building better habits

building better habits like I love myself

I’ve been thinking of how I behave day to day and how I can go about building better habits so that I eat, move and act like I love myself.

It is very easy for me to be lazy and procrastinate and not get the things done that I want (or need) to get done. Being currently job free for the most part (I don’t think four hours a week of looking after and teaching kids English counts) means that my days have become progressively more amorphous. I am not a very disciplined person and the lack of structure that I have always hated seems to have been, in hindsight, at least a little bit useful. So instead of using all my free time wisely I have not touched my dissertation, put on weight (!!!), and spent a many hour on pinterest. I go through good patches but generally I am pretty terrible. But I am not going to be mean to myself because that is likely to lead to only more ‘bad’ behaviour. Instead I am going to make a plan.

The last week Tim and I started using a new app called Chorma. It is a household chore app which you share with other people in your household. You create a list of chores that need to be done, allocate points and away you go. We have decided that whoever gets the most points every two weeks gets to pay for date night. I’ve found the accountability to someone else of seeing what I get up to everyday, the slight competitive-ness, the reminders and the reward mean that I don’t leave sweeping the floors until tomorrow. (It is pretty good you should check it out if you share chores with others. I imagine this would have saved a lot of heartache over the years living with friends.)

So how do I bring these factors into creating better habits? Well until the developers of Chorma come up with a habit app I have made a little chart inspired by Creature Comforts. I have written the four main habits that I want to work on and allocated points for levels of achievement (so for example working out for under  30 minutes gets me 2 points and for more than 30 minutes gets me 3 points, etc). I am sticking it up in the kitchen so I see it everyday.

I’m keeping it simple and I am hoping this will work. I think I will post an update here on how I am doing regularly so I am accountable.

building better habits

Now I am just thinking of the ‘reward’ system. It is quite a tough one as I normally reward myself with food (oh oh). I also only make a little bit extra each week so can’t go buy myself a spa weekend every month. That said, let’s be honest if I really want a magazine I am going to buy it (just love my Kinfolk and Cereal too much). That said I have been surprisingly good with money lately by sticking to a modest budget every week for household spending and not really buying things for myself that I normally wouldn’t have hesitated to buy. I thought this month I might add up my points (I am hoping if I am good I should get between 300 and 400 points), knock off the last digit and spend that amount at the antiques market or maybe an antiques shop if I can find something in the budget. Some research suggests that it doesn’t matter what the reward is as long as you ‘get something’. Let’s hope that is true for me!

building better habits - reward

I’ve made a printable to share with you, with one for March and some blank ones with options for both four or five blocks for habits. Let me know if you find it useful or if you have suggestions for changes.

How do you reward yourself when you achieve something? 

p.s. I’ve linked to some useful articles/posts on creating habits before if you are interested.

7 thoughts on “building better habits

  1. Love this post! It’s so hard not to think of “things” in terms of rewards – but it would be so useful if we could train ourselves to see “good things” as rewards instead! ie: if I get 300 points, I can reward myself with a whole hour of guilt free reading or 40 minutes of yoga or 25 minutes of reflection and meditation! Having structure to the day though definitely helps with motivation to do things! hope you are well! x

    1. I have no guilt in reading and have a lot of free time at the moment (by free I mean I should be working on my dissertation) so not really rewards but maybe I will reward myself with an experience next time – getting my nails done (which haven’t had done in years) or a pedicure for summer. A trip to a show (if I can find one which I will be able to understand!). Thanks for the ideas.

  2. Lovely Michelle, thanks for posting this! It’s an interesting one trying to build better habits and not let that in itself become a frustrating chore. I once read somewhere that you have to repeatedly do, or not do, something for about 5 weeks for the new behaviour to stick. I agree that rewards are useful when introducing habits, but the big question for me is how to get them become part of ourselves and our day-to-day for the long term? I tend to slip back when a change of routine comes along such as a holiday or new working environment.

    1. I’ve heard 21 days. I suppose the longer the better though! I also find change in routine tough. I used to work out every day until I went travelling for two months and I have just never got back on that horse. Plus been thrown off by the change in routine with living in Italy. One day I will get used to it!

  3. Very inspiring post indeed. Since I think I’m in a similar situation myself (not having a job recently made me lose focus in -well, basically in everything) I may try these advices. There’s a strong relationship between being hard on yourself and the feeling of not completing things. A vicious circle. So this reward system might be something new. Thank you and good luck in yours as well.

    1. Thanks Melis. I hope you find it useful. Agree with the vicious cycle. Hoping this shifts me to a better cycle.

  4. Hello! I love the idea. I would love to use this but do you think you could post a file without the ones for March since it is already April. I have no idea how to just print the ones without it because I print from a webpage at college. Let me know!

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