Transitions: a perfect time to habit-hop

I’m moving to a new apartment tomorrow. And although any move inherently comes with a lot of thoughts, feelings, and “to do’s”, this move is also coming with something else: opportunity.

I recently read Gretchen Rubin‘s new book, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. She presented a lot of very useful information that helped me understand why I could maintain or overcome some habits but had trouble with others: it depends on a lot of different factors that add up to a uniquely personal habit “style”. This helps explain why habit making and/or breaking isn’t one-size-fits-all, and why some things might work for you or not. I highly recommend it as an easy and interesting read.

Anyway…in the book she also talks about transitions, and why sometimes transitions are where we lose some good habits. E.g. you move, and your gym is now a little further away and your routine has been disrupted a bit, etc. etc., so it’s a little harder to go and then you get out of the habit, which makes it all the more challenging to pick up again the second time. BUT, the good news is that we can also use transitions as a way to create new, better habits and routines, and that is exactly my plan with this move.

Improved Workflow

For example, one of the things I’ve wanted to get back into the habit of is doing my personal yoga practice first thing in the morning–ESPECIALLY before turning on computers, phones, etc. When I do that, I feel like the quality of my practice is better, and my day proceeds much more favorably. Right now, my office with my computer is technically also my yoga room, which makes this difficult. In the new place, the flow is perfect to make this habit easier: the first room I will enter as I leave the master bedroom will be my (open) yoga space, followed by my (closed door) office. I also plan to have some water available so I don’t have to go to the kitchen and have an “excuse” to bypass the yoga space initially. My boyfriend calls this “low activation energy.” First thing in the morning, it would be more trouble to open the door to my office than to drop onto my mat.

Days Dedicated to Practice

Given that self-care is becoming increasingly important for my health and well-being, and there are so many different techniques I know I want to do, I discovered a way that I think will allow me to do many of them but not feel overwhelmed to the point of wanting to quit. I have a whiteboard that has the days of the week already printed on it. Each day, I’m going to do a different self-care technique, and am using somewhat rhyming titles and other associations to help me remember what is in plan for a particular day:

  • Mala bead Monday
  • Tapping Tuesday
  • Meditation Wednesday (because I signed up for Chase’s online sessions)
  • Ho’oponopono THursday
  • Pranayama & Pampering Friday (given I usually do things like mani/pedi on Fridays)
  • Sadhana Saturday (i.e. a longer personal practice or a class I TAKE rather than teach)
  • Sutra Sundays (I have been chanting Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in the car, which helps a lot with road rage. 🙂 Each Sunday I look over a new set in both English and Sanskrit, so I can chant them anytime I drive in the upcoming week.)

Don’t Bring It In

Chocolate and alcohol are two things I can struggle with, if I’m not careful. One great way I’ve found not to eat too much chocolate (and not really miss it either!) is to not let it make its way across the threshold of my apartment. So, no chocolate is being moved into the new home (not that there’s any to take, since I ate the bag over the stress of the move already! LOL). Also no alcohol will be purchased for the new home. I know it aggravates my condition and I do better in the long term without it, even if it does offer some short term relief.

These are probably just some opportunities that will be available to me in the new place, but three is enough. I hope my sharing might inspire you–transitions don’t need to be moves. It can be a new child, a new car, a new job or responsibility. Transitions also don’t need to be big things; they can be small too: the start of a new day, week, or month, for example. Maybe your transition marks the end of something that (while possibly sad), can make room for something new too.


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  1. Pingback: The crash | A Journey Into Health

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