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New year, new habits?

Every new year brings a temptation to add more to our life. New things to buy, new opportunities to pursue, new adventures to experience, and new habits to implement. As a result, our to-do list gets bigger, more complex and it takes more energy and time to manage it. I have definitely fallen victim to that. In 2022 I simply want to do less, and not expect myself to do everything.

As I went through my goals for 2021 it struck me how extensive it was. Across all categories, I had around 50 goals, of which 30 of them were daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly habits. Did I achieve everything on this list? Not quite, especially when it comes to goals that were linked to habits. I was overwhelmed. Already struggling with my daily habits, I would dread the start of a new week or month because both brought along around 10 additional tasks to complete. Normally, I would complete a few of them and postpone the rest. Halfway into the week or month, I would just decide to focus on it in the next wave and delete the task. Instead of celebrating what I completed, I would feel bad for not managing to keep up with everything that I want to do. I realized I need to make some adjustments to my approach.

This year, I wrote down a vision for each life category (wellbeing, relationship, family, ...) and brainstormed on the habits that could get me closer to it. So, a bit the same as before, and yes, still focusing on habits, as otherwise, I do not have the self-discipline to make progress on most of my goals. But instead of just committing to everything that I could come up with, I took this extensive list and started to narrow it down. I allowed myself to commit to max 3 things that I keep myself accountable for doing on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis (max 15 different small habits over the year). I tried to identify habits that could serve multiple goals and challenged myself to make some habits smaller by making them less frequent or less time-consuming.

I was going back and forth about whether to put taking a 'cold shower' in my daily habits. In the end, I feel like I am not ready to commit to it yet.

So what am I committing to?

  • On a daily basis, I move (workout, walk, or stretch), journal, and have some screen-free time in the morning and evening. By cutting out my go-to entertainment source, I am hoping to get bored and find more frequently my way to reading, creative projects, playing with Sniffles, and just daydreaming.

  • Every week I pamper myself (with a home spa or such), make sure the apartment is tidy and organized (which we do together with my husband), and call my family.

  • Every month I commit to having a date with myself, planning a date with my husband, and writing something for the blog.

  • On a quarterly basis, I analyze my finances (super proud of reducing a 20 min monthly task to a 5 min quarterly one), and reflect on the last three months.

  • Every year I do a yearly reflection, review the pictures we have taken and create an album of them.

Obviously, I also have many one-off tasks that are not represented in this list and that I will still hold myself accountable to. Other than that my focus is purely on the habits listed above. These are the things that I will push myself to do, even if I am lazy or do not feel like it, because I know they are important to me and will create a good ripple effect. For the rest of my habits, I appreciate a more spontaneous approach that is dependent on how I am feeling at the moment. And as with everything, nothing is set in stone and I can always adjust and iterate. Curious to see how it works out!

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