Another Month, Another Habit

I am continuing with my experiment to see if concentrating on changing one habit each month works better for me than working on a list of resolutions. Here is my progress so far:

April – take the bus to work. This one has been a huge success. I continue to take the bus to work, even though I have changed jobs and have to make a transfer. I love my bus time because it gives me a chance to watch people, listen to their conversations, pray for them, and love them. I get a sense of peace and calm that I can only describe as mystical through my prayer for the people I ride with each day.

May – switch from coffee to tea. Another success. When I left my last job, my friend Mary gave me a big package of tea that her husband (who has a small business called Happy Earth Tea) blended for me. It is called Tranquilitea and my morning ritual at work includes opening the package and inhaling the lovely aroma deeply before making a cup of the lovely brew.

June – take lunch to work. This one is easy because, at my new job, everyone brings lunch and we all eat together. It gives me a great sense of camaraderie to sit down with my coworkers each day and share a meal together. They are a wonderful group of people.

July – lunchtime walk. This one did not make a good transition to my new job. Since we all eat together, I no longer rush through my lunch and go out for a walk. Still, I walk to and from the bus stop, so I get a little bit of exercise. I want to incorporate more walking into my life, so I will probably make this a “new” habit in a future month.

August – garden meditation. This was wonderful for the month of August. I worked a little bit each day and meditated all the way around each of our flower gardens. By the end of the month, our gardens looked beautiful and I felt as if I had prayed peace into each square inch of our garden beds. After August, I did not continue with the garden meditation, but I have continued to take at least ten minutes each day to meditate in one form or another. I would call this a habit-making success.

September – watch two TED talks each day. I love TED talks. In small doses, I find them inspiring. I decided to watch two each day, one recent talk and one older talk. There are so many amazing talks on the TED website that I never get tired of them. After September, this habit has continued, but not every day and usually only one at a time.

October – I can not remember incorporating a new habit in October. I think I did not not choose a habit before the month began, and so the month went by without trying anything. This month was full of changes, with a lot of reprioritizing and a job change. While I am disappointed that I did not add a new habit, I am satisfied that I continued my work on the previous month’s habits.

November – work in sewing room. This habit has been a pleasure. Each day this month, I have taken a few minutes to work on a sewing or craft project. At times, I have made a disaster area of the room, with projects piled everywhere. Now, I am getting in the habit of having only one or two “in progress” projects out at a time. I feel more focused and find that I am making more progress by working on one or two things at a time. My room is relatively neat and I feel full of joy when I am working on something. I have not finished many projects yet, but I am learning that the habit of taking just a few minutes each day to work on crafts makes me more creative in all areas of my life.

I am excited to begin my December habit, because I am going to try a new method of journaling – art journaling. I have always thought of myself as a horrible artist, because I cannot draw. I love to work with color and texture in sewing and quilts, though, and I have been reading a lot about art journaling, so I am going to try working in an art journal for a few minutes each day. I may be terrible at it, but I am willing to try. This idea is born out of working in my sewing room in November. I want to see if this type of journaling will unleash even more creativity into my life.

Working on these habits, one at a time, has been life-changing. As I incorporate each habit into my life, I become more and more confident that I can do anything as long as I take little, tiny steps.

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