it is unbelievable that Christmas is over and it is time again to meet the New Year. It seems so automatic. Our tradition of celebrating the biggest birthday of the year followed by ringing in the New Year with celebration. Sharing memories with family and friends, envisioning how the upcoming year will be different than the past. We experience some level of anxiety about what we did not carry out the past year. We didn’t win the lottery, didn’t take our dream vacation and I am pretty sure I gained the 25 pounds I lost several times throughout year.
I have decided that I will not be setting any New Years Resolution this year. Every year I am setting more goals that never become a reality. This goal setting consumes all my energy and actually creates a lot of stress. We get all pumped up in January with our new goals for the year. We make lists of goals that we wish to carry out and pledge to improve all aspects of our life including our relationships, jobs, finances and our buckets list. Grant it, we do carry out some of the goals on our list, but often they are short-lived and we rewind the same story of our life as the year continues.
I have a new challenge for everyone this year that involves not making resolutions, but rather creating a couple new habits.
As stated in this quote by Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, then is not an act but a habit.”
Yes a habit. Are we naturally a collection of what we repeatedly do in our lives? Apparently we are considered to be creatures of habit. We get up each day, do the same ritual whether standing in line at Starbucks, packing a brown bag or filling your water bottle. We work, do errands, make dinner, finish emails from work then go to bed and start all over again. I guess that is what makes a habit.
I am reading a book called Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick (2009). This book teaches the 16 essential characteristics for success. The concepts focus on how to take our actions and make them habits in our lives. I became drawn to this book and its concepts thought written for children, I think they have perfect application for adults.
According to Costa & Kallick (2009), employing habits of mind requires a composite of many skills, attitude cues, past experiences and proclivities. It means understanding how we think and act in response to our experiences. It suggests that as a result of each experience in which these behaviors are employed, the effects of their use reflect upon,
evaluated, modified and carried forth to future applications.
As I read through the concepts in the book, in my mind I was applying the information to establishing New Year Resolutions. This year my focus will be on creating habits not goals or resolutions. I am keeping it to three simple concepts that include the following:
- I am using my right brain more than my left brain in 2015. We can get so caught up in the intensities of life that we can forget how to play, have fun, be creative. I am in the habit of writing, reading, watching movies, going to museums and festivals just because it is an awesome way to live my life.
- I am taking good care of my mind, body and spirit. I am in the habit of learning, going to the gym and church regularly. The time I spend in these activities will nurture and heal my soul restoring my being. This is my temenos.
- I am focusing on the relevance in my life. We can get so preoccupied with all the little stuff in life that we forget to focus on what really is important. In a few of my blog stories this year I have focused on relevance in living. The Moment, The Sunshine Club, Ap-pre-ci-ate, Zurheide, Ciao Mama! and Happy Birthday in Heaven each share a moment in my life that has significant relevance.
Thank you for following temenos circle in 2014. I developed this blog on a whim following a challenge from friends.
Today, I am informed by my blog host that:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people.
This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2014.
If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.
The views came from 62 countries including the United States, Brazil and Italy.
I appreciate your interest and comments you share. Your thoughtfulness enriches our experience.
Cheers to 2015!
2 thoughts on “Make it a Habit”