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All sage advice tells you to take habit-building slowly. One at a time. Start with micro habits. Never bite off more than you can chew. Probably all really good advice. But it makes me squirrelly and more desperate for change to happen right this very second. So I created the mother of all habit trackers. A habit tracker for the mental warrior in training.
Any well-meaning person will quickly tell me that I am just setting myself up for failure and maybe I’m a bit over the top crazy. Kind of reminds me of what came at me when I was nearing 40 and decided it was time to become a mom for the first time. The well-meaning advice was not exactly cheering me on and making me feel good or even sane. So I made the decision to tune in hard to my inner voice and put a bubble around myself and just make it all go away. I knew I was looked at with pity and judgment, seen as doomed to fail, yet I KNEW otherwise.
As I do with my giant leap into creating new habits. I had actually started with the new habits once and then stopped. Just after I got going, one kid got sick, then there were surprise days off from school aka no me time at all. Then I had a pretty big, yet obvious thought. Life does not have to be perfect for me to start my new habits. If a day or two or even three come along where I cannot do anything, THAT IS OK. It is ok to be a busy mom and need to attend to other things.
With habit building, things are automatically tossed out like if you can’t keep up with the habits, “you are making excuses” or it is just not a priority or you are lazy. But what if you are just fucking busy? What if your kid is throwing up or simply needs you around more than usual? It is ok to miss days of your new habit as long as you know in your heart and soul that you are going at it with all you have. So, as soon as I gave myself permission to have X’s on my habit tracker, I easily set off with it.
And holy wow! After just 9 days in, the changes are here. Things are moving.
Here is what I’m focusing on daily:
- exercise program with fasting run/walks before kids are up plus strength training
- big glass of water with collagen before making breakfast
- five step meditation before work
- a share/reach out/connection
- writing for websites and/or product creation
- lofty statement
- bedtime gratitude with kids
- pm guided meditation
To tie it all together, I need to catch myself going into my comfort zone of negativity and work damn hard to keep my focus off of what is scaring me or worrying me, or pissing me off.
You can download your own mega habit tracker HERE
Some fun observations. I have not used an alarm to wake up in at least a decade. I wake early every morning and have no problem getting up. Well, until I declare that I will start going for run/walks before the kids get up. I swear, I’d wake in the middle of the night and already be thinking, “well, it was a rough night, I’ll have to skip tomorrow morning” or waking up and saying “hmmm definitely too cold out today, I’ll have to skip it.” (reminder I live in Cozumel) It’s like when I say I’ll cut back on sugar (which I don’t eat much of) and suddenly want to shove sugar in my face 24 hours a day.
It’s amazing how the mind will fight to stay exactly where it is, isn’t it? I actually find it helps me when I see this. I can either giggle at how silly it is to try to cling on for dear life to the known, or I can gently say, “I hear that you see something new and feel uncomfortable.” Just being able to see where the resistane is coming from helps me kick myself into action.
The other thing that took me by surprise was my sudden resistance to lofty statements. I had been just naturally doing them daily and really liking it. But every morning when I was coloring in my habits from the day before, I was putting an X in the lofty statements. And that was like my “freebie” where it would be all filled in with very little effort. Sitting with it, I realized that I was just in a bit of a dark space, and trying to do a lofty statement felt false. So I was gentle with myself and gave myself the space I needed without beating myself up.
If in your heart of hearts you know that trying eight new habits at once is not going to happen, listen to that. You can create a system that works for you, or use any of my habit trackers if they can help you move forward. The idea is to push yourself and only you know what your limits are.
I don’t want to bog you down in trite sayings or motivational speeches, but do need to make sure that you are A-OK with the fact that until you start changing all the little things that keep you stuck, you aren’t going anywhere.
Becoming unstuck is so flipping overwhelming and often feels like you are just walking in place and against a wall. A visual habit tracker is such a great way to motivate yourself and have evidence that you are a flipping warrior.