February 23rd – “You will tend to scatter your efforts in all directions, and this could only bring you trouble.”

I didn’t want any trouble, so I followed my horoscope. There were several moments in the day when I was close to getting distracted by the possibilities of new fun projects. At one point, I wanted to make board games! I still have 2 projects which require a some of my attention and 1 project that requires more focus.

The big project is practicing creative writing. I know I just called it a project, but it’s really a routine. What makes it a routine is that I hope to make it a habit and eventually be able to get myself accustomed to writing a few hours each week, no matter what’s going on in life.

Routines are much harder than they appear. Some “studies” say that it only takes as little as doing something 17 times to make it a habit. What’s not explained is how much time can elapse in between times that you are taking action. It took me a few years to maintain a fitness routine (which I’ve been doing for 20 years now!). It required a lifestyle change and training myself to act in a different way until it became intuitive.

The way to test if you’ve created habit or not is to see how long it takes you to get back to the habit after an interruption. Interruptions include any extenuating circumstances like personal issues, vacations, starting/stopping a job, beginning/ending a relationship, etc. Things happen in life and it’s necessary to put those fires out. If a handsome/beautiful stranger asked you out on a date, are you really going to say “no” so you can spend your time at the gym or stay at home writing alone? Of course not! Well, you might, if you’re REALLY into your routine. That’s okay too! The point is, we don’t know what comes our way and have to be ready to be flexible when opportunities/situations arise.

If you can get back to your routine after a vacation, congratulations, you have a habit! If you aren’t able to get back to your habit right away, it’s likely that you didn’t create a habit. When you’re committed to a habit, you bounce back well and can easily adjust your routines to make room for anything.

That’s enough lecturing from me for now! Back to my habit.

I’m somewhere in between with building my habit. I had a few weeks off from adjusting from a 2 cat household to 1, getting ready for an interview, and planning an unexpected trip to Italy. I’ve mostly put out these fires, so it was time to write again.

I opened my chapters last night and was surprised to see how much work I had already done. I added 2 more paragraphs to one chapter before calling it a night. It’s not much, so the real test will be this weekend. I don’t have any big plans for the weekend and have lots of time to write. Wish me luck!

February 8th – “Get your household together and have a last-minute purge today.”

When life gets busy, it often gets messy. This weekend, my friends and I are celebrating Galentine’s Day and I am so glad that I’m not hosting it at my place. My house is a wreck. I didn’t have the energy for a big purge, but I did manage to get rid of a few things.

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I’ve been collecting these egg cartons for a few months. I save them for a friend who gets fresh eggs from her mom’s farm. I could give them to her every week when I see her, but of course, I don’t do things the easy or logical way. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve but didn’t!

It didn’t take up very much space in the garage, but now that the cartons are gone, it’s amazing how great I feel! I invested so much energy thinking about them when I didn’t have to at all. Who knew that one simple act could make such a difference?

Well, I sort of did (intellectually anyway), but I don’t always do what’s good for me. I know I’m not alone! How many times have you told yourself that you want to read more, eat less, exercise more, or try harder? I have said this to myself countless times, yet that list of doesn’t seem to get shorter. I’m good one day and terrible the next!

However, all is not lost. I just need to remember that habits may be difficult to create, but certainly not as impossible as I make them out to be in my head.

For tips, check out this article: Why We Don’t Do The Things We Know Are Good For Us.