Maybe you’ve heard of Christmas in July, but have you ever heard of New Year’s in August? When I reflect on where I am right now, that’s exactly what it feels like. No, I’m not getting ahead of the seasons despite seeing snow blowers out at Home Depot this week.  My sense of New Year’s comes from the momentum I’m gaining from establishing five new habits.

Each habit started from a single small step in the right direction. I didn’t come up with some elaborate scheme to attack all of them at once, rather I made small changes and allowed the momentum to build. With time it has become easier to continue each habit. Now, they’re becoming far more a part of the fabric of my life rather than a distant goal. The great thing about attacking goals at this time of year is imagine how much progress can be made before January! So what did I do? I’ve sent out to adopt these five habits:

  1. Writing more physical cards and letters. Handwritten notes are a treasure in our social media and mobile phone world. Several months ago I bought an old school address book and I’ve been working to add addresses of friends and family. I’ve bought a few sets of notecards that are on the ready. Randomly when people come to mind, I jot them a note and send it off with my well wishes. They’ve been received well and make me feel like I’m doing something to spread a little joy.
  2. Reading more, watching less. This summer I’ve gone from one book to the next, to the next. I often use my commute and morning prep time to listen to audible books. I’ve also enjoyed catching some quiet time out on the deck in the morning or evening with my current read. The books have fostered growth in a variety areas of my life. A few books I’ve read this summer include Crash the Chatterbox – Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others, Goliath Must Fall, Communicating for a Change, Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer, Sun Stand Still – What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible, and How People Grow. What we feed our minds and spirits with matters.
  3. Decluttering more, storing less. I’ll be honest, this one is a work in progress. But, after years of holding on to too many sizes in my closet, I’m getting rid of what I don’t wear. Enough already! I plan to continue working through the closets, drawers, and storage areas in my home. The boxes tucked in the garage from my last move can’t be that important if they’ve remained untouched. It’s time to move them on. With each bag I donate, I can feel my house getting lighter. It’s an amazing feeling!
  4. Practicing mindful eating. A warm gooey brownie really doesn’t make a bad day better. Trust me, I’ve tested that theory for years! I’ve stopped using food to celebrate or to provide comfort. It’s taken a very conscious choice to make this change. I’m likely to connect with a friend over a cup of tea or coffee rather than a big dinner. I get just as much connect time without the extra calories or cost. I’ve been using an app to track what I eat each day to help me stay on point. Is it working? You bet,  so far I’ve lost 17 pounds and a stack of clothes that no longer fit.
  5. Writing down goals. I’ve returned to writing down my goals each month. The difference is noticeable. I pick three priorities for the month and schedule time each week so that each is achievable during the month. I’ve made traction in areas that previously I just couldn’t find time for. Did you know you’re 42% more likely to achieve a goal if it’s written down? Looking for a good way to track your goals? Subscribe to my blog and get my free downloadable goal calendar. Don’t forget to check your email for the confirmation to subscribe. You’ll get new encouragement delivered to your mailbox each week.

Where are you in your journey? Do you feel farther ahead than you were a few months ago? Or, are you wishing for change but haven’t yet made traction? The great news is that habits start with small choices. When we set out to be victorious one decision at a time, we gain new habits that help us grow.

What habits do you have or wish you had? Have any of my new habits hit home? I’d love to hear from you. Click to join the conversation.