Planner checklist: Adding new habits

I’m not so great at adding that one thing and doing it every day until it’s rote and then adding something else. Partly because there are things I want to do regularly, but not every day — like updating this blog. Then there are things I should probably do every day, but sometimes forget or never get around to or otherwise fail on — like practicing katas. Then there are things I want to do each day, but regularly find a way to not do — like practicing lettering or sketching or journaling. You know the things. You know the excuses.

I thought about buying a custom stamp to use in my planner, but then I remembered I had leftover 2″x2.5″ sticker samples from a candle project (the stickers aren’t strong enough to adhere to glass and the colors are all wrong). I mocked up some little grids in Photoshop and stuck them in the “notes” section of my SmartPlanner pages. (The stickers are ugly as sin because the line tool keeps malfunctioning and the font’s stretched too much, but this is a test batch and it’s not for anyone but me.)

After most of a week (the weekend isn’t over), I’ve managed twenty little checkmarks out of a possible 70. Not sure that’s so great, but again…weekend. I do like the idea of the check boxes, though. There’s something satisfying about checking off a task.

And it’s pretty easy to squeeze “plank” in since I can do it while I’m waiting for the microwave to heat up lunch. And 20 slow breathes takes me between a minute and a minute 15 seconds, so I don’t really have to stop and find a timer for that one. The katas seem hardest behind lettering because I never seem to have enough space indoors to practice things like bo (long staff) or sai without taking out furniture, cats, or light fixtures. (And it’s been way too stormy lately to be swinging kama or swords around outside.) Lettering seems to be that I’m not a big “quotes” or “pithy” sayings person, so I never know what to letter. (Does writing upbeat messages on the fridge chalkboard for the husband count?)

Writing and reading seem to be the easiest. That’s probably a good sign. All right, I’m off to plank while the microwave nukes my spaghetti leftovers.

How do you force yourself into new habits?

*checks off “blog”*