create positive habits

Forget New Year’s resolutions. Create positive habits

I am not into New Year’s Resolutions, nor am I into the New Year New Me vibe. It’s too high pressure!! And none of us need more pressure in our lives… right?

What I am into is HABITS. I have 7 healthy habits that I live by, and I stick to them. I am really really really committed to these habits.

If you think of all of the New Year’s Resolutions that you’ve made over the years, how many of them did you stick to? Here’s a few of my resolutions:

  • Take up running and run a marathon – I lasted about 3 runs and then gave up.
  • Stop eating sugar… lasted less than a week.
  • Get a 6 pack… yeah didn’t happen.
  • Learn the piano… I didn’t even make it to my first lessonss

I had some other treasures over the years, but I’m worried my mam might actually read this…

The resolutions didn’t happen because they weren’t actionable enough for me. I am an action person. I like to see things happen and progress. I am not a quitter, I am definitely not lazy. But if I can’t see the needle move, then I don’t get it. And then I lose interest. Like everyone else.

I focus on creating positives habits that I know I can stick to!

So what I do instead is I figure out what my goals are for the year and then I build habits that help me reach that goal. So this year, I am very focused on my overall health, with good reason to be focused on it too. I need to stress less, I need to eat better, drink more water and keep my body strong (but not too strong).

So I’ve picked habits that fit that goal. And because I like a bit of positive reinforcement (like a kid getting stars at school) I add in habits that I know I am going to do every single day. Why? So that every single day has a win on the tracker. Gold stars every day is more motivating that wishful resolutions.

Basically, I trick myself into doing most of the habits every day. The other good thing about habits is that you can start with one and then add in new ones throughout the year. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach.

Habit #1 Meditation and Mindfulness

I love to meditate. I really do love it. So this habit is always on the tracker. But I don’t meditate everyday, even though I want to. Time, energy, interest etc. But since I started tracking my meditation I haven’t missed a day.

You can meditate in different ways, you don’t necessarily have to sit and listen to a guided meditation, I change it up to keep interesting. Sometimes I’ll use my Calm app and listen to a guided meditation, sometimes I listen to a Rapid Transformational Hypnotherapy session or a Sound bath recording and then other times I will listen to nothing and focus on my breath.

It all depends on the mood I am in. So long as I make time for meditation and mindfulness, I am happy out and the box gets a tick! Boom.

Habit #2 Self care, self praise and positive self-talk

Ok… so this is a new(ish) one. I am big on self care. I really look after my skin, my body, my diet and all the physical side of self care. Where I fall down is on the mental side of self care. So the last two parts of this habit are new.

Whoever said self-praise is no praise is an A$$. Self-praise is the best praise. We should all be praising ourselves all day every day. If you don’t praise you, then who is going to do it? Honestly? Ask yourself who praises you?

Me… no one. As adults, we don’t get a huge amount of praise. We become very critical of ourselves and of others. People who are unhappy with themselves criticise the most. And that’s where this habit came from.

I don’t want to be critical of others, I don’t want to criticise myself anymore. I want to praise myself for all the hard work I do, for being ambitious, for being kind.

And positive self talk… since starting this habit my whole headspace has completely changed. I was a divil for saying something was a nightmare. The checkout queue was so long it was a nightmare, there was no almond milk in Tescos it’s a nightmare, that one.. she is a nightmare to deal with.

Nothing in my life is a nightmare. So the positive self talk is reframing how I talk about things inwardly and outwardly. I am doing my best to speak kindly about myself and others and to change the way I describe challenges.

Ok so other self-care stuff that I do:

  • I journal – I hated it at first but love it.
  • I do my tarot – weird but I love it.
  • I sleep in – I am up at 7 all week, so I let myself sleep in to about 9 on the weekends, if I’m not teaching.
  • Hot raw cocoa drinks – this is a new one. I put cayenne pepper in it. Could be a phase…
  • Fruit
  • Massages or physical therapy
  • I get a beauty box every month from Look Fantastic… one should arrive this week. It’s brilliant
  • Call a friend or family and just chat
  • Switch off everything, listen to music and chill
  • And sex. Sex is self care for sure.

And you can make any of the above a standalone habit that you want to work on!

Habit #3 Water

This a habit that I typically fall in and out of. But I am doing well at the moment. I started focusing on drinking more water in November. I was dehydrated all the time, I drink far too much coffee and tea. So I bought myself a jug that holds 2 litres and has measurements marked on it. My aim is to drink 2.5 litres which is about 2.25 litres more than what I used to drink.

It has taken a while to sink in, but I seem to be sipping away all day. It’s just shy of lunchtime and I’m about halfway there.

Habit #4 Self Development

I am big on self development, but like everyone else, I make a huge burst of it for a month and then nothing for 3 months and then back onto it again.

So last June I made self development a huge priority and habit and it has paid off massively. I have it down on my habit list to do something for my self development twice a week. But I actually do something most days. Right now I am all into a Mindvalley course and that will see me out to the end of June. So things that I have done for self development:

  • Online courses are probably my favourite. I might do one on yoga, meditation, work related, business related or something fun that I am interested in. I am doing one on Photography. I just finished one on breathing. And I am starting a new yoga teacher training next week. And the mindvalley course too… so I like courses. Really love them.
  • Counselling – so important. I actually thought counselling wouldn’t be for me. And I only did it because I have to to a medical thing done. So off I tottered in the middle of lockdown to a counsellor and it has been invaluable. I actually don’t enjoy yay-it’s-time-to-talk-about-feelings kinda way… but do enjoy it in a thank-god-i-got-that-out-of-me-and-she-can’t-tell-anyone-kinda-way. Totally recommend.
  • Working with a business coach – this one has been also invaluable. I actually worked with a few coaches and really didn’t enjoy any of them. And then I started working with one who has a similar personality and outlook, and it seems to going well. I have two businesses plus I have a bunch of other stuff going on. So this one has been brilliant. I am just going to casually link to her here.

And I’ve other self development habits that I do, but these are the main ones.

Habit #5 Read

This isn’t an everyday habit, I have it down to read every second day. I love reading, when I was younger I read all the time. I used to fly through books. But since I’ve gotten busier with work and life, reading has dropped off the radar.

So this is a new addition to the habit list. I find reading really relaxes me and gets me out of my own head. Right now I am reading the Little book of Hygge, which I’ve wanted to read for years but never had time for it. And now I have MADE TIME and loving the book.

Reading is great for your mental health, so it’s on the list for this year.

Habit #6 Yoga

I bet you thought this would be number one on my list, but it’s not. My list is in order of the Chakra that it works with…!

Right so yoga, why is it on a tracker and not something that I just DO!? Because I am a human. And I own a couch.

In all seriousness, yoga is on the tracker because it is an easy win and because I like to make sure than I am getting on my mat at least 5 times a week. It can be for 20 minutes to 2.5 hours. I don’t care how long. I just want to make sure that I am doing my yoga practice and moving my body. I don’t count teaching a class as my yoga practice anymore.

Like every other human, I have good weeks and bad weeks. Some times I will do 7/7 practices and normally one of those will be close to 2 hours long. And some weeks I might only fit in 3 practices and I am ok with that. Getting on your yoga mat three times a week is a positive habit.

A non-negotiable part of my yoga practice is restorative yoga. I take a whole hour every week to do restorative yoga. I generally aim for a Friday or Sunday (or both).

Habit #7 Molly walks

Molly is my dog. She is only a tiny, teeny little girl. This is on my habit list because I am responsible for her and part of minding her is walking her. And I love her. And it’s an easy win. Molly gets walked every-single-day. It’s on my tracker for about 2 years, I’ve missed 5 walks over that whole 2 years. If I can’t walk her myself, I hire someone else to.

But really I walk her everyday and she is my easiest habit to win at.

What gets tracked gets done

I am all for tracking myself. I have a bullet journal and I draw out the whole year and set up my habits and away I go. I colour in the days that I have done and leave the days that I haven’t done empty. I don’t mark it with an X. It feels a bit like self shaming so I just leave it.

Here is a habit tracker that I’ve created for you if you want to try the habit tracking approach! I would suggest starting with one or two habits and build up your healthy habits as you go. Don’t go all in and overwhelm yourself.

Pick a habit, how often you want to do it. And then get it going. For example, maybe you want to do yoga three times a week and that is plenty. Write it down, track it and by the end of the month, you can see how you got on.

I have habits that I KNOW I am going to do, they are non-negotiable part of my day. If you have a habit like that, add it in, it starts you off on a POSITIVE NOTE. And this is all about creating positive habits.

What if you fall off the positive habit bandwagon? The funny thing is when you are tracking your habits is much harder to fall off the bandwagon. But if you do, just start from wherever you are. You don’t have to wait for the next month, week or whatever. Just go from today and move on.

And please don’t give yourself a hard time over it. This is all about positivity. Creating something happier and healthier for yourself.

And you know what, if you don’t want to do it. Then DON’T DO IT!! You are enough as you are!

I hope it inspires you to know and feel, you are loved and you are important, and I mean it.

Christina

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