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Go Team 2023! Make some tweaks

Would changing a few things about your environment or your approach make it easier for you to build the habits you are trying to build?

Could you enhance your exercise or meditation space to make it more appealing?

Could you move things around to make your practice feel more accessible?

Is there anything you can change about the details of your tasks that will make them more fun or at least less annoying?

Let me give you some examples.

Today, I’m moving my rowing machine up into my living room.

Up until now, it has been in the basement which was perfectly fine until I started decluttering. My decluttering project has many stages and some of those stages take a week or more so there is stuff lying around partially sorted or half organized. And the thought of using my rowing machine amid that chaos has kept me from using it regularly.

I want to use my rowing machine but I know I can’t speed up the decluttering, so the machine has gotta move.*

Years ago, when I first tried strength training, I realized that I found it irritating to count up my reps. I wasn’t sure what bugged me about it at the time so I started experimenting with different methods of keeping track and I found out that using short periods of time (Do squats for 30 seconds) helped, saying letters instead of numbers (Why do I not mind doing H bicep curls but doing 8 is annoying? Who knows?), or simply counting down instead were all better than counting up.

Moving my rowing machine, changing how I track reps, using a small gardener’s mat for extra knee padding during certain yoga poses, putting a blanket in the spot where I meditate, lighting a candle when I write in my journal, using a textured sticker to focus on mindful breathing, all of these tweaks make it easier for me to do the things I want and need to do to build and maintain my habits

Yes, I know that some of these things might seem silly or weird.

Maybe they seem like hardly worth doing, like something I should be able to just ignore or just push past.

But I’m not out to prove anything here, I just want a straightforward path to doing the things I want to do?

Why add extra static to a task that already requires a fair bit of physical and emotional energy?

Why not make things easier on myself?

By tweaking the details of my environment and my approach, I remove a whole set of obstacles from between me and my tasks.

Removing those obstacles makes it more likely that I will be able to follow through on my plans.

So, Team, I’m wondering if you can give yourself permission to do similar things for yourself?

To reiterate the questions I asked at the beginning of this post…

Is there anything about where you exercise or meditate or journal or rest that might improve that space?

Is there anything about *how* you approach or undertake your tasks that you can tweak to make things easier?

Your obstacles may not be obvious at first. You may have to poke around in your reluctance a little to see what’s bugging you (it took me a while to realize that the mess of the decluttering process was interfering with my rowing) but it will be worth it to figure it out and experiment with how to make things better.

Whether your routines, systems and tasks are unfolding smoothly or whether they need a few tweaks, I wish you ease and self-kindness today and always.

Here’s your gold star for today’s efforts, no matter what they are:

A drawing of a red balloon decorated with a gold star and gold dots.
A drawing of a red balloon decorated with a gold star and gold dots. The balloon is on a string and is floating up from the bottom of the drawing. The background of the image is white with gold horizontal pinstripes.

*Luckily, it’s not a very fancy rowing machine so it’s pretty compact and the long part folds upward when I remove a pin so it won’t take up all the space in my living room.

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