Overview: Anchoring New Habits

Creating an implementation plan that was effective for a zone 00 design has been a challenge. I experimented with all sorts of goal setting exercises, but how does one set a goal saying they will drink nettle infusion every morning?

This led me to create a new strategy for crafting a workable zone 00 implementation plan. I realised many of my desires were actually just new habits and therefore identified 'habits to anchor', which are practices I want to integrate into my life. These may be specific life guidelines e.g. only 3 cups of caffeine tea per day, or they may be part of a regular cycle like below.

Cycles of Self-Care

When one starts to really embody permaculture thinking its easy to see processes as cyclic, and we can start to use these cycles and spirals to our advantage. Below are some cycles of self care that I wish to anchor into my life:

Daily Cycles

  • Making nourishing herbal infusions
  • Do 10 minute workout every morning and/or morning stretch routine 
  • Record feelings & observations in learning journal
    Spend at least 15 mins outside with no working task, simply to connect & tune in
  • Talk about my feelings to my partner, a friend or family 
  • Do my emails and next actions from 8.30-10am per day and use evenings for my project work, to ensure there I am achieving my strategic goals

Weekly Cycles

  • Minimum of one lie in a week with no alarm 
  • Attend fitness class in Compton Dundon 
  • Do weightlifting session at least once per week 
  • Make at least one meal with wild foods
  • Make at least one new raw food recipe 
  • At least one evening per week be computer-free 
  • Email friends in prison
  • Call grandparents 
  • Update blog & websites at least once per week 
  • Spend at least two whole day equivalents working on the land

 Monthly Cycles

  • Review finances 
  • Email family with update 
  • Visit Grandparents at least every 6 weeks 
  • Card reading 
  • Review goals
  • Ask 4 action learning questions & write on blog
  • Every fortnight Walk up hill & run back via village at least once 
  • Noting the moon correspondences for the garden
  • Undertake at least one session of creativity e.g. making something, writing non-fiction

Seasonal Cycles

  • Celebrate the solstices
  • Re-design altar on solstices 
  • Visit sacred places
  • Review growth & achievements from previous seasonal festival 

Yearly cycles (Pagan calendar not roman calendar)

  • Set a budget for the year incl. personal development budget 
  • Design in times for quality nourishment e.g. trips away or periods of rest at home
  • Set goals for the year 
  • Do an internal vision quest & find an animal & plant ally to guide me through the year 
  • Do a 6 month & yearly review for the previous year
  • Design learning pathway for the year 
  • Decide project priorities by Imbolc each year
  • Invest in at least one new tattoo or self-loving item

Goal Setting

I then looked at goals for my long term options to give me strategic direction. I used a format from Lyn Gender's book. In this format goal setting was presented as :

  • Long term goals
  • Short term goals
  • Next actions
  • Benefits of the journey (to give the exercise an extra edge)

This has been a powerful tool which would not have happened were it for this output process. I have set most of my goals in place but will complete this exercise following output 5 when I decide my MSc pathway, as it will influence my direction massively.

Staying Focused

John Stowe describes staying aligned as when you cultivate your ability to access inner clarity, wisdom, direction & purpose. I seek to access the focus, clarity & sense of purpose that will make my actions effective in achieving my long term goals. In order to re-align regularly I have explored potential ways & means of this below:

Apply self-regulation & accept feedback

  • Regularly question the intentions of my projects (see integration table)
  • Listen to & act on my intuition
  • Ruthlessly prioritise to maintain focus but recognise the multiple levels of involvement from leadership, to collaborative to solidarity. Involvement in projects can be reduced without being disregarded or valued
  • Review goals on a monthly basis
  • Use action learning questions on a monthly basis
  • Allow for a regular deeper check in to see if choices are aligned with deep soul purpose e.g. time spent in Cornwall or at pagan gatherings

Other actions to reinforce my purpose that are effective for me personally include:

  • Redesigning my altar & displaying materials e.g. vision board
  • Carrying amulets charged with intent
  • Tattooing as affirmation
  • Reading daily statement of intent
  • Reading affirmations

I also undertook research to see what other systems people had established themselves to maintain focus & these have influenced this design.

Blogger Dave Cheong identified 11 ways of staying focused:
1. Having well defined goals
2. Breaking things into bite sized chunks
3. Prioritising constantly
4. Tracking progress vigorously
5. Planning ahead without fail
6. Rewarding myself when warranted
7. Having positive patterns with my routine
8. Removing distractions as best I can
9. Blocking out some time
10. Keeping the results clear in mind
11. Enlisiting my family & friends for help.

I also explored the 7 habits of Highly Effective People:
1. Be proactive
2. Begin with the end in mind - self discover & clarify your deeply important character values & life goals.
3. Put first things first - prioritise based on importance
4. Think win-win - strive for mutually beneficial solutions
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood - empathetic listening
6. Synergize - positive team work
7. Sharpen the saw - self renewal & self care to create a sustainable, long term effective lifestyle.