Habits in 2016

About this time two years ago, I posted about setting new habits in 2016. It is a good time to review the past year in terms of gaining these habits.

In hindsight, I should have written a report card last year, but I’ve had a hectic 2016 so I’ll give myself a pass on that. I’ll touch briefly on 2015 and focus more on 2016, before I look forward to the habits to gain in 2017.

Exercise

I was well into getting fit in 2015. I gained weight. I lost fats and built up muscle mass. I continued my exercise habit into the first two months of 2016. However, work pushed most things off my plates, including blogging, writing, and photography. Regular exercise was the first habit to be dropped.

It was only when work eased up at the end of 2016 that I was able to start devoting more time to getting fit. I have been taking long walks to clear my mind and take more photos. This is a conscious effort to start increasing my steps count per day.

The next step to work towards in 2017 is to regain my routine of doing pushups and pull ups.

Daily journals

Another casualty of me being swamped with work was writing. I managed to continue my daily handwritten journal till March 2016, after which only wrote entries sparsely until October when I started to have time for daily entries again.

Aside from writing, I have also started drawing as a form of journal. Inspired by Boey Cheeming, I draw an entry a day. The doodles are short snippets of the highlights or interesting things I encountered that day. Some days, I draw about my past experiences as a pharmacist.

It will be an ask to maintain writing the handwritten and hand-drawn journals, while posting regularly on the blog, but these are habits I will work hard to gain because they hold great meaning to me.

Reading

One surprising habit that stuck with me was reading. While I was exhausted from work to produce creative output, reading was a salve. On the days I could still stay awake once I was in bed, I consumed a chapter. I completed several good books in 2016.

With more time on hand now, I read a chapter a day.

Forming habits

The best way to push yourself to gain a habit is through making yourself accountable.

I promised myself to finish the notebook I’m using for my 2017 journal entries, the Rhodia softcover notebook. Part of 2015 and 2016 were written in the Moleskine. The Rhodia is so much better than the Moleskine and I want to get a new one for 2018. So, I better be consistent and finish the current one in 2017.

My daily doodles are posted publicly on my blog so I have to be accountable to my friends who read the entries diligently.

I have several books I’m looking forward to on my reading list, and I also plan to post about my reading at the end of the year. These reasons motivate me to maintain my reading habit.

As for exercising, I have no one else to be accountable to except for myself. My health is the most important asset. I need to stay fit to be able to reach my goals. And of course, I need to continue to avoid looking my age.

Looking forward

Another habit I have formed is writing while I read. There are certain articles that resonate with me or that I disagree strongly with. As a result, I’m spurred to share my views and comments as I read.

This has been very useful in helping me finish blog entries, since what I write are often pieces that I want to share. This has made me more optimistic in posting blog entries more regularly.

I look forward to reviewing my progress at the start of the next year. What habits would you like to pick up in the year ahead? Write them down and share them. Make yourself commit to gaining the habit. Let’s push each other to meet our goals.