At the start of this month I set myself a list of 10 things that I wanted to be better about accomplishing on a regular basis. Somethings I managed to stick to more than others, however, I found that simply by having a list, even if I didn’t look at it every day (in fact I mostly just tried to rely on memory, dangerous I know) that it helped me focus and achieve the things I set out to do.
To recap, the list came out of a place of frustration, of not always feeling like I was accomplishing a whole lot and wanting to be better about how I spend my time. Here is the list again for a quick refresher.
1. Write for at least one hour every day.
2. Read for at least one hour every day.
3. Live as Qualitative NOT Quantitative as possible (Having experiences of quality not just a lot of “experiences”)
4. Write down one thing to be thankful for every day.
5. Practice grace before judgement (for myself and for others)
6. Watch one documentary a week.
7. Workout 5-6 days a week.
8. Start a meditative/ reflective practice for 5-15 minutes daily (unhindered silence)
9. Try at leaste one new recipe a week (get excited I will share them with you!)
10. Don’t put off to tomorrow, what I can do today.
-Now, I did manage to write nearly every day… a note, a to-do list, but actually sitting down for an hour or more probably only happened 4-5 days a week, which isn’t bad but it could use improvement.
-Reading is something I truly love to do, but I have to plan on doing it at the right times of day if I want to get a solid hour in. I tend to get sleepy, (thank you mother, I get that from you) my brain goes fuzzy and I don’t retain all that I am reading, which is tough because I am currently reading several books and magazines that I find fascinating and imperative for what I am currently wanting for my life.
-The experience bit I am still figuring out. I think once Drew and I are in our new apartment and can actually go out and explore in an area we are excited about I will be far more apt to go adventuring for experiences… I will say that I allowed myself to not get so wrapped up when we were apartment hunting and traveling home so that I could enjoy the random moments tucked amid the chaos.
-I was doing so good at writing down the things I was thankful for. I had a notebook that I simply placed the header “Today I am thankful for” and underneath it I marked each day and filled them in as I went, that is until I lost that notebook. I plan on writing up a new list and posting it next week, mostly as an exercise of keeping myself in check.
-Having grace is something I struggle with. I find that I often feel guilty when I unjustly judge someone (though if you are being a tool bag and I see you doing so I will judge you and I might just be ok with it) but the real struggle is that I have very little grace for myself. I expect a lot out of myself, so when things aren’t the way I thought, or I feel like I should be doing more, I feel a negative sense of self worth start to creep in. This can become a real problem, because once the dark and twisty fibers envelope you its hard to find your way back out. Thankfully Drew is amazing and is always willing to help me find my way, but this is one task I think I will be working on for a long time.
-I did manage to watch three documentaries (I am open to suggestions for a good one to watch next). Urbanized, is a film about the design of cities and the social and economic challenges they face for the future. It is truly fascinating and eye opening to the structure and inovation behind city planning. Because I am currently doing a lot of research on Happiness, I thought it only fitting to watch Happy, a documentary on what makes people, well, happy. Finally, I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead . In this film Joe Cross documents his journey from an over weight man suffering in disease, to an incredibly healthy individual who wants to help people reboot their lives and get on track with the juice challenge.
-Working out is how I find balance. I don’t love working out, but I love how I feel when I work out. The trip home was my biggest struggle, I didn’t have a enough space or time to get a full work out in (however, mini ab workouts and 50 pushups a day kept me from going crazy). Most of the time I work out in the gym at my building, our new apartment doesn’t have one so it will be in home and park workouts until I find a place I feel comfortable with (I am not a huge fan of mega gyms). My go to key is Nike Training Club. I swear up and down by these workouts! They are short and efficient, 15-45 minute workouts that will revolutionize how you challenge your body. Drew and I are obsessed! I highly recommend down loading the FREE app… seriously do it right now, you won’t regret it I promise.
-Having a meditative practice is one I am still working on. I have a really hard time doing “nothing” so when sitting in silence my mind races and I have a hard time focusing on the inner peace that I am looking for. I will say that the few times I managed to over come the sea of thoughts raging in my mind and quiet it to a calm, fluid ripple I felt amazing clarity and was able to focus so much better.
-With how busy we were I didn’t get to try as much new food as I would have liked (I did try a few things but none I am sold on). I am really hoping to kick this into gear once we move.
-And finally the struggle of doing things “right now”. I have stopped waiting to do things until later more, but there are still things that I don’t do right away… simple things like sending out an email or making a quick phone call, why because in my head I find them to be mundain and wasteful in some weird way, which couldn’t be further from the truth. When I actually do the task right away I feel a much greater sense of accomplishment than if I waited days and days to fulfill the task.
The beauty of life is that every day is an opportunity for improvement. A fresh start by making the bed and deciding to get dressed (I say this as I sit here typing away in my pijamas). My dad always used to say to me, “the only thing you can controle is yourself and your attitude” (I was an angry little child with a lot of emotional issues [only years later did we figure out why, which I will cover once we know each other a little better]) and his advice still rings true. Today is a day that I can either choose to be happy and be better than yesterday, or I can remain stagnent, allowing the rigamortis of bordom to creep into my bones. I don’t know about you, but as of today I choose the former.