A Simple Habit

There’s a purple, leather notebook laying open all day. A silver and purple pen rests on top of the pages ready to write. The dark purple ribbon lays across the page marked with today’s date.

This is where I write my tiny things attributing to the self-trust cultivator, or as you fondly call it, The Done List. I’m moving into week 4 of self trust, and week 3 was THE best week. It was the week that I could see it becoming a habit.

Procrastination has left the building. Now, to stick with it.

success

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and I believe that. What they don’t elaborate on is how long it takes to instill it. How long do we have to continue before it becomes a new portion on our plate of life? Well my darlings…it takes months.

Week 4 will be interesting. That is the week the newness wears off, and the excuses arise. I’m going to stick with it though because I’m building to Month 2, where I get to do it all over again!

After 2 months, it will be a habit, and feel natural.

I’ve been thinking a lot about habits. What works for me is to start off small. I would like to have more physical activity in my life, like walking. Yes, it’s been hot, but that shouldn’t keep me from walking. I start out small, and tell myself, “Just walk to the end of the street Barb.” To the end of the street is simple.

As a matter of fact, I did that, but got to the end of the street, and the over achiever in me showed up. Instead of turning around and walking back home, I took a left and walked another few blocks. That killed it because it started to feel like exercise. Here I was with no water bottle, sweating and panting my way home!

Round 2: Barb tries again and keeps it simple.

consistency

I walked to the end of the street, turned around and walked home. No hesitation at the intersection this time, just followed the simple instruction. Victory! It was amazing the difference in the way I felt. It wasn’t that I had completed a marathon, it was that I kept my word, and didn’t disappoint.

We make it a priority to keep our word to others, but what about ourselves? I encourage you to stop putting your desires last on the list. You get this one life, so make room by creating and implementing a simple habit.

Finding That Balance

For brunch, I chose a different chair to sit in at the dining room table. One I don’t normally use. Still disrupting patterns.

This dining room chair offered a spectacular view of the front yard. A warm breeze was blowing, and I noticed the Whirligig, with it’s one side spinning. It’s double-sided, but only one side of it spins. The other side stands still.

My daughter reminded me that the Whirligig fell over in the yard once, so it must be bent. I’ve tried fixing it, to help it spin to no avail, so today I took a more gentle approach, to observe.

whirlygig

I didn’t see anything majorly bent, but it was off balance.

I saw it as two sides of life. Sometimes it’s moving rapidly and spinning freely, and other times if feels as if nothing is happening, and it’s still. I studied one side, and the other, then noticed this difference. The side that spins freely, has some extra space.

Where one set of circles end, and another set begins, there’s a gap. I put some space between the circles on the non-spinning side by gently separating the ends. It began rocking back, and forth, like it could finally breathe and find it’s balance.

Putting space between our thoughts, creates pause between our actions. There’s a balance. If we move too quickly after the thought, it’s an impulsive move. If we keep putting it off, it can fall into procrastination, or soon be forgotten altogether.

I’m using the self trust cultivator to move more promptly with my thoughts. If it seems like a good idea, or something that can easily be accomplished, I do it and it becomes a part of the done list.

balance

But I had to create space first. Up next, creating that space.

Every Single Day

The Waterpik is mocking my new habit.

It’s showing me new habits are work. The jury is still out whether healthy habits are more difficult to stick with than bad habits are to break, but I enjoy the trade.

Replace a bad habit with a good one.

You have to stick with it everyday, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.

I stepped out of the shower and forgot to use the Waterpik. That’s twice this week, which didn’t set well with me. The first time I left it sitting on the counter, but today, I remembered to sit it on the edge of the shower.

Unfortunately, it was behind the curtain, so I forgot it was there. As soon as I pulled the curtain aside, I saw it.

Standing in front of the vanity, all warm and cozy in my robe, I could see how easy it would be to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” For some reason this year, I’m keenly aware of our numbered tomorrows and try to do what’s in front of me to do, right then.

I disrobed, wrapped a towel around me and stepped back into the shower. By then the water in the Waterpik had become cold, so it felt like shards of ice stabbing my gums, but…I did it!

That helped drive home the habit even more.

waterpik

Here’s what I learned. Next shower, I will use it immediately while the water in the chamber is still warm. It will go all the way in the shower with me, instead of just to the edge. To create a new habit we must go all the way, every single day.