Building new habits

As I have said before, the sewing part of my day is my least favorite.  I love the thinking, dreaming, researching, designing, pattern making, the fittings, the website design, the writing.  But the sewing (which is slightly integral to this process) is painful.  I sew in my basement, and every time I walk down the stairs to sew, I can literally feel the pain.  

I thought about - "What is it that I don't like about the sewing?"  For one thing, it's boring.  It's a long time of just doing something that requires concentration but not much deep thought.  And secondly, I feel out of control.  I feel like I can't control these machines with all of these moving parts which often just eat my fabric after I've spent all this time cutting out.  I think lots of practice (which I'm doing), a little instruction (which I'm getting) and a better machine (which I bought) may help with the machine issues.  But what to do about the boredom?

I asked myself - "What is my favorite time of the day?"  Lunch time - because that is when I give myself a 30 minute reward of sitting and watching a podcast.  And why do I enjoy that so much?  Because I LOVE learning.  

A little piece of technology has changed my life.  My husband gave me an ipad for Christmas.  And now, I can listen to podcasts while I sew.  Creativelive, Skillshare, Tim Ferris, John Piper, design recharge, Seth Godin, Todd Henry.  Oh my goodness.  So much fun.

Now I only let myself listen to podcasts while I'm sewing, which makes me want to sew more. So, I'm getting my reward WHILE I am building my habit of sewing.  I do the same thing with running.  I only let myself watch the news WHILE I'm running.  So, if I don't run, I don't have any idea what is going on in the world.  And while I still sense the "pain" when I walk down to the basement and drive to the gym, the reward is drawing me to my new habit with excitement. 

So, is there a new habit that you are trying to build into your life?  Instead of rewarding yourself after you are finished, try incorporating a reward into the habit.  Let me know if that works for you.