I usually wrap each year with a recap of what happened and where I’m headed the next year. I may still do that, but this isn’t really that post.
I’ve committed to a few things already in 2022 that I hope will promote positive change – some for me and some for the people that I interact with each day. If I write the post I mentioned above, I’ll add some of those things with greater detail. For now, though, I want to simply list five habits that I want to form daily and a tiny bit of context for each.
You’ll notice that the expectations here are extremely minimal. You might look at this list and wonder if this is even a challenge. For some, it might not be. For me, these are habits that I want to form, so the low bar is intentional.
These aren’t goals, they’re habit formers.
1. Compliment/praise someone every day
When my girls were young, it was easy to provide a “Great job coloring that page” or a “You did it! You went in the potty!”. As these everyday tasks became routine, however, I found myself cheering the girls on less and less… or at least, cheering them on for fewer, larger accomplishments.
I believe we do the same thing with ourselves and each other. When I was new at WordPress or Photoshop, I was very excited to show off the smallest thing – and people were excited for me. As I got better, the expectation of what garnered praise got higher. It also means that what I thought was worthy of praise was higher.
I want to intentionally cheer for the small and the large achievements. It doesn’t matter if it’s something new, like one of my daughters writing her first blog post, or something that’s been done thousands of times, like my wife washing the dishes or doing laundry. Each deserves praise and a “thank you”.
2. Do something today that I could put off till tomorrow
You already know the old adage, “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”. It’s something I’ve held onto for a long time. My work ethic as a kid was atrocious (not just as a young kid, mind you, but into college). This habit, for me, is about more than work ethic though.
Time is fleeting and, well, not everyone you know will be around forever. We’ve seen this with the Covid pandemic and, more generally speaking, none of us is getting any younger. The habit I want to build here is less about work or work ethic and more about building relationships and sharing stories.
I want to make sure that I have conversations with my parents, daughters, family, and friends that are meaningful and, were they to be gone, I’d be glad I had the opportunity to have.
Full disclosure, I’m not sure what this looks like on a daily basis, but it’s one I want to keep at the ready all year.
3. Read at least one verse from the Bible
If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m not what you would call a “reader”. I read things, but books aren’t really on that list. I even gave reading a try in 2021 and got a couple of books that I actually wanted to read from the library, but they sat on my nightstand, unopened, until the due date.
Furthermore, my Christian faith is important to me, but my actions don’t always show it. Do I pray? Yes, but quietly and alone. Do I go to church? Almost every week, but that’s not what being a follower of Jesus is all about. Do I read my Bible? See paragraph one of this section.
One verse has to be the easiest ask ever. But it’s like those Wendy’s coupons for a free Frosty. You’re not going to go through the trouble of getting in your car and driving to Wendy’s to just get the Frosty. Surely, you’ll at least get fries, too, if not a Baconator and a Coke as well. (Heading to Wendy’s… brb 😆)
The point is, if I’ve gone through the trouble to grab my Bible, pick a verse, and read it, I’m probably going to read at least a few verses, if not a whole chapter. It’s about the habit right now, not the content – which I hope I’ll pick up along the way!
4. Do some kind of exercise every day
Boy, have the last two years been a doozie for everyone. If I don’t do something to turn the tides on my health and weight, it’s going to get much harder to deal with later on. I’m making some dietary changes which I might share more about later, but I need to add some physical activity to my sedentary workday.
Again, the goal is vague. I’m not going to suit up and only walk to the mailbox, though (at least, not every day). I’ve set some time aside already in the mornings to do some walking, but if I miss that for some reason, I have to do something.
5. Publish something every day
There’s a whole #ClickPublish channel on the Post Status Slack and I love seeing what others are sharing. This, again, is a low-bar type of habit, though. Today, I get to claim this post as something I published. Sometimes it might be something for HeadingTwo or for GoDaddy Pro. Other times, though, it might be a Tweet or a comment on our Uber Eats delivery.
It’s about the habit, not the content.