Luckily, the first post I bumped into was for Smart Habit Saturday. (Not that the rest of her blog isn't a good read, it's just that this is what I really need - even more than I need a genuine Alaskan Moose Candy dispenser.)
I had a whole post planned in my head about traditions, and what kinds of traditions I want to start for Wombat, and how such things have to become a habit for me before they can be a tradition for him (little things, like remembering to say grace before meals)... but then my mind started overflowing with all the habits I really needed to be working on. I started to feel overwhelmed, so I got out the calendar, and wrote down one for each Saturday. I now have new habits planned to work on every week for the next three months!
The thing is, I know this works. Concentrating on one thing at a time means you can actually put some effort into it without being distracted - or it becoming a distraction from the other things you must do. Before you know it, it becomes second nature and you don't have to think about it any more. Getting up early to study is a good example. At first it took a lot of effort. Now I actually enjoy it. This morning, I even woke up at 2:50 am, ready to go - 10 minutes before my alarm went off!!!
Which brings me to my first Smart HABIT (as Lara at The Lazy Organizer explains, S.M.A.R.T. stands for "Saving Money, Associations, Resources and Time". I need to do all those things, but to begin with, there is a most important resource that needs looking after. My body.
My first smart habit is:
All my life (or at least for as long as I have been aware) I have deplored my mother's habit of pushing herself to get things done - working on without taking time to look after her physical needs. When she was young it wasn't a problem, but now, at just over 60, she is facing hip surgery and is in constant agony from her back. Despite this, she keeps doing what she has always done and nothing changes. (She is a cake decorator, so her work involves long hours bent over a table with nothing moving but her fingers.... hmmm... not unlike someone who works constantly at a computer...)
The thing is, this tendency must be heriditary, because I am turning out to be just as bad. I sink myself into my work, and hours pass by without me moving. (I am including all computer time under the title 'work' there - but I should admit much of it is play - blog reading, website building, other writing, editing photographs - however, that is a topic for another habit some other Saturday - except that if I spend too much time playing & too little time working, I am even less inclined to take time off to exercise, as I have too much catching up to do...) Despite my good start this morning, I have now been sitting at the computer for two hours, have not opened a law book, have certainly not exercised, have not thought about my posture and have not even gotten around to putting my slippers on - I am sitting here in bare feet and it is 5 degrees celsius.
This year is proving to be worse than normal, due to my increased workload, and the fact that I am busy with Wombat the rest of the time, so I can't just go for a long walk or hop on the elliptical whenever I feel like it (which admittedly wasn't all that often anyway.) There are so many things I
The answer, spoken very firmly to myself, must be "MAKE TIME OR ELSE".
I am overweight and unfit. My posture is terrible. I need to do something about it asap, or my most important resource (me) will not last my lifetime.
I have pulled out my elastic home gym for stretching & isometric exercise and will use that for warm-ups, and then I will hop on the elliptical and cycle as fast as I can for 5 minutes. I aim to start by doing this once every hour as a study break, and hopefully increase to every half hour once it becomes a habit.
Being a glutton for punishment, I am even going to take Ulysses out with me & read while I cycle ;) may as well get a mental and physical workout at the same time (and hopefully finish the darn thing some time this year)! I will report back on my progress and list a new habit to work on next Saturday. (As Lara points out, it takes 21 days for something to become a habit, so I don't expect instant results... but having publically declared my intentions, and having to review my progress & report back each week should help keep me on track towards my goals.)
In case I needed more incentive - when I was 14 I had an operation on my knee... lately, that knee has been going to sleep or getting painful pins and needles after I have been working for a few hours... my attempts to get the blood flowing to it again at least allow me to bring you this pretty photo - so now I have no excuse at all not to make exercise a habit - there's even a blue moon!
Today is a good day to start making a brand new ending.