Autodidactic Ambitions

Each Day, I Make Myself…


A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about setting habits instead of goals. Overall, my habit-forming has been going well, but I will say that I miss being able to cross things off a list (plus I think it’s harder to notice progress when you’re simply focusing on the habit itself rather than a specific milestone you want to reach).

It’s too early to say whether habits beat out goals on every front, but I’m happy to report that the exercise of habit-forming rather than goal-reaching has at least kept my summer laziness (not to mention boredom) at bay.

In that post on habits mentioned earlier, I made a “how-to” list on implementing habits into your life. Although I used a couple examples in order to illustrate my process, I largely left out my own personal “daily habits” list.

Today I thought I’d share that actual list with you.

Oddly enough, one of the habits I’m keen to develop is the ability to be okay with relaxing and doing not much of anything at all. For some people, that habit comes too easily for it to be a worthwhile pursuit. However, for me, I really struggle with truly taking breaks or not feeling guilty for non-productivity, so as part of my overall life habit of wanting to live a more minimalist lifestyle, I’ve learned that I’ll need to be okay with not being busy all the time.

It’s for that reason that I set myself the task of only needing to do 3 of these “habits” each day (even though–as you’ll see–there are a lot more than 3 habits on this list). Honestly, most days I end up doing 7-8 of these things, but I’m hoping that on the days I don’t get as much “accomplished,” I’ll still be able to look back at a relaxing day with satisfaction instead of guilt for not getting more done.


So, each summer day, I make myself do at least three of the following:

*unpack a box
*find a place for something that doesn’t have one
*practice a piano piece
*index a batch of names (go to for more details)
*go for a run
*do a mini photo shoot
*make a new recipe
*do family history/genealogy
*vacuum something
*dust something
*write a blog post
*read 2 chapters of a book
*go for a walk
*plan an outing
*read the newspaper
*read the Ensign
*strength train for 20 minutes
*spend 20 minutes writing something other than a blog post
*practice the violin
*watch a TED talk
*listen to a Mormon Message
*call a friend or family member
*watch a cooking or photography demonstration online
*write an uplifting note/message/text to someone
*go weed the garden
*read a poem
*memorize a scripture or inspirational thought or hymn
*sketch something
*read a conference talk
*work on a nagging task for 15 minutes
*study a photography subject
*go to a yoga/Zumba class
*write in journal
*practice singing for 20 minutes
*do a load of laundry
*hang up clothes
*read an extra chapter in the scriptures
*edit photos

I know many of these habits seem like such little things (most don’t take me longer than 15 or 20 minutes, if even that), but with each one, I’m trying hard to cultivate a habit that will enrich some part of my life, be it physical, intellectual, spiritual, or otherwise. (I’ll also have you notice that many of the tasks that are the most difficult for me—aka, all the ones relating to cleaning and organizing–have no time limit. That’s because I’m proud of myself for getting ANYTHING done in that area, since it’s a huge weakness of mine.)


Are you the kind of person that feels guilty too for not getting enough done in a day? Or are you a little too good at relaxation?

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