Over the past few months I've been working on getting my habits in check. Habits like biting my nails, procrastinating, and my insatiable sweet tooth... Oof! Utilizing healthy snack ideas, the power of cooperative work, and positive reinforcement, I'm making some awesome progress. My work has obviously been cut out for me. Rather than focusing on how "bad" my habits were, I've been trying to focus on positive ways to approach them. Instead of constantly trying to remind myself to not bite my nails, I've been making it a priority to keep them polished nicely. If my nail polish is well-maintained, I'm a lot less likely to bite. After a couple of weeks of consistent painting, my nails look awesome! Of course it only takes one anxious evening for them to be nibbled down again, but it's definitely positive progress. They say it only takes 21 days to form (or break!) a habit. On day 1, day 21 seems forever away. But by focusing on positive substitutions rather than dwelling on the habit itself, I've noticed a huge shift in how my mind and body react. I find these substitutions easier to choose in the long run.
While my nail biting is still a come-and-go kind of thing, I've kicked my coke habit completely. HOLLA! My positive substitution in this case has been lemon-infused water in really cute water bottles! Haha That might sound totally silly, but if I have a water bottle I really love, I'm more likely to tote it around with me. The positive effect from this has been being a lot less dehydrated. My skin is happier than ever!
Procrastination and I are really good friends. I'm a true-blue ENFP and I just can't seem to shake it. In an attempt to combat this less-than-rad habit, I brought on Amy as a project assistant (like I mentioned previously). This allows me to set strict work times, stick to a schedule, and have someone else to bounce ideas off of. Instead of being stressed about my mounting To Do list, I'm able to enjoy the company of someone else and check things off rapidly. Win/win!
When you're a freelance designer who works from home, it can be really easy to get in the habit of just sitting. Nothing feels more wasteful than a day spent sitting, in my opinion. I made small, easy changes like sitting on a yoga ball instead of a chair while I worked, and if I'm just zoned out watching tv then I'm at least doing simple exercises on the ball. I've started working out a few times a week at my parents' house (they have some equipment in the upstairs of the shed), and I've been doing yoga and hooping, too! If I'm working out at the "gym," I'm usually watching YouTube tutorials. I love that I can exercise while indulging in a less-productive pleasure. There's no guilt at all, and it's easier to just keep going and going.
And my sweet tooth! Self care to me means: chocolate! I've always had a sweet tooth, but in an attempt to kick the habit, I started snacking a bit smarter. While I still feel the "craving" for sweets here or there, giving in to an actual piece of candy often means there will be candy minus one bite in the trash. There's little satisfaction in it for me now. Even still, the craving comes in random waves, so rather than going against my craving entirely, I just opt to go with a healthier substitute. A few favorites include a couple dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds or these Weight Watchers English Toffee Bars. Healthy snack ideas are plentiful, but healthy snacks with chocolate? That doesn't taste awful?! I shared a photo of them on Instagram earlier this week and was surprised at how many people chimed in saying they loved them too! Linden and Toby are both big fans, and I like that it satisfies my craving without leaving me feeling icky after. I picked these up at Publix and there is a whole variety of treats to choose from. They taste just as good, if not better, than traditional candy bars or novelty ice creams. Whether you prefer baked treats, ice creams or even more savory snacks like cheeses, Weight Watchers has something you'll love.
The past few months have been full of new experiences, ups and downs. Above all else I've been trying to make choices that make me feel better in the long run. Choosing to tackle a project before the deadline. Opting for a 70 calorie chocolate snack versus a 200+ one. Trying to keep my fingernails out of my mouth. They're small changes, but they have a pretty big impact on me personally. Making these positive changes has honestly helped put me in such a good mental/emotional/physical state. It's a great feeling!
Do you have any habits you'd like to positively replace? How do you plan on going about it? (Or what have you done in the past?)