10 habits I built on my sabbatical

October 1st, 2017 marked the end of my sabbatical year. It was also the chosen date for the Catalan Referendum. After living in Catalonia for the past 10 years, the situation was heart-wrenching. Many people were hurt, angry, confused. The public opinion was divided. As much as I wanted to celebrate and reflect publicly, I also wanted to be respectful. So I kept silent.

But today I want to share my thoughts on these past 12 months. I’ve travelled, learned, lived. Thought, talked, reflected. Established new objectives. Built new habits.

These are the 10 new habits I want to stick to during this new phase.

  1. Enjoying the sunset
    I’m aware that I’m going to be inside an office at dusk for the most part of the coming year. But when I can be outside, I want to enjoy as many sunsets as possible.
  2. Sitting outside when the weather permits it
    This year of eternal Summer gave me a tan and a smile I will never forget. I want to work on them every sunny, free moment I have.
  3. Drinking the first coffee of the day with my husband
    Starting the day together is, I believe, one of the keys of a healthy relationship. And he makes delicious coffee!
  4. Making my bed every day
    Coming home to a tidy space after a long day only takes 5 more minutes of your morning routine, and it’s totally worth it.
  5. Owning less
    After living off a suitcase for 12 months, I know my capsule wardrobe is not only possible, but very convenient. Buying less and buying used are key habits we all should acquire.
  6. Practicing stillness
    My early morning stillness practice is not a well established habit yet, but I’m starting to see the benefits of this daily explorative and meditative routine, and I definitely want to work on building it more.
  7. Moving consciously
    I want to remember this very clearly: it’s not about how many hours you train, but about what you experience while you do it. What you discover about your brain, about your muscles, about their connections to create new abilities.
  8. Cooking my meals
    In a city like New York, it’s very easy to avoid cooking. I want to keep on knowing what’s on my plate, eating what the seasons bring us. I might need to get into batch cooking, though!
  9. Spending time at home with friends
    In these months of traveling and visiting friends, I’ve realized we’re at our best at home: relaxed, cozy and with our favorite drinks and food at hand. When it’s too hot or too cold to be outside, I cannot think of a better place than our homes to spend time together.
  10. Giving back
    Volunteering in New York has been one of the highlights of my sabbatical. I know it will be more difficult when I have less time to give, but I will make an effort to keep on giving back.