Who else here wants a do-over on 2020?
Like many of you, when I set my goals and resolutions for the new year back in early January, I had great hopes and expectations of being very productive and successful in 2020.
Yeah. That went to hell in a hand-basket.
Because we are now at the half-year mark (OMG!!!) and this year hasn’t gone to plan AT ALL, I think it would be a good idea to set some new goals. I’m not even going to look at the goals I’d set for myself before Armageddon aka Covid 19. I’m going to start from scratch, and suggest you do the same.
Instead of setting big goals (because the way 2020 is going, I fully expect the zombie apocalypse to come next, which would totally mess up our well-laid plans), I suggest creating new mini habits in the areas we want to focus on. Mini habits are so small and easy that you almost can’t help but succeed. If they seem too easy, then they’re perfect. You want to be successful. Setting challenging goals during these challenging times is a recipe for disaster, in my opinion.
My three main focus areas are mental health, physical health, writing (because two of those three are the areas I’ve slacked on the most since the world shut down).
I’m lucky I live with my husband and son, and now have gone back to work. So I’m not feeling lonely or socially isolated. I’m also a major introvert, so being stuck at home for three months was actually quite enjoyable. However, like many of you, I’m troubled by everything going on in the world/my country/my state/my city. I’ve spent way too much time on social media (Twitter!!!) which does nothing except fuel my anger and worry and stress levels. I’ve read that social media is a main cause of the prevalent mental health issues we see in our society. We are constantly bombarded with angry and misinformed people. It’s easy to be a bully and say things to people that we wouldn’t dare say to their faces. We see filtered/airbrushed photos of our friends, and see their perfect lives and families and bodies. Of course, much of it isn’t true or real—nobody has the perfect lives they’re posting about, yet still we compare ourselves to them and often come up lacking.
Mini habit: I will limit my social media to 10-15 minutes in the morning and 10-15 minutes at night, with my preference being to avoid it all together (other than FB and Twitter time for my job). I’ll set a timer in a different room, so I’ll actually have to get up to turn it off, which will help me break away from my obsession.
Mini habit: Exercise outside one day a week (walking or hiking), rain or shine. Getting outside does wonders for my mental health.
I’m pretty good about keeping up with my exercise. I work at a gym and teach classes, so I get paid to workout 5x/week. Even if I skip my own workouts, at least I have my classes to maintain my fitness level. During the three-month shut down when my gym was closed, I worked out every single day except for three. Slightly obsessive, I know. But my mental health relies on being active almost every day (see above ^^).
Mini habit: Work out with heavy weights at the gym once a week. Without access to the gym for many weeks, I slacked off of serious strength-training. Lifting heavy is not only good for building muscle (which keeps us young!) but also has an anti-depressant effect on me. I just feel happier after a hard strength-training workout.
Mini habit: Drink one sports bottle of water each day.
Mini habit: Have a big salad as a meal at least twice a week.
While I exercised like a crazy woman during the shutdown, I ate like a 300-pound linebacker. I didn’t gain weight (thank you, exercise obsession), but I don’t feel good. I’m not sleeping well. I have mood swings. My stomach looks six months pregnant from bloat and fat. I’m such an emotional eater, and broccoli just doesn’t soothe my soul like chocolate and Cheetos. Rather than tell myself what I can’t/shouldn’t eat, I’ll focus on what I should eat more of, and start small so I can’t fail. Once these new habits become actual habits, I’ll add another mini habit or two, until my eating is back where it should be.
I somehow managed to finish the first draft of a book over quarantine (shitty first drafts, anyone?), but I’m still not treating writing as a job. It’s been more like a habit. I’ll never reach my long-term writing goals if I only write when I feel like it.
Mini habit: 15 minutes of fiction writing sometime before dinner, and 15 minutes of fiction writing sometime after dinner. Five days a week. Of course, I hope I write more than this, but I don’t have to. Maybe with the pressure off me, I’ll want to write more.
What about you? What mini habits do you want to focus on? I suggest you make at least one of them fitness related and one nutrition related. Make them so itty bitty that you KNOW you’ll succeed.
I KNOW you can do it. Let’s rock the rest of 2020 and go out with a bang, shall we?
Happy Half Year!