Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What have I been up to since May?!

Well, I started this blog a couple of months ago and then went dark. Bad, bad me. Let me tell you what I've been up to since I fired this blog up and then disappeared.

The Habit Course:

I took a four week Habit Course led by the fabulous Leo Babauta, with help from the wonderful and talented Barrie Davenport and Katie Tallo (no money was received for these accolades, they just happen to be true statements of my perception of these three bloggers' awesomeness! - Leo and Batie (as Leo affectionately calls Barrie and Katie J). There were also several terrific guest speakers.

The course was tremendously educational and inspirational; and it had a profound impact on my habits and behaviors. The course ran for four weeks beginning on May 23rd. We had weekly webinars, mostly hosted by Leo himself. We had weekly course material to review, and there were fabulous forums that were loaded with terrific people to keep you both motivated and accountable (darn it).

Leo teaches what is called The Simple Method for building a habit. We're not talking about New Year's Resolutions here. The course taught us how to approach the creation of a habit from a very different approach that, while it seemed common sense after Leo explained it, goes against what everyone from all walks of life does when trying to build a habit.

For starters, if you truly want to build a habit into your life you don't just decide one day that you are going to start the habit of (let's take mine, for example) doing Yoga every morning. And then you start the next morning, or you don't because you were too tired so you slept in and now you are rushing to get ready for work or school; so maybe you’ll just do it when you get home, but you're too tired then as well. So you vow to do it tomorrow morning. And maybe you do, for a week or more. But then one day you get sick, go on vacation, have company, change jobs, travel for work, break your toe (whilst doing your most awesome-ist Tree pose, I might add), etc. You sort of ‘fall off the wagon.’ Then what do you do? Do you give up? Do you try again later, when you once again feel like, “Hey, I think I want to start doing yoga every day?”

Let's be honest with ourselves here folks. Is that how you do anything successful that you have ever done in your entire life? You just decide one day to do it and so, that's it, you just do it every day without fail, ever - forever and ever.

Nope - in the Simple Method Leo teaches that if you want to build a habit you should mark a start day on your calendar to begin the habit --------- are you ready for it? Wait for it.....OK, here it comes. At least a week away from that magical day that you are sitting there thinking, I'm going to start doing yoga every day.

What??!!?? What in the world good does that do, you might ask? What are you supposed to do for the next week? Why? What kind of plan is that? EXACTLY THE POINT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN - you spend the next week building a plan for what you are going to do when you get sick, have company, go on vacation, break your toe, forget to do it, get too tired, are too cranky, are too "I just don't feel like doing YOGA today, arghhhhh???!!!”

That's right, folks. You spend that week focusing on a couple of things:
1) Building up anticipation for the event - the start date! The more you see that date coming, the more excited you get about starting the habit. It really is so simple of a motivator (it's scary how good Leo is at this stuff).
2) Thinking through all of the things that might happen to prevent you from doing your habit, and how you will respond to them.
a.      Will you do it no matter what?
b.      Will you allow yourself a little slip of missing one day without beating yourself up and feeling like a ‘habit loser’?
c.      Will you make yourself start all over from step one if you miss just one day, two days in a row, a week, fall off the wagon completely?
d.      Will you figure out a way to do Yoga from the hotel room if you have to travel for work or pleasure?
e.      If you get sick, will you give yourself a break from doing Yoga, or will you try to do even one or two minutes, just to say you did it?

There are no wrong answers here, the important thing is to plan ahead of time what you will do when life, inevitably, gets in the way of doing your new, lovely, fabulous habit!

There’s more to the course; much, much more to the course. If you want to read another blogger's summation of the course, please click here. Tess hits it dead on. Leo and his Simple Method are well worth looking into. The next Habit Course begins on October 3rd. Check it out if you want to.

Or….wait until New Year’s, make some resolutions, don’t keep them, and then decide to do something wonderful for yourself and learn how to do it the easy way!


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