Last year, I told you one of my goals for 2018 was more sleepless nights. Remember that post? Well I can assure you, those sleepless nights came, but as I should have known, they did not come for any reason I could have possibly imagined. Which as you would know it, made them harder to process and digest. One thing I learned & totally embraced this year though, is that 50% of life's experiences are negative. Which I realize sounds quite melancholy, but stick with me. You can't have the good without the bad, the happy without the sad. Life cannot be happy all the time and that's okay. None of us actually want to be happy all of the time. We don't want to be happy when we get a speeding ticket, we don't want to be happy when our kids are hurt. We want to be human and experience the full range of emotion. Somehow by acknowledging that 50% of life is uncomfortable makes it so much easier to embrace the negative when it comes & rejoice in the positive when it inevitably follows.
When the discomfort came this year, it knocked me flat out for a time, but as I allowed myself the time to feel the emotion and work through it, I had the thought come to me, perhaps this isn't happening TO me, but FOR me. Perhaps there is something to learn, perhaps there is some refinement I can use, perhaps this refinement will serve me perfectly down the road. While it sounds peachy to say, it literally took me months to get to that thought, so if you're in the midst of an absolute gut punch, feel free to cry in your bed for a day, or five like I did.
It's easy to see this application in a gym setting. We go to the gym, are uncomfortable for an hour, sweating it out, maybe sore for a day or two following. We don't see results right away, but if we keep at it, down the road, we know the results will follow. I think the same thing happens for us emotionally if we allow ourselves the time and space to feel the discomfort, it will make us sore for a time, but if we do the work, we must have faith that we'll see the results. Once we see the results, it becomes much easier to see that it happened FOR us instead of TO us.
This coming year, I've got a big hairy audacious goal, I'm pushing hard on, but in order to reach it, I'm going to have to start with the infrastructure of habits. Have you ever thought about why you set goals that you don't ever reach? Or am I the only one that has had, 'stop swearing' on her list for the last 10 years? All joking aside, while setting the goal is hugely important, even more important is creating the habits that support the goal. Again this is easy to visualize in a gym setting. If you're goal is to lose 25 pounds, then your habits need to include regular exercise and healthy eating. The habits are the infrastructure of the goals you set. This month, I'll be sharing some habits I've been working on creating that support my big hairy audacious goal.
But first, what is a habit? Habits are the daily things that make up the fabric of your life and if you want to increase your capacity in any way, you've got to start with your habits. A habit is merely a decision you've already made. A decision you do without thinking about it. Our brains can only process so many decisions in a day, so theoretically, if you can create better habits, you can create a better life, because your mind will be freed up to think bigger and better things. Make sense?
I've been doing a bit of a 'habit inventory' lately. Walking through our day-to-day, looking for inefficiencies and areas where I might improve. When I see something I think I can tinker an improvement on, I've looked for ways to create a habit around the issue. Trying a few on for size and then tweaking some more. A lot of the habits I've been trying the last few months, are in an effort to stream line things. Habits to make eating healthier easier, habits to make getting dressed each morning easier, habits to get kids ready for school easier. I've been dissecting every aspect of our routines and looking for areas where I can 'trim the fat' and save a little bit of time and a lot of effort.
This year, my goal is to introduce a new habit each month that will support my big hairy audacious goals. I've found that by always refining my habits and slowly introducing, then mastering, then introducing again, I'm more apt to keep to my habits and thus reach my goals. By the end of the year, that thought is that I'll have mastered 12 simple habits.
This month, the habit I'm working on is in an effort to streamline the process of getting dressed each morning. We know our brains can only make so many decisions in a day, so instead of wasting 10 decisions on getting dressed, I'm streamlining it. Each Sunday, I'm literally laying out my outfits for the week. Looking at my calendar, taking into consideration events, meetings and carpool. My closet is sectioned in such a way, that I have the perfect spot to hang my weekly 'capsule' wardrobe and each morning instead of mentally running through the day and debating wearing this over that, I'll just grab what's on the hanger and go.
I'm certain I won't be perfect at achieving them every single day, but perfection isn't really the goal. Remember, these habits are merely a tool I'm using to support my actual big hairy audacious goal. Some days I'm certain I'll knock it out of the park and other days, well I'm sure I'll just get knocked in the face. But if we remember that 50% of life's experiences are uncomfortable, then it's easy to get up and try again the next day.
If you've got any great habits that work well in your home and family, please SHARE! I've honestly learned so much from you guys and would love to take some of the guess work out in some of these areas!
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.