I recently turned 29 and every single day I have a mini panic attack about how I have to get my act together before I turn 30. Taking an outside look at my life, I am doing pretty well. I'm married to an awesome guy, have 2 kids and a dog, and run a semi-successful business that allows me to stay home with my kids during the day. While I've accomplished things and have everything I could ever have wanted in life up to this point (seriously, Glory to God here), I still fear I'm not adulting to my fullest potential. Yet.
Quarterly Habit Check
I am the type of person who realizes one day that I suck at life and then proceed to write down a list of all of the habits I will start tomorrow to be a better person. Then in the wake of the new day, I forget it all. I'm a list maker, but the lists are so long and so different from my current lifestyle, that it is not sustainable (especially since I never implement any of my new habits or schedules).
Since January, I have decided to give myself one new habit to start every quarter. Not Every day. Not every week. Not even every month. Every Quarter. That's every 3 months. This was a principle introduced to me by success coach, Jack Canfield. I mean, not personally introduced...I read his book, and it was in there. There are a lot of great principles in his book (heck it's called, "Success Principles"), but this one was particularly helpful for an over-dreamer and under-achiever like me. It helps break down my good intentions into bite size pieces. Instead of setting a super high bar for myself, I set a low one and actually achieve it.
First Quarter Habit: Clean-ish Eating
January I focused on "Eating to Live and not Living to Eat" as my first quarterly goal. This was super important as I was struggling to lose my baby weight and I ate pizza like 3 times a week because I love it. I took it day by day and allowed myself some cheats, but over all since January, I have been eating clean and lean about 80% of the time and it feels amazing.
Second Quarter Habit: Daily Exercise
In April, I committed to regular exercise, which is something I'd never done before. I didn't give myself a certain amount of time I needed to exercise or a certain type of exercise, just that I needed to exercise regularly. Mostly it's been just going for walks since we've had a beautiful spring and summer so far. Some days I just make it around the block, while other days I walk 5+ miles. I put the kids in the stroller, turn on a podcast and head out. If it's raining, I go to the gym for a yoga class or to go in the weight room and pretend I know what I'm doing. For those days where I just don't want to make the time, I have a kettle bell in my hall closet and I do kettle bell swings for a couple minutes. May I mention my booty is looking fabulous from just this exercise?
What will my third quarter habit be?
Now, with July only 2 days away, I am going to implement one of the most challenging habits that I want to carry through the rest of my life. Waking up early. I currently roll out of bed somewhere between 6:30-7:00 when my kids are waking and ready for me to satisfy all of their hopes and dreams. The result is that I wake up frazzled and already behind in the day. I am going develop the habit of waking up at 5:00 am (AHHHHHH! SO EARLY) so that I can spend time reading my Bible and Praying, reading the news, drinking coffee in a quiet house and have a chance to wrap my mind around the day before it starts. Doesn't that sound amazing? It does.
Why do I share this with you?
- Because it has been a really amazing principle for helping a scatterbrained over-dreamer actually start becoming a better person. Slow and steady wins the race, people.
- I honestly need accountability, especially with this third quarter goal. I will be updating my progress on Instagram.
- I want you to do this with me. Seriously! Let's develop better habits together. Maybe you want to start waking up earlier like me. Maybe you want to read a chapter of nonfiction every day. Maybe you want to do a plank-a-day. Whatever it is, pick out one habit. ONLY ONE HABIT. This is super important in making this work. Trying to develop a gazillion habits all at once is not sustainable. If you want to make real change in your life, you have to take it slow and steady.