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Forming new habits

At the start of the year, I figured I would start working on self-discipline, a concept that somehow escaped me in the past year or two. Nothing too drastic though. The plan is to identify key things I would like to do each month and then adopt a handful of daily actions that contribute to these goals and be mindful about maintaining them. This way, every month, I will be consciously doing something rewarding, advancing self-development and most importantly, reinforcing discipline.

River Seine

Reading though a couple of articles (1,2) I came across yesterday, it appears I have gone into the realm of habit forming, even if I had not specifically targetted such an action from the start. I was not even aiming to change my behaviour into automatic deeds per se but the mechanism I’m applying is similar, all for the sake of “focus”.

Back-dated posts on this blog is nothing new, but in the past 4 weeks, it has been nearly ceaseless and I intend to keep this up till I get everything meant for 2014 posted. The aim here is to write every evening if I am at home, sometimes more current posts, most times to catch things up. A friend (Hi S!) emailed to double check if there’s a problem with the blog subscription system or if I had indeed been posting something that’s dated waaaay back in 2014. It was the latter, and I have more of those ancient drafts to finally finish up and publish… Now, nobody can complain that there are no “new” posts here ;)

I am also trying to be more diligent with reading in French and I’ve found a way to enable this: no more carrying Kindle with me in my bag. I love how easy it is to read on Kindle when I’m on public transports etc and this one small device allows me to access more books that I’ll have time to finish. This also means English books tend to be selected, especially if I start a new book at the end of the day when my brain is a wee bit too tired to want to read in French. Now, I carry one French book at a time in my bag, so if I want to read, I have one choice and one choice only. It makes a good strategy – I’ve completed 3 French books thus far, hurrah! It helps too that they were interesting reads, so I was eager to finish them.

These January actions will continue for some time yet; I shall write and publish posts till I clear my blogging list and I am already a bookworm anyway so nothing’s actually changing on the reading front except the language options. While I have not meticulously plan the actions for the year, I do have some ideas for the coming months:
– February: get to know every function of our dSLR
– March: a French grammar lesson per day
– April: learn 5 Arabic words per day
– May: go on daily swim (high time to be back in the water!)

The rest will depend on what strikes my fancy come closer the time, as well as what’s feasible for continuous action even when I’m travelling, either for holidays or work-related trips (of which a few are coming up, ranging from a couple of days to a full week). And if there is a full month when I will be home, I’m going to cook my way through my stash of cookbooks!

What do you think of such “micro goals” strategy when it comes to making them a reality? Have you tried it and if so, how would you rate its success rate? If not, how would you go about achieving milestones that you’ve set for yourself?

Category: Musing


4 scribbles & notes

  1. nuttycat says:

    Micro goals work for me – though, my description of micro goals are way smaller than yours.!
    For eg: through grad school, the goal of reading a paper was broken down into – [a] get paper from website, [b] send paper to printer, [c] collect printed sheets from printer, [d] read page-1, [e]read page-2 … By the time i started reading the paper, I already had three things to tick off on my list.
    I find myself still doing this, albeit I don’t read so many papers these days. My major goal for this year is to try to get out and explore the city and surroundings more. There’s supposed to be a lot to do here, but I don’t seem to have done any of it or even heard about it.

    • Lil says:

      Indeed those are micro! I am not sure that I’d like so many mini micro goals, because then the list would just be too long, no?

      Yes, just go out and explore! Make excuses on why you must abandon other things to do this, not the other way round. Happy discovering! :)

  2. med says:

    Awesome plan lil…and u r already doing very well…..think i need to do the same as well…too easy to go into lazy habit mode booohoooo

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