{three healthy habits}

I woke up on Monday acutely aware that there was exactly one month until my birthday. The day in and of itself almost felt important. One more month until I am 27. One month left of 26. 

In so many ways, the year has flown. I think back to my birthday last year and it feels like yesterday. But at the same time, so much has changed. It was a big year - and things like the rat house and my broken foot seem like ages ago. They seem like tiny dots in an otherwise lovely year - and yet I think of the time we were actually living with those rats, and it felt like each night lasted forever.

But isn't that so often how time goes? It has the ability to both fly by and stand still all at once.

Broken foot and stitches aside, it was a year of healthy habit making for me and as I strive to keep them up, I thought I'd share. Because if I'm going to chronicle my injuries, it only feels right to share the wins, too, right? 

1. Make self care a priority. I've chronicled the steps I've taken to unglorify busy and you've seen me fail a few times. But I've learned the value of rest - and it's something I will never forget. I will never again prioritize a 6 a.m. workout over sleep when I'm still awake at 1 a.m. I've learned to listen to my body (sometimes you've gotta cut that dairy or eat those eggs!). And I'm learning how to find rest in Christ even when life feels like it's swirling. And it feels good. Really good.

2. Quit the scale. Growing up, I never weighed myself. In fact, even throughout college I could never have told you how much I weighed. It just never crossed my mind to weigh myself. But when I joined my new gym in Atlanta, I had to pass the scale a every time I entered and exited. And what began as a once a week check in turned into a daily - or sometimes multiple times a day - habit. It gave me a very false sense of control, but could also make or break my day. How can a number - a 1-pound change - impact my entire day that much? 

The low point was this winter when I weighed myself on the scale and it was broken and said I was up 20-pounds from the day prior. Instead of believing everything my body told me (my clothes still fit, I didn't feel or look different), I believed the scale and couldn't shake the sadness I felt all afternoon. And then I decided I had to quit. I had never needed the scale to maintain my weight my entire life, so why did I think it helped me now? And golly, it feels so much better living without it. I couldn't even guess my weight today if I tried, but I know my clothes still fit. I'm not out of control without it. In fact, I'm more in control of my emotions and my diet, because they're no longer dictated by a number. 

3. Learn to say no, excuse optional. Saying no is hard. Really hard. And it's even harder to say it without apologizing or offering an excuse - especially to someone you care about. But sometimes you have to let your no be no, simply because whatever you're being asked to do doesn't fit with your life right now. Maybe you're overextended. Maybe you're trying to focus on something else. Or heck, maybe you just don't want to. But sometimes it's OK to simply say no.

And if it's appropriate, provide a reason. But unless you're truly sorry, don't apologize. Because after years of over apologizing, I began to realize that I was doing myself a disservice. I was taking on a burden I didn't need to feel and indicating to people that I owed them something I didn't really owe. Do I still say sorry when I mean it? YES! I am a huge believer in the s-word. But I don't say sorry when I haven't done something worth apologizing for anymore. And what I've found is that when I do say sorry now, it means a lot more, because I mean it very much.

So that's what 26 has taught me about healthy habit making. I can't wait to see what 27 has in store. But first, one more lovely month of good livin ahead!

Happy day to you!