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.
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!
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.