The month of February is nearly upon us. I consider January to be like a trial month in a yearly membership. It’s the month you try things out to see if they work for you. You know, New Year, New You? But, you don’t really take it all too seriously because, it’s the free month. You’re not paying for it. February? That’s when shit gets real. It’s no longer a trial membership. Life is happening. Get on board.
Each month, from now until December, I will be posting seven of my personal habits. That’s 77 habits. As I wrote this I stopped to think, “ Oy Vey! That is alot of habits” It even caused me to take a tiny look inward and ensure I wasn’t an OCD freak. No. Good. Let’s move on.
These are items, routines or tasks I have incorporated into my daily, weekly or monthly life that are making me better. It’s making my relationships better. It’s making my health better. All around, life is better.
Let’s get this out before we start:
I am not perfect : It has taken me YEARS to get all these habits under my belt. At times, I STILL fail miserable at them. But, I know if I keep at it, they improve my life and the lives of those who live with me.
They are not for everyone: You may read a habit and immediately think “WTF, I can’t do that! I’m a single mom with 4 kids” I get it. It’s not for you. But, maybe you pick another habit which you could try a few days a week. I am sharing my experiences and hoping you might glean a small piece that will work for you.
Here are the Seven Habits you should try for February….in totally random order…try one…try them all….make them your own.
Get rid of items that make you feel bad. I held on to some jewelry, a jacket and a bunch of active wear that were gifts from my former mother in law. (gifted when I was married to her son). They were very good quality and fairly expensive pieces, but every time I wore them, I immediately saw her face and she really wasn’t my favorite person. I kept telling myself I couldn’t afford to replace the items with the same quality if I gave them away. Finally, I realized having items around me that gave off such a negative feeling weren’t healthy. Off they went to Goodwill and to people who wouldn’t feel the bad vibes. Now, if I happen to come across an item which makes me feel unhappy, out of the house it goes.
Plan your week of meals. I’m not telling you to meal prep. Eating chicken and vegetables on Friday that you cooked on Monday is gross. On Sundays, I take time to write down the meals we’re planning to have during the week. While I’m planning, I make a little grocery list of the items I’ll need to purchase. If I have the time, I might prep one of the meals if it can keep properly. If we are going to have take out, that goes on the list too. This has alleviated the stress I use to feel on my drive home from work as I wondered what we were going to have for dinner and if it would ultimately lead to yet another trip to the grocery store. Now, I only have to shop once and it’s saving me time and sanity.
Keep a sleep schedule. I LOVE sleeping in. There is nothing more luxurious. But, an inconsistent sleep schedule makes you groggy. Truly. It’s been scientifically proven. About a year ago, I committed to waking up at the same time every morning….5:50 AM. I chose this ludicrous time because it is the time my husband gets up to begin his day for work. I felt it would be easier if someone else was doing it with me. I won’t lie, it was awful at first. I failed on and off for a month. But, as time went by, I started to enjoy my time in the morning. I don’t do anything special. Sometimes, I read a book or magazine or just stare into space while drinking my coffee and snuggling a dog. But, taking those few minutes in the morning to fully wake up before I have to step into work chaos or just life in general has made a huge difference.
Clean up your space the night before. I have married a man, who if left on his own, will let dirty dishes rot in the sink for days. He doesn’t understand why ALL of the dishes need to be done after we finished eating. I like to wake up to a clean space. Nothing starts your morning off in a shit mood then walking to the coffee pot and seeing last nights chicken pot pie pan staring at you from the sink. You don’t need to sanitize your kitchen or even pull out a vacuum. Just do your dishes and spend 5 minutes straightening a few couch pillows, putting dirty clothes in the hamper or picking up odd bits. You’ll be shocked how much of a difference it makes.
Take personal care seriously. This has been a newer habit I have embraced in the past few months. I realized I was in such a rush to get through my nightly shower and skincare routine, I never really stopped to think about how awesome some of my personal care items (ie lotions, scrubs etc) really were. I have spent my hard earned money on these posh items to make me look and feel better. Yet, I’m only going through the motions, not taking time to experience what I should be feeling. It’s added about 2 minutes on to my nightly routine, but I’m enjoying my mini-spa like evenings.
No phone for the first 20 minutes after waking This was SO hard for me in the beginning. I was just like everyone else. My alarm would go off, I’d reach for my phone and spend 20-30 minutes scrolling through social media and emails. Most of the emails had to do with work and majority of the time, I’d be stressed or annoyed before I’d even climbed out of bed. Now, I set it face down on the dining room table and don’t touch it until I’ve had my morning coffee.
Make….your….damn….bed Yes, every single morning. I know the Admiral McRaven told you will change the world. That might be true, it might not be. But, it will make your space look and feel better. It takes less than 1 minute to accomplish. Just do it. You know that gorgeous feeling you get when you climb into a hotel bed? You can have that EVERY NIGHT! Just make…your…damn…bed.
So there you have it. Seven habits to try in February. Email me at email@example.com or comment below to let me know which habit you want to try or let me know what you tried and failed! Either way, you’re trying to make your life a little bit better.