Cultivating Habits

A favorite little activity of mine is trying to figure out new routines or ways of doing things that will make it easier or more enjoyable to live life in a way that I value.  Most of these changes aren’t particularly difficult to make, but I find that it is easier to make good decisions on a regular basis once I have acknowledged and verbalized them.

Here are a few examples of things that are now a part of my everyday life as of 2013:

  • I wake up earlier every day so that I can enjoy the quiet and enjoy watching the trains that often stop me on the way to work (instead of cursing them for making me late).
  • I take a cloth napkin in my lunch bag.
  • We don’t buy any groceries with added sugar.  I find it easier to monitor what comes into the house than moderate what I do with what is here! (Note: I happily indulge when celebrating elsewhere!)
  • I order my water without ice at restaurants because then I will really drink it instead of just letting it sit there.
  • I don’t drink fully caffeinated coffee at home. (I usually do 1/3 caffeinated or decaff)
  • I make our grocery list in the same manner every time.

Now, at the start of a new semester and new year, I’m brainstorming about what I would like to make into new habits and routines.  Here are some things I’ll be working on:

  • getting the coffee maker ready at night every night
  • packing my lunch at night (especially right after dinner)
  • going to bed at a consistent time
  • reading something non-digital before bed instead of using that time for Facebook or online articles
  • an exercise routine
  • a system for the timing of paying bills and budgeting

I can’t wait to fold some version of these processes into my everyday routine so that it will free up my mind to start working on new things to add in.  I’m all ears for suggestions if you have any routines that have worked for you or that you’re considering!

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