit to be a work in progress for all of 2020. I am not sure I even know what a realistic expectation is for me. However, I am willing to take the time and effort to figure it out. I will lean on my partner and friends to help me. I will probably also enlist professional help for this one. This habit runs deep.
Habit 5: Ask for help when I need it. Maybe it is pride, maybe it is a fear of showing weakness, maybe it is an aversion to having a personal debt, but asking for help has always been hard for me. I love helping others without any expectations in return. Yet when it is my turn to ask for help, I don’t. We all need help. We can’t succeed alone. I have spent a year learning to ask for help and it is not a habit yet. I still need to work on it.
How: Be mindful of when I need help. Ask for help regardless of how uncomfortable it makes me.
Goal 1: Continue enforcing good sleep habits for the kids.
How: Keep the bedtime routine. Gold stars for the kids for each bit of the routine they do on their own.
Goal 2: Keep introducing family to new foods. They don’t have to eat new foods but they do have to try it. For my children, this has been a great way to get them to diversify their plates. They now like green beans, asparagus, and broccoli. I also always make sure I have the healthy staples they like available (e.g. chicken noodle soup, whole wheat pancakes, fruit).
How: Keep my usual meal rotation for the kids + add a new side in each week + make sure they try a bite of anything new my partner and I eat.
What are some new habits you are working toward this year, and how do you plan to get there?