~ William Cullen Bryant
Ahhh, welcome autumn. Today is the first day of October. There is a crispness in the air today and the sunshine isn’t as intense. The sky is a different, brighter blue. Summer has slipped away and autumn has arrived. Just like that *snaps fingers* the weather has adjusted overnight. Fall is my favorite season.
I am really getting the ‘blogging bug’ and have worked feverishly (pardon the pun) on some new ideas I have for Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After. Have worked so much on it this morning that I have neglected other things I planned to do today. So I have decided that October is going to be a goal setting, goal achieving month. I am going to begin to better manage my time each day to accomplish more of what I want and need to do.
So I am posting my goals for the month here, publicly, for all the world (the six or seven of my friends who stop by) to see in hopes doing so will hold me more accountable. We all know it takes 30 days to form a new habit. But as my fingers were typing the words ‘we all know it takes 30 days to form a new habit”, I stopped and almost deleted the line. Ever the good librarian, I decided to check that statistic and I am glad I did. Apparently it takes a minimum – A MINIMUM of 21 days to build a new habit. And more likely, much more time than that.
I found the following article:
written by James Clear on the Huffington Post website, 4/10/2014
Clear reports that health psychology researcher Phillippa Lally conducted a study to figure out how long it takes for form a habit. The results of Lally’s study refute the familiar 21-day standard for forming a habit. Clear writes:
“On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit.
In other words, if you want to set your expectations appropriately, the truth is that it will probably take you anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behavior into your life — not 21 days.”
Translation: The goals I am setting this month and the habits I am hoping to build won’t likely become truly habitual by the last day of October. But I have to start somewhere, right? So I started today. And here are my goals/new habits/revived old habits that I hope to accomplish this month and turn into life-long habits in the months to come.
- Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes five days a week.
- Drink 52 ounces of water a day from my big ‘bubba’ insulated drink container. It is actually called a “keg”. I associate that with beer drinking, though.
- Write everyday. Somewhere. On something. Either here, on one of my story ideas or in my journal. Fall challenge posts and texts don’t count.
- Have a devotional time everyday that consists of reading Jesus Calling and lookup the verses mentioned there in the Bible.
- Track my Weight Watcher points and activity everyday except Saturday.
- Hug and kiss my husband Paul when he leaves and returns home from work and before we go to bed. (And when the mood strikes otherwise)
- Do something specifically for me, for myself once a week. (Get a mani, or scrapbook, or cross stitch, paint)
And so today is Day 1. Maybe it will take more than a month for me to remember to drink my water everyday. Or maybe not, since I have been doing it for sometime most days already. Actually, I have been doing all of these things fairly routinely but I want to do them everyday. And in accomplishing these goals and transforming these goals into solid good habits, I hope to make better use of the rest of my day with renewed focus.