My one goal for November was:
1) Meditate for ten minutes each day.
The first two weeks of the month did not go well. Not only did I not meditate, I also dropped all of my other habits. I worried I’d given myself too much to juggle all at once (maybe I shouldn’t have had that spectator toss me that bowling ball), but mid-month, things turned around.
The main difference the second half of the month was that I decided to act each day the way that I thought Dorothea Brooke from Middlemarch would act. This didn’t turn out quite like I expected, but it did get me out of bed and onto the dark streets of our neighborhood before 6:00 every morning. And once I was finished with my walk, I found it easy to hang up my jacket, wrestle out of my boots, and sit down to meditate before the rest of my family discovered I was home.
Then after about a week of that, I embarrassed myself in front of a friend and then blogged about it, and ever since, I’ve been kind of ridiculously happy.
I mentioned this to my spouse in the car this morning, and he raised his eyebrows and peered at me from the corner of his eye. I suspect this was because I’d just a few hours before snapped at him for interrupting me (three times while I was trying to say the phrase “chocolate pecan pie”).
“I know that I still yell at you and the kids,” I admitted, “and it’s not like I’m suddenly doing everything perfectly. It’s just that this week I just feel…happy.”
But it’s a strange sort of happy. It’s like things are clearer, which means not only do I feel happier, I also cry more easily and really enjoy the flavors in the foods that I eat and notice subtle nuances in the way my children smell. (And because I know what some of you are sitting there thinking: no, I’m not pregnant. Perimenopausal, perhaps, but not pregnant.)
So, November turned out to be a good month, and ten minutes of meditation each day turns out to be doable for me most days.
For those interested in my other goals:
“Mindful Internet Use”: I’m still wasting more time online than I’m ideally like to, but I’m mostly satisfied with the mindfulness I put into this practice. Unless anything changes dramatically between now and December 31, I’ll probably stop reporting about this one.
“Exercise More”: My daily exercise practice has taken a hit with the colder weather that’s moved in this month, but recommitting myself to my daily walk has really helped my averages. I’m a little concerned that my exercise level is going to diminish even more as we move into winter, but I’m looking at other options to keep active, hopefully some of which won’t be too boring or otherwise unpleasant to keep up with.
“Drive Less”: I drove 707 miles in November, which is well under my 800 miles/month goal (odometer reading went from 120,245 to 120,952). I guess we didn’t go many places this month, and when I went to Boston, I took the train, so that helped my totals, too.
“Sleep More”: Meh. I’m trying not to think about this one. I switched my FitBit from “sensitive” to “regular” and that’s made me feel better about how much sleep I seem to be getting, even though I know it’s inaccurate.
And now for December’s goal:
Daily Reading Time
I thought December’s habit was either “daily writing practice” or “FlyLady routines,” and when I saw what it actually was, I thought, “Reading? That’s where I’m a Viking!”
December’s another one-goal month:
1) Read for thirty minutes a day.
It seems a very little goal. While I’m tempted to add something like, “Read Plato’s Republic,” I think I’ll just leave it small, at least until I’ve got the daily habit well in hand. I love reading, but it’s just not made the top of my priority list lately, and that leads to an unhappy Charity (who writes about herself in the third person, apparently).
Points to Ponder:
Is there something you used to enjoy doing regularly and now can’t seem to find time to do? And did you catch the Simpsons reference in this post?
2 Replies to “Habit Experiment: November Recap, December Kickoff”
I love the new look of your website. A nice clean look to go with all your mindful changes!
Thanks, Kim! I was looking for something to showcase the photos a little more and declutter the sidebar, and I really liked the look of this theme. I think it works for my particular blog. Glad to know that you like it, too!