New Year Habits + LIfe Changes
Happy New Year! We’re now heading into the second week of 2022, and, though I hate to be cliche, I’ve been practicing new habits that I’m integrating into my daily routines. I am not calling these “new year’s resolutions.” I don’t like that term. I think it sets us up for failure or for feeling bad about ourselves. I prefer to simply refer to what I’m doing as new habits that I’m integrating into my life.
There are lots of reasons that we all try to make shifts at the start of a new year. The most common: it just makes sense. It feels like a perfect time to make changes, we can “wipe the slate clean,” start fresh with a positive mindset. But often we begin with changes that feel daunting, and this can lead to feeling like the new things we’d like to incorporate are not possible.
I’m often inspired when I learn about the practices and routines of others. With that in mind, I’m sharing the new practices that I’m learning to incorporate into my days here with the thought that it might be helpful to others who want to integrate new positive routines.
I am doing my best not to get caught in the trap of setting unattainable goals by starting slowly. I’ve begun a new morning routine with a few actions that I’ll practice for a few weeks before adding another. Here’s how I’m starting.
A Festive Send Off
My new habits are inspired by some big life changes in my work life. I’ve moved on from my position at a local independent school and now have a bit more flexibility in how I arrange my day. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. I am looking forward to taking better care of myself and working on projects that I truly enjoy and that generate income at the same time. They do exist!
Below, a fun remembrance from a special little gathering on my last day.
Practicing New Habits
When I say I’m practicing and forming new habits, that gives me a positive feeling. It allows room for stumbling here and there, and then getting back to it. I know it takes 3-4 weeks to form a new habit, and that feels positive to me. I find that I can work toward a new habit when I know in 3-4 weeks, it will have become incorporated into my routines.
Courage! My Word for 2022
Lots of people choose a focus word for each new year. My millennial kids have been doing it (I learn so much from them) for a long time. I decided it was about time for me to choose a word to focus on this year.
Even the simple act of committing or being guided by a focus word takes courage.
There are so many new aspects of life that I am inviting in this year. Some of it feels very scary and a lot of self-doubt is creeping in. I’m putting myself in positions of needing to step outside of my comfort zone. It’s uncomfortable (hence the term “outside my comfort zone”!) and not easy. But we know that achieving dreams and reaching goals are not handed to us without some skin in the game.
Do you have a word for 2022?
My New 2022 Habits
I’ve always wanted to have a more self-care focused morning routine. Since I no longer need to be out of the house by 7:30 am, I have more time to add new practices to the first part of the day.
Here’s where I’ve started:
- I start my day with my morning hot beverage that I’ve now named my “wake up drink”! More details about it in this post (I’ve modified the drink a little since the post. It now includes the juice of half a lemon, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a dash of cayenne pepper, honey to taste, and a scoop of unflavored collagen powder. Instead of mixing manuka honey in the hot drink as noted in the earlier post, I eat a teaspooon of it so the heated drink doesn’t destroy the antibiotic and anti-bacterial properties and then sweeten the drink with a regular raw honey.)
- I take my drink up to my room* and have a 10 minute session with my red light/infrared light device (stay tuned for more about this in another post) while listening to a guided meditation. I’m pretty new to meditating. I’ve been using the Insight Timer app. I like it because I can choose the topic for the meditation focus and the length of the meditation. I also have really begun to enjoy Tibetan singing bowls when I want to relax or meditate, and Insight Timer offers a selection of different sounds, songs, and practitioners.
*I converted the former bedroom of one of our kids into my own little space. More about it here (the decor and some placement have changed a bit since the post was written).
I take a few minutes to write down some gratitudes.
- I’m incorporating daily workouts. This is probably the most challenging practice as I can easily be distracted away from working out. But I always feel more in control of my life when I’m working out regularly. We are fortunate to have a Peloton bike (no more gyms for me), and there is a huge catalog of classes, programs, and instructors so it’s not hard to fit in something each day. My challenge is creating a consistent time of day for exercising. I’m working on making this part of my morning routine.But if I’m not perfect at it, I’ll give myself grace and jump back in. I’m doing okay and working on improving.
I think most of us have heard of the benefits of gratitude journaling. If you haven’t, check out a simple Google query: Benefits of Gratitude Journaling. It’s beneficial for mental and emotional health, reduces stress, lessens fatigue, etc., etc., etc. I’ve heard about the good of gratitude journaling but, until now, hadn’t set time aside for it. I’ve realized that it takes less than a minute to think of and write down 3-5 gratitudes, and I’ve been able to easily incorporate this into my new morning practices. If you haven’t tried it yet and want to, think of 5 things you’re grateful for: a person, an experience, a physical thing, a relationship, something from your past – the possibilities are endless!
Day Designer Daily Planner
I have never been a successful user of a physical planner. But . . . new year, new habits, new routines. I decided to give it one more try. I found this Day Designer Planner that is beautiful, has personality, and is, so far, working for me. I like that each day’s pages has lots of space for adding goals, has a to do list, and each day broken down into hours. Also, each page has a space to add daily gratitudes. I’m finding that the planner is helping me with organizing and maintaining control of my day.
We’ve heard tons about mindset. Surrounding ourselves with positive energy supports and fosters a positive mindset. A positive mindset and positive energy can take us places we may not have imagined were possible.
In my little room (I have to find a name for it!) I have lots of positive messaging. I feel like being surrounded by these messages can be inspiring and motivational, and even on a subconscious level may support a continuing positive mindset. (I haven’t researched this and don’t have any references to share, but it makes sense to me.)
Last Note About New Habits
Be kind to yourself. Forming new habits and routines is really about self-care. So show yourself some love and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t accomplish things exactly the way you’d planned. Start slow, like I am. Add a new habit a little at a time. Or practice your new habits on the week days and take the weekend off. Or start on the weekend if that’s easier. It all doesn’t have to be crammed into January. If you set yourself up to accomplish what you want and that takes 6 months or even a year, you’ve won! It’s not a race against anyone. Incorporating new habits is about improving your life, and sometimes going slow is the most effective way.
Athleta Workout and Athleisure
I’m a fan of Athleta. My very favorite joggers are Athleta Trekkie North Joggers. I now have them in four colors and have heard from a number of women who purchased the Trekkie Norths on my recommendation that they love them as much as I do. They are very flattering and versatile. I wear them hiking, lounging, working out, running errands – the possibilities are endless. (They are the first style pictured in the widget below.) So even if you pay full price, they are so worth it (apply the cost-per-wear formula). Note: the sale price only applies to a couple of colors.
I love that Athleta’s sizes include plus sizes and the company uses women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and ages in their catalogs. Most styles pictured in the widget come in a wide range of sizes.
A plus: Athleta’s huge winter sale is in progress. Check it out HERE.
PS I did an entire post on joggers when we were in the thick of working from home in the early pandemic period. I discovered Trekkie North joggers in that try-on session.
*Note: When you purchase through links on the Dez & Dot blog, I may earn a small commission on the sale. However, your price will not be different whether you purchase items through these links or navigate directly to the website. I appreciate your purchasing through my links if you decide to buy any items. This is a way bloggers generate income. I appreciate your support!
Beyond Yoga Leggings
While I was putting on my Peloton-branded leggings (the ones you see in the Peloton photo above), I noted (for the hundredth time) how soft and comfy they are. I checked out the label and found that they are by Beyond Yoga. I had to share them here. I love my Beyond Yoga leggings.
A Note About Peloton
Did you know that you don’t have to buy a Peloton bike or tread to get the advantages of the Peloton catalog of classes? Before we purchased our bike, I used the Peloton on demand feature (via computer or smartphone) to make sure I would actually use the bike and classes. It’s only $12.99 per month, and currently there’s an offer for 2 months free. I’ve been so impressed with the level of professionalism of all of the instructors, as well as the huge number of classes offered. You can select cardio, bootcamp, strength, yoga, meditation, outdoor running or walking – seriously, every kind of class you might want to participate in. Only have 10 or 20 minutes? No problem! Search for classes of that length. What’s your level of experience with, for example, core workouts – beginner, intermediate? Choose your level for the right class. I’ve been loving all that Peloton offers. (If you have the Peloton bike or treadmill, you can use the built-in monitor to view classes or access them on your computer or smartphone.)