These are the habits that will support the achievement of my goals for this year. I may not keep all of these resolutions (read my thoughts on Why Breaking New Year’s Resolutions Is Good For You) but just by setting these resolutions, I have aligned myself with the direction I want to go for the next twelve months.
Wake by 6am every weekday
This has become a firm habit already, but I know that I am at risk for snoozing if I don’t create a boundary. Snoozing is a slippery slope for me, and if I maintain a 6am wakeup every weekday, I can fend off the laziness I feel in the morning.
Bathtime or Qi Gong at 8pm weeknights
To support my early rising habit, I will retire at an early hour, as well. There are plenty of chores to do in the evening, and it’s easy for me to get lost in doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen, so that by the time we usher the kids into storytime, there isn’t any evening left for my own self-care. By mandating a bit of self-care every evening at 8 pm, I will be able to transition into storytime without feeling so exhausted, and the whole family will naturally go to bed earlier.
Drink tea before alcohol at home
After a full day of work, or a full day out and about, coming home is a time when I want to crash land. I often seek solace in a glass of wine directly upon landing, and although it does make me feel comfortable, it also makes me sluggish and lazy for the rest of the evening. This year I will have a cup of tea first, when I have my evening craving for a drink, and if I still want an alcoholic drink after that cup of tea, I will have one. My suspicion is that half of the time, a cup of tea will be sufficient. Lessening my alcohol intake by a few drinks a week will make a difference to both my productivity and my budget.
Fast on Sundays and/or New Moon
I’ve found the benefits of regular fasting to be tremendous. Once a week, or once a month, I will have a day-long fast to keep my system lean and my senses sharp. I’ll try to fast every Sunday, and if that doesn’t feel comfortable, I will reduce my full-day fasting to once a month, on the New Moon.
Measure eating windows
There was a time when I was a dedicated snacker. To keep my blood sugar from dipping and affecting my mood, I ate constantly throughout the day. I’ve found that limiting my eating window to 4-6 hours per day actually does a better job of regulating my blood sugar; I’m not always chasing the dragon of my next insulin spike, and instead, my body gets a chance to go into burning stored fat instead of burning the ongoing intake of snacks. I don’t know how long I want my eating window to be, so I’m not resolving for any set amount of time; instead, my resolution is simply to measure my eating window every day, so I have the data to make decisions. I’m using the Window app for iOS.
Forward bend every day
I love this simple stretch, and with flexible hamstrings and a stiff lower back, it is an easy and deep method to relieve my stress in under a minute. When I enter this stretch at home, surrounded by my kids, it also invites their favourite games – the Tickle Tunnel and the Daddy Swing.
Weekly date with each of my children
Every week, I will plan for a dedicated activity with each of my kids individually. My Desire Map Planner has a section above each week that prompts ‘3 Things I Will Accomplish This Week,’ and today was the first week that I added in with my pen, ‘With My Kids,’ so every week I will plan for some personal time with each one. We can learn a new skill together, or make a creative project, or play a game, just the two of us (times three).
Send a newsletter every week
Now that I’m in a different hemisphere than most of my clients and audience, I need to be more diligent about emailing my newsletter every week. Part of me hates to see the unsubscribes I get after sending, so I have paradoxically avoided sending regularly to preserve my list size. But I think this year I’ll do much better with list growth. Besides, if I want to grow my list, I also need to send to it, and I can just handle attrition by adding new subscribers.
Break fasts with salads for lunch
For years, I started my mornings with big, hearty breakfasts. My new eating style involves skipping a morning meal entirely, and I was surprised to find that my body really liked it. If I get hungry at 11 am, I put a big tablespoon of coconut oil in my coffee, and keep onfasting. (I know it’s not technically a fast anymore after eating fat, but it works for me to have this as my cheat option.) By starting my eating window with a big salad and no carbs, it works well for my carb cycling and my energy levels.
Give a dollar every day
Most days I walk through downtown Wellington and pass panhandlers and street musicians. Every day this year, I want to give away one dollar coin to someone, and feel abundant and generous while I do it. If I spend the day at home, I’ll give a dollar to my children or to a stranger on the sidewalk. To improve my financial situation, giving $365 to other people, and feeling like this is easy and generous for me to do, will help my emotions around money.
30 days of video in a row
After eight years of having a my own YouTube channel and publishing a couple hundred videos, I only saw a spike in subscribers and comments and likes after I posted a video every day for 21 days (during my first trip to New Zealand). I’ve heard that this is the way to get YouTube’s recommendation engine to show your videos to likely subscribers, and last year, I really saw that happen. This year, I plan to spend 30 days posting a video every day in a series, at least once, maybe twice.
Find mentors for my children
We love homeschooling, because of the flexibility it allows us to follow the interests of our children. Now that we are living in a new part of the world, our kids need a new set of teachers and mentors that can guide them and inspire them. This year, I want to find at least one really good teacher for each of my kids.