I am a true creature of habit. I thrive in settings that have structure and routine. This made 2020 very difficult for me and 2021 a complete nightmare. My daily routines have always consisted of me physically going places and having set tasks for me there; like going to school, work, and the gym. Being home took me completely out of my routine not just because everything was closed but it added a new layer of independence to my habits. I started the pandemic at 19 and now I’m almost 21. Your 20s are already very messy and adding a pandemic makes it very easy to get lost.
I started 2021 with no routine. I’d wake up just in time for class (if I decided to go), had zero discipline to workout, and my work schedule for my blog was all over the place. Nothing in my life was truly thriving from this lack of structure. Last May, like many people, I became obsessed with the #bethatgirl videos on TikTok. I loved watching people’s productive mornings and set positive intentions for their day. This was also at the beginning of me reclaiming my life after dealing with seasonal and pandemic depression. I was well overdue for a positive change in my life and decided to take on #bethatgirl in my own way.
Being no stranger to routine, I knew creating healthy habits is far from easy. It requires you to show up for yourself every single day, even when those unhealthy habits try their hardest to creep back into your life. I take on creating healthy habits in 4 steps
The first step is to create space for healthy habits physically and mentally.
I spent an entire week purging my room, cleaning out my phone storage, deleting pictures, throwing out old clothes, and anything else I felt was necessary to let go to start fresh. I also took this time to clean out my mindset. I didn’t want to start this journey with negative thoughts of myself or anyone around me. I took this time to think about what does my ideal self looks like? What does she do? How does she spend her free time? What values does she hold? I wrote down what an ideal morning routine looks like for me along with my ideal self.
The following week is an introductory week to your ideal self.
Pick 4 habits you find easy enough to achieve and make you feel proud of yourself and motivated. For me this was: waking up before 8, making my bed, drinking water before coffee, working out in the morning, and making breakfast at home. The key to creating healthy habits is to not dive in all at once. If your ideal self is a high-functioning morning person who accomplishes several large and small tasks in the morning, it will be very overwhelming to introduce all of those qualities at once. will set yourself up for consistency.
I also spent this week finding external tools that would help me stay motivated and hold me accountable. These items included, a new journal for work, daily to-do list sheets to keep me organized throughout the week, and a new water bottle to hold me accountable to my water intake goal.
The following week is about structure.
This is the week you look at your #bethatgirl goals and ask yourself, “how often do I want to do these tasks?”. Write down what a typical day will look like for you and delegate tasks to the morning, afternoon, and evening. This is also the time to write down tasks you want to do weekly and delegate them for the beginning, middle, or end of the week. The goal for this week is the follow the structure you’ve just created. Hold yourself accountable for these tasks and timelines. This is also a great time to switch out habits you want to try and see which structure works best for you.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned trying to recreate healthy habits is that progress isn’t linear. You will still have days and weeks where you don’t hit all your goals and that’s okay. Healthy habits are simply positive actions repeated over and over again.