Life, Updates

Habits are Hard to Start and to Break

I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing more than once a week. The nice thing is that it IS such a habit now that it is almost viscerally strange for me to not sit down and write at least once per week.

I would love to at least interact with my story in some way once every day so that it stays fresh in my mind. I’ve found that often when I come back to the scene there’s a noticeable difference between one day’s writing and the next if I’ve taken too long of a break. So I’m playing around with staying in the world even if I’m not physically writing the words. Something as simple as adding to the Pinterest board or finding new things that have similar themes have been proving to be enough to keep my mind actively engaging with the story.

When I sit down to write next I don’t want it to take me as long to get back into the emotions and mindsets of the characters.

New Habits are Hard

On the side I’m also trying to create some new habits to better my life. I’m trying to get some movement in every day. This is easy with a nine-month-old puppy. We go on walks twice a day (at least). However, I’m also trying to get some more “intense” exercise in to get my heart rate up and to get my bones and muscles strengthened for the long-term. (oh god, am I getting old enough to be thinking about my bone and muscle health as I age?!) I set a goal of three times per week for that, but so far I’m lucky to hit two.

Most of this is because my body is not at the point of liking intensity of any kind, even though I’m starting off pretty tame and with a trainer’s guidance. As with most working people, the best time for me to work out is either right away in the morning or after work. Since I’d much rather do other things after work, early mornings work out better. However, I’m also the type of person who likes to sleep…I really like my sleep. Most times that I don’t make it to the gym in the morning it’s because I honestly can’t get myself out of bed any faster. So, creating this new habit is also breaking an old habit of “sleeping in.” Which whoever says 7am is sleeping in really needs a hug…they aren’t enjoying the fluffy pillows and blanket cocoon enough.

To be fair to me, there are days where I’m listening to my body and I’m just really too sore to do a full workout or my head hurts or I’m in the very beginning of my period and it feels like my insides are being torn out…too much? So, I let myself take it easy in the mornings. But, it doesn’t make the habit easier to build. Especially when that new habit is trying to get to the gym at 6am when I’m used to sleeping until 6:45. (Am I whining? yes.)

Using How I Write as a Guide for My Life

Writing was such an easy habit for me to come to. I already loved to do it, so once I was in the groove, I could remind myself that I loved being there and that getting there didn’t seem so bad. The hard part with using writing as my comparison is that I have been writing in some way since I was 7 years old, so it never feels strange to sit down and do it. Writing feels like sitting down with my inner child and doing some kind of secret handshake.

Maybe I just need to think about my movement the same way. I’ve been playing sports since I was just as young. Soccer since first grade, and playing with intensity since far younger than that. Movement is not a strange concept for my body in any way. I just need to reconnect with myself to find what feels good to me. I’m very much not sure how I’ll get my mindset to like the wakeup calls, but I’ll work on that one too.

Until then, I’m using my stickers and my calendar to find my natural routine for “exercise” apart from walking the dog. Like the headlights draft of my novel, I’ve got a loose plan of action for each week, but if I don’t stick to it I still hope to fit all the pieces in somehow. If I don’t, I learn from it and revise for the next week (I hope). I’m also giving myself a bit of kindness as well. Habits are hard, especially when you’re trying to both build and break one at the same time.

Happy Writing and Moving!

Rachel

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