Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Building Good Habits

Today I learned that it takes 21 days to turn something into a habit. This really got me thinking. 21 days  is only 3 weeks, so a new good habit could be only 3 weeks away! That seems like such a short amount of time for something that could really impact your life. Immediately I started thinking of new habits I wanted to develop, envisioning myself successfully acting on those habits without a second thought in 3 weeks time. But as I sat there thinking of my long list of desired habits, I realized that I can't do them all at once. I have to choose somewhere to start and build from there.

But what habits to start with? Which are the most important to develop? Health and fitness habits? Financial habits? Organizational/work/study habits? All of the above?

I think this all depends on the individual. Someone working to lose weight would highly value health and fitness habits, while someone with credit card debt might really crave better financial habits. Some people who are fairly balanced in all of these areas could still strive to improve in all of them!

After some serious thought I decided to work on two main habits first: going to the gym three times a week, and putting everything back in my apartment where it belongs.

I've never been athletic, or a gym-rat. I would work out occasionally, but never anything on a regular basis. I know that I feel good after I work out, and it's great for my health, but I never wanted to take the time (or energy!) to do it. I've decided that I'm going to start going to the gym right after work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This way, I don't have time to go home and get trapped in the black hole that is my couch. If I go on my way home, the energy I get from my workout will be enough to carry me through the evening until bedtime. No more evening naps for me!

I'm also lazy in terms of putting things away. If I get a book out of my bookshelf, I usually end up leaving it on my coffee table long after I'm done with it. I throw my keys wherever (and often can't find them the next time I need them!) and I have a terrible habit of leaving dishes in the dishwasher and laundry in the dryer. I also have random shoes scattered literally all over my apartment. I want to be organized, but every time I try I seem to fail. But making a conscious effort for 21 days doesn't sound too hard, and if I succeed my apartment will look so much nicer!

So here goes my 21 day habit creation sprint. Hopefully at the end of this, I'll have created some lasting habits that will really benefit me and improve my lifestyle.

(And by the way, I DID go to the gym after work today, just in case you were wondering ;) )

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