Conflicted: See-Sawing on and off the wagon

 

I have goals, I have to-dos lists, and I know my priorities—then why do I fall off the wagon?  For each additional year that I age, I notice that long term habits actually take longer and longer to implement in my life.  Why is this?

 

Well, to explain my lifestyle is getting much better, and there was a time a few weeks ago where I was sad and fell into bad habits.  I had to mourn the end of a long friendship and the end of being gainfully employed and paid regularly.

 

Well, now it’s time to state that it’s a fact: I’ve fallen back into bad habits.  Some examples: smoking cigarettes, sleeping less regularly, not working, procrastinating, watching TV, etc.  Thankfully alcohol and food consumption patterns are in check for me right now and they did not make the list…I’m proud of this fact.

 

So how do I keep promoting my strengths in life and conquer my bad habits?  Well, how do you?

 

For me, I eliminate bad habits more effectively when I focus more time on my good, simple, concise habits that help me reach my goals.  For 2009, I’ve decided on 8 important categories in my life and monthly goals for each.  I have a long list of “goals” and “rewards” which I will assign to each month of 2009.

 

My categories:

Personal (usually health related, but something only I am affected by)

Professional

Social

Spiritual

Financial

Relationship

Educational

Misc

 

For January, I have assigned goals from my list and I’m well on my way to accomplishing these goals.  I put my goals in a list on the back of an old business card and I keep it in my wallet.  I look at this card for inspiration and focus.

 

I’m not sure where I read it, but people generally underestimate the time it will take to accomplish short term goals and overestimate the time it will take to accomplish long term goals.  Hopefully this method will reveal a better pattern of time management that I can use when stretching my future month’s goals.

 

But why make a list of rewards?  Well, I want to add an incentive to relish in when I accomplish my monthly goals.  Right now, since I’m very frugally conscious I even assigned price limits to each reward so I can sort and know where to choose depending on my financial situation.  An example of an expensive reward includes: a full one hour massage, mani/pedi, and some extra pamper service purchased at a nice day spa.  An example of an inexpensive reward includes: one full day dedicated to completing an art project.

 

My rewards are very reasonable, and for now, the rewards mostly involve give me one full day to enjoy an activity that I truly love doing like art, reading, and cooking.

 

What do you do to manage good and bad habits?

 

How do you accomplish your goals?

 

How do you re-focus after “falling off the wagon”?

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