Thursday, November 20, 2014


Last month I tried to do five things every day.

  1. Read
  2. Create
  3. Exercise
  4. Floss
  5. Have Patience. 
Can you guess which one had the lowest success rate? "Have patience", obviously. Do you even know me?

I even made a check list to chart my progress. Because, I like giving myself arbitrary checks. 

This month my journey continues. Part of me feels like some of these things have become habits, but another part of me knows that if I stop putting checks on a chart I will probably stop doing these things because I won't have to be accountable. Sounds crazy to feel accountable to a checklist on your fridge that no one else cares about, but I swear it works.  Especially for flossing. I tell myself I'll feel much better checking a little square to say I flossed, than I'd feel skipping it, so I floss before bed.

What counts as what you ask?

Read: books and magazines count. Online crap does not, nor does work stuff. My goal here was to unplug and wind down before bed. It's also kept me reading into the fall, which has not happened in the past. No time limit on this goal 5 minutes counts just as much as 2 hours. 

Create: Sewing, knitting, felting, scrapbooking, art journaling, writing blog posts, baking and cooking, yes cooking. all count in my book. I have figured out that if you force yourself to create everyday you get a lot more done. There is no time limit, I could sew for 2 minutes and it would count. But that never happens. Previously I would not do something creative because I only had 20 minutes and didn't feel like that was long enough to get into a groove so I'd sit on my butt and do nothing. Now I have 20 minutes to meet my goal so I'll do it. Another strategy I have found works for me is to stop while I am still inspired. Sounds dumb right? Actually it works because I am more excited to go back to the project the next day than having to start over again thinking of something creative the next day. 

Exercise: Running, crossfit, walking the dogs for 30+ minutes, hiking, and recently raking have all counted. I aim for 30 minutes or more, but will still give myself a check for 20 minutes. Mostly, as long as I sweat it counts. 

Floss: That's easy, did I floss or not? I hope my late grandfather who was my first dentist is happy about this goal. I also hope my dentist now will be happy about this. I'll still get cavities though I am sure, I think I have very porous teeth. Also I recently went to the dentist and the hygienist still asked me with the same tone of voice they always do "how often do you floss?" as if saying "you obviously need to be reminded to floss, because no one does this everyday."

Have Patience: This is definitely the hardest one to measure and to keep. As someone who writes measurable goals all day you'd think I'd have made goal 5 something you could actually measure, but no. I mostly mean this in terms of my home life, so it pertains to Penny, Blaze, and Charlie. I seem to do a relatively good job of having patience at work, which is surprising considering the maturity level of the children I work with. It's when I get home that I feel like I've used it all up and have none left to give. But in making this goal, and attempting to make it a habit, I have realized that there is not a set supply of patience in a day. I want to put a check on my chart so I'll bite my tongue, do something I don't really want to do, and be flexible. Funny thing is it's easier to keep doing this once you have started. Patience momentum. If you asked Charlie I am sure he would say he notices no difference in my behavior but I do notice it and feel much better going to bed at night knowing that I didn't snap at anyone. 

I thought about adding a 6th for November, but I think another month to get these more ingrained into my mind and my schedule will be good. I read it takes 21 days to make a habit. I must just be extra slow compared to normal people in habit making. 

What habit do you wish you had? 



  1. I like your thoughts on the create goal. I do the same thing thinking to myself, that's not enough time to get anything really done so I won't even try. Working on fixing that myself!

  2. No joke, but I did the same thing indepently right after I got back to the states. I am trying to get back in a groove of eating and exercising over the next three weeks. I for example must eat salad every lunch. I like thre simplicity of your five things. I have ten plus each day and it is getting a little difficult.


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