I’m starting this post with a confession. Despite my recent morning routine posts, I’m rubbish at a routine. I have days where I go all out: my skin gets slathered in every (probably contradicting) product I have and I feel yes, I’ve done self-care.
Cue the following three days where I do nothing.
Then I have a weekend splurge.
Seeing the pattern? It doesn’t do me any good, either.
It’s not just skin-care that I’m like this with, but pretty much everything. I try and do too much, leaving no time for anything and everything is an effort rather than a habit. I was searching for coping strategies for anxiety, and came across the idea of a self-habit tracker.
Admittedly, I think the idea is to see what triggers anxiety off, but I adapted it to suit my needs.
I thought I would start small, for things that I want to actually get into a habit for rather than going to extremes and it backfiring on me. I focused on skin-care: my skin hasn’t been in good condition recently and I hoped following a proper routine without skipping days will make a difference (I’m pleased to report it has!).
The idea is that you note down what you want your focus to be on – as shown by the letters across the top. I know what they refer to even if no one else does. Then you tick them off – smiley faces, stickers, gold stars, whatever you want – each day you accomplish them. But you set certain rules: for example, you’re not allowed to miss the same thing more than twice in a week.
I’ve done this for just over a month. As you can see by my smiley faces, I’ve been slipping up recently. But I am finding that my mind-set is starting to change. I’ve had days where I can’t be bothered, and managed to tell myself that it will only take five minutes and to just do it. Beforehand, I wouldn’t be bothered and that would be it, I wouldn’t do it.
I also have days where I know I’ve missed something the last few days. I probably should find a reward system so I have that additional incentive to make sure it gets ticked off. But knowing that I’m lacking on happy faces has just been that final push to make me do something.
I’ll keep going the way I am right now because these things aren’t habits yet. But once they become part of a routine without me thinking about it, I’ll change up the list and focus on other areas where I’m lacking.
You can use this sort of method for anything that you want to get into habit for. I only selected skin-care because it was something I consciously wanted to change. My skin has improved and is in better condition because 6/7 days it’s getting what it needs.
Have you tried something like this before? What would you use it for?