When I’m Not On Instagram… I’m Forming New Habits

I’m a better person, all around. But my virtual social life exists almost exclusively through Instagram, so I make these deals with myself. Recently, it’s been weekends-only access, and that has been an improvement! 🙂

When I don’t have that devil’s app downloaded to my phone, it means I don’t open it and scroll mindlessly for the first half hour of the day. Instead, I read the news (mostly stress), check the weather (even more stress now that it’s cold) and listen to podcasts (happy to recommend a few). Generally, the information I get from that is more useful than the memes, albeit less funny.

One morning, I woke up to a text from my sweet bf with a link. It turns out that his friend Taylor, who owns a vegetable farm with her husband in Vermont, started this blog called Habit Farming. I got to reading one of the posts on how she fights her feelings of anxiety and immobility by forming habits. But rather than just creating goals and forcing habits around them, she instead emulates a person who simply would do those things without question. It’s a clever hack that I haven’t yet tried.

Imagine the habit you want to form, or the change you want to make in your life, and then imagine the type of character traits one would need to do this. I’ll give you an example: I’ve always wanted to be physically fit or at least a person who regularly exercises. I moan and groan at every opportunity because I just don’t love it. BUT, if it’s a habit that I want to make, I’d need to understand and embody the actions and traits that make someone a frequent exerciser / fit person. I happen to enjoy anything dance related and this is an excellent form of exercise.

If I were a dancer, what would I do? I might download the app for the Broadway Dance Studio so I can easily view dance schedules and sign up for a class, or I might search other dance fitness studios near my house. I might buy some clothes that make me feel like I’m a dancer. I might have better posture, and stand up straight when I walk into a room. I might stretch every morning. I might listen to the music of the genre for the specific dance I want to learn.

Anyway, I am very interested in this new hack, and beyond that, Taylor’s blog got me thinking about all the things I still want to be and do. I have realized that since I moved to New York, much more of my time has been spent working and recovering from working. I used to feel like I had more free time and energy. I used to write and shoot for my blog, play the guitar and jam with people, read new books, cook often, make plans to see friends every week, meditate, go to zumba… I even learned how to code at some point, just for shits and giggles. I definitely had more time but I also used it better.

Now, I feel like I have less time to myself, and less energy all around. I’m grateful to have a job that makes me feel stimulated, but I think NYC culture values work and hustle more than anything else. This, combined with NYC aggression, frequent traveling, and cold weather, makes for a tired version of myself who wants to hibernate and watch Netflix, and clean my house as a coping mechanism. That makes me feel my world is getting smaller, not bigger.

In any case, I’m now thinking about what kind of person I want to be and hoping that it guides me towards specific actions I can take. I’d like to be a more grateful, calmer, kinder, energetic, confident, healthy, musically-inclined person who laughs more often. My next exercise is to think about what exactly that looks like and maybe I’ll start with a couple attributes at a time and take it easy on myself.

Thanks for reading this week! Gearing up for my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving!!

And, thanks again to Taylor at Footprint Farms for inspiring me to think of goal setting differently, right when I needed it most.

xoxo

Trace

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