September Mini Habit Challenge

Y'all are about to laugh at this one, but I hope that all my type A girls will be on board with this shenanigans. So, I've mentioned how I've formulated some bad habits over the past year. They are dumb, and silly but I've really struggled to stop them. Up until a week ago, if I was ever at the house working or doing anything, I had a jar of peanut butter and a fork with me and I'd eat peanut butter all day. I know this sounds really ridiculous, and it is but I could.not.stop. It made me not hungry for meals, yadda yadda, and on and on I went never breaking this cycle.

I also started chewing tons of gum again, I've gotten really bad about wasting tons of time scrolling social media and genuinely like not caring what I was looking but hours would go by and I'm just on some random cat page. Like COME ON KATIE!!! I also post my every thought on a facebook status, and facebook has literally become a war zone. I can write a blog with tons of opinions and not get much push back, but if I write that I'm sneezing a lot today, someone has some theory of why that's wrong and offensive. Like, I can't deal. Buttttt, unfortunately I continue to have this habit of posting statuses. Like why? WHY KATIE? JUST.STOP.POSTING. GAH. 

So, I started doing some research on breaking habits. I wanted it to be realistic, but I had work to do. One of the things that was stated is how we all create this little neural pathways within our brain and then once those get really deep, we will crave those things that are gone, but that we can recreate the circuits with time and discomfort. It IS possible, but you first have to know that it's going to be uncomfortable and for the past week, it has been. One tip I saw on a youtube video is to give yourself a challenge, so I've taken this a step further and hope you'll join me as I do think that accountability and togetherness helps anything. There needs to be no official start date. It can be today or tomorrow or whenever you choose. But, I would love to do a monthly challenge on either breaking a bad mini habit, or adding in a positive mini habit. So, I have both of those for the kick off. 

He recommended that you text a friend that you will commit to this and if you don't, you'll pay them $100. So, I told Tanner that, but that doesn't help me much because we share the same money so like...it's all ours anyway. haha! But, I told him that if I made it, I would buy myself something special that was no less than $50 and that I was going to create a spreadsheet that tracked the habits day by day checking off the ones that I did and didn't do. 

Here are a few notes before I show you my spreadsheet. 1- I believe in completely eliminating the thing that you are habitual with. That doesn't mean that you can't bring it back when the neural circuit is changed, but first it needs to be completely removed. The second note on mine is that I just added on the facebook one where I'm not going to post status posts (I know so ridiculous right? #embarrassingtoadmit). If at any time during this make shift challenge you want to pop another mini habit on there, you are at full liberty to do so and that doesn't count towards your reward at the end! ;) Lastly, you'll see 3 positive things on mine.

There have been studies to show that if you take the time to write out 3 positive things that happen to you every night for 2 weeks that it can be as powerful as antidepressants and this is because you start to form the habit of looking for positive things within your day vs our natural inclinations as humans to look for the bad! 

So, here is is, super simple:

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You'll see on there, the reading portion. I have committed to reading 100 pages per day which for me is almost 2 hours of reading at the speed at which I read. I read approximately 350 words per minute which is fairly more "speedy" than average. I know that sounds insane to read that much, but I read while I'm on the treadmill and that's at least an hour, and then I read 30 minutes while drinking coffee and 30 minutes before bed so that's how I've been reading so much lately. If I miss this positive mini habit but I still do something, then I count that as a win (like day 3). 

In the past few months, I've read like 40-50 books, and I have written them all down but I've started to realize that I know in the future as I continue this that I'm going to forget things that I read, and I want to be intentional about what I read. If I just naturally go with the flow of life, I'm going to read all the Nicholas Sparks books and classic American fiction. I want to challenge myself to read psychology, science, philosophy, and classics so that I'm actually getting smarter if I'm spending time on this, and I've found that I find those books absolutely fascinating vs just a "beach read." The book that I'm reading currently in the science realm is called "The Gene" which is about the history of the genome and that sounds incredibly boring, but it's so so good. I recommend it to anyone. 

I have decided to create a spreadsheet with this as well to track the books that I'm reading so that I know how I felt about them, and can really give good recommendations in the future if people ask me in certain topics what are some good books. You know you hear people say "He/She is a prolific reader"? I want to be that guy! ;) 

Can you tell that when I find a habit, I'm crazy. Yea well, I accept it so let's move on from that annoying human flaw of mine and enjoy the spreadsheetin I'm going to show you! LOL! I had created my own but then googled how others track their books and they gave me such great insight of columns to add such as how many pages, the nationality of the author, the format you read it in, etc. So, here is a combo of what I am doing and what I found for this BOMB READING LOG! 

Can you see this? I hope so! haha! 

Can you see this? I hope so! haha! 

So, you'll see that I haven't really completed it yet, but that's okay. It's a work in progress, but I'm so so excited about it! I will say that I've thought about narrowing it down to sections where I put things in genre categories so that I have better recommendations within that, but I'm not that good at organization and can't think of a good method without it looking junky. This looks more clean. The other sheet on this is a list of books that I would like to read based on their genre, so here is that screenshot. 

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Some might not be in their appropriate category but you get the point. 

The last thing on this is that I think that there are some books that I really have important take aways from. Some of those books are Grit and Untethered Soul, and I want to remember notes from those books. I have been writing out notes in just the notes on my phone, but I really don't like that method, and I know that there are tons of other ways to do it but I'd like to have it all within this spreadsheet and so maybe a sheet after this would be with book notes. I WILL NOT write down a note if I don't find it super valid because like who reads over their notes? No one. haha! 

Lastly, if you think my spreadsheet game is not good enough yet (jk jk I know I'm looking so crazy but it's so fun), I made a spreadsheet for my hometown and fun things to do in the area, and also a spreadsheet for fun things to do in New York City (which actually was started by a friend and I've expanded on it). I would totally recommend doing one of these for your hometown as I think we get really stagnant when there is so much fun to be had in our immediate area that we don't even realize. 

Look to the bottom and you can see the different categories that I made for Shelby, and then here is the one for NYC just showing you two different categories there as well. 

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I can't believe I've never told my blog about my crazy spreadsheets until today, but here they are in all their glory. I hope you have fun wasting tons of hours creating your own as well! ;) hahahaha IT'S THE BEST DO IT!!! 

The last part of this is that each month I think that I'm going to start a mini habit series, where I just say "hey try this new habit for this month that is positive and might could help you lead a fuller, happier life." This month's challenge is to start writing down 3 things each night that brought you joy that day and we can transform together by looking at the world as positively as possible! 

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