How did THAT happen?
Wasn’t it only March 14 years ago?
For me, it all started a few weeks ago when I had to make a super fast (annnnnd stressful!) decision about my daughter’s school situation.
Online… in person… some sort of hybrid deal?
It was a lot. I mean, it still is.
If you’re feeling like you’re on a rollercoaster with a loose belt in your lap, hanging on by a thread… lemme tell ya, you are NOT alone.
It can be hard to see craziness as an opportunity for growth, but it is.
And yes, I know you are rolling your eyes at me right now, but hear me out!
Think about what life was like on January 1st of this year…
Did you ever imagine it would look like THIS now?
Of course not…
Here’s what I’ve learned through all this.
The KEY to making the best of our “new normal” is healthy habits.
I go into this in more detail in this week’s podcast, so check it out if you’re as obsessed with podcasts as I am...
When routine goes out the window, it’s stressful.
And stress can cause a lot of problems.
Your diet can slip.
You can get frustrated more easily, or snap at people when you don’t mean to.
You can feel like you’re running in circles getting nothing done…
I totally get it.
So today, I want to focus on just ONE thing we can do together to chill out a little bit, ok?
And that is… to create a habit-building system.
A few years ago, I was tired of feeling tired. Sound familiar?
I didn’t realize it then, but I wasn’t taking many steps to help with that because I didn’t feel like I had TIME to do it.
I told myself that rest was a time-waster. I had so much to do, getting more sleep and taking care of myself had to come later… when I had more time.
Can you see the vicious cycle forming here?
It took a crash and burn moment—getting sick—before I was FORCED to slow down and rest.
That’s when it hit me – my HABITS were what landed me here.
And my habits were something I COULD control.
My habits were something I NEEDED to control.
In that moment, I decided that rather than try to change my entire life, I would start with three new, healthy habits I wanted to create.
Just three. I could manage THREE.
And because I’m an organizer, I started mapping out HOW I could take baby steps to build those habits…
My Action Plan for Building Healthy Habits
Step 1: Write down three habits to develop
I chose three habits that I thought would help me feel like I could get everything done in my day with less stress – so I could be less tired.
So I could actually manage my life… not let it manage me.
Step 2: Make a micro-commitment
Next, I made a promise to myself that I would work a little bit on each of the three new habits for the next seven days.
I added the habits to my daily to-do list so I would be certain they got worked into my schedule.
Step 3: The success checklist
I kept a little notepad by my bed and would check off the tasks from my to-do list before I went to sleep each night.
If you’re a list person, you KNOW how good it feels to cross something off that list!
On the seventh day, I looked at all those check marks – and the blank space left on the page – and thought:
I bet I can do this another 7 days.
Step 4: Add another mini challenge
Once I successfully completed the 7 days I committed to myself in Step 2, I felt good enough to give myself another mini challenge.
Another 7 days.
I added another week to my to-do list, and kept going the next day...
...and for several more weeks.
Step 5: Celebrate your wins
I was so focused on completing my mini challenges, I didn’t even think to look for the results outside of myself.
One day, my daughter told me out of the blue that I looked pretty.
I was a little rattled by this comment, so I said thank you and asked her what she meant by that.
“You seem less tired,” she said. “And you’re smiling more. My friends think you look pretty too.”
I hadn’t realized that running myself into the ground was affecting my family that much. And that my little habit challenge was actually working.
So here’s the point of this lonnnnnng story…
Growth happens when you step outside your comfort zone.
It IS possible. And you don’t have to wait until you’re forced to make a change, like I was.
So let me ask you…
What are some things that aren’t serving you right now?
Maybe you’re feeling like you don’t have enough time to get everything done…
Maybe you are feeling gross in your body because you’ve been grabbing unhealthy snacks when you’re super busy…
Maybe you’ve been snapping at your husband or kids more than usual because you’re stressed out…
Maybe you’re anxious and want to stop it, but don’t feel like you have an easy way to do that…
But you do.
This 5-step action plan for building healthy habits has been something I’ve consistently been asked about when I share my story of developing habits that actually last.
That’s why I’ve put it all into a handy tool you can download for free: “The 4 Week Habit Tracker.”
This tool will help you create a roadmap for the habits you want to create to help you reduce stress, feel better, and generally keep it all together even when there’s crazy happening.
Because – spoiler alert – there’s ALWAYS some sort of crazy happening.
When you download the Habit Tracker, you’ll be guided through the steps I shared above:
Brainstorm three habits, however small, that will help you feel better.
Spell out WHY you want to build these new habits – write it down!
Create a celebration plan.
Pick a time frame you can commit to.
Again, I go into WAY more detail in this week’s podcast, so if you want some ideas of meaningful habits to create (or get rid of!) give it a listen.
But before you get all gung-ho about this… the biggest hack I can offer you with this task…
Don’t commit to big, sweeping life-changes. It’s a recipe for disappointment and failure.
If your habits involve other people – and they most likely do in some way – you’ll probably see some changes from them too.
The trick is to PAY ATTENTION.
Small wins are still wins, right?
Remember, this “new normal” is likely to be around for a while. So it’s your job to make it WORK FOR YOU.
Growth happens when you step outside your comfort zone.
Every moment is an opportunity to make positive change in your life… which affects your biz, your family, your relationships, and most importantly… YOURSELF.
I know I covered a lot here today, so here’s a quick snapshot of the links and tools I mentioned:
Thanks for reading… and I’ll see ya online.