Habit Tracking

I read a tweet the other day that talked about how the first half of January has felt longer than all of 2017, and I very much agree. Maybe it's because I still have yet to have a full week of school (this is my first full week) or because my days usually end around 2:00, which means I have all this newfound free time that I haven't quite figured out what to do with yet. However, because this month feels forever long, I feel like I have had time to work on my goals for 2018, and I feel like I am working toward actual change.

At the beginning of the month, I talked about my goals pretty generally, which was definitely on purpose. When I got back to school, I broke up my bigger goals into smaller goals, so they were easier to tackle.

Instead of just figuring out how I wanted my typical schedule to look right away, I focused on waking up and falling asleep at a consistent time. I've been trying to wake up at 7 (or at least by 7:30) and be going to sleep by 11:15. Three things have helped me get into my sleep habits in-line, and two of them are apps. I've had Sleep Cycle for years after getting it for free from Starbucks one day. I like being able to see my sleep quality, and I love that it wakes you up during the lightest part of your sleep cycle. I have the Sleep Cycle data sent to my Apple Health app too. The advantage the Health app has over Sleep Cycle is that it tells you long you were in bed and how long you were asleep instead of just how long you were in bed. I love using them together.

Okay, so this might seem silly, but the other thing that has helped with my sleep habits is a simple sticky note. I wrote down a mini-calendar on a Post-It, and every time I wake up at 7 and/or am in bed by 11 I cross out the day. It's a nice, simple way to see how many times I have accomplished my goal. I got the idea because people who bullet journal love habit trackers, but 1. I cannot bullet journal, and 2. I only want to track a couple of my habits at a time rather than all of them.

In addition to tracking my sleep, I have been tracking my workouts. Now I've only gotten through two weeks of this, but I love the feeling of being able to check it off my list. Currently, my goal is to work out twice a week. I wrote down each week on another Post-It, and I have two space to mark that I worked out that week. Again, it's simple, but it helps keep me accountable because I hate seeing boxes go unchecked. I also write down in my agenda the day that I work out just to see if there are days I prefer working out and to find patterns.

My plan for this year is to track 2-3 things each month, so they become actual habits. I'll probably end up tracking working out every month this year just because I know that's one that I could easily stop doing if I don't try to keep at it.

xx, Julianna

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