Over this past year, you may have surprised yourself. Perhaps you got caught up trying to perfect your sour dough and realized that you could eat your way through several loafs in a week. Or, while you were trying out dalgona coffee you uncovered a deep-seated desire to up your caffeine game and found yourself spending some big bucks on an espresso machine. Even if culinary adventures weren’t your thing, you probably spent more hours on the couch as you caught up with the murder show du jour. You wouldn’t be alone – over 37 percent of Americans reported that their quarantine habits included watching “a lot more” television.
As we say around here, what we focus on expands. When our worlds changed with the arrival of the pandemic, many of us found ourselves expanding and making surprising choices about what we consumed (literally and figuratively). There’s no shame in that. However, as we look forward into the possibilities of this year, we may want to make sure that the habits we’ve built and the choices about what we’re consuming are ones that will help us in the long run.
If you’re looking to account for the habits that will get you the farthest, it’s imperative to have an idea of where you want to end up. So, if you’ve been living a little too much in your day-to-day mindset and haven’t looked a little farther down the horizon, it may be time to reorient.
Reflect on the actions that you’ve taken over the past few weeks or months — are these choices still relevant now that you’ve gained a little bit of distance?
If not, why not? What would be an outcome or choice that would serve you better?
If you realize that you’ve disregarded your priorities, or haven’t set a goal for a while, don’t worry. It happens to all of us — but these moments do give us an opportunity to rediscover what matters to us.
You can learn more about our advice for goal setting here. And, if you’re feeling a little fuzzy about what truly matters to you, we recommend checking out our new core values deck.
Ask Yourself the Hard Questions
If you’ve been treating yourself over quarantine to little purchases or quirky pick me ups, don’t be afraid to look around and ask if these things are truly serving a purpose.
It’s important to note that not all of the changes we’ve made or new habits we’ve built over the past year are “bad.” For example, I started a daily habit of adding walks to my day when I realized that I wasn’t really ever leaving the house. Over the course of the year, these walks became a source of joy and rest between a chaotic news cycle and pivoting work priorities. Regardless of what our working situation looks like as the world changes again over the coming year, I’m committed to time blocking breaks in my day so that I can still find a little whitespace and wandering.
For professional tidier Marie Kondo, the essence of an item can be determined by asking oneself “Does this spark joy?” If yes, then the item may stick around and continue to earn its place. If no, then Kondo recommends thanking it for its contributions to your life and moving on.
In these parts, we have a similar question, focused on priorities:
“What’s the ONE thing that I can do, such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
Asking yourself the focusing question is a great way to evaluate whether the habits you’ve established are actually moving you toward your goals. By identifying whether these actions or choices are giving you the momentum you need, you can begin to cut out what’s no longer serving you.
Commit to a 66 Day Challenge
Once you’ve sussed out whether the habits that you’ve cultivated over the past year are helping or hurting you, it’s time to hold yourself accountable to any changes that you may want to make.
On average, it takes 66 days to establish a new habit or retrain your brain to let go of one. These automatic behavioral responses influence how we think, problem solve and manage time. By making a conscious decision to track our habits, we’re more likely to be successful in consciously shaping our behavior so that our actions like up with our priorities and ultimately we achieve our goals.
You can find more resources for starting a 66 Day Challenge here, but don’t forget about joining our Living Your ONE Thing Facebook Community for increased accountability and a network of like-minded people who can help you on your path toward growth.