I’ve been writing about the habits I’ve been trying to build and work towards and I know it can all sound a bit Pollyanna. I just want to say, it isn’t all perfect.
I have weeks when things are clicking along – when I’m doing what I want to do and feeling productive and in control. But there are also weeks like the last one – when everything is just a little off. Some goals I get close to, but miss. Others don’t even come close. I haven’t done my weight lifting or been for a run in weeks. I’ve been getting some sleep, but not enough. I’ve been spending money and I haven’t been meditating.
It happens. The trick is not to let it take over. The world gets crazy sometimes and you have to set some things aside. There are priorities and responsibilities that take precedence. Other times life just goes a little sideways for awhile. There’s no shame in not being perfect, in falling short of your goals, of having to do a half assed workout or eat fast food. However, once those habits slip, its a little tricky to pick them up again. It is not as easy as deciding to do them in the first place when you’re all wound up and full of “I can do this!” energy. Entropy is a nasty beastie.
I’m ready to let last week go and start fresh. I’m not going to beat myself up for what did, or didn’t happen. I’m also not going to let go of my goals. It’s time to just wipe the slate clean and get back at it.
I’m worth it.
Photo credit: Faruk Ates on flickr
“Sitting still is a pain in the ass.”
– Noah Levine (1971 – )
I’m trying to develop a practice of daily meditation. It’s another one of the habits I am tracking on Lift. I like to meditate after I work out and during the week on my lunch hours. Other times I meditate just before bed. I like guided meditations, I have an app that I like (Simply Being) and a couple of different podcasts, including some out of UCLA. I pick the meditation based on my mood and how much time I have, but typically I sit for 10-15 minutes.
I enjoy meditation because it gives me a chance to just be quiet and still for awhile. Thoughts come rushing in, but I can let them go for a bit and focus on a simple idea or just my breathing. I’m not looking to be a yogi or anything, all I want is to just have a few moments in every day of quiet. Occasionally I sit in lotus, but most often I don’t. (Especially when I’m sitting in my car during a lunch break. The steering wheel would get in the way!)
It’s a small thing, something I am doing for myself because I enjoy it. I think it is all part of a healthier me – physically and mentally.
For those of you interested in meditation, check out this article: How to be Uncomfortable about learning how to sit. It’s good stuff.
Photo credit: Adophie Borie: Girl Meditating, HumanSeeHumanDo on flickr
As you know, I am working on getting meditation back into my life on a daily basis. It just so happens that Dale Favier, a Message Therapist who has a blog that I follow, put up a great article last week about what to expect (and what not to) when starting meditation practice.
Here’s a quick excerpt:
[…] The thing to bear in mind is that it isn’t sitting down and being quiet that has made you nuts. You were already nuts. Sitting down and being quiet has just given you the chance to notice that you’re nuts. Your mind is doing that all the time. All day, all night; a ceaseless fret of worry and desire, fantasies of the future and replays of the past, a constant evaluation of everything in terms of what it means about me. What does the fact that I’m sitting down to meditate mean about me? What does the fact that my mind won’t settle down mean about me? What does the fact that I’m worrying about what things mean about me mean about me? It rolls on that way, playing out as dream at night, playing out as “reality” in the daytime. […]
If you have thought about meditation, you should pop over to his blog and read the whole thing, it’s a great article.
As for me, I am doing pretty good at getting back into practice. Mostly I meditate at night before bed, but I’m also experimenting with lunch hour breaks and after work outs. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Photo credit: Meditation Labyrinth by Nancy McClure on flickr
I’ve been using a new behavioral app. Yes, I have a “thing” for these kinds of apps. What can I say? They work for me. Though sometimes I wonder if that’s a good thing. Of all my awesome and amazing friends, I seem to be the only one with whom behavioral apps work well. I have talked a number of friends into trying MyFitnessPal and no one else seems to love it the way I do. These are seriously cool people! Am I not cool?? Sigh… it’s silly to think about, I know, but I do anyway.
So yeah… a new app. You know I use MyFitnessPal to track food, and I use RunKeeper to track runs, bike rides and dog walks. My newest app is Lift. The idea is fairly simple. Lift helps you start and maintain daily habits. They can be simple things like flossing your teeth every day, getting to bed on time or telling your spouse that you love them. They can be fitness goals or even things like trying to “listen more and talk less.” The way the app works is: you create an account, select the things you want to work on, and when you do them, you click a big green check box to check in.
Now, there are lots of other people trying to do the same thing, so when you check in you see everyone else check ins – some that are doing something for the first time, some that are on their 168th time. You can click a little icon to give them “props” for what they did. You know what? I like seeing those little props from others popping up on my phone. Sure enough – it motivates me. (There is a great article about the science behind Lift here.)
Here are the things I am working on:
- Exercise: By this I mean anything other than walking the dog. (That I do every day, twice a day, already.) What I want to do is make sure that I am getting additional exercise in every day, or as often as I can. It can be power walks on my lunch, bike rides, learning boxing, strength training, going for a run or whatever I want.
- Write a Blog Post: That is for you, dear readers! Also, writing makes me happy.
- Inbox Zero: Someday…. someday. I’m working on it, and got both of my big email inboxes down to under 50, but I want to see them both at zero.
- Sleep at least 8 hours: I love sleep. I need sleep.
- Unclutter: This part of what I was writing about earlier. I am trying to get rid of junk I don’t need. Get out of my life, junk!
- Meditate: I’ve been meditating on and off since my senior year in high school. I have had years where I have a strong practice and sit daily… and years where I forget what sitting quietly even looks like. I’ve been wanting to get back to it for awhile. I’d like to get back to making it part of every day.
So, that’s it – what I am working on right now. As I am sure you can guess I have a lot to say about all of them. Good thing I am planning on trying to blog daily!
If you use Lift, feel free to find me. I am there under first name: LongView last name: Hill.