I tried meditating for 20 minutes a day. In the process, I discovered that the type of meditation that focuses solely on your breathing doesn’t work super well for me. I can do it for a little while, but I need something more concrete to focus on. I tried lighting a candle and focusing on the flame while breathing deeply. That helped. It also helped if I focused on a word or a phrase or a Bible verse. It still helped clear my mind, but it also made the meditation feel more disciplined and focused for me. 5 months ago
I haven’t worked on this goal in far too long. And I think I’ve acquired far too many things in the interim. How does that happen? Either way, now I’m working on cleaning out some stuff again.
78. book bag from university library. It was free and poorly made. I barely used it before one corner started to rip.
79. high-heeled black ankle boots that lived through grad school with me. Lovely boots. Fond memories of those boots. But they’ve been repaired once, the heels are unstable, the shine has completely rubbed off of the toes, the leather has moved beyond “comfortably worn and soft” to “worn thin,” and they lost their waterproof abilities about the time I finished my degree (three years ago). They’ve lived a good life, but it’s time to say goodbye.
80. worn out blue jeans (I always seem to have some jeans lying around that I don’t wear because they have holes or ripped seams, or are threadbare in spots).
81. assorted jewelry (3 necklaces, 2 bracelets, 1 ring, a few hair clips)
82. several failed colors of lipstick
83. lip balm
84. overused elastic hair bands and headbands 5 months ago
Tried a new cocktail (to further my limited experience with alcohol): a raspberry lemon drop. Pretty good. 5 months ago
Tried fried catfish for the first time. Not the best fish I’ve ever had, but it was an interesting experience. 6 months ago
Two new things:
I tried a new class at the gym (CXWORX). It’s evil, but that’s probably a good thing. Hopefully I’ll get better at it over time.
While visiting a friend, I completed a hike that was new to both of us. It’s only about 3 miles up to the top of the peak and back down again with a 570 foot ascent from the car park, but it was a nice bit of exercise and made for a fun afternoon. 8 months ago
I tried a vegan restaurant and ate a vegan “chicken” sandwich (it wasn’t chicken… I’m not actually sure what it was. shrug).
Next month, I need to try something new that is not food related. Actually, I need to become more intentional about this goal and start thinking of new things to try. The goal is to expand my set of experiences and I can’t do that without actively finding new things to participate in. 9 months ago
These aren’t super exciting things, but they are new things I did/tried.
1. Thai food (it was okay).
2. tackling a (nearly) full course load as a substitute teacher for the first week of the term. 10 months ago
I’m slowly cleaning out the drawers in my closet. It’s not a full-scale closet cleaning (which is something I should do), but it is helping me get rid of things I don’t use. And I now realize why I feel like I don’t own many clothes… because I don’t wear most of what I own!.
70. short-sleeved shirt
71-73. old mock turtlenecks that I never wear
74-77. long-sleeved shirts that are too short, too big, or just sit in my drawers because I don’t like them enough to wear them. 11 months ago
63. black sweater with a ripped seam
65. white button-down shirt that I’ve never worn
66. white sleeveless shirt that I’ve worn twice in ten years
67. some socks
68. a tank top 11 months ago
How I did it: I kept a small notebook on my desk and everyday I wrote a few sentences (sometimes a page or two) about what I was grateful for that day. My attempts stalled a few times and I had to start over, but I eventually managed to keep a record for 30 days straight.
It's so easy to get sucked into a negative mindset and on bad days when I was frustrated or depressed, it was sometimes a challenge to put aside all of my stresses and think about the good things. But there is always something to be thankful for, even if it's just the simple fact that tomorrow will bring a new day and a fresh start. Setting aside time to be thankful and grateful for the blessings in my life helped me to see the positive side of even difficult situations. Read how I did it… 12 months ago
I always wondered how people could know for sure if they have forgiven someone. But I think I’m finally starting to understand.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you stop hurting. It just means that you stop dwelling on the hurt, stop picking at the wound until it festers, and stop blaming the other person for everything they have done to you. You stop feeling like a victim and stop treating the other person as the villain. They hurt you, yes. But they are human. They made a mistake. Maybe they were doing what they thought was best. Maybe they just didn’t know any better. Either way, acceptance of past hurt is the only way to transform yourself from a victim to a victor. 12 months ago
I’m going to count this as successfully accomplished, despite a lapse or two, simply because I’ve never been this consistent in my exercise routine for this long. I am going to set short goals for myself over the next few months to keep myself motivated, and hopefully I will become even more consistent (and fitter, as I’m planning to increase the intensity of my workouts this month). 12 months ago
Okay, so this didn’t quite work. I didn’t go to the gym for two full weeks. To be fair, I had an awful cold that knocked me on my ass, and which happened to coincide with the first two weeks of fall term, when I was trying to finish writing assignments and the first round of lesson plans.
So, busy time of the year at work + family and social obligations + miserable cold + hacking my lungs out + stress/cold induced insomnia = two weeks where I failed in this goal.
But I’m just going to hop back on board and keep trying. I went to the gym twice this past week and went for a walk. So, I’m getting back on track. 13 months ago
Done for the purposes of this goal, but it’s an on-going challenge to be more decisive and assertive when faced with a choice or dilemma in my life. 14 months ago
So far, this isn’t quite working out as I’d planned. Well, it is, but it’s also producing surprising results.
First off, even when I am decisive about an issue, sometimes life just doesn’t go to plan. I’ll make a decision and then someone else will overrule me, or plans will change, or life will get in the way, or other obligations will force me to do the exact opposite of what I decided.
On the other hand, I feel much more confident and in control when I make decisions quickly and decisively and (most importantly) stick with them. All this procrastinating about decisions and flip-flopping back and forth has become a badly ingrained habit, which is really detrimental to my peace of mind. Confidence is built through action, so be decisive and act decisively, even in the little things. 14 months ago