Like most people, I bet there have been times in your life when you had some good habits, maybe eating well, regularly getting exercise, praying or mediating every day. And there have been times when you didn’t do so well. If you once had a healthy regular routine and now you don’t, how do you return?

Recently, these have been the reoccurring questions for me:
How do I return to writing?

How do I return to a regular exercise routine?
For years, I wrote weekly blog post. For the last year, basically nothing.

For years I went to the YMCA 5-6 times a week. I haven’t stepped foot in there in at least three years.
All spring, summer and fall, I mow the grass, do power weed whacking, haul apples and wood. In the winter, I occasionally shovel or sweep the house but daily exercise eludes me.
Yesterday I was on the dang treadmill for a whole 15 minutes (without my Apple watch so I didn’t even get virtual credit for the time. Sigh.)

Today I am sitting in bed typing…
How do I return to daily writing?

How do I return to a regular exercise (I can’t mow grass in Upstate NY in January. Sigh.)
By baby-steps, I guess. Make small changes and stick to them. Then do a little more.
One morning a few months ago, my husband asked what I was typing. I turned my laptop towards him and this is what he saw:

  • Blah blah
  • Blah blah blah
  • Blahblah. Blah blahblah blah

Yep. I was sitting there typing nonsense words. But at least I was typing!
For some people, creating a new habit, or regaining an old one is best done by sheer force of will and 100% commitment. For others, it’s baby steps. For myself, my friends and my clients, I figure that any change in the right direction is better than none. So, yes, there were many days in the last year (the last year when I did not publish blog posts), that I made myself sit, fingers posed over the keyboard and type something, anything. And yes, some days I only typed nonsense:

  • Blah blah
  • Blah blah blah
  • Blahblah. Blah blahblah blah

But I was practicing, relearning an old habit, and, I was even beginning to believe that some day, real words would return to me.
Regular daily exercise is a similar struggle. Well, not in the summer time because around here there is always grass to mow. (I love to mow my lawn. Heck, I even wrote a blog about it.) I am drawn to work not ‘exercise’ but my body does need to be challenged. So while I am working to get back into a regular routine, I do chores. Some days I do a Power Cleaning -my whole house dusted, swept, vacuumed and bathrooms cleaned in 30 minutes. Granted it is not the most thorough cleaning job but it’s efficient and sure gets me hot and sweaty! Other days, I shovel snow or move firewood from the woodpile to the house. But sometimes, it is all I can do to get through my day, and I only imagine getting hot, sweaty and out of breath. Sigh.
In the blog post linked above, I list these as my basic suggestions for healthy living:

  • Get hot, sweaty and out of breath (HSOB) at least 15 minutes everyday
  • Eat plenty of fruits and even more vegetables
  • Rest well -sleep is important
  • Self-time (at least 15 minutes a day of time spent simply nourishing the Self)
  • Take appropriate supplements and medications
  • Drink plenty of water

Looking over this list, I am definitely falling short on number one, doing pretty well on the rest. What about you? How are you doing on the basics? What would your own list look like (use this one if it appeals to you.)? What good-for-you habits have you had in the past that you now want to reclaim? How will you return that healthy, regular routine into your life, by sheer force of will and 100% commitment? Or like me, are you going to take baby-steps, make small, sometimes nonsensical changes until something sticks?

Ok, time for me to get up, stretch and get some exercise. (Sigh. Grumble. Stretch!)

May all babies be born into loving hands