“If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
I am sure we have all heard this quote. It goes for about everything, including your body and mind. When you don’t use your mind, your body; strength starts to fade, memory gets slower, the movement gets harder, it hurts or takes more work, your mental capacity gets smaller, and the ability to hold conversations, or go for a walk takes more time and energy. A lot of time, this comes with age but we have also seen people of all ages do amazing things with their bodies and minds, no matter the age.
This year, as I am still working on goals/inspiration board/etc. I decided to start with habits. A habit is an action that becomes routine once completed in repetition (some say, 25 times or more) and then it becomes part of your lifestyle. Starting a habit is hard and the book “Atomic Habits” which is a great read, takes you through the process of forming habits and how to set yourself up for success.
I love routine, I like structure which I think is a gift from my Grandpa Polstra (Jerry Polstra) as he served in the Army and then returned home and LOVED his daily routines. He hardly stopped his daily schedule if you made a surprise visit. But his routine was his comfort, his joy, his way of life. One of his daily habits was walking in Star City. He loved to walk.
Like him, I form habits and I am pretty good at making them routine. I find joy in routine. Case in point, I get up 5 days a week at 4:30 am to work out and run 3 miles. I usually take a picture of my run and send it to my husband each day. He was looking at my recent run photo and said, “I cannot believe how happy you look in your picture.” As he hates to get up early. I responded, “ I was happy to run, to work out.” Consistency, routine, and habits bring me joy.
A few actions I do to help me with a habit include:
- Layout all my workout clothes the night before.
- Pre-make my workout drink and put it in the frig.
- My shoes are out by the treadmill.
- My accountability dry-erase board is ready.
- My iPad is charged (or I make sure to charge it when it gets below 30 %).
- I watch the time between workouts/lifting and running to make sure I on schedule.
- I check in with my sister-in-law each morning as we well (another form of accountability).
- I food prep meals for my husband and I on the weekend which helps with our diets.
And off I go. These are all simple steps but make getting to our workout space and treadmill much easier and quicker on a Monday morning at 4:30 am.
Another new routine I need to incorporate is more time for reading and devotions. That would be time to be still, to think, to reflect, to listen, to pray, etc. This is where I struggle. But I am starting to take steps to make this a habit as well. This will help me with my word, and peace. I hope that 2023 brings you opportunities to start new habits and have them grow into routines. Best of luck!!