Life Style

10 Readers Share Good Habits They’ve Kept

I’m always impressed by people who set weekly goals and stick to them. We asked readers about habits they’ve kept, and the stories were phenomenal! Here are 10 readers inspiring us this week…

“A couple years ago, I moved to Denver for my partner’s work. I felt pretty lost making friends, and I also felt deep imposter syndrome with the activity culture here, where many people love snow sports, mountain biking and climbing. These are high-barrier-to-entry activities that require gear and skills that felt insurmountable. But in an attempt to fill time, I took up hiking on the weekends while my partner was working on Saturdays. I figured, how hard could walking be — you just need boots and water. I went alone, listening to podcasts along the miles, as if the hosts were my pals. Over time, I built up my stamina from three miles to 12 miles, +600 ft. elevation gain to +2,800 ft. Although I’ve since made friends, I hold my weekend hike akin to church and I prefer to worship solo. I am so lucky to have been able to keep this habit up during the pandemic, and I’m also deeply aware of the privilege I have of proximity and physical ability to hike so often. I preach the good word of solo hiking to any women who ask because it has empowered me so much.” — Lara (above)

10 Readers Share Good Habits They've Kept

“My habit is to think of ‘future me’ every day. If I have an overwhelming workday ahead, I prep a meal for future me, who won’t have time to make lunch. When I don’t feel like doing the full skincare routine, I think, ‘Future me will thank you for taking care of your skin!’ We’re always thinking of what our partners, children and bosses will need in the future because we care. I’ve made a habit of doing that for myself.” — Destinee

11 Readers Share Good Habits They've Kept

“I am a professional songwriter, but to pay the bills I also teach music at a middle school. Three years ago, a friend in Nashville invited to be in a songwriting group. We have to send in a completed song every week, and if we miss even one, we get kicked out. Some weeks, it has been SO difficult to get a song written; I’ve had to stay up late and sing quietly after my kids and husband are in bed. But the ritual has become an absolute lifesaver, especially during COVID. A few months ago, I recorded a new album. It definitely felt like something special.” — Lacey

11 Readers Share Good Habits They've Kept

“I used to run races (anything from 5Ks to marathons), but after having kids it was hard to find time to train. This year, I realized it had been a decade since my last race! Since my birthday in early June, I’ve been running a mile a day. It’s long enough to be a challenge, but short enough that I can’t make excuses. It feels like such a regular part of my day now — like brushing my teeth.” — Anne

11 Readers Share Good Habits They've Kept

“My habit is keeping up with dear friends. Even though I graduated from college 12 years ago and have moved to many different cities (and even countries!) since then, my friends and I have always made a point of staying in touch and seeing each other in person when we are in the same geographic area. Recently, we went to a dazzling alpaca farm in New Jersey, where we had the absolute best time.” — Sarah

11 Readers Share Good Habits They've Kept

“For most of my life, I bit my nails. I’m an anxious person by nature, and it was a release. Finally, in January 2020, I decided to stop. Little did I know that one of the most anxiety-producing events was right around the corner! But I kept it up! Clean, fresh nails are such a confidence booster. It’s also amazing to look at my hands and see a tangible result of hard work.” — Molly

11 Readers Share Good Habits They've Kept

“Pre-pandemic, I attended my Barre3 studio three times a week. During the pandemic, I did their live-streaming classes every day. I’m so thankful for the studios and instructors that pivoted their businesses to keep us sane.” — Vishakha

11 Readers Share Good Habits They've Kept

“We got a puppy last spring, and he would wake us up so early that I finally started prioritizing reading — because what else is there to do at 6 a.m.? I’m happy to say I’m crushing my 2021 reading goal! My mornings now feel incomplete without it.” — Lily

11 Readers Share Good Habits They've Kept

“During the pandemic, I started sending weekly letters to friends and family. At first, it was just an excuse to support the USPS, but now it has become a regular, meditative act of love for the people in my life. When I pick up one of my multicolored pens, I focus on the person I’m writing to, sending them love through the universe. Also, because it wasn’t enough to send mail to friends and family, I joined Postcrossing (after reading about it in the CoJ comments section), so now I also send good wishes to strangers all over the world.” — Maire

11 Readers Share Good Habits They've Kept

“For most of my twenties, physical activity wasn’t really my thing, but then I found myself with lots of unoccupied time because of a divorce. When a day or evening wasn’t booked, that time stretched out endlessly in front of me. As a distraction, I started riding my bike. A lot. So much so that when my bike was in the shop for a tune up, I wondered how I would function without it. Riding helped me process emotions that were too complex to be sorted out while sitting still. I pedaled through heartbreak, sadness, rage and despair until I started feeling free, triumphant, content and unstoppable. The surge of pride that swelled in me every time I calculated my total mileage gave me such a high during a season of life that was filled with so many lows. Last year, I rode over 1,750 miles making the best memories — 30 miles on my 30th birthday with my mom, loops around a lake followed by beers with my dad, and hitting 1,000 miles on a camping trip with friends.” — Jenna

What habits do you have? Thank you so much to everyone who shared their stories!

P.S. More reader comments, and three women share their later-in-life accomplishments.

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