On Habits

On Habits

This time of year is tough: resolutions, winter time blues, Fat Tuesday.

Apart from resolutions, I think about habits – either starting new ones or trying to get back into old ones I’ve let slip.

Take meditation. I had a decent mindfulness practice for almost 10 years. But with kids and moving and new jobs, I let that habit slip. Or fitness: my workout regiment has come and gone for years. After the glut of the holidays, I always have to kick-start that habit after the new year.

Even my photography habit goes into hibernation this time of year. I always have to give myself a project to wake it back up again.

The trick is to not feel bad about letting habits lapse. They come and go, and that’s natural. I could feel guilty about not working out, or taking more photos – or I could just get moving and start forming those habits again.

Every year this cycle starts again. And every year I have to remind myself: it’s okay.

Holiday Habits

Holiday Habits

I have two habits around the holidays.

One: I take the last day I’m at work and clean my office. Dust, vacuum,  straighten up – I’m going to be gone for a few days, so it’s good to get it tidy. This is a great thing to do right before a vacation, too. That way, when you get back, everything’s in ship shape.

Two: I take a break from social media. This year, it will be an even bigger break than I’ve been playing with the past few months.

The holidays, and this first part of winter, are a quiet time. I like quiet music, quiet weather (snow!), quiet nights at home watching movies and basking in the warm glow of Christmas lights. Peace and quiet.

Twitter and Instagram and everything else are noise, so they’re not allowed. Not for a week or two. Instead, I spend time with family and make things and share in the season with friends and family.

This is a good practice during vacations, too. Save all your photo sharing until you’re back home, and have had time to process your time away.

Soon, I bet you’ll look forward to these habits. Time away does us all some good.