Happy New Year!
I think 2016 is going to be a really good year. As per usual I found myself thinking about making some ‘New year’s Resolutions’, but this year I’m going to do something a little differently. I have realised that for whatever reason, I am unable to follow through and complete my ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, and apparently according to Forbes.com, only 8% are able to make their new years resolutions a reality. That means I am in the 92% that fail, which means that I don’t feel very good about myself when I think about the previous years list of resolutions.
I’d rather not be apart of such a group!
I have been working my way through Gretchen Rubin’s ‘Better than Before’ book again, and listening to her ‘Happier with Gretchen Rubin’ podcast regularly. I really love her work. Gretchen Rubin is fascinated by human behaviour and what makes people happier. She talks a lot about the power of habits and how they influence our happiness.
Our daily habits are the reason for the way in which our lives look.
It’s quite a sobering moment when you realise how influential our daily habits are on our time. We all have 24 hours a day, if sleeping contributes to about 8 hours, we need to look at how we use our remaining 16 hours each day.
Life is busy. Motherhood is busy. Being a homeschooling mum is busy, but if I want to become happier in my life, I need to look at my life and make some changes.
What makes us happy in life? Good relationships, knowing what our purpose in life is and making progress in it, our health and wellbeing, a schedule that is un-rushed, and our place of refuge which of course is our home. I would like to improve each of these areas.
Habits aren’t based on feelings, they need to be scheduled and adhered too. There is however a consequential feeling to our habits. If we are exercising and eating well we feel better in ourselves and usually have more energy in our daily lives, which in turn helps us feel happier. If we are connecting with our kids and husbands daily, we feel happier. When we catch up with friends, we feel happier. When our lives are simplified and our homes are uncluttered and clean we feel happier. When we are doing well at our jobs – we feel happier. There are so many areas of our lives that we want to improve at this time of the year, but unless we improve our habits, its unlikely that we will achieve our overall goal of becoming happier.
It takes time to notice the benefits of sticking to habitual changes and often we fight against change because our old habits are strong.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I want for my life and what I want it to look like by the time Christmas comes around again. I have realised that if I want change and results I have to change some of my habits.
I have realised how important it is to create habitual change rather than making a few resolute statements about what I think I want for my life. A resolution is just a statement without wheels. If you want to achieve the resolution you have to replace the old habit with a new one.
I feel as though I have been talking about weight loss for years. I wanted it badly, and I would make efforts towards the goal but then I would get busy with the different needs of my family and put my plans aside so that I could meet the needs of who ever needed help. There was always one thing after another that I would put in front of my desire to meet my goal. Also, I’d gotten into the habit of going to bed late, and as a result mornings always felt as though I had been hit by a semi trailer. Even though my days were busy getting the kids sorted for school and what not, I constantly felt as though I needed recovery time, and then as nightfall came, I would get dinner on the table and then organise the kids for bed. All of a sudden I would get this second wind of energy. It was ‘ME TIME’, and so I would fall into the trap again. I had to change the way I thought about the time in between the kids going to bed and me going to bed.
There are three things that are really working for me at the moment.
1. I have been setting an alarm on my phone to tell me that its 10 minutes to bedtime. I can finish what I am doing, and then get organised for bed in those 10 minutes; and
2. Hubby bought me a fitbit charge HR for Christmas and I must admit that while it was not on my Christmas list, he actually gave me something that I am finding more and more valuable and worthwhile each day. I am finding that the information it gives me about myself each day about my daily life is quite informative. Its information I can actually use to improve my life. It allows me to assess my exercise, sleep, food choices and also water consumption through the app. I thought I didn’t want one, but I am now so glad hubby made the decision to not listen to me because I have had a profound change of mind on how beneficial this device really is to my life.
3. Everyone in our household has been put on a schedule to help out with the housework. Its going really well and while the kids groaned and moaned about the schedule its working really well. I am impressed. It will be interesting to see how it goes as we go back to school, but they have all done really well. One child has tried to barter her way out of her jobs, but that precedence was stopped in its tracks very quickly.
Changing habits is about making better choices for our lives. If you want to lose weight, you need to schedule both exercise and meal planning into your weekly calendar. You have to become accountable to your goal and make the required choices to make your goal a reality. It sounds so easy, but we also need to plan for those days when we are emotional or hormonal. These are the days when our desire for sugar is at its highest. You have to make the decision to abstain completely or allow yourself one small treat at the end of the week. We live in an ‘instant gratification’ world and while we have to be real and understand when we truly want to give in to our feelings, we have to stand strong if we want to reach our goal of losing the weight. No one said it was going to be easy, but I do think that if we are organised, we can achieve our goals. I had to get myself an action plan that I felt comfortable with!
I am also assessing other areas of my life. I am looking at how much time I spend on social media, what I watch on television, which isn’t much these days as I prefer to listen to podcasts, but lets face it anything can become a negative habit if we don’t do it in moderation.
So, here’s to a new year…let 2016 be a brilliant year of new beginnings and a year of happy habits!