As I was getting ready to launch into 2022, I knew that I was going to need a little extra motivation to keep up some healthy habits and routines that matter most to me for pandemic self-care.
I ended up developing a system that helps me track healthy habits, ensures that I’m incorporating several forms of self-care into my day, and offers me a reward for completing these habits and routines on a regular basis.
Here’s how I did it.
I started with creating a list of the kinds of habits (many of which can be completed daily) that I most want to incorporate into my life right now.
After I generated my list, it looked like this:
- Minimum 20-min walk in the morning or evening
- 15-min meditation practice
- 10k steps in a day
- 11g of sugar or less in a day
- Put lotion on my hands (I need the reminder to do this!)
- Finish an ebook I own (I’m regularly working my way through reading books that I already purchased for my Kindle)
- Earn 10+ points in a day (a little extra motivation!)
- Brush teeth twice a day (this is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I got out of the habit of this during our bathroom renovations when we only had one sink on a different floor of the house, so I’ve been focusing on it more and so far, so good!)
- 15k steps in a day (leveling up from the 10k steps listed above)
- 30-min yoga practice
- 30-min lunchtime walk outside or on treadmill (I have such a hard time moving away from my desk in the middle of the day!)
- Walking a 10k (6.2 miles) in one workout
- Walking a half marathon (13.1 miles) in one workout
(Note that this list is highly personalized to me and the habits that I want to fit in or focus on. I can add to this list when I need a refresh, or remove something when a habit becomes more ingrained and I don’t need as much motivation to do it.)
Next, I went through the list and gave everything a point value based on a combination of how challenging it felt for me to do, how long it might take, and how much benefit I felt I would receive (admittedly, this calculation is pretty subjective).
That list looks like this:
- Minimum 20-min walk in the morning or evening = 1 point (I also decided that this one could add up, so a 40-minute walk would be 2 points, etc.)
- 15-min meditation practice = 1 point
- 10k steps in a day = 1 point
- 11g of sugar or less in a day = 1 point
- Put lotion on my hands = 1 point
- Finish an ebook I own = 1 point
- Earn 10+ points in a day = 1 point
- Brush teeth twice a day = 1 point
- 15k steps in a day = 2 points
- 30-min yoga practice = 2 points
- 30-min lunchtime walk outside or on treadmill = 2 points
More than 2 points:
- Walking a 10k (6.2 miles) in one workout = 4 points
- Walking a half marathon (13.1 miles) in one workout = 10 points
Then, the most fun part… deciding what I get for earning these points!
Last year, I started to feel guilty for all of the ebook purchases I was making. Even though I bought books when they were on sale (i.e. $1.99), those purchases were adding up!
I decided to make the point values for my habits equal the fund that I would have available to purchase ebooks. This has helped me to be more discerning in my choices of what to buy, but also to feel motivated to earn an extra point or two since it allows me to get something that I really enjoy.
I’ve been using this system to account for my habits for a couple weeks now and I’m really liking it. It keeps me mindful of how I’m spending my time, and also helps me schedule in certain activities throughout the day based on what I want to prioritize.
What habits or routines would you add to a list like this?