My mother sent me an e-mail today detailing our “fight” with dieting and making healthy food choices. This one e-mail has sparked several conversations about habits, healthy living, and the choices we make on a daily basis. For instance, my morning habit is to wake up, get dressed, flip on the coffee pot, take the dog out to do his business, feed the dog, take my vitamins, and drink my cup of coffee while I play on my phone until 9am. Around 9am I eat a light breakfast and get started with my day. I am usually up around 8am, so this gives me about 40 minutes to diddle around. This is a habit, a routine, and a choice I make. It took me a little over a week to get it down and soon it will have to flex when I start working nights, but it is likely this habit will remain intact.
Another habit I have is making excuses as to why I don’t workout. My muscles are sore, it’s an off day, I took Maddox for a long walk, I’ve been busy with work, I have been busy cleaning… you get the idea. All of these excuses are valid and each one is important to me in it’s own way, but that does not negate the fact that at some point I spent an hour watching videos on how to make human heart cakes, which celebrities have totally cracked, and random silly animal videos. I could have worked out, I chose not to.
I use these examples to illustrate the fact that I am making a choice on what I want to do and what I don’t want to do, sometimes with little conscious thought behind it. It is the biggest problem behind munching. I could mindlessly munch my way through a box of Ritz crackers, because it is habit to put food into my mouth when it is close at hand, or I could choose not to. BEHOLD THE POWER!
Not all of my habits are bad. I brush my teeth and shower regularly, I get plenty of sleep like I am supposed to, and I do my work to the best of my ability. Heck, I even make learning a priority and attempt to curb my cursing (sometimes it works), but there are plenty of habits that I need to change. So, here are the highlights of the habits I am trying to change, or get back into, right now.
Sticking to my budget. This is a pretty big deal, considering how tight money is right now. I did pretty well last year, even though we had a wedding to pay for. Our families were very generous and I was diligent in how we managed our money. It has made these last two months possible. I had developed a good habit! And then Christmas, that dastardly holiday. I love giving and getting presents. While our budget didn’t go down the tubes, it did spin around the tank for a moment. However, these last two months have shown us just how precarious our situation can be. I have shifted our money plans from paying of a larger chunk of our debt off to having enough money saved for 6 months of being out of a job. Gulp. That’s roughly $50,000 to save… But it is a choice we discussed at length. A choice. Now we are back to a very strict budget. Ooo, I feel another blog topic coming on!
Working Out! I know, I know, this seems silly and EVERYONE needs to work on this, but it is still a habit I want to ingrain into my body. I think the biggest thing is finding the things I like to do and mixing them together so I get a workout schedule I don’t dread. Please, no more lunges. This is my biggest hurdle to cross. Some of the things I like to do, like Tough Mudders and pole dancing classes, are money dependent. Other things, like training for Tough Mudders and pole dancing (I own a pole) are completely free. I need to think on this and set up a schedule… All in all, my habit is to sit on my couch and talk about how I want to be fit, instead of actually doing it.
Eating better. Haha, just kidding. My diet isn’t so bad, all things considering. I meal plan and eat foods I like without usually going over board. It is harder for me to find the balance when eating out. I could always make it healthier though. If you are struggling with this there are little choices you can make to help you out. Drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, cut down on unhealthy beverages. Don’t try all of these at the same time. Most people won’t make lasting changes if they try to completely overhaul their intake at one time. This past month I cut down on my coffee intake to to cups a day, in the morning, the switched over to tea or water for the rest of the day. This month my focus is drinking at least a liter of water, if not more, a day. Baby steps make more lasting changes!
Better skin care. This is probably the most taxing non-taxing habit I am trying to implement. I love skin care products. I love soap and lotion, body sprays and lip balms, bath bombs and nail polish. You name it, if it suggests a spa I want it. I use shampoo, soap, toothpaste and deodorant. Hold the phone! My skin has been a mess for a while now. It is dry and flaky and my face is oily and, and, and… I just wasn’t taking care of my largest organ like I should. I wasn’t protecting it from the elements or giving it the treatment it deserves. So, now, after I shower (I use a natural sponge for light exfoliation and I condition my hair twice a week) I have been using body lotion, face lotion, and body spray. This doesn’t seem like a big deal to most people, but to me it has been a chore! However, my skin has thanked my, my feet especially, and it is getting easier to crack that bottle of lotion open.
Well, those are my big four. Let me know what your bad habits are and how you are breaking them, or what your good habits are and how you are making them better!