Just like many people, the regular grind of daily life has moved me inch by inch away from those things that mean the most to me – things which can take valuable time and energy to pursue. Time and energy that sometimes simply doesn’t exist after a day of hard work.
It gets very easy to let things slide, to unconsciously change priorities to reflect what must be done rather than what, in an ideal world, would be done. As the months then years add up, it can be something of a shock when you finally wake up and realise what is going on and just how far away you have moved from the person you set out to be.
It really becomes something of a survival mentality rather than a positive, proactive and engaged way of living your life. And, frankly, that’s not much of a life.
So September is my very small attempt at clawing back some of those unconscious life changes. I’m hoping to create a snowball effect that will see positive movement back towards the sort of person and life my head is telling me I want to be and live. The types of changes are familiar to anyone who has ever read any sort of self-help book, and reflect the most common issues people seem to have – taking care of themselves physically, taking care of their finances, taking note of what self-talk is in their heads, and filling up the well of creativity (self-expression, self-nurturing activities). So here are my main aims for this coming month.
- Exercise every day.
This one is super important to me. I have always found that the fitter I am, the more resilient I am. And due to niggling injuries and a husband who has to travel frequently, (and therefore needing to find child-minding friendly exercise options) I have been excusing myself from exercise without really good reason. No more.
- Water – 1 ltr every day (conversely, less coffee).
I know I’m under-hydrated. I know that shifting a chunk of extra weight will be easier when I am well-watered. I also know that all my internal bodily processes will be squealing with delight when they are bathed in much needed life-giving water.
This is a big one for me. I should create a 12 step programme for this alone. “Hi, I’m Ms Oh Waily, and I seriously lack confidence as a cook.” Which means I seriously suck at making great tasting, healthy dinners.
- No Spend Month.
This is a follow on of a very successful experiment I did in June. I realised that we were spending silly amounts of money on things that really didn’t matter that much and didn’t take us towards any really positive goals. Back in June we did the unthinkable – we lived on just about half our income. That’s the goal for September. There are a few more ‘rules‘ around this – for sanity’s sake and the fact that this is a continuation of an earlier, successful trial run. I’ll explain as we go along.
Personal Development Goals
- Listen to hypnosis tracks every day.
This is a funny one. Originally I tried out and used a few different deep sleep, peaceful sleep apps – the reason being quite clear, eh? I wanted to have better sleep, because – you know – being a Mum tends to really play havoc with that, even when they are no longer waking a million times a night.
In the process of doing this, I ended up deciding that I would try one of these apps’ free hypnosis session and found that I really got benefit from it. I have since found a few other really good tracks and plan to use those to deny nay-saying thoughts any oxygen and replace them with much better, upbeat, messages. This is meant to reflect and bolster the idea that what you think (sub-consciously) determines how you behave and the person you are.
A nice quote from Marcus Aurelius nails it:
“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.”
You’ll be hearing more from him over the month, I’m sure, and probably other philosopher-types as well.
Personal Priorities Goals
- Reading every day. (Fiction & University)
This is one of those ‘filling up the well’ activities. I love to read, but it has become progressively harder to do. This is in part due to t’other blog and the demands it places on me. And partly to do with my own personal ‘zoning out‘ routine of sitting in front of the computer rather than going to bed with a good book. I have defaulted to the numbing effect of passive entertainment rather than the stimulating effect of interacting with and thinking about the contents of books.
- Photography – once a week.
This is the other side of the creativity coin – the expression of it. Finding time, especially in September when I will be solo parenting for the whole month, is going to be a challenge. It will probably involve a lot of family photographs, but at least there will be no excuse to think about and take actual pictures.
- Blogging daily.
This goes without saying – as that is the key requisite of keeping myself honest. No hiding away from any days where I fail miserably, as we all know is bound to happen from time to time. But this is also about artistic (such as it is) expression. It gives me a chance to ‘say’ out loud what is going on in my head. Edited first, and to within an inch of it’s life so that I make sure my meaning is clear. Perfectly clear. (Or OCD clear as Mr Oh Waily is apt to tell me.)
There could be plenty of other areas to think about and work on, but these are the chosen eight. I know which of these are going to be guaranteed troublemakers. The ones which are serious hurdles to fall over and which I will struggle to get back up from.
By the end of the month you will probably know quite clearly too. Oh well, there’s nothing like publicity to encourage accountability and perhaps the threat of impending embarrassment might kick at least one troublemaker to the kerb.
Wish me luck – I’m pretty sure I’m going to need it.