Monday, January 23, 2012

The Everyday Five

There are a handful of challenges that I must do every day. I thought I'd take a moment to talk about how they're going.

1. Sit in stillness and silence for fifteen minutes before you start your day.
Oh boy. This one is tough. I've already talked about it here, but I will say that it's getting a little better. I've implemented a new, embarrassingly cheesy approach: Each morning I pick a word and focus only on that one word during my fifteen minutes of meditation. The words thus far have been things like focus, patience, and energy. It felt a little too self-helpy for my taste at first, but I think it's really making a difference. The day I focused on the word energy, for example, I only thought about napping ten times as opposed to the usual twenty times.

2. Drink a liter of water.
Seems like no big deal for most people, but I do not like drinking water outside of a gym or hot yoga scenario. I think my mistake with this challenge is that I try and drink all the water at once to get it over with. Going to try and just drink consistently throughout the day. But through this challenge I have found my two favorite water brands:

3. Compliment someone.
I have noticed that most of my compliments are to women. It's easy just to say, "Oh, I love your shoes," or "Your hair looks fantastic." My goals for this challenge for the rest of the year are to compliment more strangers and compliment more men. I also want to try and dig a little deeper with the compliments. There's a difference between saying, "I like your jacket," (which is basically saying they did a good job of shopping) and "That jacket looks so good on you." And I know all of my examples are about someone's appearance, but that's pretty much what you're limited to when complimenting a stranger. I'm not really going to go up to someone on the subway and say, "You are such a generous person and you make the best chicken parmesan I've ever tasted." 

4. Record a positive thought before bed.
I love this challenge. It forces me to focus on the good no matter how angry I am at the world. I'm starting to realize that the beauty of life is in the details. Here are a few of my favorites so far:
Hearing "Mr. Jones" blaring from a NYC taxi.
Cuddling with Dagmar on a cold December night.
Seeing Austin after a week-long work separation.
Running over vibrant fallen leaves in Central Park before 8 a.m.
5. Write.
Having nearly completed the first chapter of my first novel, I can say that this challenge is doing wonders for my writing confidence. There are days when I only write a few words and other days when I look at the clock and realize it's 1 a.m. and I'm still writing. But there is also the constant struggle of hating everything I write, which other writers might understand. If only I had a few months all to myself on a private island...

Writers are also great at making excuses.

So there you have it, the five challenges I do every day. I'll be honest with you (and by you I mean me since I think I'm the only one that reads this blog) there have been days when I completely forget to do one of these five challenges. But if my goal for this year is perfection, then I should just throw myself off a bridge now.

1 comment:

  1. . . . . and insert a few high fives while you're at it.

    ps. i don't know if <> means insert.