Scale Back Your Habits

DenaJanuary 17, 2023

I am in the midst of the most successful month that I have had in 4 years. These last few years, I have been struggling to get my life in order. Remaining consistent with basic habits was a challenge for me. I could not build lasting consistency in areas like exercising, eating healthy and at home, keeping my house tidy, drinking enough water, and so on.

A couple of years ago, I started the practice of habit tracking and bullet journaling and I had a lot of success with it. However, I still had trouble with consistency.

Toward the end of 2022, I was ready to make massive changes in many areas of my life. I knew that in order to do this, I had to get consistent with my habits once and for all. Without strong, positive, consistent habits, success is not possible. So I started tracking my habits once again, but this time I did things a little differently. I scaled my habit goals way back.

In the past, my goals around my habits were too ambitious. I did “okay” but I didn’t nail the majority of my habits each day. That little bit of a let-down was all it took for me to get disappointed and eventually give up.

This time I scaled everything back. My daily fasting goal is to fast until 10 am each morning. My daily walking goal is to take a walk (no matter how short or long). My daily yoga goal is to practice yoga for 5 minutes and hold a plank for 90 seconds. My daily reading goal is to read 10 pages a day. My weekly food goal is to eat at home 6 days a week. My daily cleaning goal is to clean and tidy for 20 minutes a day.

These are very small, incredibly attainable goals! And as I had hoped, I’ve been nailing the vast majority of them each day. The pride and momentum that I am building through this practice has got me on a roll. I have practiced yoga every day consistently for 3 weeks now, which is a goal that I have had for 10 years!

By scaling back the goals around my habits, I am achieving success and this rolls into every other area of my life. I am able to show up and check the boxes for my habits every single day. Because these habits are realistic and measurable, I show up even on the really hard days. Best of all, since these goals are so achievable, and I’ve been feeling so good, many days I surpass the minimum goal and go further. 5 minutes of yoga turns into 10 minutes because it feels good. Walking for a mile turns into walking for 3 miles because it feels good. Tidying up one room for 20 minutes spills into other rooms and my house is cleaner than it’s been in years. Reading 10 pages turns into reading 3 chapters. You get the picture!

Positive momentum is compounding. Showing up for yourself every day pays off like crazy. And showing up on the hard days pays off even more. My 2023 is off to a fantastic start because I am taking care of myself and putting my habits first. Everything else in my life is reaping the benefits of this practice.

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