Day 85: August Habit Planning

I’ve been doing some thinking about how I may want to revamp my habits a bit in August. My habit journal has been pretty consistent from May-July with mindfulness, exercise, blogging, and reading appearing each month. The only variations have been that in May I had a daily goal of 5,000 steps, and in June-July I added the shutdown habit.

This next month, I want to change things up for a few reasons.

The Blogging Challenge Will Wrap Up Soon

The 100 days of blogging challenge ends early on in August and I don’t plan to continue blogging on a daily basis beyond the end of the challenge. I do plan to continue blogging in some form, and that new form is what I want to reflect properly.

This isn’t set in stone, but right now my thinking is to have a few consistent types of posts each month:

  • A monthly habit journal update
  • A single monthly post talking about my exercise regimen
  • A short review each time I finish a book

In addition, I think I want to set a minimum of one new post per week. That weekly post can be one of the three types of posts in that list, or it can be something different. The key is that I have to write one blog post per week.

My Exercise Routine Has Evolved

I think I need to refine my exercise habit a bit. Back in May, the habit was simple: do a bodyweight exercise workout at least five times per week. However, since then I’ve added spinning and swimming as well as ramped up my running a bit, so the original habit no longer makes sense and probably needs to be divided into a few categories.

The categories that make the most sense to me right now are: bodyweight exercise workouts and cardio. I think I want to set a goal for myself of five for cardio sessions per week where each session has to be at least 30 minutes long. This fairly well matches what I’m already doing right now for exercise.

I do also have a colleague interested in some sort of a burpee challenge during the month of August. As that takes shape, that may also play into my exercise habits for the month of August.

My Mindfulness Practice is Feeling Stale

I think I want to keep the mindfulness habit going in August, but I want to mix things up a bit. This month, my practice has felt somewhat stale, so I want to make some sort of adjustments for next month. I’ve considered simple adjustments, such as finding a new space or time to practice, as well as more significant changes, such as trying out walking meditation.

Right now, my plan is to make two changes:

  1. I need to find a quieter place to practice. I’ve been using my back porch, but lately my dogs have been following me out there and they can get quite distracting. I think I may leave the dogs upstairs and try out the basement.
  2. I think I want to try unguided quiet meditation for a month. I’ve been using the daily guided meditation in the Waking Up app for the last little while and lately I’ve just been wishing for quiet, so I think I’m going to go with unguided sessions for a month and see how that feels.

I’m Failing at my Shutdown Habit

My goal is to go through a shutdown routine at the end of every workday and I’ve struggled mightily with that habit. Out of approximately 15 opportunities this month, I’ve only gone through my shutdown routine six times. I need to think through why that is and figure out how to get back on track. This is a really valuable productivity habit and I want to salvage it. I don’t have a strong sense for what sort of changes I need to make to get this habit back on track, but I don’t want to simply give up on it.

Perhaps I need to scale it back a bit. My shutdown consists of six steps and maybe that’s asking too much of myself. Maybe I need to trim that back to just two or three simple steps and then add back in the additional steps once I have the habit a little bit better established.

Tentative August Habits

So as of right now, I think my habits for August will include:

  • Practice mindfulness daily, but unguided and try out the basement.
  • Blog daily through August 9, and at least once per week thereafter.
  • Complete a bodyweight exercise workout five times each week.
  • Complete a 30 minute cardio session five times each week.
  • Shutdown routine each workday, but trim it back to just clearing my Slack threads, mentions, and DMs, checking the next day’s schedule, and writing out my top 1-3 to-do’s for the next day.

That’s still subject to change for the next week.

Featured image by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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