You did it. You set an intention (or resolution) for 2022.
You had all that nervous, bunny-like energy to get started, but how do you feel now?
You likely feel like you totally failed on your intention or you forgot it entirely.
Here’s the thing about starting a new habit – it takes time. If you want to do a couch to 5K running program, you don’t just start by running the whole 5k. You might start with walking half a mile and work your way up. Muscle has to form to build endurance to run the whole race. This idea applies to every new thing you start.
Whatever your intention, I bet that it requires making some time in your schedule. Chances are, there isn’t much of that to spare in the first place. Unless you just want to sleep one less hour a day. And who wants to do that? Not me. Probably not you.
Before you dive into that habit change, take another 3 minutes to read through this list of ways to set aside another hour in your day that does not require giving up sleep. Then, try one or two of these suggestions and see if there’s a little more room for what you really want to do.
Set a regular waking up and going to sleep schedule. This isn’t the same thing as getting up earlier (though it can be). Our bodies like routine. Having an overall routine for yourself will help more things happen in your waking life.
Keep a time journal. For a week, write down how you use your time normally. What things should you keep? What things can you take away?
Eliminate what you do not need. After the previous exercise, cut out the things that aren’t that important to you. Use the time for your intention instead.
Stop scrolling. Almost all of us waste too much time on our phones just scrolling through nonsense on social media. Use that 20 minutes you’d normally waste on Tiktok and Instagram. Remove the programs from your phone or computer if you can’t stop any other way.
Turn off notifications. If you’re still getting visual or sound notification for every email, text message, or response to your social media posts … Stop. One study found that it takes 23 minutes to return to a task when we are interrupted. Spending 20 minutes with your notification settings will save you hours in the long run.
Pause before launching into work. When you sit down at your desk, first pause and think through what needs to happen that day and week.
Time block. Actually block out time on your calendar for things important to you. Schedule time to go to the gym or for a family dinner or to go for a walk in addition to blocking time for important work projects.
Start with less than an hour. Just like the couch to 5k, you might need to work your way up. Try setting aside only 15 minutes at first for your intention and working your way up from there.
Get an accountability group. If you meet with a group weekly or monthly to talk about your intention, you are going to be more likely to do what you say you’re going to do.
Offer yourself some grace. You’re not going to live into a new habit overnight. Give yourself grace in advance for the inevitable fits and starts of living into your intention.
I hope this helps you do more of the things that matter most.
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