Habits and Resolutions

Welcome 2018! Whoop whoop!

Who thought up this notion of New Year’s resolutions and why are we obligated to come up with something? What is it about the New Year that brings out our desire to wipe our slates clean and start over – healthier, happier and more organized? Frankly, I’m always messing with my slate. Or a fresh piece of paper. I am hyper-aware of my habits – the ones I should break and ones that I feel I should start – though by the end of each day, I’ve realized I’ve done neither. Auto-pilot kicked in, which is how habits work.

In Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, he explains that there is a simple neurological loop at the core of every habit with three parts: a cue, a routine and a reward. Once you’ve identified the routine, you should experiment with the rewards, isolate the cue and then come up with a plan to change it. Your new habit plan will eventually become ingrained the more you practice it. Maria Emmerich, in Keto-Adapted, suggests that doing something sixteen times in row will make it stick. That’s doable.

It’s important to be mindful of these changes you wish to make and don’t take on too many at once. Though we would like to think that we are great multi-taskers, the truth is that we are less focused when we are juggling. If you are using your willpower for multiple issues, you will run out before the day is through. Pick one thing to work on at a time and repeat, repeat, repeat until your subconscious takes over. THEN start on your next project.

So what am I working on for the New Year? Health and organization, yes, there’s work to be done there. Less wine, avoiding carbs (I’m an addict), more water, better sleep (wine is the culprit for all of those), faithful skincare, more sun and getting in to a routine of working that allows me to devote time daily to my projects, without consuming my whole day. That may require a new morning routine, steering clear of distractions, setting time limits on each project, accepting less than perfection, jumping in and doing before I think I’m mentally prepared (I procrastinate), and using tools like One Note to keep it all gathered in one place. I’m also working with my partner to get his travel work organized, as well as my own, since living out of a suitcase can get messy and cluttered, and with a little more efficiency we’ll free up more time to enjoy ourselves.

Wait! That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? Enjoying life? Seeing things with new eyes, marveling at the waves on the water, discovering a hidden gem on the castle grounds, walking hand in hand down the footpath, watching the sunset, having a laugh over dinner, tapping your feet to the musicians on Grafton Street? Yes! THAT’S my resolution: to always see the beauty around me and savor each experience. That’s me sorted.

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