Author Topic: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017  (Read 5312 times)

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« on: December 29, 2017, 02:59:30 PM »
Here are mine:

Get up at the same damn time every day. I am a hardcore nightowl, love to stay up to all hours, and get up very late. As an academic/scientist, I have been able to make this work to a certain extent, as I have a pretty flexible schedule. However, over the years, there have been countless miserable days in which I scraped by on two or three hours of sleep, trying to grab a little nap here and there throughout the day. I would often allow enough hours for sleeping, but then suffer from terrible insomnia. I tried all the usual advice--keep the bedroom cool, dark, no screens, caffeine, or exercise before bed, etc., etc. However, when you sleep in until 2PM some days, and have to get up at 8AM other days, none of that stuff is enough.  All of those things pale in comparison to maintaining a regular schedule. This year, we took a three week vacation in Ireland (facepunch me? No not really, LOL) and I got into the habit of going to bed around midnight and getting up around 7 or 8. The habit stuck, and now--even though the temptation to stay up late and get up late is strong--I have FINALLY gotten into a good, regular schedule, in which I nearly always get enough sleep. I have defeated insomnia to a very large extent. This has freed up so much time and given me so much more energy, I would say it is just about the best new habit I have ever formed. 

Stop wasting so much time online. I am not on Fecebook, Twitter, Instagram, but I do enjoy internet discussion forums (e.g., this one!), various news magazines, blogs, funny stuff, a little sports (NBA only), The Onion, Jalopnik, etc. However, they become such a time sink, I have decided to cut waaay back. It is like candy--the more you eat, the more you crave, and the temptation is to fill all the cracks in my day with web browsing instead of going for a walk (I am religious about going for walks every day), daydreaming (a VERY useful activity actually), reading, working on hobbies, investing, exercise, meditation, etc etc.

(I have come to the realization that so much of what passes for news is little more than idle speculation and clickbait-mongering, and is essentially little more than mindless entertainment. How much value will any of these articles have in a week? I am reminded by a quote by one of my favorite authors Nassim Taleb: "To cure yourself of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week's newspapers.")

I have pushed most of my recreational web browsing to late in the day after most of my work is done, and after I have accomplished (or at least attempted to accomplish!) what is important for that day. If I allot an hour or so for this, it really makes me prioritize what sites I really want to visit, and what articles I want to read. It takes a bit of willpower, and a few other tricks--I  have a folder with all of my discussion forum bookmarks, but I have located it inconveniently!

What about you? What are your best new habits for 2017?

Lichen

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 04:14:34 PM »
Awesome thread!

I broke up with Facebook I quit Facebook cold turkey last April. I was on a field study weekend, and seeing all the other students pissing away the opportunity to instead showoff on FB instead of paying attention to the cool stuff we were doing/seeing, then catching myself doing the same, made me realize it was time. Deleted it from my phone right then, haven't signed on since. How much of my life did I waste in the pursuit of likes without even realizing it? I seriously thought I was only on there to keep up with family/far flung friends, but insidiously it had started to control my sense of self and self esteem without me realizing it. Scary stuff.

Started a daily exercise practice I do yoga 5 days a week and weights twice a week. It's just what I do every morning right when I wake up, not sure why I fought it so long and didn't form the habit sooner. When I do occasionally miss a day, I feel out of sorts all day long.

DirtDiva

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 05:32:48 PM »
I started a daily after-work-walk habit.  I have "wanted" to start a daily exercise habit for too many years. 

This year I did it!  Now, I don't even think about skipping a day.  It's not an option (the dogs help with that).

Aelias

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 06:26:36 PM »
Started bringing lunch to work and kicked the coffee out habit. When I think of all those wasted calories and $$$ . . .

mozar

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 10:57:06 PM »
Immediately after work sitting down at the piano and playing at least 15 minutes.

TartanTallulah

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 11:07:05 PM »
I started a daily after-work-walk habit.  I have "wanted" to start a daily exercise habit for too many years. 

Regular walking was something I introduced too, but I opted for getting to work early and going for a quick 20-30 minute walk before going into the building. It's not been every day, but I have to have a good reason (like, it's pouring with rain) not to do it. This means every working day starts as a "healthy living" day and I'm less likely to reach for the office cookie jar when things get stressful.

It's not necessarily on non-working days because I do lots of recreational exercise and rarely get stressed or bored at home or on vacation.

Erica

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 11:15:43 PM »
1. Almost exclusively, eat out
2. Reduce coffee consumption to a cup of coffee 4 days a wk instead of every morning

3. Listen to the audio bible or sermons on youtube as I fall asleep. Seems to put me to sleep much faster allowing for more zzzzz's.
Otherwise anxiety? keeps me awake so I don't get enough rest.

Almost no food in our house except organic vegetables & fruits, oatmeal & tuna. No snacking in between meals.

Working a 42 hr straight shift means 3 days a week I eat healthy at work. Not bringing anything extra except good food to cook
Unable to just leave to buy junk food while on the clock (on call at night)

Lost one pants size so far in 8 weeks

Not the cheapest way to go about it yet it works. To maintain exercise and loose weight, however it is appealing, is the way to go. Additional time to exercise when you are not cooking (shopping and preparing meals)

This small town has 2 locally owned restaurants. Both use mostly  local organic vegetables and purchase grass fed meat from the local cattle ranchers. We aren't big meat eaters.

.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 11:32:18 PM by Erica »

Kimbl

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 12:58:51 PM »
I just spent time in my journal writing about what were some of the big changes in my  life this past year.

1. Intermittent Fasting - actually started this late 2016 but kept it up throughout the year.  Lost the 20lbs I had gained the previous 1 1/2 years .  More importantly, it's really altered my relationship with food in a good way.  I'm an all or nothing kind of person about a lot of things and I was all, all, all with food.  It's really freeing to just stop eating sometimes.   Dr. Jason Fung's youtube videos, blogs and books have been the most helpful for me finding a pattern of (not) eating that works for me.

2. Bodyweight Training - I started doing squats, pushups, etc and now I consistently do a variety of bodyweight exercises 3x per week.  I've never liked going to the gym between the time sink and the cost and this fits into my schedule easily.   NerdFitness.com  has a lot of good information on finding an exercise routine that works for you (plus tons of nerdy references!).  I can feel, and if the light is just right almost see, my muscles getting bigger.  Very cool!

3. Stoicism - I had read bits by Stoics in the past but for some reason this year it really hit home.  Right place, right time.    I think a lot of my frustrations in life have been around wanting to control things I can't.  Stoicism  blends in well with other things I am doing that are more Buddhism inspired.  I started keeping a more regular journal this year and am being more diligent about writing about things that are going well in addition to what's not going well. And, writing down things I am grateful about.  I have a bad habit of ruminating on the negative, so remembering that good things happen too is very helpful for my mental health.   I even started my own Enchiridion to help me focus on what is important to me.

None of the above items were "planned".  My 2017 resolution list certainly did not include "Become a Stoic!" so I know that my 2018 plans will probably not quite come to fruition as I envision them right now either. :)
     

big_slacker

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2017, 03:50:13 PM »
Mental Toughness- I took a page from a few people on this. From David Goggins (google this guy if you don't know), seeing tough things or setbacks as opportunities for mental toughness reps. From Rich Roll (also google), enjoying the process of tough things as they're happening. I was training for a 12 hour MTB ride and even though in was PHYSICALLY hard all the training I'd done mentally made it a really enjoyable experience despite record high temps for the event and mechanical difficulties with the bike.

Focus-Started writing down a daily 5 point list of prioritized tasks that map to my career and personal goals. If I work those and do even 2-3 of them each day I'm WAY more productive.

wordnerd

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2017, 04:04:24 PM »
Regular yoga practice--Started in April, and it's been a very positive force in my life. I just need to stay consistent through this pregnancy.
Quit checking blackberry on nights and weekends--This is a big one, as it was causing me significant stress to never get away mentally. Being so close to FIRE makes it easy to say, f it. :)
Started reading in the evenings--This isn't quite as consistent as I'd like, but I read 26 books this year, which is significant improvement (and helped lower stress). Plus, I learn so much cool stuff.

Next year, I want to limit my online time, increase outside time (especially hiking), write consistently, and establish a good morning routine post-FIRE. But, everything is a little unsettled with having a new baby and FIREing in May.

Exhale

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2017, 08:33:38 PM »
2017
- 6AM exercise class - M-F
- Daily yoga practice

2018
- Iyengar yoga class
- Yoga practice at work
- Sunday hikes with a shelter dog

luciep

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2017, 09:00:08 PM »
  • Languages: I discovered duolingo and started practicing Spanish and Russian everyday from 10mn to 1h. I am on a 229 day streak. Bonus: I am going to Iceland in May, so I added Icelandic to the habit (even though it is not on duolingo).
  • Regular bedtime: I try my best to be in bed by 10pm every day and I feel great. No more foggy brain. My hobbies require a lot of brain power and being tired is just so annoying.
  • Brush my teeth before I go to bed... every... single... day: I can thank my boyfriend for that. He is like a mom, always asking "did you brush your teeth?".

Hula Hoop

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2018, 02:31:36 AM »
Also a night owl here and I might try and copy your early to bed (for me midnight is early) and early to rise routine.

This year I got much fitter than before.  I now do an hour of pilates twice a week and walk to and from work most days (around 40 minutes brisk walking each way).  I'm going to try to go to the gym one other day a week as well.  I can't drive to work so my alternative is public transport and I find that it just puts me in a sour mood for the whole day as people are so crabby at rush hour.

I also started eating way more beans and pulses and cut down a lot on meat consumption - for both ethical and budget reasons.  I use an old fashioned stove top pressure cooker for the beans.

This year I want to work on lessening our consumption of plastic crap and packaging and also drinking less alcohol.  Currently we have 1-2 glasses of wine once the kids are in bed around 5 days a week.  I'd like to cut that down to maybe 2-3 days a week.  Wine is cheap here but this i more just for health reasons.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2018, 05:18:39 AM »
Quit watching all news other than a wee bit of local in the morning. I gotta say I feel so much better about things.

99% reduction on Social networks. I still post pictures occasionally of kids stuff for Grandparents to see. Again, feel so much better not hearing about everybody's fake wonderful lives and or knowing every time they clean their pantry or knowing what bar there currently at.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2018, 07:36:23 PM »
Yoga is absolutely great. I have been doing Vinyasa for nearly seven years now--and I really enjoy doing it slowly--hold each pose between 30s and several minutes. We had a substitute teacher one day, who tried this Power Yoga stuff on us (all the same Vinyasa moves, just way faster) and I hated it. It just turned it into another form of exercise to power through.

When you have enough experience, you can just improvise a new routine crafted to your mood and time available. I cycle through three different shorter routines (~ 20 mins) I put together after I get up every day. THen I do a longer--hour long--routine on weekends, or as time is available. I follow up with Vipassana meditation.

Any book suggestions on intermittent fasting? I prefer the idea of going a while without eating, then eating whatever I like--as opposed to limiting to a certain number of calories per day.

Re3iRtH

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2018, 12:20:05 AM »
Started bringing lunch to work and kicked the coffee out habit. When I think of all those wasted calories and $$$ . . .

Coffee has no appreciable calories. Also, caffiene tends to income one's income. More alert, focused, higher IQ, even more charismatic. Coffee has been the catalyst to boosting my income!

fatchad

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2018, 08:08:34 AM »
Started bringing lunch to work and kicked the coffee out habit. When I think of all those wasted calories and $$$ . . .

Coffee has no appreciable calories. Also, caffiene tends to income one's income. More alert, focused, higher IQ, even more charismatic. Coffee has been the catalyst to boosting my income!

Coffee does not...but since they mention getting it out (vs making it at home), I'd have to assume they were ordering cream, sugar, etc.

MustachianKentuckian

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2018, 08:28:47 AM »
This is a really great thread and giving me ideas for 2018!

Schaefer Light

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2018, 08:45:23 AM »
Reduced alcohol consumption - went from drinking at least 3 beers every night (and way more than 3 on the weekends) to averaging 1-2 per night, and not drinking at all some nights.

mathlete

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2018, 08:59:57 AM »
I greatly simplified my diet this year. A lot of steel cut oats, spinach salads, and grilled chicken and vegetables.

Looking to kick my diet soda habit in 2018. We'll see how that goes.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2018, 09:16:32 AM »
I started doing yoga again in the fall after a hiatus of many years where I did other exercise instead. I can already tell it's helped some shoulder issues I was having and making me feel better and stronger overall.

I also started writing frequent letters to my elected officials in 2017, for obvious reasons. 

On the downside, I drank too much and I feel like I watch too much Netflix which suggests where I should focus my efforts in 2018.

EmFrugal

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2018, 02:31:39 PM »
Habits I began:
1. Meditating - hands down the best gift I have ever given myself.
2. Journaling - frequently connecting with my values and ambitions on paper
3. Practicing self love - saying no to hair dye and make-up; loving myself in my natural state and caring for myself by eating a healthy diet, exercising, meditating, and staying true to my values (not mainstream society's standards of beauty).
4. Practicing minimalism - surrounding myself with possessions, people, hobbies, and interests that provide meaning and value to my life; eliminating the rest.
5. Starting a meditative Vinyasa Flow practice with an incredible teacher.

kimmarg

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2018, 06:57:59 PM »
All these posts about consistent bedtime just make the rotating shift work seem that much more blah.

Nightly clean up: Finally got in the habit of cleaning up the kitchen (dinner+ dishes) and about 10-15 min on living room/rest of house every night. Makes such a difference to get up to clean the next am, especially with a toddler who gets everything out. (toddler helps before bedtime but we still do our 15min later as toddler "help" is more about teaching toddler than being useful). I used to just look around, get overwhelmed and give up and ignore the mess. Turns out just 15min can make a BIG impact. No, it's not a deep clean polish but having counter space makes me happy.

Rosy

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2018, 07:26:02 AM »
1. Ongoing serious de-cluttering with a few steps toward minimalism.
Not that I'll ever be a minimalist, but there has been a serious shift in my attitude and perception.
Maintaining this new habit into 2018... Score:)

2. In the past, I've had the deplorable tendency to just ignore financials whenever there was serious monetary upheaval, which always cost me extra money in the long run. This time I faced it immediately, focused and stayed on the MMM path.
Result - zero credit card debt going into 2018. Very proud and relieved about that - I give credit to all of you on this blog and the support on the challenge threads - I made it through relatively unscathed - yeah! - thank you:)

 

TheDuder

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2018, 09:38:48 AM »
The best habit I started in 2017, was tracking my spending for the whole year

HipGnosis

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Re: Best new habits you began (or quit!) in 2017
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2018, 12:07:45 PM »
I've only done it three times so far, but I am (finally) making my own salsa.  Making it to my 'taste' and the savings make me ask what I waited so long for.