Habits that Helped in 2017

Credit: pxhere

My coach had been taking me through some things reflecting on the past year, which has been brutal on a number of levels. The word I set for the year was “thrive” but it felt a lot more like “survive” most of the time. One of the things I did at the end of last year was write a letter like I was sending it from the end of this year – it was like Past Cate saw exactly what this year would be like… but thought I would handle it better than I did.

However there have been some things that helped this year. Some of them things that I kept up, and some of them things I returned to.

Coaching. Really this has been key to taking on more and surviving all of it. It’s really helpful to have the consistency and someone pushing me to be the best Cate with nothing invested in what that is.

Disconnecting. Not having work Slack on my phone when I’m home. Going on an adventure and leaving my work laptop behind. I really like my job and there’s a lot to do, so it’s easy to get pulled back into it… but it’s important to get away sometimes.

Exercise. This is a foundation habit for me. It’s what I always go back to and start with when things get off the rails – which they have, multiple times this year. But having it as a strong part of my identity helps me be confident that I’ll get back into it, even when travel and being sick has kept me away from it longer than I would like.

Exploring. I love to have adventures. Making a point to get out into the world and experience it is really important for me. I went to some new places this year, but I also try and make a point to experience the places I spend more time – it makes me happier.

Reading. I always know I’m really overwhelmed when I stop reading 1-2 books a week (and start watching TV instead…). The internet is great, but I like reading books, too. Novels to disconnect and relax, and then non fiction books go into a depth that you don’t find in online articles – I find it really valuable.

Sleeping. Tied into this – waking up relatively naturally (I use this instead of an alarm clock – Amazon). Sleep is so important and I really don’t cope well without it. I get 8 hours (or more) very consistently and I make sure I prioritize sleeping. Now that I have a home (finally), I bought the nicest sheets and pillows and everything else I could to make for a cosy and comfortable night.

Supporting. I do look for ways to support others, which I find personally rewarding. It also means people are usually willing to support me when I need it, too.

Tracking. I write an internal notes post each week where I document what I did. I sent my coach a weekly “prep” outlining where I’m at – which turned into a daily one when I was super overwhelmed last week. I always refer back to the last one when I write the new one, and it’s a way to see things getting better or why things are the way they are. She’s also had me to monthly “commitment journals” which I’ve not been as reliable at… but have definitely been helpful when I do them.

Writing. I really value the clarity this brings, whether I’m documenting things internally or for my blog. It’s helpful for me to refer back to, and sometimes useful for others, too.

What about you?

One reply on “Habits that Helped in 2017”

I love that you share these habits, noting what went well and what didn’t.

In a recent introspection my theme for the year ended up something like “Thriving, with more room to thrive.” Small changes — tweaks and improvements — like the ones you list here make all the difference between surviving and thriving.

Happy 2018, Cate!

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