Sunday 25 September 2016

Day 2: 4 new habits in 28 days - Setting targets

The premise of my 28 day challenge is that without sustaining a new habit for 28 days it's far too easy to fall back onto the old habit. Too easy to decide it's not working, and give up (unless that's just me?).

In the series of blog posts I'm sharing what I'm doing to improve the chances of succeeding, and also exploring how I manage the challenges and frustrations that come up during the process. 

First an update on progress made on day 2:
  1. I will consistently eat gluten free everyday - achieved - having been inconsistently GF for 4 years I've got over the initial disbelief that's it's even possible, and withdrawal symptoms, and just know when I'm travelling with work in a few weeks time this will be more of a challenge. 
  2. I will do my hip mobilisation daily -  achieved - although only just before going to bed because I hadn't done them! I'll explore this more fully later in the week - a great example that 'what gets measured gets done'. 
  3. I will keep sufficiently hydrated - achieved - more of that below
  4. I will do one thing differently every day - achieved - I bought a men's fitness magazine rather than a female one. More about this habit in a future blog.
Embedding the above habits are the first steps in achieving my vision for flexible and pain free arthritic knees. Habits that if achieved will make achieving the goal more likely.

Nothing like not walking the talk! Rather than spend lots of time getting the wording of the habits just right I just wrote what came to mind down and got on with it.

After day 1 it became clear that the new habits needed rewording. That is were the objectives SMART ie Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound?

I realised the hydration habit wasn't exactly measurable - unless of course I'm very good at noticing my hydration and knowing what 'suficiently hydrated' looks and feels like. Which I'm not!

Hydration helps keep the knees lubricated, and certainly days when I have a lot of pain are often days succeeding a day when I didn't drink much at all.

Whilst hydration is the goal, I need to specify what I will be doing to achieve this. 

I will drink at least 2 litres of water every day.

That then enables me to measure my consumption of water during the day, and to understand whether I've reached the target or not.

This then opens up a quandary about what the target should be. 

In some explanations of SMART it suggests S should be Stretching. In which case I should set a target of 2.5 or 3 litres. However, since the reason for identifying these habits is for me to ensure consistency of action, I'm going to start with achievable goals that if sustained can be increased at a future point. 

For me it's definitely about putting in place actions that will become habits not something that would be a daily challenge. The end goal of pain free and flexible knees feels like a challenge. Breaking it down into manageable habits, that I can embed into life, that I know will support me on moving towards my goal is the priority. 

How could you amend your objectives or goals to make them SMARTer, and make it more likely you'll take the necessary actions to achieving them?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring Change - Inside and Out

Blogs of the journey of 28 days to embed 4 new habits have so far included - the inspiration and the vision and goal.

Hypertext links in the text above link to previous blogs written on the subject either here on The Purchasing Coach site or over on my Landscaping Your Life site where I use nature as a metaphor and teacher for our lives. 

Anyone with Arthritis may also want to review my Pinterest board with over 150 links on how you might be able to improve living with arthritis.


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