In general, I am not a big fan of New Years resolutions but the time off after holidays usually gives me a space for contemplation and renewed energy to try out new exciting ideas. It does not have to be only January to start something new.
New Years’ time resolutions are sometimes about getting rid of bad habits. However how about trying something new this year and create a brand-new habit instead? And slowly over the time maybe even whole new routine? No radical changes needed though. What if it is something creative, playful, like journaling, doodling, hand lettering, illustrating? Have you stopped recently and think how much of your time you spend on yourself? And let alone on something you really enjoy? We do not make much time for play in our lives. Yet it is so important for our mental health.
There is nothing like being too busy, it is about our priorities. How much we value things in our lives. We do make time for important things. So maybe just now it is time for you to re-evaluate your time and make more time for fun and creativity. To make even more enjoyable, you can set up a new ritual over the time.
First of all, small things matter, so your ritual should consist of small tasks. If you get a bit more time, create yourself an atmosphere. Lit a candle, put relaxing music on, make yourself a warm drink. You can start with a short meditation to practice how to pay attention and be present, how to be with your thoughts and feelings. You can start with 5 minutes and slowly extend your time. But for a start keep it simple, do not overthink and overcomplicate it.
1.Start small. Sometimes even starting flossing one tooth is beneficial for setting up a good oral hygiene routine as you slowly add more as the days go. The same works with creativity. One sentence a day in your journal is a good start.
2. Stack your habits. Research suggests that 45% of our daily action is habitual. Do you drink coffee first thing in the morning? Add writing sentence about your gratitude in your journal to it. That way you enjoy the taste of your coffee more as you stop for a moment to think and be more present.
3. Set yourself reminders. Either on the fridge, board, mirror or on the phone.
4. Keep away from phone and social media during your routine. One of my evening habits is to put my phone on charger at 8pm and do not touch it until morning for a good night’s sleep. I am usually reading a book instead, which is way more relaxing.
5. Reward yourself. This part is the most enjoyable, and the most important. The power of feeling good creates a habit. Celebrate even tiny success. Usually, we are not very good at blowing our own trumpet, but you don’t have to go public with it. Just recognise your own success and feel good for what you have achieved. For more accountability to yourself, write it down to your journal.
If you get stuck, identify your blocs. What prevents you from continuing your new habit? Can you leave more visual clues lying around, let say your journal opened on your bedside table for you to write in it before you go to bed? Make your journaling more fun, use washi tapes, stamps, colours etc. There is no one fit all solution. You would have to experiment and find out, what ticks your boxes, what energises you and what makes you happier. The choice is totally yours and should match your personality.