Reassessing Habits to Keep, Drop or Add

Today’s Quest 2017 prompt from Charlie Gilkey is in video form!

I’ve been slowly gathering the outcomes of the various Quest prompts into my plan for the coming year. I haven’t really set out anything specific yet, just doing the ground work. This prompt is a really nice format for that work. I did write about a number of these in the Adaptation prompt, as well as in Acting or Reacting.

Habits I’m Going to Keep

I realized not too long ago that I’m not great at noticing when I’ve got needs that aren’t being met until I’m in crisis. I don’t know when I’m hungry until I’m hangry. I don’t know when I’m cruising toward a crash until I get sick.

The way I’ve worked around this for years is that I schedule things. I eat at the same times every day, and roughly the same sized meals. I make sure I get weekly date nights with my husband and I schedule woods time.  This habit gets me meeting my needs proactively, before I’m crazy and upset.

Here are the things on my daily, weekly, and monthly schedules that I know work:

  • daily writing time
  • daily lunch break
  • drinking lots of water
  • getting 8+ hours of sleep a night
  • weekly date night
  • monthly woods time
  • monthly deep 1-on-1 connection with a friend
  • Only scheduling one social activity per weekend – at maximum

Old Habits That I’m Going To Reinstate

I’m doing “reinstate” as a different category from “add” because these aren’t that experimental. They are habits I’ve maintained in the past that are tried and true. I just need to bake them back into the process!

  • walking the long way to work
  • walking the dog on the weekends
  • blocking time for myself on both home and work calendars

Habits I’m Going to Add

Here are the ones I’m experimenting with:

  • monthly “pajama days” where I give myself permission to do nothing and introvert
  • Asking more questions – and to do that, it means I’ll
    • have more questions in my “back pocket” to respond with automatically
  • Speaking up more – not avoiding conflict
    • to do that, it probably means I’ll need to have back pocket responses of a different sort prepared

Habits I’m Going to Drop

If I’m going to commit to asking more questions, then I need to drop the habit of answering them. I tend to “shoot and move” to get stuff done efficiently and quickly at work.  I really appreciated Charlie Gilkey’s reminder that we have to drop if we want to add something new.

  • To make space for PJ days, I’ll have to say no more to social occasions, or push back on dates as they are being arranged.  Blocking the calendar will also help with those. In 2016, I had a monthly goal for a weird adventure, and that can give way to pajamas.
  • Stop answering every question, even if I know the answer. This one is what’s required if I want to ask more questions, and if I want to respond instead of reacting. I’ve got to get out of the habit of answering everything.
  • Stop avoiding conflict. If a moment arises that I need to speak up for the silenced, I need to say something.

Foreseeing the Challenges

I’ve had this conversation more than once with my boss. My workload does not give me the breathing room necessary to be able to respond. I know I need to. I’m actually quite good at “don’t hit send”. But in the moment, in my face-to-face social awkwardness, if I know the answer, it’s going to take a lot of inner willpower not to blurt it out.

The more stressed out I am, the harder this is. The pre-prepared responses that I want to keep in my pocket will help. But they won’t go the whole distance. I’ve got to figure out a way to create more wiggle room in my day and in my life to allow myself patience with the process of asking more questions.

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3 thoughts on “Reassessing Habits to Keep, Drop or Add

  1. Thank you for your post it is really well written! I write out a plan every year and this time I will add the habit of revising this plan quarterly instead of only in December!
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Pingback: New Year’s Rituals | Alicia K. Anderson

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