How to stick to your good habits in times of change

Recently, I wrote about my existential crisis and my decision to get a day job. I started my new position at the beginning of April, a month ago. No need to tell you that switching from working from home to go work in an office an hour away from home makes a big change in my daily routine! And this change has impacted my habits in many ways. In today’s post, I want to share my tips to stick to your good habits in the midst of change. Let dive in!

Protecting sleep and recovery

I am now working full time, which means I’m working more than I had in the past 10 years or so. I’m waking up earlier because my commute takes an hour each way. Waking up earlier means going to bed early. I used to need to sleep 7 hours a night to get a good night’s sleep, but since I’ve started working, I find myself sleeping 9 hours on average as my Fitbit reports keep telling me. I guess that my body is adapting to my new schedule, more exertion, and compensates by needing more hours of sleep.

I tend to prioritize sleep in my health regimen, but one very important part of my routine has been put aside to accommodate for more hours of sleep : my Miracle Morning. This morning routine popularized by Hal Elrod acts as an anchor habit since I first started 4 years ago.

Waking up early to practice my Miracle Morning means that I will exercise, meditate, read and journal each and every morning. Since I’ve started skipping the Miracle Morning, I have not once exercised, which I find is very problematic. Of course I walk each day to get to the subway station and back, but I have not practiced any real exercise since then.

Getting my mornings back

It’s now been a month since I started my new work schedule. I think that my body has adapted sufficiently now and I plan on coming back to my Miracle Morning starting this week. I really miss having a full hour to myself to reflect before going to work. I also want to pick up Morning pages as I am reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and I think that this journaling practice could integrate perfectly into my morning routine.

Eating habits

I do not think that I shared this before, but I have been following the ketogenic diet since August last year. This diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates and the high fat content is highly satiating. Many keto followers have incorporated the practice of intermittent fasting into their diet to good success, since the fat makes you feel full and rarely hungry. I too, started intermittent fasting very intuitively when I started the ketogenic diet, for lack of hunger. I like that it allows to skip breakfast and that I get more time to get ready before work, not having to fuss with breakfast.

I follow a 16-8 eating window, which means that I have my first meal at noon and eat my last meal at 8pm. I am thus fasting 16 hours a day, which makes me feel great! Intermittent fasting fits my new working lifestyle perfectly and I don’t have to pack snacks to work, only a light meal for lunch.

New blogging schedule

I used to blog full time for the past year. Now, the free time I get isn’t much and I had to find a way to keep up with the blog without interfering with work or social obligations. I think I found the perfect combination. The task that takes up the most time when you’re blogging is to maintain a social media presence. That is how your fans find your articles, so you’ve got to maintain a regular posting schedule.

To do that, I use a scheduling tool called Buffer for LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter,  the post programmer integrated into Facebook, and a tool called Planoly for Instagram. Every Tuesday during my lunch break at work, I schedule my posts for the whole week and they get posted without having to touch my device at all. All that’s left to do is to answer your comments as they come in.

My favorite task is, of course, writing my blog posts. So far, I’ve been outlining my articles during my commute on Thursday nights and writing in a cosy café on Sunday afternoons. Writing and scheduling my newsletter gets done on my lunch breaks during the week. I get an hour for lunch and eating my small meal only takes a few minutes, so I get plenty of time to keep up with the blog’s minutiae.

Social interactions

So far, my social life has been affected by my new schedule. I used to see my friends during the week in the afternoon, but obviously that can’t work now! I tend to keep weekends for time with my hubby and I have to admit that I haven’t seen my friends that much lately. I’ll have to find some time soon to remediate this problem.

How to stick to your good habits

Here’s a few tips to help you stick to your good habits if, like me, you are in a period of big changes

1. Give yourself time to adjust

A new schedule or life situation will need some time to get used to. Allow yourself the time to adjust, even if some of your habits have to be pushed aside for a while. It helps to identify your anchor habit, the ones that make all the other ones easier, and make only this one your priority.

2. Draft your ideal week schedule

Now that you’ve given yourself a bit of time to get used to your new situation, decide how you would ideally like to spend your time from now on. Use a blank calendar and draft your ideal week. I have a full blog post on the topic as well as a free template to help you do just that.

3. Re-evaluate your commitments

Review your actual commitments and evaluate if they are all relevant and necessary. If you can skip a few things and only keep what’s most essential, you’ll be able to carve some time to recommit to your most important habits.

4. Recommit to your goals

Choose a few habits you would like to recommit to starting now. For me, it will be going back to my Miracle Mornings starting tomorrow morning at 6 AM. You can use a daily tracker in your Bullet  journal to keep track of the days you actually practice your habits. Try to create a chain and not to break it. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

There you have it, a few tips to help you get back into the saddle with your most important habits!

Now I’d like to know, what are the habits that you have left fall to the wayside? What step will you take this week to recommit to your goals? Let me know in the comments below!

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