Habit tracker form

I sit peering out my window, observing how time blends into a stillness as stormy weather sends all into sheltering pose. As the rain pours from the grey sky, puddling the fields I ponder on the notion of time. It has been my imaginary enemy for many years, as I have blamed it for my short comings, lost dreams, and even my aching body. Almost everyday, someone will ask conversationally, “How’s it going?” I of course, being a open book, spill out the usual, “Busy with this and busy with that, oh and there just is not enough time to do all the things.” Truth be told, there does not exist enough hours in the day to do “all the things” that my heart desires, BUT, time is not to blame, I am coming to understand. My unnurtured structure around desirable habits plays a key role in my dissatisfaction with TIME.

Have you ever experienced seeing something or hearing about something over and over from different directions? Similar to when you buy a new car and soon after you start see that same car everywhere you go. This happened to me recently with the book, Atomic Habits, by James Clear. I saw it listed among hundreds of publisher announcements, then again heard about it from my son I recently visited, following that it was mentioned among my mastermind group, and finally it came across one of the podcasts I listen to. Finally, I decided to purchase it on Libro.fm and listened to it in one day. I know this is not a food related book, so I ask you just hang in and keep reading.

“Every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become.”

Atomic habits-James clear

Throughout my pursuit of offer a community for bookish foodies, I have learned that others in this circle also perceive time to hinder their desires to read more and cook more frequently. I hear on repeat, “I don’t have time to read or I don’t have time to cook.” This I believe can be remedied. I know because I have felt the same and still fall into this old habitual thinking from time to time; but have managed to read more in the last year then I have ever read before in my life. Same goes for cooking. Take note, I am also busier than I have ever been, but I have managed to find the time. Knowing I can change my habits and armed with Clear’s book, I believe I will be able to meet additional habit goals of mine and not feel overwhelmed all of the time. If I follow his four laws of habits, I am sure to streamline tasks and get back some hours in my day.

In this table below, I have outlined an example strategy for addressing the habits people tell me they do not have time for. Following what Clear shares in his book, on how to be successful with a Habit you want to embody, each task is made in a hard not to do activity. If this looks like something you would want to understand better, I recommend checking out his book, Atomic Habits. I really enjoyed working through these two scenarios and hope to apply these tactics in other habit forming goals that I have. What habits are you working on?

MAKE IT OBVIOUS-Intention“I will READ at 8:30pm in my bedroom.”“I will COOK at 7am in my Kitchen.”
Stack on current habit“After brushing my teeth, I will READ.”“After making my child’s lunch, I will COOK.”
Design environmentAlways have a book at bedside and in the living room.Set aside recipe and ingredients the night before.
MAKE IT ATTRACTIVE– temptation bundlingAfter viewing 1 minute of Instagram I will read.After having my coffee I will start cooking.
Join a culture where habit is the normJoin a book club or start one.Take or teach cooking classes.
Create a motivation ritual.Place heating pad on shoulders every time you are about to read. Play some favorite music every time you are about to cook.
MAKE IT EASY– Reduce number of steps/frictionPlace book on pillow so its ready.Have cooking equipment ready on the stove.
Prime environment Unplug TV in reading space.Clean right after cleaning so its ready for next day.
Downscale habit to 2-minutesread for 2 minutescook eggs
Automate habitTurn phone off to prevent distractionsOrder groceries to be delivered.
MAKE IT SATISFYING-Immediately rewardAllow self to watch a show after completed task.Enjoy eating cooked meal.
Use a habit trackerImmediately complete tracker after reading-keep by bedsideImmediately complete tracker after reading-keep by bedside
Never miss twiceIf missed, complete at next opportunityIf missed, complete at next opportunity

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