80 Habits to Try While Counting Down Deployment
80 Habits to Try While Counting Down Deployment

There’s this lie we like to tell military spouses whose service members are deployed:

We love to tell them that they should “stay busy” to make the time feel like it’s moving more quickly.

And (in the wise words of day time TV host Maury Povich) “the test reveals… THAT is a LIE!”

Most military spouses will tell you that staying “busy” just makes the season feel more overwhelming. What I’ve personally found is that being “busy” is way less important than creating sustainable new habits that will help me flow effortlessly through each day of the deployment countdown.

When I’m leaning into new habits, focusing on how I can make each one stick, the days really do seem to move more quickly. Instead of wondering how many hours are left in the 10th week until homecoming, I’m totally captivated by reading one chapter of a book each day, or cooking one new recipe every week.

No matter what habits I’ve chosen to add to my life during deployment, they help me create normalcy and routine in a season that is anything but normal (PLUS, I have some super cool new habits to share with my spouse when he returns home!)

In honor of my favorite countdown strategy, here are 80 ideas that you could try to use as new habits during your deployment countdown. Need help keeping it all straight and getting started? No problem. Just click here to download a free PRINTABLE HABIT TRACKER to make it all count!

Onto the habits…

Self Care

  1. Wake up 10 minutes earlier for a slower morning
  2. Journal for 5 minutes daily
  3. Start each morning naming one gratitude
  4. Set a bed time and stick to it
  5. Limit T.V. time to 30 minutes daily
  6. Drink (your choice amount) of water daily
  7. Sing an uplifting song each morning while you get ready
  8. Take one meditation break daily
  9. Floss every day (seriously… we see you 😉 )
  10. Say “no” if you really don’t want to do something

Fitness & Health

  1. Walk ## steps each day
  2. Choose the stairs instead of the elevator
  3. Eat something green
  4. Meal Prep Weekly
  5. Eat your prepped meals daily
  6. Work standing up for (your choice minutes) daily
  7. Work out or get active (your choice times) weekly
  8. Park in the farthest parking spot at work
  9. Eat plant-based one meal per day
  10. Take a daily multi-vitamin

Learning

  1. Read 1 chapter of a book daily
  2. Practice a different language once per week
  3. Turn on a podcast when you’re in the car
  4. Complete a weekly crossword puzzle
  5. Learn one new thing about a friend or co-worker daily
  6. Work on a painting or drawing 10 minutes each day
  7. Try a new recipe once weekly
  8. Watch one tutorial-based youtube video daily
  9. Listen to one “blinkist” each day
  10. Write (a book, a blog, an article, a note) for 10 minutes daily

Just for fun

  1. Hug one person every day
  2. Perform one random act of kindness weekly
  3. Don’t use plastic bottles- bring a reusable bottle with you
  4. Walk silently in nature once per week
  5. Try one new restaurant each week/month
  6. Volunteer somewhere once weekly
  7. Wear blue-light blocking glasses when on the computer
  8. Take a bath before bed each night
  9. Work on a new trick with the dog for 20 minutes daily
  10. Sit in the sun for 10 minutes

Financial 

  1. Spend $0 at a specific store (Starbucks? Target?)
  2. Don’t throw away leftovers
  3. Buy used first (check for used before buying new)
  4. Work on a side hustle 30 minutes daily
  5. Read one finance-related article daily
  6. Reconcile your bank account weekly
  7. Hit your savings goal weekly
  8. Only buy what’s on your list
  9. Don’t buy lunch during the week
  10. Pay a bill immediately

Productivity

  1. Arrive 10 minutes early for every event
  2. Pay bills as soon as you receive them
  3. Clear your counter nightly
  4. Keep your inbox at “zero” (cleaned out!) daily
  5. Fold laundry as soon as it’s dried
  6. Turn off your phone after 8pm daily
  7. Identify & finish one “key task” each day
  8. Stick to a “stop” time for work and tasks to wind down
  9. Limit social media breaks to (your choice #) per day
  10. Take a daily walk at lunch

Relationships

  1. Write one thank you note weekly
  2. Text a different friend every day
  3. Send a well written note/email to your spouse weekly
  4. Check your calendar for weekly birthdays- celebrate them with a call
  5. Introduce yourself to one new person daily
  6. Find 10 minutes of one-on-one time with your kiddos daily
  7. Schedule a weekly night in with friends
  8. Hug each of your little ones 12 times daily
  9. Commit to zero gossip/criticism
  10. Write a gratitude about your spouse daily