What new habits did you decide to make on January first?
How are those habits going?
If you’re like me, then you may have found yourself staring at the calendar thinking, Seriously? It’s already March?!
I always joke that my New Year’s resolutions usually don’t make it past Valentine’s Day.
Because, more than anything, my life consists of habits.
Those things I do without even thinking.
Until I cultivate new habits, all the great resolutions in the world just fizzle out a few weeks into the year.
I’ve been writing a lot this year about being productive instead of just busy, and I’ve focused a lot in my personal life on the little details that make up the bigger picture.
There are three habits in particular that I’ve been cultivating that are making a huge difference in how I’m living every day.
I want to live and love well!
These habits are enabling me to do that in small but meaningful ways.
Since life is a trade-off, there are some things I’ve had to give up in order to make these habits work. Let’s take a look at both the habits, and the stuff I’m focusing on less.
The first habit is-
I haven’t always enjoyed working out.
Simply put: I’m not an athletic person, and I’d rather curl up with a book than slip into workout clothes and work up a sweat!
I already shared the reasons why I cut through my excuses and started working out regularly every week.
I’m about six weeks into my workout routine with Moms Into Fitness, and I’m so glad I took the plunge and stuck with this new habit!
I can tell a huge difference in
- how my clothes fit
- muscle and core strength
- energy levels
- restful sleeping
- stress management
- healing my diastasis recti
It’s not likely that I’ll ever be a work out guru; that’s just not who I am.
And it’s true; I’m having to give up some of my beloved “free time” in the morning in order to work out.
But I am loving the feeling that comes with staying active, and really taking care of my body.
Another habit I’m focusing on is-
Reading Every Day
I’ve always been an avid reader, so that’s nothing new this year. 🙂
However, I’m approaching my reading a little differently.
Most of the time, I have two- or even three- books going at once.
Although that works okay for me, sometimes it takes me months to finish one book because I’ve been reading multiple titles at once.
Instead of reading all over the place, I’m being a little more intentional about what I read, and when I read it.
My goal is to finish at least two or three books each month, and to post a review of my top read of the month here at the blog.
(You can check out my book reviews right here.)
Instead of sporadically reading a handful of books at the same time, I can really focus on a particular book until I finish it.
This feels more focused for me, and I can see the progress I’m making in my reading list for 2018. I like feeling productive! 🙂
If you’re looking for a list of great reads for Christian women, check out my ultimate reading list here.
The third habit I’ve been working on is-
Spending More Time With My Kids
I’m a stay-at-home mom, so you’d like that spending time with my kids would just happen, right?
Well, not really.
- I have five kids, which means it’s a challenge to fit in quality time with each one during the week.
- I’m a very visionary, task-oriented woman. Quality time is not exactly my Love Language.
I’ve written about this struggle over the years in the following posts:
I experienced an epiphany around the first of the year.
By the time I had written out my priorities, I realized that the way I was spending my time was not congruent with what I claimed was most important to me.
I had flipped my priorities around, and what was actually at the top of my list was in reality getting the least amount of my time.
That included time with my husband and kids, as well as getting enough sleep (I wrote about the habit of rest right here).
I decided that the only way to change this was to correct my habits.
I started doing less of the things that didn’t make it on my priority grid, or things that were at the bottom of the list.
These included work and blogging (two things I dearly love to do).
Now that we’re a few calendar months into the new year, I’m noticing good results from this priority-and-habit shift:
- my fourteen-year old daughter is talking to me a lot, and about everything (since I’m more available!)
- our homeschooling feels more focused and is staying on track
- my kids are excelling in their extra-curricular activities, since I’m actively involved
- household chores aren’t such a battle, because I’m taking the time to be present
Now, I realize that these “great achievements” may seem like every-day-stuff to you.
But for me- Mrs. Visionary Mom who trips over all the details– it feels like a really big, positive thing!
In fact, the peace-of-mind is totally worth the “extra” stuff I’ve had to give up.
If you’re wondering if I’ve morphed into some kind of hovering, micro-managing mom… well, not on your life. 🙂
I don’t think that’s even possible, since I’m such a task-oriented delegator (and I’m happiest when the important people in my life are healthily independent).
But I hope I’m leaning toward a healthier balance in our family, and making the most of this busy and somewhat demanding season of motherhood.
I’ve sort of adopted Suzanne Venker’s statement as my motto right now:
… A woman’s life has seasons, and I’m not willing to give this one up.”
This truly isn’t a season I’m willing to miss.
Spending more time with my kids is a habit I’m thankful I’ve taken the time to cultivate.
So these are three habits that still feel a little new to me, but I’m ready to admit that they are totally worth the effort.
What about you?
Have you made a new habit that’s serving you well this year?
I’d love to hear from you!
Here’s to living and loving well-