New Year, New Habits

There are people in this world that get up every day and relish the challenge that life brings. Then there are folks like myself that get up every day and manage to consume a cup of coffee without hurting anyone. Life’s challenges don’t come until about an hour after the second cup.

I spent a good portion of my 20s and early 30s trying to convince myself that I was a motivated go-getter. I have passed my natural half-life at this point so I decided to be honest with myself: I am actually pretty content to just putter around the house and try a new flank steak marinade. 

I signed up for the newsletter by this guy James Clear, who writes a lot about the power of habits. A lot of it is standard motivational type stuff, but some of it speaks to me so I keep reading. I am also a BIG believer in the power of habit. There are some things in my life that are already on auto-pilot, but there are a lot more things that I don’t do regularly that I’d like to make automatic. 

If I was sitting down and designing a calendar from scratch, I wouldn’t pick January to start a new year. I owe nothing to Janus, for one. For two, it’s too cold, I’m broke from Christmas, and the last thing I want to do is haul my carcass out of hibernation in some misguided attempt to make a New and Better Me.

September is a great month to start a new year. It feels a lot more precipitous for change. Still on the edge of summer, but you know colder weather is right around the corner so you better get that harvest in if you want to eat.

January really has a lot of the “just ride it out” quality to it– in September there’s still time to scramble and get things done if you hurry.

Today I decided to write down a bunch of stuff in my calendar so it would show up on my phone as a repeating reminder. Every day except for Sunday, I am going to:

  • Get up at the same time every morning
  • Have only one cup of coffee, then go for a run
  • Come back and put on Grown Up Clothes, as if I Am Going to Leave The House
  • Eat a decent breakfast and help the rest of the family get out of the door on time every morning so I can walk the kids to school
  • Sit down at the computer and try to write for at least 30 minutes

It is a sign of how far I have to go that I am going to feel accomplished about waking up.

I have always struggled with slipping into Sloth Mode… I want to create a feeling of wrongness when I’m not doing these things. I am particularly excited about the last one, because it’s led to this post, and will, in time, get me to finish The Book.

Yes I am writing a book. No I don’t want to talk about it right now. But I have an outline, so that’s a start.

Any of you all struggling with bad habits and trying to form good ones? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.