Some say it takes 28 days, others say 21 to make or break a habit. January always brings on so-called “resolutions.” I get it, a New Year means a great time to reset. I often find myself falling into the resolution abyss if you will. This year, admittedly, was no different BUT (yep there is a BUT) for the first time since I can remember I have followed through. The difference this go-round was my not looking at it as a resolution but (there is that word again) looking at it as a simple change to my lifestyle. Here we are over 28 days later and I have stayed loyal and see no going back because the changes I have made have allowed this wife, mom, friend, daughter, sister and successful business owner to reconnect to all the things that give me the purest feeling of joy!!!! I find myself being so much more mindful and feeling more emotionally connected to the people and things I love, including myself.
The things I set out and accomplished last month include ~
- Abandon all social media (i.e., Facebook) unless work related INVIGORATING! If you can believe this, I removed the app from my phone and never looked back. Alrighty, I must admit I LOVE … ADORE seeing the pictures of my friends and their families as I so hope they do mine, BUT (oops, there it is again) despite only having 167 FB friends, the wasted time I had sitting trying to stay on top of it all, plus the brain capacity it took thinking about all the posts during my day was such wasted mindfulness. Instead, I charged up my FitBit, and accumulated 275,255 steps to equal 106.1 miles and burned a total of 61,243 calories.
- Stay in touch with my friends and family living miles apart the “old fashioned way” by communicating directly not via social media, e-mails or texts so that I could set an example to my children what TRUE communication is. The joy I felt sending 4 care packages to friends and family this month was immeasurable. It was fun tracking the packages to make sure they made it without ruining the surprise. I also enjoyed chatting with friends and family on the (gulp) phone!
- Connect with friends a stone-throw away who I always tell myself we will get together sooner rather than later ~ These impromptu get- togethers this month remind me that I am tightly swaddled in such a safe, fun, loving place but I need to stop and make the time to enjoy.
- NO tablet, phone, or computer screen time 7 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. The only screen time was 8:00-8:45 p.m. AS A FAMILY coming together to watch a show on the T.V. with everyone present ~ truly present snuggling and cuddling. Lights out for the kids no later than 8:45. I was getting in the habit of getting sucked into work after dinner and was losing out on essential time with my family. The work will never go away and will be there in the a.m., my kids however, are growing up so fast so I want to savor every moment I am given with them.
- Reach out to at least one person in need even if just emotionally ~ my husband took this one on inviting a new college hire where he works to dinner at our home after his brother passed away tragically in early January. Rather quickly, I got over the fact that this super respectful and caring young man of the ripe old age of TWENTY-FOUR could technically be my son (a stretch, but still TECHNICALLY). Dear Heavens I am getting OLD!! He opened up, shared feelings, and I am certain could feel our care and concern for him as he grieves. We sent him home with leftovers and lots of good vibes.
- Oh, I gave up ALL coffee and substituted it with Green Tea. The headaches were horrible, but after 3 days I was free and clear. Now, if only I could do this with wine. No chance. It is my one vice in life. I do not eat sweets except on rare occasions. I do not eat fast food or saturated fats pretty much ever, I never ever drink sugar sodas and now no coffee. Yep, wine must stay. Did I just say that on a ‘parent’ focused blog post ~ indeed I did. I move along …
- Finish at least one novel that is not work related … and feel the real pages, not looking at a screen to read it. I finished the eloquently written book, “The Light Between Oceans”. Now I am ½ way through another great read I got from a friend for my big ‘ole 40th birthday, titled “Big Magic.”
- As of 1/4/16 I started the Barre3 Challenge (Have you heard of barre3? ~ if not check it out). The challenge included each week participating in at least 4 studio workouts (love the group effort and energy), 1 on-line work out and trying at least 1 barre3 recipe. I have been doing barre3 since Feb 2015 as part of my training for my completed ½ marathon, but the Challenge got me off my BUTT (2 ‘t’s’ this time) and into the studio more. The over achiever in me not only did 4 studio workouts per week, but 5 or more every week. I have found my inner ballerina and have made nice friends along the way.
Indeed exercise is listed, but my list goes well beyond that. In order for me to feel physically healthy and benefit from all the working out, my emotional and mindful health has to be first and foremost on the list. It makes me better all around from the INSIDE out and this is why I list it last but (and I use it again) it is definitely not least. The best part of all of this is that I can always add to my list not waiting for another New Year, but can change and tweak. I, as well as the list, are flexible.
For the first time in over 5 ½ years since purchasing the practice, I feel reconnected and rejuvenated in all facets of my life. I am super mindful observing the world around me. Of course never judging, but simply watching the fast pace life spinning for so many noticing there is little room for grown-ups and kids alike to simply play, have fun, and find joy. Instead they are hunched over their phones or just rushing off between one thing to the next, one kid activity to the next. I am wondering if, but more hoping they are finding joy in it all. The seconds turn into minutes then into hours then into days and then into years but at the speed of sound. Life is brief and fragile and only loaned to us for a short period of time.
Now, I think I am going to go sign up for some piano lessons so I can play alongside my daughter who is learning guitar.
Hope ~ Growth ~ Joy,