Day 6: Define Your Details

This is it, the last assignment. Hopefully it has been helpful for you to really think about your habits and how you want to tackle changing one. 

Today we will define exactly how we plan to change our habit. We will incorporate everything from our previous assignments and write out a solid plan.

The habit I am changing is to tame my online time. It’s impossible to avoid social media, so I can’t just “quit” it. I can be intentional about how I use it. I currently have a laptop and an iPod touch with WiFi access. I don’t even have a fancy smart phone or my problem would probably be much worse. Here’s my plan for reducing my online time for the rest of the month:

  • Check email first thing in the morning, at lunch and then after the kids are in bed. No more checking email every time I hear a “ding” notification from my iPod that I have a new message. The messages won’t go away. (I think I can disable the “ding,” and I should look into that.)
  • Only check Facebook from my computer, and most likely only in the evening. Remove my Facebook app from my iPod to remove the temptation. (Yikes!) I will make an exception if I get an email notifying me of a message I feel I need to respond to sooner than later. In that case, which should be somewhat rare, I will log on to Facebook and only respond to that message, not browse anything else.
  • Check my Twitter feed in the morning, at lunch and after the kids are in bed. I prefer the app on my iPod for checking Twitter over the official website, so I’ll keep that app but try to ignore it during the day.
  • Take a 24-hour internet “Sabbath.” From Saturday evening to Sunday evening I will not be online. At all. (Double yikes!) I’m picking that time frame to spend some time on Sunday, a traditional day of rest (in theory) for our family, resting from the internet. I’m not just blocking off all of Sunday because I feel it helps get Monday off to a better start to catch up on emails Sunday night.

So, there you have it! My plan to *gulp* reduce my time online. It’s a “gusto” plan, I guess, since I’m not gradually adding any of these steps. I’m just jumping in and going for it. Since it’s Saturday evening, I guess I’ll go ahead and start right now by signing off. Feel free to start your habit on Sunday or Monday, which ever makes most sense for your plan.

See you in 24 hours!

31 Days to Change One Habit

Habit: an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary. (Webster)

Habits. We all have them. Some are good and some are bad. If you’re like me, there are a few dozen you’d like to change. So, let’s all pick one — and only one — and try to change it this month!

Last year I wrote 31 Days of Learning to Run. A more appropriate title might have been 31 Days of Learning About Life While Learning to Run, but that’s kind of a mouthful. My biggest lesson learned is that change is possible, especially if it is slow and gradual. I went from hating to run, to signing up for 5K races. I took time off for winter and to let a sprained ankle heal, but for the most part, I’ve kept running. It’s become a habit. (Not quite completely involuntary like Webster says, but definitely an acquired mode of behavior.) I’m still slow and will not win any race, but I’m doing what works for me.

31 Days to Change One Habit was born out of learning to run. I started 2012 working on a few habits and taking one month to tackle one habit at a time. Some stuck, some need some more work. I skipped a bunch of months, but now I’m ready to tackle one habit in October. Maybe you’d like to join me?

I’m not revealing my habit yet, you’ll have to stay tuned! (And this is my “home” page, so Day 1 is coming later, too.)

I’ll add all of the posts to this page so you can come back here and find them all. Or feel free to subscribe to the blog to receive updates directly to your inbox.

31 Days to Change One Habit

Day 1: Think About Your Habits

Day 2: Mock Trial

Day 3: Decide & The Big Reveal

Day 4: Be Accountable

Day 5: Make an Approach

Day 6: Define Your Details

Day 7: For When You Forget

Day 8: Some 31 Day Helpers

Day 9: Tricky Timing

Day 10: Life Happens

Day 11: Count the Cost

Day 12: Recording Results

Day 13: Gray Skies

Day 14: Three Strikes

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The 31 Days writing challenge is issued each October by The Nester over at Nesting Place. More than 1200 bloggers are participating! Join in the fun!

Time to Quit

Today is the day, February 1st. My goal is to eliminate soda in the month of February. My goal was to reduce my pop consumption during January. That didn’t really happen, which might make this month more brutal. We shall see.

My drug  soda of choice has been Mt. Dew. We actually ran out of it in the house last week, so I haven’t had a Mt. Dew for about one week. I was kind of hoping to have a memorable “last can,” but I’m not even sure which day was my last. Maybe it’s better that way. My official start day kind of became Monday, January 30. Since we didn’t have any Mt. Dew in the house anyway, I guess it was as good a day as any to quit.

I don’t even have a can of Mt. Dew to take a picture of to jazz up this post. We recycled all our cans on Saturday. Out of sight, out of mind? I’m not sure.

Are you trying to quit something? Did you set a New Year’s Resolution that needs a little re-charge? Every day is a new day! Join me as we “quit it” in February!

My Goals for 2012

I’m finding that the more I write down goals, the easier they seem to get achieved. From a Summer Fun List with my kids, to a weekend to-do list with my husband, if it gets written down, it’s more likely to get done.

So, [drum roll please …] here are my goals (in no particular order) for 2012:

  • Eat more vegetables. Maybe learn to like greens. Maybe. I’ve never been very good with vegetables. I’m more of a fruit girl. In the last few years, I’ve come a long way, especially with eating some raw vegetables. I don’t like lettuce or other green leaf-like foods. I should probably learn to like them. I’ll see what I can do. For now, I’m just going to try to have a veggie with lunch and supper, when possible. 
  • Consume less sugar. Step one will be kicking my soda habit. I practically quit pop for a while, but I guess it doesn’t count because it was only for a while. I’m ready to get back on the wagon. My goal is to reduce consumption in January and have zero soda pop in February.
  • Run two 5Ks. A local one in April (assuming it’s held again) and one in my hometown in October. My first 5K (I ran except for a ginormous hill at the 2.5 mile mark) was the local one, and my husband and I hope to both participate. I ran the one in my hometown with some old friends. Like, we’ve known each other for 25+ years-kind-of-friends. That makes me feel really old! After trying it this past fall, we thought we should make it an annual event.
  • Go to bed at 10:00 p.m. on a regular basis. I’m more of a night owl, it seems, but I know I am a better mom and wife if I get sleep and get up before my kids, which means I need to go to bed earlier than is normal for me.
  • Wake up at 6:00 a.m. to exercise and get a jump start on the day. The best time for me to exercise in this season of life is first thing in the morning before the kiddos are up. If I wait until later, it just seems to keep me from getting anything else accomplished in the day. I’ve tried getting up early to read my Bible, and that doesn’t work very well for me. As I said, I’m more of a night owl, which means I am not a morning person. I’d eventually like to include Bible reading first thing in my day, but for now I’m going to focus on exercise first thing and Bible reading later. Not because it’s less of a priority, but because I know I’m more awake later and will get more out of my time with God later in the day. This is mostly something to continue, as I have been doing this, for the most part. I did take a few weeks off for the holiday season, so I need to get back at it.
  • Learn more about my DSLR camera and photography. This has been a wish for several years now, and I’ve just never taken the time to follow through on it. I recently signed up for an online class over at Mom and Pop Photo School. It was a deal on Mamasource last month, so I jumped. Actually, I didn’t jump right away, because I did what I often do. I wondered if I should spend money on information that I’m sure I could find for free online if I just looked. And I wondered if it was the right kind of class. And finally, I just told myself to stop being a goof and to just jump in! I always enjoyed school, so I’ve thought for a while that a photography class would help me most in learning photography. It gives me the structure and deadlines I need to keep moving. I’ve downloaded my coursework and plan to study on Thursday nights until I get done. It was technically a Christmas gift from my superstar husband, too, cause he’s sweet like that. He also surprised me with a new lens for my camera because he’s astonishingly sweet. 
  • Write more. That is too vague by itself, so I’ll try to break it down into a more do-able goal. I’d like to spend a little time writing every evening Sunday through Thursday. I don’t intend to write a blog post every day and stay up past my bedtime (see above) to finish writing something. I’d just like to get into the habit of writing on a more regular basis. Just like a baseball player needs to practice, so does a writer. I hope to catch up on our personal family blog, since we’ve been stranded in China for months now over there, and contribute more regularly over here.

So, there it is. My list of goals for the year. I probably have a few too many things, but since some of them are things I’ve already been working on, I think it will be OK. Do you have goals for the year? It’s never too late to start a goal list. Even if it’s not January 1. It could be January 4. Or February 29. Or December 30.

If you are looking for some help in making goals, here are some great posts I’ve been reading:

The ONE difference between long-lasting resolutions & spectacular failures — @ Simple Mom

Goals make us available, not perfect — @ Simple Mom

Don’t Wait for Perfection to Get Started — @ Steady Mom

5 Steps to Making New Year’s Resolutions — @ A Holy Experience

And, before I go, you might notice that I have zero “spiritual” goals listed. That is intentional, at this point, and I’ll probably elaborate later. There are spiritual goals inside of me, but they are hard to put into words sometimes.

Last, but not least, I have a new word for the year. I’ll share that later, too. And I hope to write a bit more on my word Grace from last year, because it’s really a word for every year (and day and hour and minute.)