10 January 2009

Creating New Habits

Leo Babuta writes at ZenHabits that you shouldn't make resolutions but instead create new habits. Take ten minutes a day for thirty days to establish the new habit, and by that time, he writes, it should be established.

Well, before stumbling across that web site, I made three resolutions.

Less shower time. Yes, I'm doing that in ten minutes a day. Lessons learned so far: use the facial scrub outside the shower, and do only the final rinse in the shower. Also, there's no way I have time to wash my hair and condition it. Plus the hair is getting long enough it takes time to rinse out the shampoo... time for a hair cut.

More exercise. That lends itself well to ten minutes a day, but I haven't been doing all that well. It's dark, it's cold, and it's wet outside a lot of the time at this time of year. Besides, I'm aiming for 30 to 60 minutes a day.

Less screen time. How do I get less screen time in ten minutes a day? Working with the computer turned off is not necessarily all that effective, since email and other on-line things have become such entrenched tools of my work as English professor and scholar with low-level administrative responsibilities. But I'm trying to limit solitaire games, surfing, and the like. At least the election is over.

Right now, I'm going to get less screen time and more exercise simultaneously by turning off the computer, putting on crazy layers of clothes, and going out for a walk in the snow-covered streets.