(I loved Reverb10, where I was sent a writing prompt every day of December. It was a great way to reflect on the year and set some goals. Alas, Reverb11 is not going to happen unless I do it. So, I’ve collected the prompts from last year, exchanged a few of my own, and will select one every day.)
Prompt: Habit. What habit did you adopt this year that really made a positive impact on your life? What habits do you want to adopt in 2012?
I learned a lot about changing habits by going vegan. One of the things I learned is that I won’t do anything unless it’s a pleasure and easy and I can find a place for it in my day. So, as I thought about the habits I could adopt in 2011, I started tasty and small. I have been a fan of Kris Carr for a long time, and wanted to start getting more raw, whole foods in my diet. One of the best ways to do that is a smoothie.
I started with fruit smoothies – banana, soy yogurt, orange juice, pineapple, etc… and after I got used to that (and had a bit of an adventure making my own soy yogurt) I started to add a handful of spinach to my smoothies. Then more. A bit more. Then baby chard with the spinach. Then just chard. Then collard greens. And lettuce and wheatgrass and sprouts and, well, you get the picture. Pretty soon I was downing 2 cups of green and brown goo each morning and loving it – wit no problems about remembering that I had to mix up the smoothies in advance. I felt great, it kept me full until lunch, and my skin got noticeably clearer!
My husband started to have a smoothie in the morning – just fruit, though, he has no ambitions of going green. Pretty soon our little Hamilton Beach Blender was making horrid noises and smelled like smoke whenever we turned it on to make our weekly batch of smoothies. So we upgraded in a major way and bought a VitaMix blender. The blender of blenders. It’s pretty much a Christmas present to both of us it’s so expensive.
And now? Wow! Green smoothie heaven. I’ve started blending in celery stalks and parsley and cucumber. Not only do I love the taste, it’s super hydrating in the morning and a lovely smooth texture. I can now start to tweak my recipes all over again because I can blend anything in this machine.
As I look ahead to 2012, I want to remember A) one tiny change makes a huge impact, so I don’t have to dream big to accomplish a lot B) that I won’t do anything unless it’s pleasurable, easy, fits in my day, and most importantly tasty C) a ‘habit’ can continue to evolve so I can start with one goal and end up another place.
So, I’ve thought of tweaks I can make in 2012 – I’ll call it 12 Habits for 2012 – and decided to focus on one per month. After all, it takes about 30 days to make something a habit and I don’t need to overwhelm myself with big things or lots of things at once. I do some of these things now, off and on, so I’ll continue, but I won’t beat myself up about not flossing if I haven’t focused on making it a habit yet. Here’s what I have so far:
December: Evening Sleep-Inducing Tea. I’ve started to drink 4 oz. of Tart Cherry Juice mixed with 4 oz. of water at night and heat it up like tea. It’s tasty, full of antioxidants, and some people say if helps you sleep. Nature’s Lunesta. I haven’t been doing it long enough to notice a significant change, but the first few nights I was out like a light so I’ve kept at it. I can’t see a reason to not continue, so I’m making it the first habit I’m adopting for 2012 – appropriate for the month of cold nights and (hopefully) restful sleep.
January: Evening Mala Meditation. To continue to build on my success with the tea, I want to round out the night-time routine with a meditation practice. I’ve done it a few times and, with the ‘tea’ it makes me feel really nice and sleepy and helps me fall asleep faster than normal.
February: Floss at Night. Ugh. Must do this. I love the way I feel after. I love having no cavities. Must floss.
March: Morning Mala Meditation. I know I should mediate. I love it when I do it. It’s just not as natural as brushing my teeth – and that’s how I’d like it. I read a great article about starting a meditation practice and I’m going to start on, but I have no expectations of the habit developing over the chaos of the holidays and my busiest month of the year.
April: Pre-Shower Dry Brush. I do this now, but a bit half-halfheartedly. I know it makes me feel good, keeps my skin smooth and is great for my lymphatic system, so I really think giving it the 60 seconds it takes while I wait for the water in the shower to warm up is worth it and do-able.
Other ideas include: Mid-Day Mini-Meditation, Pack Healthy, Special Lunches, Drink a Daily Nourishing Herbal Infusion, Drink an Afternoon Green Smoothie and Record Daily Tarot Card. That’s not 12, but I’m sure I’ll figure the last few out.