January: Better Habits & More Discipline

Last year I gave myself monthly themes to help guide me through the different months. This year I’m still on it, but I’m working in bitesize reflections to help me not only track things, but also to share my journey in a timelier manner.

For someone that has always been obsessed with control, I thought I’d challenge myself to actually wield control over the things in my life. The main aims were to be more intentional with my actions by building better habits and exercising a little more discipline than I’d usually. Within this I set out a bunch of mini goals such as:

  • Reduce screen time
  • Eat less junk (no ordering takeaways — eating out was allowed)
  • Keep within budget and spend more cautiously
  • Keep up with routines
  • Skincare
  • Drink 3 litres of water daily
  • Write more and aim to do it for 30 mins a day, 5 days a week
  • Read 10 pages in the morning
  • No buying books we don’t need

I listed out my intentions, set my app limits, didn’t force myself to start on Jan 1 st- I had to take a much-needed day of rest. The next day with my white board all kitted up, I felt that I had the tools to finally start building these habits. What I found is that in the first few days, I couldn’t formulate an easy, free flowing routine and that developing better habits was difficult. I noted to myself within the first week of January: “Still managing to track things and do most of what I want but struggling in some areas — trying to be patient with myself, exercise compassion and celebrating the small wins, rather than focusing on the small failures.”

I found that it was important to constantly reassure myself instead of beating myself up, I was really attempting to change a lot within a few days which just isn’t realistic. Positive reinforcement was the only way to truly encourage myself.

In order to help myself develop these good habits and be more disciplined, I invested in a health and habit tracking app as it helped me keep tabs on some of my daily goals such as drinking water, doing up routines and exercise. With that I was able to see when I was doing well, even if it wasn’t 100%.

After a while of habit tracking and reviewing, I found myself improving. I noted a couple of weeks in: “Not beating myself up over it — I’m practising compassion and being kind to myself. I’m noticing subtle improvements — reading at night is getting easier, as is developing a better nighttime routine, I’m practising gratitude on a daily basis and I’m taking my vitamins even when I’m not at home.”

Now the month is over and looking back, I can say I definitely tried, and some habits are more cemented within me, whilst others could use a bit of work. I think January was a good steppingstone for me and I’ll continue working on the things that I got right such as my nighttime routine, consistent reading, better water consumption and not buying new books. I’ll also do my best to work on the areas I struggled with such as budgeting and eating less junk — maybe takeaway wasn’t the problem — and hopefully I’ll improve.

January has been strange, long but also fulfilling. I look forward to what February has to offer and I’ve made my next theme known to self, but if you’d like to find out, tune in next month like everyone else.

Originally published at http://theconflictedpen.wordpress.com on February 5, 2022.

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Christine Gwaze

Christine Gwaze

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