For week 4 of Novembers 12 Months of Wellness, we share how some alive staff have tracked their habit-breaking progress.
November’s 12 Months of Wellness has tasked us with ditching unwanted habits, and this week we’re putting our progress in writing. The alive staff are all beautiful, perfect people who have no bad habits … right? Well, not quite. Here’s how a few of the flawed and fabulous individuals at alive keep track of their efforts to break bad habits and form good ones.
Ellen Niemer, editor: “I’ve tried keeping an exercise journal, but I’ve never managed to keep track of my activities for more than a week. So I simply write on my calendar when I go to the gym or for a long walk. Looking back at what I’ve accomplished the previous week motivates me to meet or beat what I’ve done the week before. Silly as it sounds, if I’m particularly proud of my workout, I stick on a gold star. Maybe a gold star brings back those proud moments when a teacher would stick one on my test or homework. All I know is, gold stars are motivational!”
Bronwyn Wilson, marketing specialist: “I like to focus on the good, so instead of listing out my bad habits, I will make a list of “improvements,” which are ways to give those bad habits a positive boost or new habits to pick up. I try to focus on one area that I would like to grow in each month, and work through them piece by piece. It helps make the habit easier to break, and less overwhelming overall (plus gives time for forgiveness if I seem to get off track).
“I also help keep myself organized and on-track by sitting down each Sunday to figure out the week. This includes menu items for dinners, any scheduling commitments, appointments, and “to-do” items such as grocery shopping or tidying around the house. It helps me to keep things organized and not get overwhelmed throughout the week with how much I may have going on, especially with the holidays coming up here.”
Leah Payne, editor: “My gym recently did a promotion where, if you work out 10 times in the month of November, you’re entered to win a prize. To track how many times we came in to work out, we were given a small card with a calendar on it, and the employee at the front desk would place a stamp on the corresponding date each time we’d work out.
“Seeing my little calendar fill up with stamps was a great way of tracking how often I worked out—and it was so motivating to see. I think I’m going to keep up the habit at home, just by placing an “x” on my home calendar on the days I managed to hit the gym. Now I’m waiting to see if I won the draw!
“I think this would work with many habits—not just working out. For example, you could track how many days you go without a cigarette, and just seeing the steady success you have in a visual way would likely be a motivator in itself!”
Jennifer Procyshyn, account manager: “I make a list for the following year in a journal. It’s usually five main points I want to focus on and improve/change, with the year as a title. It’s always enjoyable to look back on them and see the differences. It’s nice to pause and create the list. Onward and upward.”
How about you?
Have you earned a gold star by breaking a bad habit this month? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #2013alive).
P.S. If you don’t have time to write in a habit-breaking journal, no worries—try attaching something as simple as our November goal-tracking sheet to your fridge or office space.