Self-care is a practice for me—something I do well for a while, then start getting busy, stop making it a priority, crash and burn, then start over. I’m getting better at it, though. I crash less often. I’m quicker to get back on track. Despite progress, it is something that I will always have to keep practicing and practicing because I don’t see myself ever getting it perfect. And that’s okay.
This year, I’m trying to establish or re-establish several healthy habits. Instead of jumping on the resolution bandwagon and setting a bunch of lofty ideals in January that I would’ve already abandoned by now, I decided to take a gentler approach. I decided to choose a Happy & Healthy Habit to address each month. It is one small habit that I spend an entire month “mastering.” Piece of cake!
I started by looking at my life for areas where I needed a little extra care and then selected little habits that would help me make progress in that area. For example, since I’ve changed jobs I’ve put on a few pounds, so a few of my monthly habits for the year involve moving more (morning yoga practice in March, daily walks in May). I started taking vitamins again in January. In February I am working on getting 8 glasses of water each day. The idea is that since it takes approximately 21 days to establish a new habit, by month’s end my new healthy habit should be pretty much established. Since each habit is small, it is an easy win for the day. Since I am adding one new habit each month, by the end of the year I will have added 12 new healthy practices to my daily life! Another added benefit that I hadn’t planned on is that one habits helps encourage other healthy decisions, like drinking fewer sodas when my belly is full of fresh, clean water!
To remind, encourage, and support my new habits I am tracking them in my daily planner. I have found a number of great tools on Pinterest that work well with my paper planner, but there are also apps for smart phones and as many creative tracking methods as the mind can imagine. Coloring in each day’s water glasses on my planner page feels as good as getting a gold star in elementary school did!
I DARE YOU to make yourself a priority and give this a try! Start small and pick one habit for February. Find a fun way to track your progress. Then maybe get crazy and plan ahead for next month too. Check out my Pinterest board for ideas. Let me know what you do on my Facebook page
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! YOU MATTER! J
Jen Rowe (Coach Jen) is a perpetual student with over 20 years experience in Alcoholism/Addiction Recovery. She loves animals, is always making something, and is obsessed with circles. Her favorite question–a gift from a long-ago mentor–is, “But what are you grateful for?” Jennifer is an enthusiastic advocate for the homeless, the mentally ill, and animals in need of rescue, and names Being a Voice for the Voiceless as part of her Life Mission. In addition to selling handmade items and designing hats, she helps women to achieve their Big Dreams using creativity and right brain tools to search for solutions. Connect with Jen at http://www.beautifulalive.com.