My 2012 Habits

Instead of creating a list of new resolutions this year, I am creating new habits.

Leo Babuta, writer of Zen Habits, wrote about the power of habits in his Compact Guide to Creating the Fitness Habit recently, inspiring me to think differently about this new year.

Whenever I set goals or make resolutions, they rarely last. But when I develop a habit, that leads to long-term results.

Several years ago, I created a few simple health and fitness habits. I started eating a nutritious breakfast. I started exercising three or four times a week. I banned most junk food from our house, and began buying healthier foods. I started eating from smaller plates. Now I am at a healthy weight, have physical endurance and strength, and eat better than I have in my entire life. That’s what results when I change a few habits.

This year, I am creating 12 new habits. Every month, I will practice one new habit. By doing this, I hope to make some lasting changes. Each habit is something that fits with my personal mission statement, and fits with the values that I want to develop in my life. Many of them fall into the categories of spiritual health, physical health, and simplicity. Each habit is also something that I can do daily.

Here are my 2012 Habits:

  1. Wake up at 6:30am, and start the day with prayer, silence & solitude. 
  2. Eat only real food. 
  3. Start the day by creating a list of “Three Important Tasks.” Complete the tasks. 
  4. End the day with the Daily Examen (a prayer created by St. Ignatius Loyola).
  5. Exercise every day.
  6. Manage email one time a day, for no more than 30 minutes. 
  7. Pray for another person every day.
  8. Eat fruit, vegetables and nuts for snacks.
  9. Write for 15 minutes every day.
  10. Connect with one person every day, either by phone or in person.
  11. Practice Lectio Divina prayer every day.
  12. De-clutter and simplify one area (closet, shelf, drawer) per day.

By posting this list of habits, I am making my commitment a public one. I will give some updates on my progress here at The Larissa Monologues. Also, I invite you to ask me more about these habits, or create your own. I would love to have friends who want to join me in creating new habits this year!

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