You know how sometimes one little event ends up making you reflect on your life in general?
This happens to me a lot, especially when I'm clearing my closet...
This time, both a book and my phone made me re-evaluate my habits. Here is how it went:
During our road trip - which I highly documented on Instagram and that will be the subject of an upcoming article - I read many books, different kinds of books, and one of them was by my favorite happiness expert, Gretchen Rubin.
As you know, I listen to her podcast and was also very inspired by The Happiness Project, her best-seller. Unsurprisingly, her latest book, Better Than Before, was on my reading list. This time, she tackles this critical question: How can we make good habits and break bad ones?
With September coming up, a big project that will keep me busy for weeks and this general feeling of going back to school, the long hours driving along the Western States roads were the perfect opportunity to reflect on my habits. I assessed my New Year Intentions and formulated some new ones for the coming month.
But the implementation of these habits came in a funny way. I had been having issues with my phone for a while now and had postponed the inevitable restoration for too long. A thorough restoration is something you really do not want to have to do. It means losing all of your beloved settings, reinstalling numerous apps and re-entering a countless number of passwords (At least, I was glad I used 1Password. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, head out to my favorite apps article.)
In the end, it took me an entire afternoon to tackle this nagging task. What I would never have imagined though, is that evaluating whether every single app in my phone was worth reinstalling would make me reflect on my lifestyle in general.
Better Than Before helped me identify certain aspects of my personality. I'm a questioner, a procrastinator and probably an abstainer. This came as no surprise, but actually writing it down in my notebook helped me realize that what I needed was a) tools to organize my life and prompt me to do certain activities at certain times, b) an accountability partner and c) to identify activities that should be paired together in order to ensure they will be done (you'll understand what it means later).
I fell into a fitness-related vortex and spent way too much time linking well-being related apps to the Health app (I use an iPhone) and installing new ones that were suggested to me. Since my health data had completely been erased, I was motivated to start afresh and capitalize on the good cycling and hiking habits we had set during the holidays. So I reinstalled Runkeeper and Strava for walking, hiking and cycling. I also reinstalled my precious Clue app (period tracking), and the fun Sleep Cycle one. As one of my goal for the year was to drink more water, I also installed the Waterlogged app. And it's been pretty successful so far. Even Octave asks for a glass of water whenever he hears the waves sound of the app reminder.
Octave got me into mountain biking during this trip, and as we got back home, I finally managed to convince him to go indoor bouldering with me. We went to an intro class this week and got a pass for the next two weeks. Let's see how it goes. Accountability really works for me, so I hope that this fitness & fun partnership will go a long way.
As for work organization, I followed a friend and colleague's technique and set reachable daily goals in order to finish on time (duh!) and avoid the stress of the upcoming deadline, the sleepless nights, etc. I also try to wake up and go to bed at the same time, start working and stop working at the same time and take a break to listen to a podcast while walking after lunch (Rubin's strategy of pairing activities). That's basically office life at home, except that I'm allowed to make a couple exceptions.
This will hopefully give me more stability and eventually make me healthier, and happier!
Have you ever had such an experience? What happened? Did you quit your job after painting your nails? What are your habit hacks? I'd love to hear it all!