The month of February is off to a much better start. For the most part, our house is healthy once again, and we emerged with a much greater appreciation for our normal state of health!
A few years ago, I shared the idea of doing 30-day challenges as an alternate to New Years resolutions. The basic idea is to do something consistently — usually something you want to be doing anyway — for 30 days at a time.
I still really like this idea because it seems way more sustainable than beginning the year with a big list of ways you're going to be a better person all at once, only to become disillusioned by mid-February.
I've read that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit, so trying something new for 30 days can actually result in some long-term changes. While I don't expect to add 12 new habits this year, the plan is to try something new each month and see what sticks. My challenges are extremely small, but with the emphasis on consistency, I've been surprised to already notice a really huge difference in my daily routine.
My challenge was to read a little bit every night. Sometimes it was a chapter, sometimes less, and I missed a few days here and there. But since the beginning of the year, I've read three books(!). I've always loved to read, and I feel like I rediscovered that in January. The challenge is over, but I still look forward to getting in bed and reading for a few minutes every night.
My February challenge has been to make the bed every morning. This was a (required) habit growing up, but in the light of adulthood, it never feels like a good way to use my time. I've been surprised how nice it is to walk into the room at the end of a long day and see an inviting and tidy bed.
If you feel like tackling a few 30-day challenges of your own, here are a few tips:
· I love checking things off a list, so I downloaded an app to help me keep track of my progress and keep me accountable.
· Make it easy on yourself. During January, I let audio books count as 'reading'. This was great for the nights I wasn't feeling well and my eyes needed a rest. Keep in mind, you're making the rules for these challenges, so give yourself a break and don't make your goals impossible to achieve.
· Choose realistic challenges you actually want to do. There are plenty of resolutions that could be accomplished (the gym every day!), but I've tried to focus on things that I genuinely want to make part of my life and feel that I'm actually capable of doing.
Note: I've long had an obsession with fun pillowcases. The ones pictured on our bed are from the Xenotes Etsy shop.