THOUGHTS ON BUILDING HABITS
Lately I've been feeling myself sinking back into my old I-work-from-home-alone bad habits.

Munching on snacks constantly.

Not going outside.

Watching Netflix while I browse Pinterest. Oh yes. Both at the same time.

Back in March (ack, almost two months ago!) when I wrote out my Life, Designed post, I had some seriously big plans. It was like New Year's resolutions for my entire life. But, at least in my mind, all totally doable since each item was a simple thing to change about my day.

What I kind of forgot was that, put together, those simple things were designed to change my entire life. And even getting one of those good habits in place was going to take some effort. Whoops.

While I've been good about some of these goals (learning to use my camera, setting up a great workspace), there are a lot that are just falling through the cracks (full disclosure: exercising and eating healthier). And naturally I have plenty of excuses really, really good reasons for why I haven't gotten around to these things. But focusing on the why not wasn't really getting me to make any changes.

So I decided to ask myself a more helpful question: how had I effectively made some of these goals happen? 

I came up with a quick list of strategies that are working for me, and that I hope to try to leverage to make the harder goals happen as well.


1. MAKE THE GOAL AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS PUBLIC.

I wanted to do more reading and eat better lunches. I also wanted to practice taking better photos and build up my Instagram account. I began documenting my weekly book/lunch pairings (check out #dwreads on Instagram)...and realized how much I now look forward to coming up with a salad for the week, finishing my book, and getting to put up the photo!
LET'S TRY THIS WITH:
  • Getting outside more -- share the best photo from my daily walk via Instagram
  • Collecting great recipes --  share my favorites on the blog
  • Get to know San Francisco better -- aim to highlight one neighborhood each month on the blog

2. PUT SOME MONEY DOWN.

There is not a class I have paid for that I haven't completed. My DSLR online course. Skillshare courses. Heck, even that random talk I'd bought tickets for and had to drag my sorry butt over to (and it was absolutely worth it). Call it my naturally miserly ways, but it's pretty clear that if I've paid for it, I'm way more likely to use it.
LET'S TRY THIS WITH:
  • Getting an exercise-related membership going
  • Paying for a CSA

3. ESTABLISH A REWARDS SYSTEM.

I've got to be honest: when I was a teacher, bribery was an essential technique for survival. Call it rewarding good behavior, call it incentivizing (incentivization?), call it whatever you want, it totally works. Even on myself. Ok, most of my bribes to myself involve chocolate and a very short timeline, but I think I may be able to get more creative here.
LET'S TRY THIS WITH:
  • Reward for a week of healthy snacking: get to buy a new houseplant
  • Reward for a month of exercising 3x/week: get to pick a piece of jewelry I've been coveting.

4.  USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM.

I've managed to coerce a friend into going to a number of spin classes with me (the pain!), and even though our schedules don't always align, knowing that she's gone to a class or talking about them later is always huge motivation to get me to actually do it.
LET'S TRY THIS WITH...you?
Ok, that was a little awkward, but I guess what I'm trying to say is, if any of the items on my list were ones on your list also, and you want a buddy -- I'm your girl! Just let me know in the comments what your goal is and how we can help keep each other on track.

Also, if you have any other suggestions for how you've been able to build up healthy habits, I'd love to hear them!

Let's do this thing!

xo Diana
Topics: in the studio
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