Where I’ve been these Past 18 Months
It’s been 18 months since I last made a post to this blog. And what an 18 months it has been. My last post, Take Time to Reflect When Building Habits, was written in May of 2019. That was also the month that I found out I was pregnant with my second child, Willow. That pregnancy was hard on me and my family right from the beginning, derailing my self-improvement journey. During that time, I suffered physical and mental pain, leaving me disheartened and depressed.
Fast forward to when my daughter was born in January of 2020 and things slowly began to go back to normal. The depression went away instantly and the physical pain changed, but soon went away as well. However, it was replaced by sleep deprivation that has persisted until just last month (that’s 10 months, if you’re counting). During my maternity leave I was in a naïve bliss, unaware of what was happening in the outside world and not thinking much about self-improvement. I mainly just kept up with my family, making sure we were all staying alive during that newborn stage.
I went back to work 6 weeks later and a week after that we were told that we would be working from home for the next 2 weeks, 2 months, who knows, due to COVID-19. My naïve bubble was burst and reality of the Pandemic set in. Not only was the outside world chaotic, but my house (and now workspace) was also chaotic. I had to find space to put an office, our house suddenly felt TINY; I had to explain to my son that I couldn’t play right now because I had to work; I had to learn how to balance breastfeeding and work (actual work plus meetings); and I had to do all of this while watching the death toll from COVID-19 increasing more every day. It was stressful, to say the least. What this time (and the depression during my pregnancy) led to was a realization that I needed to prioritize my life so that I could control what was within my ability to control. At the time that didn’t feel like a lot.
Getting Back on the Track
In March of 2020, I hadn’t worked on my habits in nearly a year and I felt like it was time to get back on track. I started getting back into this by taking some time to look at my priorities and what habits I could create based on those priorities.
The process looked something like this:
- I asked myself, “What is most important to me right now and what is going to make the biggest impact in my life?”
- Using those questions, I made a list of my priorities.
- Under each priority, I wrote a list of habits that I could implement to improve that area of my life.
- I chose 1 habit and began working on it for 90 days (at least).
- During those 90 days, I reflected on how it was going.
- When things weren’t going well, I would adjust.
- After the 90 days, if I felt ready, I moved on the my next priority and chose a habit from that list.
- Repeat 4 and 5.
My list of priorities continues to change as I reflect more on who I am and what’s important in my life. Sometimes a priority will move higher on the list if it feels right, sometimes it moves lower if I find that I’m not quite ready to work on it yet, and sometimes it will be completely removed. The important thing, I’ve found, is to listen to my mind and body and just go with the flow.
Since March, I have worked on cultivating the following habits:
- Vitamins for myself and my children
- 5-10 minutes of meditation every day
- 8 cups of water every day
- Write something in my journal every day
Once I got to number 4, I found myself struggling to keep up with everything and some of the habits that I had cultivated earlier in the year began to disappear. I listened to my body and cut back, trusting that when I was ready to add a new habit, I would. After I started getting more sleep a month ago, I started writing in my journal regularly and I am loving it. I plan to write posts reflecting on these 4 habits in the near future, but for now, I just wanted to say I am back and I’m excited to continue on this journey with you guys.
Thanks so much for reading!
More Posts you May be Interested in