Forming Better Habits for a Better Me in 2020
Well, here we are again, nearing the end of yet another year--and another DECADE! Truth be told, I am not a big fan of this time of the year. It’s cold and grey here in the Pacific Northwest. The holidays can be so busy and exhausting. And now our culture tells me I am supposed to slow down and self reflect on my past and set resolutions for forming better habits in the year to come?
I don’t know about you, but that's only fun when there is no pressure. I mean I know I have had some good times and successes, but if I really did take the time to reflect, then I’d have to admit my failures, right? And who has time to talk about that stuff?
Here’s the thing that has become clear to me recently: I can do better. Without going into too much detail (because it’s not all my story to tell), life has come at me in the last couple of years, and now I realize that I have unintentionally become reactive instead of proactive.
What does that even mean, Carmen?
It means that instead of taking control of my time and energy--our two most precious individual resources--I feel like I’ve spent a lot of my days playing catch up, reacting to whatever is happening around me instead of being more intentional with what gets my attention.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m a Mama, Wife, and Daughter before I am anything else—and my family matters more to me than anything—so I’ve not hesitated to drop my own thing to help them with theirs.
But along the way I have learned that I really do have to put on my own proverbial oxygen mask first if I’m going to continue to be of any help to those I truly do want to help, let alone reach my own dreams in life and business.
Like it or not, I need to set some hard-edged goals to create better habits in order to do better and be better for myself, my family, and my clients.
So here goes nothing! I’m putting out my three New Year’s Resolutions for 2020 here, onto the eternal public internet, and asking each of you to help hold me accountable. Some of these I’ve already started working on over the last several months, but I want to renew my promise to care for myself with this new year. Will you join me?
1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
Okay, I know this is nothing new to most of us, but there are only 24 hours in a day. On top of that limiting fact, I find that the more years that go by, the more sleep I need. This is really annoying to me, because sleeping cuts into my time to get stuff done!
Since I can’t add more hours to my days, I‘m diligently working on implementing these two tasks:
5:30 a.m. WAKE UP
9:30 p.m. BEDTIME
Admittedly, rolling out of bed at 5:30 a.m. when I didn't go to sleep until midnight or later is a huge struggle, so I've had to learn to send myself to bed much earlier than I ever have before. But I am beginning to see how much more productive I can be with my limited time when I protect those eight hours and give my mind and body a rest.
2. Move My Body Everyday
There are days when I sit in my car, at a meeting, or at my desk working for hours on end. While my brain is running a million miles a minute, my body is sitting like a lump on a log. Sound familiar?
All of this sitting leaves me feeling so sluggish. I used to do heavy workouts every single day, and honestly I loved it, but in this current season of life I just do not have the hours in the day to dedicate to that anymore.
However, there is a lot of middle ground between heavy daily workouts and sitting like a slug. My goal is to move each day. Shifting my perspective on this is helping me see how to squeeze things in where I can.
I try to remember that the goal of moving my body is not to become a supermodel. It is a form of payment for all the amazing things my body does for me without request. And I am giving myself permission to accept that I don’t have to do anything too intense. Something as simple as squeezing in a brisk 15 minute walk while waiting for my kids to get out of practice, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Bonus if I can get in a kickboxing class at the studio up the road. The point is to get my blood flowing, muscles working, and ligaments stretched EVERY SINGLE DAY!
3. Cultivate Healthy Friendships
If you’d asked 15-year-old me if I thought I’d still have to deal with bullies and mean girls in my 30s, I would have said I certainly hope not! But news flash: they still exist, and for a lot of people high school never really ends. Some people are just mean. Frenemies are a real thing, and man, can they tear us down if we’re not careful.
People pleasing and modifying our actions to suit someone else's agenda is just not a good option. It can be hard to determine a frenemy from a true friend sometimes, so I’ve come up with two Secret 3 Strikes rules that have been game changers for me.
- I will not call, text, or communicate with someone more than 3 times without reciprocation. I am not a needy person, but I also know that healthy relationships are not one-sided. If I reach out 3 times and someone doesn’t respond, then the ball is in their court. I won’t chase the ball for them. We can still be friends! But I refuse to be the only one working on the relationship.
- If someone gossips to me 3 or more times, I become very careful about what I say around that person, and even limit or cease interaction with them if needed or possible. You know that old saying “If they’ll do it with you, they’ll do it to you”? If someone gossips to you, you can guarantee they'll gossip about you, too. And I don’t have time for that drama and negativity in my life. There is a huge difference between venting about a situation and tearing someone else's character apart.
So there you have it, the three habits I want to cultivate even more in my life this year to become a better me.
What are your resolutions and goals for the new year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
And if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out my 3 Important questions to ask yourself.
All the best,