As promised, here is the next installment of my monthly habits. This is a list of my daily, weekly, monthly habits so I can be a better, more relaxed, well rounded human. I’m sharing 7 habits per month
Do I fail? All the time.
But, it’s just like riding a bike. Get up off the ground, adjusted your helmet, rub some dirt on your scratches, hop on the seat and ride like the wind again.
Clean up your breakfast dishes before you leave for the day. 90% of the time, I’m drinking a green smoothie for breakfast. If I don’t wash out the blender and my smoothie cup, it is a nasty hardened mass of slime I have to deal with after a grueling 9 hour workday. If I have a bowl of oatmeal, the residue forms a concrete like film which can only be removed by a long soaking or a jackhammer. A quick rinse and placement in the dishwasher takes less than a minute. No one wants to come home to a sink with dirty dishes.
Fold/hang up your laundry as soon as you take it from the dryer. There is nothing I hate more than folding laundry. Before we lived together, Chris’s clothes actually lived in the dryer. As a household of 2, we manage to produce 2-3 loads of laundry a week. If we allow the clean laundry to pile up in baskets, it becomes “Mount Laundry” and ain’t nobody wants to tackle that. It takes less than 5 minutes for me to fold/hang up laundry as soon as it is removed from the dryer. AND…..I find I am having to do less ironing because the clothes are still warm and wrinkle free when I hang them up.
Always have a spare/back up: According to Jocko Willink, Navy Seals say “Two is One and One is None”. I try to apply this quote to grocery items. As soon as I pull a fresh bottle of ketchup out of my pantry, I put “ketchup” on my grocery list. When I make my next grocery store trip, I will pick up the “back up” bottle of ketchup. When my stash of toilet paper is half depleted, “TP” is put on my grocery list. Confession: We have nearly run out of toilet paper many times in the past. So, we have the Last Resort Back Up Roll. This is a roll of unbelievably cheap toilet paper. It is so awful to use, it lights a fire under us to get another package. Thankfully, this back up habit has relegated the roll to the back of the cabinet. But, it is still there as a reminder.
Sort your mail immediately: I am working on my careless habit of sorting mail and piling the junk mail on my shredder to deal with “later”. Later turns into 3 weeks and a 5 inch high pile of credit card offers (Capital One, I’m looking at you) which my tiny personal shredder cannot handle in one sitting. Sorting your mail also helps you acknowledge those bills you might forget, invitations could get overlooked or a personal card can get lost in the shuffle. My bestie once sent me a photo of a card I had mailed her 3 weeks before. She was going through a rough patch and I thought a card would cheer her up. And speaking of cards…
Write “Thank You” notes: A habit permanently beaten into me over my childhood so it has become as natural as breathing. This is very important: If you can send a handwritten card by mail, DO IT. Email is fast and fleeting. Texting is just as bad. Receiving a card has a warmth and courtesy that has become a dying art. 9 times out of 10, the impression will have a lasting impact on the receiver.
Learn how to breathe: I know. How very woo woo and zen of me. But, I have found “returning to the breath”, has been a quick and easy way to relax myself when I get uptight. When you’re stressed out, your breathing will be faster which sends crazy messages to your brain to PANIC even though we’re mentally freaking about something and not being chased by a machete wielding madman. If I’m in public, I can do these little exercises in the ladies room or my car. Don’t knock it until you try it. I’m a fan of Dr. Chatterjee’s 3-4-5 Breath….and not just because he is so yummy looking.
To accomplish a task with no interruption, set a timer: I am a notorious procrastinator. This, combined with the thrill I get from my Instagram or Facebook alerts can send me in to a rabbit hole of nothingness for an hour. If I want to accomplish a certain task, I set a time for 30 minutes. I wouldn’t suggest setting it for longer, as it has been proven humans really don’t have productivity for more than 50-90 minutes. I loosely practice the Pomodoro technique. But once I get in a rhythm, I find myself adding another 15 minutes to my timer. (FYI…this entire blog post was written with a timer set)
So there you have it. Seven habits to try in March. 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.