Developing New Habits

In the time since I left my Ph.D. program, I've had some serious time to develop new habits.  Some have been longer in development than others and I'm okay with that.  I'm a work in progress and everyday my goal is to be the best me that I can be.  In no particular order, these habits include:

  1. #Gratitude: When I get really stressed out, all of the negative aspects of life seem so much obvious than the amazing parts.  Or, at least that is certainly true in my case.  I try everyday to share something for which I am grateful.  I write down others in my journal, but I usually just share one.  It's amazing how much more positive the world looks when you purposefully seek out and share your gratitude.
  2. Exercise: Saturday marked "Week 8, Day 7" of an exercise program called "My Peak Fitness".  With the exception of four days I took off after tripping while running, those eight weeks were continuous.  That's eight weeks of getting up early to bike, lift weights, work on the elliptical, etc.  I feel stronger and while I often feel sluggish at the start, I always feel awake when I'm done.  My ankle is still not 100% five weeks after tripping and I finally have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday.  (I had to wait two weeks for an open appointment.)  I'm nervous about what doc's going to tell me.  Getting up to exercise is an important part of my well-being and I don't want to lose that.
  3. Eating Smart: It might be too early to call this a fully-fledged habit, but I'm going to be optimistic.  Two weeks ago I officially joined Weight Watchers and since then I've been using their iOS app to track the food that I eat.  Nearly all fruits and veggies are "free" so it's good encouragement to eat more of these and less of processed foods.  Tonight I made hoisin-glazed mini turkey meatloaves.  They were absolutely delicious and even Craig really liked them.  I've already made being active a habit, so eating smart was a logical follow-up step.  I'm glad that I got one figured out before introducing the next.
  4. In Bed by 10:00 pm: In truth, I'm in bed by 9:00 pm nearly every night because I'm exhausted after having been up early to work out.  It'll be interesting to see how this plays out during hockey season when games can run late.  I know, however, that sleep is my linchpin.  If I don't sleep, bad things happen.
  5. Personal Project: On August 11th I started a new project: Family Science Chat.  Every day I post a new discussion starter on Twitter and my website that centers on some science concept or idea.  They're intended to be used by parents or teachers with their younger students.  For over a month, I've posted consistently.  Usually, I take a couple of hours and create them all for the week and queue them up in TweetDeck, but I've been consistent.  It's been fun to be on the lookout for potential prompts all over.  I've see things that I wouldn't otherwise see and it's a project in which I take a lot of pride.

Many members of my former Ph.D. cohort have pasted their oral qualifying exams and are now officially Ph.D. candidates.  I'm super proud of them, and it does make me a little sad that I'm not with them.  But you know what?  I'm really proud of me, too.