It’s the new year and I don’t know about you but I always like to start my year with a long list of things I want to accomplish in the year. Nine out of ten times it’s nearly impossible to keep it up. As this list is basically the instruction manual for this perfect human being. There are two things wrong with this instruction manual. One) Perfection is unattainable. Two) The new year new you bullshit can be incredibly harmful to your mentality. Now, don’t get me wrong. Trying to incorporate healthy habits in your life is pretty damn great but you shouldn’t wait for a new month or a new year before you start. Start the day after you decide that hey I want to stop smoking. Don’t wait two weeks for the new month to quit. Start immediately. Don’t wait till you finished the last pack of smokes. Start immediately. You’re just signing yourself up for failure if you put a date on it. The month will come and you might come up with some excuse to push it to the next month and before you know it, it’s months later and here you are, still smoking your days away with the promise to quit at the start of the new year. I don’t know why I always use smoking as an example but you get what I’m trying to say right?
This is what I wrote on my list last year and right next to it is how many times I accomplished it.
- Meditate 3times a week — Mediated maybe once in the entire year.
- Workout 5 days a week — Maybe for about a month, two months max.
- Drink 2litres of water every day— lol no.
- Drink green tea four days a week — If you put all the days that I drank green tea together we would probably be around 20.
- Eat no meat once a week — Never even occurred to me.
- Wake up early in the work week (Mon-Fri) — I had about two months of this. The rest of the time I read till about 9am.
- Drink smoothies twice a week — No. I had five days I drank a smoothie every day but other than that the year was a year of almost no smoothies.
- Eat one cup of vegetables and one cup of fruit every day— No although I do eat vegetables at every meal and will eat fruit every day if my favorites are in season. Yay, we can tick one of them off!
- Do yoga once a week — I didn’t do a single yoga session in the year 2018. I stretched maybe once but it wasn’t yoga.
- Eat candy only twice a week — I’m laughing so hard right now.
- Work on my mental health once a month for a week – This is my most ridiculous goal ever. It’s incredibly important to work on your mental health EVERY SINGLE DAY. It can be the little of things but you can’t ignore the importance of mental health.
There is a lot more but those were the main things. Most of these, if incorporated in my daily life, would improve my health but I can’t expect to suddenly overnight do all of these things. It’s way too overwhelming. I would add so much pressure and stress on my own shoulders that it’s almost frightening. But I do want to eventually incorporate most of these things. Like that really famous saying goes; Rome wasn’t built in a day. We’ve all heard this saying at least once in our lives but there is a reason why it’s so famous. It’s fucking true.
A while back I started this experiment that turned into a big success. It was where I rewarded myself with one euro every day I don’t eat candy. I realized that I needed the motivation to help with my biggest unhealthy habit but I also really liked being able to tick something off on the calendar. I print out the month and I get to scratch the block out if I went without candy. It made me so happy to see the big picture of the entire month and it also showed habits. If you look at my candy calendar from November you can see that I eat candy on Wednesday and over the weekends. Those are the days that the husband is home. I made a vow to never buy candy for myself. So, only when the husband is home and able to buy candy, did I eat candy. It was just really interesting to see. I will talk more about the candy and all of that jazz in an upcoming blog. There is so much I can say.
Getting back to the calendar, it made me happy to color in days so I figured why not work with this. I mean I’ve learned now that I respond well to this system. So I created a new calendar and chose the four main healthy habits I want to incorporate right now. Oh wow, that is a messy sentence. Sorry about that. Let’s try that again. I realized that I’m not going to achieve all my goals overnight and that I needed to choose only a few and concentrate on those for about six months. Once they are like second nature to me, then I will choose the next four and then etc.
This is the four I’m going to start off with.
- Do a short workout from Monday to Friday.
- Wake up (read, get up) early from Monday to Friday.
- Drink a cup of green tea every single day
- Drink 2 liters of water every single day.
This is how my calendar looks like. I just made a simple table in Microsoft PowerPoint. 16 columns and five rows. Table one is the first fifteen days with a little picture of my healthy habit and then table two is the other sixteen days for the months of 31 days. On the shorter months, I just erase the extra columns. I just post the two tables next to each other on the fridge. It’s really simple. If I would want too I could add my candy on this calendar but I like my special candy calendar too much. My brain works in mysterious ways.
The idea to use the calendar system popped into my head in the second week of December. It wasn’t a great month to build these healthy habits and on most days I only colored in one box out of the four but I’m being very gentle with myself. I realize that I’m not going to get all four boxes every time. I realized that it’s going to take some time to make this a habit. So I’m giving myself just that. Time. I know life is going to happen sometimes and I won’t be able to tick all the boxes every day even after six months and that’s okay. If I can tick those boxes 80% of the time then that’s really fucking great.
This system works for me, someone who gets overwhelmed really quickly and needs to color in boxes to stay motivated. I encourage you to explore different options and until you find a system that works for you. Best of luck for all of your goals for this new year and try to see the big picture. 2019 is only one year of your life. You don’t have to achieve everything you possibly want to achieve in your lifetime in one short year.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!