Whenever I want to start a new habit, a new routine, I have had the tendency of wanting to rush straight in and change everything that needs to be changed, all at once. Perhaps some of you might relate to those new’s years resolutions where people start the year with great intentions of doing great things and as the weeks progress, actions dwindle until they become almost non-existent!
From experience, I do know that the best way to develop a new habit is to do it slowly. Making small incremental changes means the habits are more likely to stick and become ingrained. With my move into my new flat the week before and wanting to be all sorted and settled, I think my body knew what I am like and decided to take matters into hand. After the stress of the move and then an amazing 10km run in the Nice Prom Classic (see link for last week’s blog), my body decided it wasn’t going to allow me to go rushing ahead and tackled me to the ground with a chest infection and cold. I didn’t have a choice BUT to take is slowly and easily.
The good side of being ill was I had to pace myself, take things slowly and even rest! This slower paced start is how I mean to carry on! I will still work on my business and still go exploring, yet simply at a more relaxed pace. I’m trying on for size the new mantra ‘less is more’ and although somewhat strange, it feels good!
One of the new habits I am starting is yoga and meditation in the morning. I am finding it really nice to start my day in that way and it helps me connect with my body and myself. Now, I didn’t manage it every single day, the balance is on the plus side. This week I’ll aim for more! As much as I loved the early morning swims in the Brighton sea and coffee afterwards with my swim buddies, this new routine (or habit) feels quite nice.
The other new habit is about focus to help improve productivity. To help improve productivity, one suggestion is to maintain focus for 90 minutes before taking a break. Ideally the break means that you physically move the body, stretch or shift your focus onto something else. This means that phones, emails and all social media will be shut off or closed down! I’m even setting the timer on my phone so I do not clock watch and maintain my focus until it rings!
The reason I want to improve my productivity is because I aim to publish a companion workbook to my Winning Strategies for Sports and Life book (available on amazon). OK, so now I’ve said it publicly which means I have to do it! I’ve wanted to get this workbook out after speaking with several clients who agreed that it would be useful to help them while we have been coaching. Even with this ‘support’ that a workbook would be a good idea, I never took the time to get it done … until now!
So like all new habits, small baby steps will eventually get me there. Whether it’s the yoga and meditation or whether it is work on the focus ‘habit’, I just have to remember to take it one day at a time, taking small baby steps and the new habits will become like old habits soon enough.
I also want to remember that my overriding ‘goal’ for the year is happiness, or joy (see blog posting at the beginning of the year). So whether it is a new habit or a new activity, I will be asking myself … does it bring me joy?
What new habits are you implementing and what small steps can you take to get you there?