Nik Kantar

Friday, December 30, 2022

2022: The Year of Habits in Review

How’d this year’s theme go?

It feels different writing this review of a single broad annual goal after six years of multiple narrow ones. There’s no easy scorecard to anchor my words, no hard and fast numbers. Nevertheless, we ought to talk about how it went.

I didn’t necessarily build a ton of habits I could brag about here. I didn’t really build any habits unsuitable for bragging either, to be fair. I did, however, build a habit of thinking about habits (ha!), and thus abandon a number of pursuits that were clearly not sustainable, which I think is a partial but not insignificant win.

I think the example habits I listed in the original post are still worth going through, so:

Do I feel like I gained something out of all this? Absolutely! I now reflexively frame things in terms of how sustainable I think they’d be as habits, and the biggest change has been really minimizing the scale of every initial effort.

For example, a few weeks ago I decided to stop eating unhealthy takeout as much as I have been. Rather than go all-in on keto, as I have in the past, I tried to just default to simple homemade salads: spinach, bell peppers, chicken, cheese, nuts, seasoning, and dressing. For this to work at all I knew I had to have the chicken ready to go, so I used my slow cooker and made several pounds of it to start me off. The result has been a pretty low effort habit of eating a lot healthier, that has me weighing in at 8.4 lb fewer after 17 days, including a Christmas road trip. I don’t feel like I’m working all that hard for what are objectively pretty decent results, and I didn’t suddenly add a ton of grocery shopping or meal prep to my life, which has in the past never really stuck.

Maybe for next year I’ll commit to a few specific habits and incrementally build them up?

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Solve the Problem You Have
2023: No Goals