In my quest for better self-improvement habits, a few months ago I started swimming three times a week. Each time, I’d swim 18 laps (that’s back and forth = one lap) which adds up to one half mile per day. That adds up to a mile and a half each week.
But here’s my dirty little secret.
I have a habit of not getting in the habit. I’m pretty good at behaviors that have promise, but without regular follow-through they fall by the wayside.
However, this time it’s different. I plan time on my calendar so my swimming schedule is protected. I swim indoors, so I can’t use bad weather as an excuse to opt out. I love how I feel as I glide through the water. (Just like a dolphin!) When leaving the locker room, I’m satisfied for having done something good for myself. I love knowing that swimming is a great exercise for all over body toning. And I can do it well into my (ahem) “golden years.”
Self-improvement Habits with James Clear
All this started before reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. He says, “The actions you take provide evidence for who you are…things that you do time after time, day after day, week after week accumulate the bulk of the evidence for what you believe about yourself. Every action you take is a vote for the person you want to become.” —James Clear (author, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
That puts any routine, habit or New Year’s resolution in a very different light.
Clear also says the more evidence we have for a belief about ourselves, the more likely we are to believe it. It’s not about process; building a habit is all about identity.
So give it a try. And/or get his book. I’ll be rootin’ for ya!
How to Set Yourself Apart from Others:
Send handwritten personal notes and letters. According to a 2018 survey in which 2,000 American adults participated, “81 percent of people consider a handwritten note more meaningful than high-tech alternatives…and 87 percent of millennials say they value handwritten correspondence above other means. According to the same survey by Bond, a handwritten note service, three-fourths of Americans haven’t written any sort of note to someone by hand in at least a month, and 15 percent haven’t written one for five years or longer.”
Reading I Recommend:
Backlash: How China’s Aggression Has Backfired, by Helen Raleigh
An especially readable and interesting look at China’s history, their motivation for aggression, how they’ve spread their Communist reach through “soft power”, how they gradually undermined the people of Hong Kong, etc. If you find history, culture and politics, you will find this book hard to put down.
“Helen Raleigh shows how Communist China, like the virus that began there, has spread its influence aggressively around the world. She concludes, however, that China’s aggression has backfired… as much of the world, though initially caught off guard, have begun a retaliation against China’s aggression…”
The 100-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower, by Michael Pillsbury
Excellent News Source:
The Epoch Times https://www.theepochtimes.com – balanced, in-depth, factual news site and/or weekly paper with a broad choice of topics.
Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. —Coco Chanel
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. —Douglas Adams
It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinions than our own. —Marcus Aurelius
Movies/Shows I Recommend:
The Finest Hours: The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952. True life story. This one’s a real nail-biter!
Flash of Genius: True life story of the man invented the intermittent windshield wiper and who took on the Detroit automakers who stole his idea. A little slow-moving but worth it in the end.
The Accountant (2001 Short Film directed by Ray McKinnon, NOT the one with Ben Affleck) A funny, quirky story of two brothers trying to save the family farm. The dialogue moves quickly. An Oscar winner in 2001. Well worth your time!
Music I Recommend:
Skip Ewing’s Christmas CD and his Wyoming CD. Listen to some of his songs (especially “Whenever a Child is Born”) at SkipEwing.com – One of the most prolific songwriters in Nashville now lives in Wyoming. I bought his Wyoming CD for my husband a few months ago and we both love it.
Free History Curriculum:
Hillsdale College has authored a complete curriculum of American history and civics lessons for K-12 classrooms. This curriculum is created by teachers and professors, and is applicable to any kind of K-12 school: public, private, charter, and homeschool. We believe it is the most comprehensive and highest quality history and civics curriculum now available. And it is entirely free. You can download the entire curriculum here.