Good habits only

It’s been just over a week since the start of 2018 and for some reason all my social feeds felt a little quieter than usual. Sure, there were the party posts and the holiday posts (we finally had perfect weather in NZ), but I really noticed a lack of 2018 New Year Resolution posts.

Why was that?

Perhaps because (like me) you’re so completely sick of seeing them or perhaps we’ve just forgotten about them in all the New Year’s party hype.

Maybe we’ve realized we always struggle to keep our resolutions and so we just don’t bother anymore. Or maybe we’re just not motivated as much this year?

In any case, I’ve allowed for a little space and reflection, and I’ve decided there’s nothing wrong with a bit of attempted self-improvement, so I thought I’d share a little list with you all.

These aren’t resolutions to make or break - they’re more like a few little habits I’ll try stick to this year.

1. Make the bedroom a smartphone-free zone

I’m struggling to get enough sleep as it is, but my husband and I formed this terrible (and very common) habit of finally getting to bed and then scrolling mindlessly on our smartphones until we could literally feel our eyes dropping out of their sockets.

Not anymore!

We really have no excuse. Olly has an alarm clock on his bedtime table and my 5-month-old is my alarm clock (I can’t hit snooze either), it’s not like we need our phones to wake us up.

So every night before we hit the hay, both cellphones stay in the living room to charge.

2. Be active every day

Olly gave me a Fitbit for Christmas (lucky me!) and so I now have a constant reminder to get up and do things. As well as that, for some reason I’ve signed up to do an 18km obstacle course in November (heeelp) so I definitely need to get my training started.

Some days I’m out and about walking, doing housework or going to a mums and bubs gym class. Other days I just like sitting and watching hours of Korean TV drama (I’m obsessed but hey, that’s another blog post). It's time to get some balance.

I have a gym membership I never use, a large pool in my backyard, a fitbit that keeps buzzing at me and telling me to get off my backside and an off-road pram that’s so ready for a long walk around the block.

I really have no excuse anymore. It’s time to get physical!

3. Go to bed at 9pm

I think this one doesn’t need much explanation. Olly and I have always been night owls, but when you have to wake up to your child three times in the night, an early bedtime is the way to go. I’ve already failed at this quite a few times this year, but I live in hope that my bad habit will change so that I’m able to get a few more sneaky Zz’s. Keeping my smartphone in the living room certainly helps with this too!

4. Learn Mandarin

I have been wanting to learn the language of my husband’s mother tongue for a long time but have never actually done anything about it. We’re planning a trip to Taiwan this year – so it’s time. No more excuses. I am yet to find a place that offers mandarin lessons in a group setting. If you know of one, let me know!

5. Quit the expectations

My new mantra.

If I find myself comparing, or feeling inadequate about something I see, read or hear, I’m quitting that thing. I’ve got no time for that.

So that model on Instagram who constantly makes me feel bad about my large plate of dinner - I’m unfollowing her.

The baby book that tells me my child should be sleeping through the night now - Meh, I’m chucking it.

The voice in my head that tells me my child isn’t sitting/talking/crawling/walking/doing quantam physics early enough – I’m making every effort to drown it out.

Implementing the other four habits will help me to do this, I figure. I’m going to spend the year chasing after my own creativity and enjoying time with my son. That means cutting out the unnecessary things, writing and creating no matter what people might think, having healthy technology habits with my Netflix account and my smartphone and always being with my son and husband in the moment, rather than feeling like I’m not quite measuring up.

New year, same me, new habits.

Good habits only.

Rachel Chen