My goals for October were:
1) Get to bed in time to sleep an average of eight hours a night every night.
2) Avoid screens for at least one hour before bedtime.
3) Avoid eating after 7:00 pm.
After spending 31 days focusing on my sleep, I think I might hate my FitBit. From what it says, I’m so restless, that I routinely get 2-3 hours less sleep than the amount of time I spend in bed. I already knew I wake up a lot and how I feel in the morning often seems to have little relation to how long I’ve spent in bed, but to have it graphed out for me every morning is just discouraging. Almost makes me want to have another baby just so I have someone to blame this tiredness on.
Aside from #1 (which we’ve established is not my fault), I’ve kept to my goals for this month pretty consistently. I don’t feel any more rested, but I suppose that gives me data, too.
Oh, and for those interested in my other goals:
“Mindful Internet Use”: Most days this month I’ve been able to keep to my goals with this one, but the past week or so I’ve experienced a downswing in my mood, and that’s led to my clicking around less mindfully than I’d prefer. I’m making a note of it but mostly chalking it up to “ebb and flow.”
“Exercise More”: The first half of the month I was pretty sedentary, but the second half I got moving more. A trip to Washington, DC, helped that. I love walking around cities. I don’t get 10,000 steps each and every day, but the last two weeks I’ve been averaging 10,000 steps a day, and I think that counts.
“Drive less”: I drove 844 miles in October, which is 44 miles over my goal (odometer reading went from 119,401 to 120,245). Really, I have no idea where those miles came from. We had to have a coolant leak fixed partway through the month, and that involved driving to and from the shop, which wasn’t planned, but that doesn’t account for all 44 miles. *shrug*
In case you were wondering about my metrics, I’ve stopped measuring my time for the NY Times crossword puzzle, never did figure out a good way to rate my eczema symptoms (it’s spread, and that alone is more than I care to know about it), and haven’t bothered to take my waist and hip measurements for the past couple of months. I’ve weighed myself, and that’s fluctuated, but there no real difference overall.
And now for November’s goal:
The benefits of meditation are many and well documented, so I won’t recap them here, but check out the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) site for details about all of the awesome things meditation can do for us. (And check out this site for information about the clinical trials using MBSR to improve the efficacy of psoriasis treatments.)
My experience with MBSR began in Salt Lake City where I started an 8-week course, but I moved away before it was over. I ended up finishing the course on my own nearly three years ago using Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book Full Catastrophe Living. Before MBSR, I’d been doing yoga meditation and then Buddhist meditation on and off for many years, so I know that I like how I feel when I meditate every day, I’ve just not been able to get myself in a consistent routine.
I’m going to go easy on myself for this one, recognizing that I’m feeling a little fatigued with all of these new things to pack into my days. So just one goal this month:
1) Meditate for ten minutes a day.
I would prefer to give myself 30 minutes a day, and I feel great when I can make that happen, but I’m starting small. If I get more than ten minutes, I’ll consider it bonus.
And by “meditate” I mostly mean sitting on my zafu and zabuton, closing my eyes, and focusing on the sounds around me for ten minutes, but if I’m strapped for time, I can see myself doing a body scan meditation at bedtime to meet the day’s goal, too.
Points to Ponder:
Do you have a daily mindfulness practice? What does it look like? What keeps you motivated to keep it part of your routine?
2 Replies to “Habit Experiment: October Recap, November Kickoff”
What a creative way to be accountable for your life challenges – and changes! Meditation is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Enjoy your new adventure! Happy November!