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We make habits too!

Now that we’ve talked about habits and provided you some tips to help you improve or keep new habits. Today I’m going to share with you the three small habits that I (Adam) have started to incorporate this year. 

Habits don’t have to be big, long, or even over complicated. The three that I have started take about 30 min total… and one depends on how quickly I read!

The first one is actually something that I tried a few years ago, but it didn’t stick. So, here I am again, using these new tricks to help make it a routine. I don’t really ever know what’s going on in the world – unless it’s sporting news.

 

Number 1: Read more news articles

How?

In the previous BLOG we discussed the idea of stacking (created by BJ Fogg and implemented by James Clear in his book, Atomic Habits). To recap – you take your new habit and stack it on top of something that you already do. 

 

We start each morning by walking Layla. Then we go to our new favourite coffee shop (aka our kitchen) for a couple of double espresso americanos *from our new Christmas gift – Breville 870XL). …We are still working on our coffee art.

 

While I’m drinking my coffee, I will read two news articles: Canadian news and World news. So, I’ll stack reading the articles on top of something I already do daily – drink coffee. If coffee starts to trigger reading news articles, by the end of 2021, I will have read the internet 😐

 

I’ve watched a friend (Tuffy) post IG stories with him completing crossword puzzles (with great penmanship, I may add)! I also once did a military course and each morning our instructor would take the newspaper puzzle games and put them on the whiteboard. He used it as a way for the class to solve them to start engaging our brains for the day. Which brings me to my second habit:

 

Number 2: Do brain puzzles for 10 minutes each morning! 

How?

Well, I’m cheating a little bit, but I am actually creating a double stack. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton! (Dodgeball, 2004 reference). When I finish reading my news articles for the morning, I’ve committed to working on brain puzzles for ten minutes. I’m not going to necessarily finish them. Just work on them to warm up the brain! Oh yeah, where did I get these puzzle books… Megan stuffed one into my stocking this year for Christmas!

Lastly, during the early COVID period (April-May 2020), I took the Science of Well Being course from Yale on Coursera. Professor Laurie Santos talked about what truly makes people happy. In the course, she gave us a list of “activities” to add to our schedule (journalling, meditation, exercise) and we had to pick something that we don’t already do… and then do it over a 4-week period. I picked meditation, which I worked into my daily routine 5 days a week – starting with 5 min/day. Then I stopped.


Number 3: Meditate for five minutes a day!

How?

I’m using the internet as my accountability buddy (ahem, and by internet, I mean YOU, the person reading this). When you have an accountability buddy, you don’t want to let them down. If they ask, “how’s the meditation habit going?” and I say… “Ahhh. Well, it’s not.” You get the feeling that you’ve let yourself down, and also your buddy. It can also help if you “convince” your buddy to join along because two is better than one. I am not going to go crazy with this, but just adding 5 min/day until it’s routine before I plan to increase it. 


My three small habits only take 30 min each day… and the first two will happen as I drink my coffee in the morning to slowly kick start the day.

 

It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to start somewhere. If you miss a day, that’s okay too! Just pick it up the following day!


Until next week!
Adam

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