Meditation and Journaling

Just like many people, I decided to work on some new goals for the new year.  Normally, I don't do resolutions much. This year felt a little different. I was inspired to work on some things that I wanted to change.  Many of my resolutions I began working on in December, because, why not? There were two that intimidated me, so I waited until January.

January.  This is actually from a trip to Idaho.  Looks like a Bob Ross painting, doesn’t it?

January. This is actually from a trip to Idaho. Looks like a Bob Ross painting, doesn’t it?

Meditation and journaling.  Daily.

I have done meditation on and off before with varying degrees of success.  I'm not sure why making it a daily habit has been so difficult for me. I did a 21 day challenge a couple of years ago and never felt more inspired.  So I've challenged myself to meditate once a day, even if it’s just for five minutes. Successful so far. Same with journaling, although I give myself a break if I miss a day on the weekends.  Handwritten journaling, a page in my Bullet Journal per day.

In a previous entry, I mentioned how a study has come out that says the average time it takes for something to become a habit is sixty six days.  So I'm going to see if I can at least stick this out for sixty six.

On the weekdays, I've mainly been doing a short meditation right when I get up, before I get on the treadmill.  Guided meditations are working for me right now, so that’s what I've been using. On the weekends, sometimes I play with different kinds of meditations and length.

It does do a lot to reset my mood.  I've also been keeping up with the journaling and I believe the two together are having an effect.  Because I journal at least once a day, I'm able to be more mindful in how I act throughout each day.  It's very interesting. Things are still difficult. I still have a hard time getting out of bed to get on that treadmill in the cold, but I do a meditation and I get up and get it done.  I don't know anything different than I knew before. I always knew that if I just got up and got it done I would feel better afterward. I think it's something with examining how my day went through the journaling.

Look it’s me.  I could potentially be examining my mood here.

Look it’s me. I could potentially be examining my mood here.

I can also examine my mood.  Both before and after meditation and also during journaling.  I can see what changes my mood and sometimes find out what triggers certain things.  

I feel like it sets me up better to take more positive steps every day.  If I regret not getting to something on one day, I can be sure that I get it done the next day.  It may not sound like a big deal, but I find that little things that kept sliding off my lists are maybe the things that I needed to get me some traction.

As I mentioned, I don’t often set actual resolutions.  Generally if there’s a habit that I think I should pick up or drop, I try to work on it right away.  The few things that I do remember trying in New Years gone by are my Bullet Journal and my sugar cleanse.

The Bullet Journal I have been keeping up now for about two years.  What I like about it is that the journal can change and evolve as my needs change and evolve.  It takes a minute to set up the first time, but once you’ve got it up and running, it’s fairly easy and I enjoy it.  

This is me being like, hey, I’ll let you know what happens!

This is me being like, hey, I’ll let you know what happens!

The sugar cleanse was something Dean and I did for two weeks at the start of 2016.  My goal with the cleanse was to decrease my sugar use, make myself more aware of the presence of sugar in the foods that I use and to get some new ideas for meals.  The cleanse itself was HARD, but we did it and it has totally changed my shopping and eating habits for the better. I do occasionally have sugar, but I am very aware of it now.  I know much more about reading labels and (knock on wood) I haven’t had a cold since that winter of 2016.

I bring up those to examples to say that when I do decide to actually set a New Years Resolution, I am actively trying something different and hoping to learn from it and make some positive changes. With previous experiments of this kind, I’ve found that while I was usually focused on just making myself do the act for some external reason or ‘because it’s good for me,’ I also left myself open to see what else happened. I found that the act of doing something is one thing, but the changes it makes in your life are generally a little more profound.

I’m hoping that the mediation and journaling impact me in a positive way. So far, I think they are. They are both still things on a list that I have to cross off, and yes, sometimes it’s right before I get into bed, but I’m doing it. And I believe I’m starting to see some changes. I’ll let you know!

Meredith LyonsComment