Friday, March 29, 2013

Meditation Week 4

Unfortunately, this is the end of my Meditation month.  I'm not sure I gave it my best effort.  I never got past 5 minutes.  I only did it 4 times in the last week.  I was really hoping to incorporate this going forward.

The good news is that next month is supposed to be The Exercise Habit.  Obviously, I don't have a problem with that; so, I'm thinking of trying to the Mediation month over again.  Here are some potential reasons I didn't do that well, and how I'm hoping to fix them this go 'round.

Forgot - A number of mornings I straight up forgot to do it.  That's lame.  I tried fixing it with a morning alarm, and that mostly fixed the forgetting problem (as long as I hit snooze until I actually did it).

Out of time - The only days that I did it were when I had ample time in the morning.  Of course, having time in the morning is completely subjective.  Especially when you're only talking about 5 minutes, the decision that you don't have enough time is really a procrastination technique.  This one is tough to overcome, because I'm not really willing to wake up earlier to have more time.  I also prefer to do it right before I leave (see optimal); so, I can't just do it right when I wake up or whatever to avoid running out of time.  I think my best bet is to sell myself on the benefits of meditation more.  I think that if I knew that I was going to get a bunch of awesome results, I'd be able to justify the time and avoid procrastination in the moment.  I think I'll start reading some more about meditation to get syked about it.

Optimal - I really enjoyed the immediate feeling after meditation going into work.  It lasted about 30 minutes or so even at 2-5 minutes of meditation.  This put my brain in a great place to start the day.  The problem is that it forces me to do it last thing in the morning, which contributes to out of time above.  I suspect that I'm partly using this optimal seeking as a procrastination technique, because I know it deprioritizes it for my morning routine.  I'm going to try the techniques above for a week.  If that doesn't fix everything, I'll start putting it earlier in my morning routine.

Night motivation - So why don't I just do it at night if I missed it in the morning?  Duh.  I've long learned that I have zero will power left by the end of the day.  It takes everything I have to not go out to eat for dinner every night or just buy junk food and watch endless hours of Amazon Prime Instant Videos.  There' s no I'm convincing myself to do something at night that I couldn't convince myself to do in the morning when I was at my strongest.

Killing it on avocado and sweet potato.  Not doing great with the migration from soda to green tea.  I'm sort of going in backwards on that.

My procrastination work is about the same.  It's actually very similar to the mediation issues; I set the MIPT, but then keep pushing it back in the day, because I want to focus on work.  Tighten up!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Meditation Week 3

I'm continuing my meditation practice.  I was able to get a morning habit going long enough to bump up my time from 2 to 5 minutes.  I'm starting to get better at it in those extra minutes.  "Better" meaning that I'm getting distracted less.  I can just focus on the breathing.  Pretty neat.

I'm hoping I get up to 10 minutes.  It'll be interesting if I can hack it for that long and if I'll notice anything else.  I already feel a lot more relaxed immediately afterward and for about an hour or so.  I wonder if 10 minutes will give me a few hours of that same feeling.

Food - on point.  Procrastination - weak.

Moreover, I've completely stopped making daily notes/observations.  During Procrastination and Healthy Eating, I was making notes every day, but I haven't done that for a couple weeks now.  I'll wait until next month to start that again.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Meditation Week 2

This will be a quick one.

I only meditated a few times; so, I'm still on 2 minutes.  It seems impossible to not let my mind wonder.  Hopefully more diligent practice will help.

Killing it at my healthy foods and procrastination.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Meditation Week 1

The first week of Meditation I count as a win.  I actually only did it 3-4 times, but I really enjoyed the challenge and the resultant relaxed feeling.  

I couldn't believe how fast I would lose focus.  I always did it in the morning just before leaving for work.  This had a side benefit of making my walks to the bus extra serene.  I would sit comfortably in my chair and stair at some spot in front of me.  I tried to think of just breathing in and out.  I would even think "In… Out…"  Regardless of my tactic, I was thinking about other stuff almost right away.  I could bring myself back, but I would lose it just as fast.  

I figured that I'd be better at this, but I'm mostly optimistic.  What will it mean if I do get good at it?

Still drinking green tea (with an occasional DMD) and eating sweet potato and avocado.

My MIPTs have been failing this week.  I got super focused on a work project and didn't let myself work on things in the morning.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Healthy Eating Week 4

This week was sweet potato week.  Easy.  Turns out it tastes good.  I ate it most days baked potato style.  I don't know if I'll eat it every day, but I'm definitely making sure I have some on hand.

This is the end of the Healthy Eating month.  It has turned out fantastic.  Here's a quick hit-list:
  • I eat avocado every day - I didn't eat it at all prior.
  • I drink green tea every day - Not only did I not drink it before, but I thought it was ridiculous 6 months ago.  I've also stopped drinking soda this week, but I'm not committed to it.
  • I added sweet potato to my food repertoire.
That's pretty awesome for 1 month.

In addition to the Healthy Eating, I've continued to practice my anti-procrastination habits.  I think this is starting to take hold.  I've done a better job of picking MIPTs and doing them early in the day.


March is Mediation.  In short, I'm supposed to meditate every day.  You start at 2 minutes per day.  If you get 7 days in a row, increase it to 5 minutes, then 10, 15, 20…

I don't know all the types of meditation, but I hear there are a lot.  The one they recommend is sitting in a quiet area, focusing on your breathing, trying not to let your mind wonder.

I tried it this morning, and it was interesting how fast I started thinking about other stuff.  This will be a good exercise I think.  It's also nice that it has very low requirements, as it feels like my daily habits/tasks are piling up.