They say it takes 30 days to make a true habit change. I'm on a quest this month to make quite a few. Yesterday I gave a little overview about this Intentional October journey. This past summer was wonderful and wild and in some ways kind of like a wrecking ball. My family had a lot of excitement and travels and life changes and with all that adventure came quite a disruption to "normal" and routine. They say that babies thrive on routine, but I believe that we adults (or pretend adult, in my case) do, too. Not only am I feeling unfulfilled and frustrated, but I am craving some semblance of routine and normal, especially because I want to accomplish a few things. But first things first! I must get intentional and disciplined with each day.
To be healthy and overwhelmingly happy. Productive and fulfilled. Full of energy and strong. Every single day.
The Tactics to get to The Goal:
I am focusing on creating healthier habits and routines, and banishing some things that aren't currently working out too well for me personally.
I made a list of all the things I would like to do, and it seems like my mornings and evenings are getting crushed by non-essentials, which is eating into my ability to accomplish goals. I felt convicted when I read this article about highly productive people, because I want to be one! But in order to be productive, I've got to jump start some things and realize that other things are distancing me from my goals. What is holding me back?
Things Holding Me Back:
1. Binge watching Netflix in the evenings. (Don't hate me for bashing on Netflix - it's probably an idol in my life so it has GOT TO GO. At least for a little while.)
2. Going to bed so late that I'm exhausted all the next day. (Thanks, Netflix.)
3. Forgetting to drink water so I feel sluggish and crummy.
4. Not reading.
5. Exercising infrequently.
6. Getting overwhelmed with my to-do list.
These aren't huge deal breakers individually, but when I add up all the things that aren't excellent, I can see that my margins for happiness are getting nibbled up. There is nothing wrong with watching shows on Netflix! Stevie and I love diving into a series together. But I want to be reading, and my only chance to do that is at night after my baby is in his crib. So, it's either Netflix or a book. And dear God, I need a book. I think I'm losing I.Q. points.
So, now what? I created a list of tactics that I am going to focus on every day for 30 days.
1. Wake up early.
5:30 AM to be exact.
2. Drink a Nalgene of water.
Right when I wake up, before consuming anything else.
3. Have 10-20ish minutes of quiet time.
For me, this looks like reading my bible, scribbling in my journal, doing some stretches and praying. I might do one of these things or all of them everyday. No matter what, I know that taking a few quiet minutes for myself will help with my mindfulness for the whole day.
4. Exercise in the morning.
With Everett in the morning, that looks like taking him on a jog with me. When he's at "school", that can look like taking a class at my gym or lifting weights. I need to get stronger. And I need to stop whining about how I need to get stronger and just GET STRONGER.
5. Eat a healthy breakfast.
This is a no-brainer if I'm doing all these other things early in the morning. Gotta fuel! The good thing is I already have this one on lock-down - I've never been one to miss a meal.
6. Tackle the biggest item on my to-do list.
Whatever that thing is that I HAVE to get done, I'm just going to tackle it first. Then there's no room for dread. I hate dread.
7. Read in the evenings.
This one is really important to me. As a reader and a writer, I feel like I'm starving without dedicated reading time. It's time to dedicate some time :)
8. Go to bed early.
Lights out at 9:30pm.
Why am I sharing all of this with you? Because I'm an annoying blogging oversharer, duh. Just kidding! I don't have to be this ridiculously vulnerable. But I have this feeling that I am not alone. In fact, I know I'm not. So in case you're a little like me, and you would like to find a way to create more happiness and productivity in your personal world, I'd like to invite you to join me for Intentional October. This isn't a diet or some self-help plan out of a book. This is just taking the reins of your own life and getting serious about your intentions. Is there some area in your life that you want to discipline? Are there a few changes you know you want to make but you just need a jump start? And perhaps a community to cheer you along? Well, you've found it. Let's get intentional together!
So many of you responded to yesterday's post, through Instagram, Facebook, here on the blog and even via text! It's so encouraging to hear that I'm not alone on this journey, but you should know that you're not along either! Want some camaraderie as you begin your 30-day trek? You can start a conversation here on the blog by posting a question or comment beneath the posts, tag #intentionaloctober on Instagram and get a conversation going on my Facebook. It's comforting to have a community for accountability!
So today - make your lists!
1. Settle on a goal.
2. Figure out what's holding you back from that goal. List all the hindrances.
3. Set some attainable tactics to combat those hindrances you listed. You've got 30 days, the month of October, to re-set your habits. Habits create lifestyle!
3. Get accountable with someone. Tell me, tell your mom, BFF, sister, husband, whoever! They're going to cheer you on and remind you to keep going if you get in a slump two weeks from now. Tell instagram too, with the hashtag #intentionaloctober
Are you ready? We are getting started Thursday, Oct. 1!