People always advise others to make changes in increments. Old habits are hard to break and new ones are hard to establish. Take it slow. Make one change at a time. This month my new habit to establish should have been to listen to other’s advice. Instead, I took on three challenges: write 500 words per day on a WIP, walk on the treadmill at least five times a week, and cap the daily calorie count (and don’t eat them all in one meal).
So halfway through the month, here’s how I’m doing:
Words: This is proving to be the easiest one. Two hours allows me time to review and revise previous pages and to write another five hundred words. This fits well with my personal writing style. On the plus side, I’m writing my own stuff every day. On the negative side, there are days I know I would have pushed myself further, but I look at the word count and stop at 500.
Treadmill: I love to walk and I’ve missed going out to walk every day. I’ve had a problem with my foot for more than a year and it changed my daily routine. My foot has been improving, but I’ve been afraid to push my luck. If I’m three miles from home and searing pain shoots through my foot, oh well. With the treadmill, I can build up slowly knowing I can stop whenever I need to. Unfortunately, once I get started I tend to get a little competitive with myself and always try to outdo my performance from the day before. I doubt that’s good for my foot.
Calorie Cap: Ugh! I know once people get used to eating within a certain range of calories it gets much easier, but at this point I am obsessed with the calories in everything. I hate it. I hate that I have to plan my calories out for the day. It means no take-out and very limited dining with friends. I hope by the end of the month, I will be feeling better about this.
The real problem with taking on three things at once is finding the time for all three. I need at least 2 hours after work each day for writing. I need another hour for the treadmill. (Of course, fifteen minutes of that is spent revving myself up for it. I’m still worried about doing damage to the foot again.) Add to that the time for menu planning and poof there goes my day!
Do you have any secrets to establishing new habits? What has worked for you?