Habit Building in 2014

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Last year a few months after Leo was born, I went to see my childhood dentist, who promptly told me I needed a root canal and 11 fillings. Not bad for having not really gone consistently to a dentist for 10 years (except for 2 other teeth I had to pull in that time), but still disappointing because I’ve gone countless times since to fix all the problems in my mouth. Well, no more. Ever since that first appointment, I’ve started to floss every night before bed and I intend to keep it up. Flossing has finally become a habit after years of knowing I should do it but not.

I cannot tell you what a big deal it is to be able to say that, and since realizing this has indeed become a habit, I began to ask myself “why now?” What it boiled down to was me being so sick and tired of my mouth being problematic that I decided to take caring for my mouth seriously.

And that was that.

This attitude is boiling into other areas of my life as well. I don’t know where it’s coming from, but I’m filled with a desire to take action, whether it’s the blog, business, the house, my kids. I’ve spent so much time (YEARS!) talking about things that I want to get done, never committing fully to anything in case it tanks and I get disappointed. I’m sick and tired of that. I want all that to change however, and I truly believe that habits will help.

Encouraged by my success with flossing, here are some other habits I will be working on this year:

  • Making the bed every morning
  • Blogging every weekday ( so far so good!)
  • Incorporating a daily cleaning routine into my schedule
  • Tidying up the house (with particular emphasis on the kitchen) before going to bed
  • Journaling regularly (not quite sure what that means yet)

These all have to do with a greater desire to

  • Live in a beautiful and orderly environment
  • Stay in touch with my self
  • Keep my creative juices flowing

I definitely won’t be tackling these all at once, and I certainly won’t be expecting success right away, but I will be chipping away at them slowly as I feel my determination to work on them intensify. I’ve been extremely kind to myself as I’ve worked on flossing and blogging, and I’ve discovered something interesting: the kinder to myself I’ve been, the more determined I’ve been to not let myself down. I fully embrace not having the answers and not forcing changes that just aren’t ready to be made yet. This should be interesting, and I’m so excited about a new year of habits.

p.s. I’ve been subscribed to Leo Babauta’s Habits of Entrepreneurs (NOT an affiliate link) and it’s been so great to watch what habits do for successful entrepreneurs (who also happen to be really nice people.) It’s a paid subscription, so the quality is great and I’ve enjoyed it so far.

8 comments

  1. Doesn’t it feel good to finally feel like you’ve created a new habit? I have one, too – daily creativity. There are always so many things I want to do more regularly and it helps me to remember Courtney Carver’s advice to habit stack, instead of overwhelming myself trying to do everything at once.

    1. Feels SO good. I love your habit to create daily. I feel like most of motherhood right now is just keeping the house decent and everybody alive. Taking some time to create something new is so important. Thanks for reminding me about habit stacking. That really resonated with me when I first read it and I need to go check it out again.

  2. Good for you! Your new habits are very inspiring to me. My main habit development since January 1 is to write something every single day. Doesn’t have to be a marathon session, a few lines in my journal or notes on the novel white board count. So far, I haven’t missed a day!
    My next habit will be cardio 5 days a week. Like your teeth getting away from you, my anxiety has gotten out of control. Everything is in place to manage it except enough exercise.

    1. That’s so great! In the past I’ve created really lofty goals and failed so I’m really gonna try to break things up into bite sized chunks and make it really simple like you’re doing for your writing. It’s amazing how great things are achieved bit by bit. Good luck managing your anxiety. I get a fair bit of that myself. I need to learn to relax and be still so I’m thinking of doing some yoga in the morning.

  3. I’ve been putting off going to the dentist for a while now too but I’m going to make an appointment for next month because I’m tired of having tooth problems. Cheers to a healthy mouth and healthy habits!
    ♥ Duckie.

    1. Yay! Do it! I feel so much better knowing that my mouth is taken care of. Us moms gotta take care of ourselves. It’s so hard with kids to find the time but it’s worth it. Good luck!

  4. The more natural/practical the impetus, I feel the greater success of that habit. I also once heard that you have to do something like 30x times before it becomes a habit, like second nature. You’ve got some habits-goals that are totally doable and I wish you all the luck! I think the habits my family and I want to develop is also a regular cleaning schedule (we need a calendar and a checklist) and also having deeper conversations.

    1. I agree. I’m not aiming for super lofty goals…just something that’ll make my life run a little smoother and be more meaningful to me. I need a calendar for cleaning too! I’m gonna try a daily cleaning routine, where I do some things every day, and then one special thing each day (i.e. clean the bathrooms on Monday, clean all the floors Tuesday, etc.) I just need a clean house to start with, which is taking a while.

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