I do well with projects that are broken into steps, or have some sort of structure. Project 333, for example, was a great way to rethink my wardrobe and my possessions, with a clear program I could follow. Identify 33 items of clothing. Wear them and only them for 3 months. And it was fun to be doing it along with other people. The thing-a-day challenge (2.0) has been a great way to minify my space without feeling overwhelmed. So I’ve been thinking about how to apply that model to taking better care of myself.
One of my biggest regrets is that I don’t take great care of myself. Never really have. Part of it is about priorities: I see school, and work, and family and friends as very important. Taking care of myself? Not so much. And I think it’s time that I changed my philosophy.
I drink too much diet soda, don’t get enough sleep, eat sugary snacks…and those are all habits I’ve tried (repeatedly) to break. But then there are other things I really have managed to change. I’m a vegetarian these days, and have been for more than a year. I lost ten pounds and kept it off. I know that change is possible. I also know that it’s incredibly difficult. So I’ve been doing some reading on the subject.
From Leo Babauta, I learned not to try to change more than one habit at a time. Focus on a single habit for at least a month at a time, he says, and make your intentions public, so that you’ll be held accountable. And have a written plan. So that’s what I’m going to do. For the next 12 months (the second year of my Project Minify adventure) I’m going to change one habit each month, and blog about it. My hope is the changes will be cumulative (if in October I start drinking more water, for example, then in November I’ll get more sleep and drink more water.) I’ve made a tentative list of some changes, but haven’t figured out what order to make them in.
My hope is that by blogging about all of this, I’ll be able to stay accountable, and to look back and see real progress. Four more days until the start of October, when I’ll reveal my very first monthly challenge. Anybody else want to play along? Spend the next couple of days thinking about one change you want to make in your own life. The challenge begins on Saturday!