Bad news. I fought the bed, and the bed won. Building new habits is hard. On Day 25, I gave in. I also think part of me wanted to sleep in just to see what it would feel like to go back to my old ways. And it did not feel good. It screwed everything up. The exercise and meditation tasks are two that I feel best suit me in the morning (though I fear saying that because now I have to stick to it), and now that I’ve established that, going back to fitting them somewhere else in the day is not easy. In fact, it takes more effort than just getting up and doing them. I learned my lesson.
I had plans after work to get drinks with two friends, so I had to get really creative about fitting everything in. Which also means I didn’t make it to the writing, which I feel has been the 6th task in this work. So Day 25 feels a little like a failure. My mood was still significantly better, though. I feel lighter, more present somehow. And dare I say….happier.
Someone sent me an article about how the whole idea of 21 days to build a habit is a myth, that the focus shouldn’t be on number of days, but on the phases of building a habit: the honeymoon phase, the battle, and then “the second nature” phase. This makes sense to me. The 21 days theory seems too easy, and I’ve never experienced the formation of any new habit as easy. So if this phase thing is true, I’m clearly in the battle phase where the old me wants to come in and derail all of this, using convincing phrases like, “you’ve done well, let yourself off the hook today.” This is a lie. Though I have done pretty well, the way to celebrate this is not to give yourself a day off, it’s to keep going. Feeling better is the reward, and it’s the work that gets you there—that’s the secret key.
Yesterday’s battle ended in a draw (I still did all 5 tasks, but not in the way that feels satisfying to me), so I’ve got another shot at it today. I’ve had to get up early this morning to get this post done, and won’t have time to run this morning, so yesterday has thrown a wrench into two days. But I’m up and I’m ready to go and we’re going to do this day right.
3 things I’m grateful for:
1) My friends Mary and Linda for providing me with some belly laughs and great restaurant recommendations
2) The tiny bit of Tenacity that lives somewhere inside of me and has really stepped up to the proverbial plate lately. Thanks, Mr. T!
3) Leftovers. I used to be afraid of you, but now I understand your wisdom.
Reflect on something good that happened
As I’m having drinks with my two friends, I realized that something was different about the way I was interacting with them. These are both relatively new friends, and normally in those situations, I would be self-conscious, making sure I needed to say the right things, be polite, laugh at the right times, and generally maintain the façade of happiness because I can’t let the cracks show or they may not like me. I didn’t need to do that this time. I realized that I was being completely genuine. The laughs and politenesses were heartfelt. There was no façade because there was no need for one.
Random act of kindness
A co-worker and I went across the street in the afternoon for a cup of coffee. I bought an extra one for a homeless man I saw standing outside. I felt slightly embarrassed that my co-worker watched me hand the man the coffee. It felt showy, and that wasn’t my intention. But the afternoon was a little chilly and the man looked cold.
Because I screwed the morning up, I walked to the bar after work where I was to meet my friends. It’s about a mile away. Not a ton of effort, but it was something. I really want to flog myself for not doing a better job on this one.
After a couple of drinks, I had to wait until I was sufficiently sobered up before meditating, which means I didn’t start this until about 11 p.m., and then sat for 15 minutes. MUCH harder this time. Advice for future Randy to remember: manhattans and meditation don’t mix. The good part of it, though, was that I didn’t go to bed tipsy, so waking up this morning wasn’t as rough as it could have been. So I’m up, I’m well-caffeinated, and Day 26 is going to be the day. So let’s go do this thing!