The Year of Habit

Yes, I realize it is June, but I am finally ready to talk about my word for this year.  For the past couple years I have been ditching the traditional New Year’s resolution by picking one word for the year as a way to focus on improving my quality of life without being boxed into arbitrary goals.  As a recap:

2015 was The Year of Self Discovery

2016 was The Year of Simple

2017 is The Year of Habit

Last year, I focused on really stripping away anything that wasn’t necessary to allow me to breathe a bit.  I tried my best to clear out the clutter in my life (physically and mentally) so that I could get a better handle on what is really important to me.

This year, I am taking what I learned and trying to put as much stuff on autopilot as possible.  My focus is to establish a baseline of minimal habits that are necessary for me to be a happy, healthy person. In times of stress these will be the essential behaviors that will keep me afloat.

By nature I am an “all or nothing” person and this has plagued me my entire life. Exercise is a good example of this. I feel like if I am not going to the gym 4 times a week, for an hour each day, and ensuring that I have just the right ratio of cardio, strength conditioning, and stretching – then what is the point? So instead, I’m trying to build a more realistic amount of activity – something so easy and pleasurable that I don’t have to struggle to do it consistently.

See this TEDx talk from BJ Fogg for some inspiration:

And because I am a nerd who reads productivity books for fun, here are some things I have learned about building lasting habits:

Start Small

If you try to go too big too fast, you are more likely to fail

Focus

Change is hard, so it is best to focus on one thing at a time before moving on

Experiment

What works for one person may or may not work for someone else

Find the Barrier

Figure out what is standing in your way and get rid of it or go around it

Keep it Simple

The more complicated something is the less likely it will get done

I will be sharing more about the areas I have been focusing on improving this year in future posts, but in the meantime here are some resources that have helped me better understand how habits work.

     

Did you pick a word for this year? We are halfway through 2017 – how is it going? Let me know in the comments!

8 thoughts on “The Year of Habit

  1. Theresa Boedeker

    Yup, start small and keep it simple. I laughed when you started your post by it being June and you finally choosing a word for the year. Well I just got my word too. Flexibility. As in a flexible attitude and rolling with the punches. I actually wrote a post about it last week (Summer Attitude and Flexibility). Okay, I may be late to the table with my word, but at least I got one before the end of the year. LOL

    Reply

    1. Claire

      Better late than never right Theresa?! I love “Flexibility” as a word for the year too I can definitely learn to roll with the punches a bit more myself.

      Reply

  2. Patty

    This is really good. I tend to be a go big or go home kind of gal too. That, of course, leads to setting myself up for failure. Great tips.

    Reply

    1. Claire

      Thanks Patty! Yes – I used to be the Queen of Burnout, so I am finally learning my lesson 🙂

      Reply

  3. Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros

    I really like this focused approach to the year! “The Year of…” I’m glad I happened upon your blog through the Declare community. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Claire

      Thanks Carolina! I just checked out your blog and I will definitely be following your posts as well!

      Reply

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