I’ve been totally nerding out and reading a bunch of habit building books. I started reading them towards the end of the year which proved to be an unintentional power strategy. [Note to self: do this again next year.] When February rolled around I was armed with tips and strategies to set me up for New Years Resolution success. (ICYMI: February is the new January.)
I have a tendency to be ambitious when it comes to resolution season; or self improvement in general, really. For example, this year I vowed to meditate, do yoga, exercise, draw, and write—every day-ish. (The first 3 habits I have elected to do 5 days a week, whereas the last two I truly do every day.) Typical over the top ‘new year, new me’ stuff. And every year I join millions of others in taking the annual resolution oath: pledging that this year is going to be different.
Well, Monday marked the halfway point of the month which felt like a natural opportunity to check in on my progress. If my very sophisticated habit trackers are correct, then I am doing pretty darn good:
Before you mistake any of this for bragging, I should mention that the last habit building book I read was Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg. Spoiler alert: the secret to cultivating successful habits is in the title, TINY. Aka: set the bar ridiculously low. Which I did.
Here’s what meditating, doing yoga, exercising, drawing, and writing ‘every’ day looks like at the moment:
My ‘morning flow’ 5 days a week:
- Meditation: 5 minutes min, 10 minutes max
- Yoga: 5 min., 10 max
- Exercise: 20 squats, 15 push ups (from my knees, no shame!), 50 bicycle crunches
- Drawing: minimum 1 thing (anything!), maximum 2 hours
- Writing: 15 minutes minimum, 1 hour max
SIDE NOTE: setting a maximum has been helpful for me. Helps prevent burnout. Especially with creative endeavors.
As soon as I wake up I set my timer (currently for 8 minutes) and meditate. Then yoga/light stretching to warm up my body. Then exercise. The whole routine clocks in at 15 minutes. If I have time + energy to do more, I do. Some days I also go for a run, long walk, jump rope, ski, etc. On the flip side, I’m not discouraged if I just do the bare minimum. By my math that’s still 100 squats, 75 push ups, and 250 crunches each week.
It doesn’t seem like much, but…it’s more than I was doing in the past.
It doesn’t seem like much, but…that’s the point.
Next month I’ll up the ante a TINY bit more, and so on and so on.
For now, I’m just expending tiny amounts of effort in hopes of building some muscle memory. I wanted to take advantage of autopilot. As a lifestyle, autopilot—aka ground hogs day—is not a sustainable or very fun way to live long-term. But when it comes to building good habits, automation is helpful. For instance, I don’t have to think too hard about brushing my teeth in the morning/night. I just do it.
Granted I’m only 16 days in, but I’m proud of myself for (finally) keeping the promises I made for myself at the start of the month (even if those promises are super tiny]. (And keeping our own promises is a great barometer for self-love, I think.)
I’m excited and motivated to see how this self-experiment progresses. Onward!
2 replies on “How I’m meditating, doing yoga, exercising, drawing, and writing every day”
Nice work! I recently finished Atomic Habits by James Clear. Sounds like a similar approach to the book you read. I’ll check that one out. I’m inspired by your examples to start new tiny habits!
Yes! Atomic Habits is on my ‘to read’ list! I’ve heard great things.
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