Making time for good habits

I think most people have a list of at least a few things that they can do to improve their days.

Some examples could be exercise, being out in nature, mediation, yoga, drinking water, herbal tea, solo dance party, listening to music, journaling or going for a walk.

None of those things necessarily take a lot of time but they’re things that you have to make time for. They require more effort than sitting on the sofa binging episodes of a show but they come with way more benefits.

So, when you feel like you can’t be bothered, keep that in mind.

Bad habits

There could be habits you have that you have carried with you thorough your life for so long that you aren’t even aware the impact they have on your life.

Perhaps, you assume that those habits are ‘just the way you are’ rather than them being something you could change.

Sticking with what you know is easy, comfortable and familiar even when it negatively impacts your life.

And so you do nothing.

That’s why I’m such an advocate for regular reflection. In doing so you’re able to identify the habits you currently have and understand how they impact your life. It could be something like you always wanting to be right because you believe that you know more than most.

This may result in people not wanting to engage in conversations with you because you’re now seen as closed minded, someone that is not open to other points of view. In turn maybe you’re unable to develop close relationships because your desire to always be right pushes people away as they don’t feel respected and they find you frustrating.

Identifying that bad habit and deciding to let it go could be the catalyst to solve many of the problems that you regularly encounter.

Of course, it rarely feels good to know that you’re the problem as it forces you to take responsibility instead of the playing the blame game. But in the grand scheme of things perhaps it is much better to know that the problem begins with you and your bad habits because that way you know that the problems can end with you too.

At your best

At you’re best you are joyful, kind, considerate, a good listener, focused, playful and caring.

But sometimes you’re also inconsiderate, moody, a bad listener, you have your head in the clouds (as in you’re distracted and not present), you’re rigid and harsh.

It’s so easy to attach the idea of who you are to you at your best and think of everything else as you at your worst. But I don’t think that’s the case. You’re a culmination of all those things.

We attach negative connotations to certain acts, habits or behaviours then allow that to dominate how we view ourselves. There is nothing wrong with exhibiting traits that contrast with you at your best, as long as you don’t allow the unhelpful traits to dominate.

1 simple way to make daily blogging easier

Write more than one post a day. Even if only one of them is worth publishing and the other one, two or 5 are just a few phrases.

Writing and sharing something everyday becomes easier the more you write.

And on the days when coming up with something from scratch doesn’t feel easy you can go back to one of your drafts and flesh out the 2 sentences you wrote last week.

Change takes time

You can go from making grand plans one day to forgetting why you wanted to change your life the next.

It can be hard to shake the unhelpful habits that bind you to your past self. Even though you know they don’t benefit you and that you should change them, you can’t.

And it’s not that you haven’t tried, you just haven’t been able to make any real long term change.

Maybe somedays you find yourself questioning whether you should even bother trying to change at all.

But change takes time and if you really want it, the effort it takes will always be worth it.

The best place to share your work

Coming up with an idea of who your customer or target audience is incredibly helpful. For example, if you are trying to attract a younger age group you would use different methods than those you would choose to attract an older age group.

That could mean promoting your work on a Tik Tok account instead of setting up a Facebook page.

But you can even take things further and really carve out what sort of person would be interested in your work.

Perhaps it is someone that spends a lot of time reading, isn’t on so social media much. Maybe they are introverted or they prefer meeting people in person rather than online. Keep going with that until, you eventually begin to cultivate this conceptual idea of a person and then you’re able to look at different ways of reaching that person.

Ask yourself, ‘Would this person want updates on twitter, insta stories or by email?’

Once you can answer these questions, it can provide a useful base for figuring out the best place to share your work and promote your stuff.

Procrastination and relying on stress

Anyone who regularly procrastinates will tell you that they want to do the thing but they just keep putting it off. Often when we procrastinate we justify it to ourselves by prioriting things with low urgency that still give us that good feeling of that comes from getting things done.

We tell ourselves we’ll start later or tomorrow and we convince ourselves that that we still have enough time to get it done.

But what tends to happen is we just continue to put things off more and more. We do this until our stress levels start to increase and we reach the point where if we don’t start now we’ll miss the deadline.

And so you finally begin.

I had a recent experience with procrastination and once the work was complete I ended up reflecting on my behaviour.

When you get into the habit of choosing to procrastinate until the last possible moment, you train yourself to rely on stress to get things done. And so the next time you have a deadline you’re unable to find the motivation because you’re waiting for the adrenaline to kick in.

I think there are 2 main ways to stop procrastinating.

The first way is to experience things going wrong as a result of your procrastination. When our habits have negative implications this encourages a change in behaviour. It might start with you giving yourself 5 days for something instead of two and slowly build up until you become someone who always makes sure they have enough time.

The second is to just start straight away next time. We tell ourselves it’s difficult to start and just decide that it’s true when it’s not at all. Starting takes a little effort and commitment but it’s not as challenging as you tell yourself.

It’ll probably help to remind yourself of the benefits of starting straight away like being able to work at a steady pace instead of having to cram everything into a short period of time.

If you’re someone with a habit of procrastinating, it might not seem easy to change but it’s definitely possible.

Caught in the act

Noticing your unhelpful habits as soon as they start to emerge is a skill worth learning. Instead of getting carried away and indulging in behaviour you’re likely to regret, stop.

Realise what you’re doing, realise why and make the conscious choice not too continue.

Before you get to that point you might find that you regularly have situations where you don’t show up as your best self, you don’t put in much effort or you’re not treating people how you want to be treated.

But those things aren’t helpful. It doesn’t benefit you to be half-hearted with your efforts or unkind to other people.

As soon you realise that, the more likely you are to catch yourself in the act the next time it happens until eventually you’re no longer giving in to your unhelpful habit.

Reasons to take space

Taking space is something we’re often reluctant to do.

It could be space from a person, a habit or even just social media.

For me the purpose of space is to gain clarity.

It’s difficult to get that when you’re in the situation which is why it is necessary to remove yourself.

At first you always miss the thing that you’re taking space from because you’re so used to it being part of your day to day life but then you feel refreshed and wonder why you clung to that thing so much in the first place. Then after that comes the sense of knowing that without this thing in your life you’ll still be totally fine.

I don’t think we always anticipate that that last realisation will come which is why we can be reluctant to give things up.

I think we quite often think the opposite which is that we’ll feel as though we can’t live without the thing or come to crave it even more than before.

It could be something like snacking on sugary foods, a person you believe yourself to be so totally in love with or maybe it’s Instagram.

Whatever it is in your life, don’t be too afraid to take space from it.

You might even find that you no longer want the thing in your life and if that’s the case, be willing to let it go.

Not everything is meant to last.

Doing it wrong

If I aksed someone for advice on how to make this site better, I have a pretty good idea of what they would say.

The first thing is that I should use pictures to accompany my posts as a way to draw in readers.

The second is that I should promote my content on social media to put my stuff out there to a wider audience, not just fellow WordPress users.

To some the way I have chosen to run this site might mean that I am doing it wrong but in the 18 months since I started, I’m really pleased with what I have created.

The goal for me is to never reach the most amount of people or have the biggest audience. Those things won’t make me a better a writer or make me more committed to posting everyday.

When it comes to using pictures, if I have to post an image to get someone to read just over 100 words (the length of most of my posts) then that’s not the kind of reader I want. When it comes to social media although I have an Instagram account for this site my main focus will always be the daily blog posts and right now the extra effort it would take to promote on Instagram isn’t worth it.

And so sometimes you have to realise that what might be right for others is wrong for you and what is wrong for others might be exactly what you need to be doing.