Habit & Play: Changing Habits

During my last year of college, one of my last classes was one that was called Habit and Play.  It was a wonderful class. I learned a lot; I had a lot of fun; I did a lot of writing. I wanted to go through some of those lessons.  Some of those things that I’ve had over a year to think about at this point and see where they’re falling into my life currently and how I can work on better integrating them into my life in the future.

I guess one of the biggest ones is the fact that I need to make writing part of my daily life.  It needs to become a ritual as part of my life, but there’s so much that I need to also do with my life and my time, so finding the right amount of time to get that writing done has been a little bit challenging.

Building New Habits

When it comes to creating new habits, they say that it takes 21 days to really embed it into your life and make it something that you can do.  You’d think that after years and years of writing, this would be the one habit that would already be in my system.

After moving around and trying to find a way to settle down into my life, I lost a lot of the habits that I had.  There are some that I’m slowly building back up in the way that I do chores on a schedule or using a planner to really keep myself on track.

But writing has been sporadic and hard to do.  On top of that, I’m keeping up a full-time job and part-time editing on the side of that.  However, I don’t mind that I’m busy. I make time to slow down and really focus on my mental health.  I do meditation. I do a little bit of working out stuff on an inconsistent basis.

But making those new habits about more consistent writing, more consistent workouts, more consistent focus on my mental health is going to take time and patience.  That’s probably the largest problem that I’m going to encounter. Patience is something that I have when it comes to people and animals. But with myself and the state of the world, I rarely have the patience that I really need.

I’m trying to shift my focus away from being angry with myself or frustrated to remembering that I’m also a person.  I’m not just a machine. I don’t just sit down and spit out content and do things. There’s some patience that I need to have with myself.

Getting Rid of Bad Habits

While I would love to say that I have no bad habits, I have so many of them that it’s not funny.  I spend a lot of time goofing off. I don’t let myself focus for long periods of time. I don’t read enough.  I spend a little bit too much money. I eat out just a little too much.

While I can’t just get rid of all my bad habits, I can work on transforming them.  While I’m not reading enough, I’m working on creating very small goals to help make sure that I’m making the right steps.  I’m adding a little more reading to my day. Adding a few more goals about time reading. Adding goals about books read.

I can’t get rid of my spending habits, but I can make sure that I’m spending money in the right spaces.  Buying food isn’t something I should always punish myself for. And eating poorly just means that I need to find good food to buy and focus on.  Eating smaller portions and making leftovers make the money go a little bit further is one of the ways that I can manage things.

Improving yourself is a constant battle.  You shouldn’t be scared of falling down. As long as you’re moving forward, you’re doing a lot better than you were before.

This has to do with being patient with yourself.  Self-improvement is a process. It will take a while.  I’m not afraid of taking time. But I am worried about being motivated to keep making changes.

That’s where habits come into play.  If I can work on adding things to my life as integral parts of my life, then I’m going to be able to turn them around into a better lifestyle.

My writing will improve, my life will improve, my health will improve, I feel so much better at the end of the day.  It will take time, but I can do it.