Wow, I can’t believe it’s already the end of January! Instead of making New Year resolutions, I decided to just add small new habits throughout the year. Every evening, I have a very limited amount of time to squeeze in activities. In between family time and bed time, I have at most 2 hours. Not a whole lot of time, but by putting in the big rocks first, I have been pretty successful in fostering new habits.
One of the big rocks in my life include taking care of household tasks like bills and financial planning. I am one of those guys that used to track spending down to the cent during college. This habit has stayed with me and I will touchbase and process my inbox every other day. This includes taking care of any bills, balancing finances and any other household need. When I am finished with these tasks, I will work on progressing one of my projects or just chill out (surf the web, read email, watch a TV episode, etc) depending on my energy level.
The other big rock I have if general fitness, which includes heading to the gym. I will do my workout on my ‘off’ household tasks days. This habit actually started towards the last quarter of 2008, but has been solidifying itself in January. My workout includes cardio exercise to increase my overall cardiovascular health and conditioning as well as some light weight and body exercises. I have definitely noticed a shift in my energy level and I am getting physical feedback from the conditioning as I am more tone in areas that were not as tone before 😉
The 2 big rocks above usually take a bit over 1 hour to complete which leaves me with less than an hour for other habits. Starting this year, I wanted to regularly meditate, whether it be sitting (zazen) or standing meditation (zhan zhuang). I have been quite successful in making this a habit, though it was difficult at first. Before, I would try to set a lot of goals concurrently but by focusing my energy on the creation of one new habit at a time, the success rate is much higher. I must give some kudos to the Zen Habits blog for this approach!
By the time I am done with meditation, it’s bedtime! That’s it. Well, you may think that doesn’t sound like a lot is being done. You’re right, while it’s not a lot, it is what I can accomplish in my limited amount of time! However, I did want to squeeze in another new habit and that is doing Yoga. Instead of doing Yoga during the evening, I incorporated the Sun Salutation into my morning routine and it has worked out beautifully!
I was talking with a buddy of mine on the phone recently and he commented on how it looks like I am keeping to my New Year resolutions. I told him the answer was quite simple. All I did was set limits on what was essential and remove the fluff. For me, this meant removing video games, more specifically World of Warcraft (WoW) from my daily routine. For those not in the know, World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that can really drain a lot of time if one is not careful. Before, I would spend roughly and hour or so a night playing WoW, which left very little time for anything else and would often affect my rest time. I still have a lot of friends who play WoW in real life and while they are having fun in the game, my own priorities have shifted a bit and I am feeling much happier and healthier with my new habits.
What’s next? For the month of February, I want to make a new habit of doing taiji silk reeling exercises or some type foundational training exercise on a regular basis. This could include things like Chen taiji single/double handed silk reeling or Hong Practical Method positive/negative circle or even Yang style movement. In other words, incorporate jibengong (foundational exercises) into my daily routine. Wish me luck 😉