The Art of Conscious Habits
Is there such thing as having a mid-life crisis at 32?
I had done EVERYTHING right. I got good grades in high school which lead me straight into a business degree at University. I did the whole 'Gap' year living in Cambridge UK whilst travelling and working. I went back to University and got my teaching degree.
I got the right job, got married, bought the house, had the kids and ran a successful home business. All by the time I turned 31.
How come every time I looked around, I wasn't happy?
I had been doing what everyone expected of me my whole life. Thinking that this would make me happy. It really didn't.
However, as this had been my default way of living, I didn't really know exactly what I wanted.
At the ripe old age of 32 my marriage fell apart, I became a single mum with 3 young children and trying to work out what the hell I was supposed to do.
As I had been self-employed with an unpredictable income, I couldn't really set myself up for my new life. I decided to apply for 1 single job that was exactly what I was looking for. I thought to myself, if this is what's meant to happen then I will get it. Long story short, I got the job. Thinking back now, I have no idea what I would have done if I hadn't got it! But I guess that's not something I need to worry about.
Getting this job changed so much for me. I didn't think I could ever go back to working for someone else. However, being employed simplified my life, allowed me to buy my house, sort out my finances and surround myself with some amazing people on a daily basis.
Fast forward a little while and life just keeps getting better. I'm still forever trying to fit in a daily workout but realise that's not a huge priority in my life at this point. I'm surrounded by love and support, I've given myself the space I needed to think about EXACTLY how I want to live my life and simplified things to reduce stress and distraction.
How did I turn things around?
I focused on my CONSCIOUS HABITS.
Whether we are conscious about them or not, habits form the basis of our life and who we are as a person. How you approach each day is a habit. How you get ready in the morning is a habit. How you react when driving to work is a habit. How you interact with people is a habit. How you react to the good and bad in life is a habit.
Each of these habits form your life.
So, what if you became more CONSCIOUS of your habits? It makes sense that you could actually change your life... right?
The first area of habits I created for my new life was maintaining my home. When my home is a mess, my mind is a mess. This is also something simple to start with that has a big impact on many areas of your life.
I started mapping out some habits I wanted to implement on a daily and weekly basis. I didn't go crazy. I created a morning and evening routine, plus a weekend routine. It involved putting on a load of washing, doing the dishes and making my bed each morning. The evening involves putting the washing into the dryer, making dinner, get the kids in the shower, bed time routine for them and then a tidy up of the main areas of the house before I went to bed.
My weekend routine involves grocery shopping, a more detailed tidy up, washing sheets, putting washing away, cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming the floors. I would love to add that I mop my floors each week but I want to be super transparent. I probably haven't mopped my floors in over a month. Ok, 2 months if I'm being honest with you.
These simple little habits that I included each day helps me to keep the house tidy and running smoothly without things building up too much. The key with 3 young children is to really reduce your standards. They don't teach that to you in the baby books! You're welcome.
The next habit I included was a daily walk. This isn't necessarily to create Michelle Obama arms or chiselled abs, but for some space to think, being outside and movement. All 3 of these things improve my day dramatically and help me stay in touch with how I want to live my own life.
Some days it can end up being a 1.5 hour walk whilst others it is a 15min round trip walking the kids to school. I don't care. This simple habit is one that impacts many areas of my life including; reducing stress, keeping my mind clear, moving my body and getting time outside.
The photo above is one I took on a morning walk up the hill when a gorgeous wallaby come to say hello.
Having a tidy house allows me the mental space to go for a daily walk as I don't feel the pull to clean (as it's usually already done!). My daily walk gives me the space to think and encourages me to write and learn as I listen to podcasts. The habit of listening to motivating podcasts encourages me to continue growing in my own personal development.
See how the art of ONE single CONSCIOUS HABIT can start to snowball into many many daily habits that propel you forward into the life you TRULY want?
As I continue to grow in the direction I'm crafting for my own life, I slowly add more and more conscious habits and remove more and more UNconscious habits.
There are many habits that you can focus on introducing into your life in all different areas. For me, it's important to create habits around the key areas that make the greatest impact on your life first.
For me that is around the HOME, around my HEALTH and then around my FINANCES.
Slowly stack your habits as they become comfortable and ingrained in your daily life.
I want you to think about ONE SINGLE habit that you could start with. If you can't think of your own then I encourage you to start the habit of creating a tidy home. You can break this down by simply making your bed every single day.
Slowly you will build on this. I encourage you to start small and truly commit to these CONSCIOUS HABITS to see very real improvements in your life.