Habits to Make and Break and Where I Find Inspiration
I was chatting with one of my girlfriends recently, who praised me for keeping up with this blog (thanks, G) and asked where I find the motivation. It's a question I'm not quite sure how to answer as I've always been intrinsically motivated, to a point of laser-focused obsession, especially by things I'm interested in or passionate about. Interest or passion is key, but the reality is that there are so many other things we should do and even have to do that might not interest us at all.
Working out is one of those things for me. As much as I admire and would love to be one of those women who has to get a workout in every day, most of the time, I can't be bothered. It's just low on my list of priorities. So, I find inspiration. I've learned that when it comes to working out, I am an extravert—I get energy from being around others and therefore enjoy classes like Orangetheory, Yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. I've never regretted taking a class and only felt good after, and this is my mantra on days when I'm dragging my feet. Andrew is diligent about working out daily, despite sometimes also having to drag his feet, which pushes me to meet him at the gym after work rather than come home and laze around until he gets back. Over time, pushes become habits and the things you couldn't be bothered by become part of your lifestyle. Here are some of the other pushes I'm making and habits I'm breaking.
habits to make
Stay hydrated. I'm pretty good about this during the workweek as I fill my Thermos and Swell bottle every day, one with hot tea and the other with cold water. If my energy level starts to dip throughout the day, I take a swig and, sure enough, feel myself again.
Wake up early. I wake up between 6 and 6:30am for work and try to stick to this schedule on weekends and breaks. Nothing makes me feel more off than staying up late, sleeping in, and starting my day late (though I do need the full eight hours and would rather wake up without an alarm).
Make the bed. It's a quick and simple task, and it positively affects my mood to come home to a made bed after a long day.
Put things away. I have a habit of putting things back near where they belong rather than where they belong, so I'm trying to take the final step.
Correct my posture. My posture has worsened over time and I'm bent (literally) on correcting it. Practicing yoga helps, and it's another of my habits to make to attend class three times a week.
Save and budget. Since moving abroad, I've put away about a third of each month's paycheck into my savings account (we'll share more on this in a future post). Watching my savings grow while still paying off bills and student loans, traveling, and living a more than comfortable lifestyle is rewarding for me as I've always had anxiety about money and finances. I want to be more intentional about how I spend money, though, and stick to a budget so that my savings remain untouched.
Read. I consume probably too much content on a day-to-day basis, but rarely pick up a book. I was a voracious reader growing up and want to get back to that. If anyone has any recommendations, send them my way!
Overuse of technology. I don't need to have my phone on me at all times and actually prefer to leave it behind, but I am guilty of aimless scrolling before bed or first thing in the morning, and I'm on a computer most of the time most days. Instead, and especially before bed, I want to make a habit of picking up that book.
Swearing. Fun fact—I swear like a sailor. I actually never swore for most of my life, and it still sounds funny coming out of my mouth now, but it's a habit I've picked up over the last couple years.
Reacting. I thought my road rage was bad, but my sidewalk stress is way worse. Personal space isn't a concept in South Korea. Being hovered over, bumped into, stepped on, and even pushed out of the way, without so much as a glance, is part of daily life. Most people are unfazed when it happens to them because they do the same. I want to be able to practice patience and pause in those moments, rather than get angry and express that anger. One time, I witnessed a woman be practically mobbed by a small group, and after squeezing her way through, make a face that indicated how ridiculous but also funny she found the situation. She brushed it off like 'that happened,' then moved on. She is now my idol.
Nervous habits. I've finally kicked what had been my lifelong nervous habit of biting my nails (I might write a post on this), but it's been replaced by the habits of biting my lip and picking at split ends. Nervous habits are harder to kick as they stem from larger issues, but that's exactly why I'm continuing to work on them.
What are some habits you're working on?
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