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Habitual Updates – Round 1

You may recall from a couple months ago this post where I talked about adopting 11 new habits as part of my set of goals this year; I spoke about choosing to divide and conquer and the 3 habits I selected to try first are highlighted below:

  1. Blog 2 times weekly.
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily.
  3. Eat dinner at the kitchen table every week night.
  4. Eat salad daily.
  5. Exercise for 45 minutes 3 times weekly.
  6. Floss daily.
  7. Go 1 day every week without TV.
  8. Go to bed by 10:30pm every week night.
  9. Keep a gratitude journal daily.
  10. Reduce alcohol intake to 5 drinks or less weekly.
  11. Take multivitamins daily.

So how did I do?  Let’s break it down.

On the blogging front, I maintained my 2 posts per week with the exception of a couple weeks where I only posted once due to so many summer plans!  I talked about that in this post and I stand by that; it’s like anything else I love to do – sometimes it takes a back seat to other things I want or need to do.  However I still consider this one a success and I’m calling it completed, tentatively, for the year because I have lots of posts still planned and because my interest in posting hasn’t waned at all.  Besides, if I don’t meet this goal by my 31st birthday, that will be evident enough simply in a lack of posts and, likely, a lack of followers who will have given up on me and my stagnant blog!

As for eating salads, while I’m not eating a salad every single day, I’m willing to say that 5 days out of 7, I’m eating at least 1 salad a day, and I call that a success; after all, you can’t plan for plans to get in the way of your previous plans and we all know what it’s like for breakfast/lunch/dinner plans to fall through for various reasons (I hate to blame summer again, but we’ve thrown out our dinner plans in favour of a patio now and then!).  In any case I think it was overly ambitious of me to make it mandatory to eat a salad every day.  Some days I just don’t want a salad!  And I think that as long as I’m making an effort to choose something healthy, I’m succeeding.

My success with this habit has really come down to some staple choices like greek salads (because I love olives and feta) and tossed salads (because I just use whatever I have on hand), and the addition of some special salad thrown in for a change (like spinach).   I’ve also been obsessed with a Waldorf salad that my friend Amy made for me a few months ago; just ask my husband – I think there were a couple weeks there where I ate this salad every single day.  I’m actually out of celery right now and we’ve been too busy to get any groceries for about two weeks, so I’m missing this salad!  When I make Amy’s Waldorf salad (she has a recipe she follows, but I like to wing it!), I usually use half an apple (usually granny smith because the tartness works awesome here), 1 stalk of celery, about 20 red grapes, a cap-full of lemon juice (like 1 tsp), a couple spoonfuls of greek yogurt, and top it all off with about a T of walnut pieces or almond slices.  I usually make a couple servings at a time and portion them out into containers for my lunches.  It’s delicious!  As a result, I’m calling this habit completed because I’ve created a mindset that I don’t think I’m going to lose any time soon.

On to flossing… oh how I used to dread thee!  Seriously, the only time I ever flossed before was when the dentist had me pinned down and did it for me.  (I feel I should note that the dentist never actually restrained me, but my view of dentists is a tad skewed due to my disdain for them and their evil ways.)  I never flossed because a) it was ridiculously hard, b) I didn’t see the point since I always brushed, and c) it always hurt and made my gums bleed!

You may be wondering then, why the heck did I make this a goal?!?  I learned last year that my gums were inflamed and that this is a preliminary sign for gum disease, but that there would be no need to worry if I made sure to floss daily.  At the time I half-heartedly tried to floss but it didn’t last.  Queue my goals and my renewed efforts!  My original goal was to floss daily but again I’m just not sure that’s realistic.  I thought that if I made it automatic like brushing that it would come naturally, but I’ve actually found that I just floss when I have an available moment, and that works for me.  I’m proud to say that I floss at least 4 times a week and I’ve kept that up for about 2 months now.  The real measure of my success will come with my dentist appointment next month; although I’m not holding my breath that they notice, it would feel pretty good if they did (and they might convince me that they’re not all evil if they say something nice to me for a change).

Most importantly as result of flossing is that I’ve learned a lot and know my own mouth better than I ever did before.  For example, I have a rather large gap between two of my back teeth that tends to catch and keep a lot of food particles, and now I know that when I used to feel a bit of a toothache back there, it was because too many particles had become lodged there.  Ew?  Perhaps, but useful info all the same!  I’ve also been using little one-time floss picks like these which are smaller and make it much easier to get to the back of my mouth, and I can also floss one-handed that way!  And finally I’ve also made my gums stronger, and they rarely bleed anymore.  I really can’t stress enough how easy it actually is to floss, and I love the way my mouth feels afterwards.  I even keep a thing of floss with me at work now (floss nerd!).

So all-in-all, round 1 is a success!  I’m pleased with my efforts so far and eager to get going on some more habits, so here are my new picks for the next 6 weeks or so:

  1. Blog 2 times weekly.
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily.
  3. Eat dinner at the kitchen table every week night.
  4. Eat salad daily.
  5. Exercise for 45 minutes 3 times weekly.
  6. Floss daily.
  7. Go 1 day every week without TV.
  8. Go to bed by 10:30pm every week night.
  9. Keep a gratitude journal daily.
  10. Reduce alcohol intake to 5 drinks or less weekly.
  11. Take multivitamins daily.

I’m going to focus on engraining these habits by the end of August and I’ll update you then on how I did for round 2.  Wish me luck!

Have I inspired you to start flossing, or are you already a floss nerd?

S

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