Habits Week

Habits Week was all about — Habits! It focuses on the activities and actions we do, what we spend our time on and where we focus our attention.

This week of the focus course started with a list of any current habits or routines we had - both positive and negative. I had some good routines at work with my team, which I'd developed and worked on to establish and set them up. Some of my chores had a rhythm - being the cook for the household helps. Getting our dog made daily exercise a strong habit; without it, he would go mental and take us with him! But apart from those, I found I had a lack of positive habits. There were many negative ones – getting on the phone, not planning anything for the weekends, mindless scrolling, playing time-eating games. These were often focussed around escape - trying to get away from work or the mounting chores and tasks at home.

The next step was to develop ideas for habits, routines, systems, and activities across the 6 Areas of Life. This was really about how to align these with our own vision and values. The next step was to pick those up and pick a single activity for each area and map out the required time commitment and frequency of the activity.

Having gone through the previous weeks and become much more aware of my goals I actually found this to be much easier than I expected. So my habits that I wanted to add in were:

  1. Spiritual & Inner = Nature Time of 2 hours and to do this weekly. This activity will move me toward my inner personal goal of connecting to place because it's time away from screens. It is time to engage with beauty and feel the weather.
  2. Physical Health = Hard Sweat for 1 hour a week. This activity will move me toward my physical health goal of feeling confident to take on more challenging activities because it will push me harder, and I earn rewards from the effort and a feeling of achievement.
  3. Relationships = Phone a Friend for 1 hour a week. This activity will move me toward my relationship goal of connecting with people because I will actively connect with old (and new) friends and build regularity of catching up.
  4. Rest and Recreation = Plan the Week for 1 hour a week. This activity will move me toward my rest and recreation goal of taking time for me to create margin and space because I need to be conscious of my time and make better use of it — not treading water or being reactive.
  5. Career = Write and Publish about Learning Design for 2 hours a week. This activity will move me toward my career goal of creating value and a reputation because it helps create business opportunities and a sense of giving and fulfilment.
  6. Finances = Side Hustle spending about 3 hours a week. This activity will move me toward my financial goal of starting a new business because every step towards this goal gets me there faster and will make me feel more in control of my finances.

The next step was putting them on a weekly planner and seeing how that would all work. There were a few things I went and added to my planner so as not to make this idealistic - but something that would be possible to do. So I included my work hours, commuting, walking the dog, chores and cooking time, and some other areas of life I felt were missing from my schedule - family time and date night. It's not that I'd miss those, but I wanted to include them on my schedule as things I need to do.

OK, so I didn't get around to writing this up straight away. It's been about three weeks, and I've been living the schedule, and it's working! I've managed to follow it. Getting to the gym has been challenging since coming back to work, but my work schedule has been pretty up and down, and we're getting into a bit of a flow with the new family schedule too. What I've noticed is that the general pattern of life feels good, not overwhelming. I've had time to myself and have been progressing toward all of my goals which is a great feeling. The habits are working!