By the start of my second week I am starting to feel more aware of my surroundings and the effects this challenge is having on me and my daily choices. I find that I am putting more thought into each move I make rather than relying on my impulsive feelings and gut reactions. This is new to me. I am the reason that checkout lines in grocery stores are so profitable. I walk into a buying situation and I am immediately distracted by things that were not on my list but somehow they ended up coming home with me as a deemed “necessity”.
My biggest failure during my second week is that I was not as reflective as I would have liked to have been with the challenge. When I started this journey, my expectation was that I would review my notes each day and reflect on the items of the challenge to measure what I was doing and what I was not doing. I find that when I am not organized and focused, my life really does spin out of control. I know this is common sense, but my lack of self-discipline masks this from my logic on a daily basis. Its like I go through the motions and don’t even realize that I am defying common sense! So, I’d like to spend week three focusing on developing my self-discipline. I believe this challenge is actually challenging people to do just that – develop some dang self-discipline! My method to attack this madness – slowly! – is baby steps.
- CHECK-IN 3x/day – how am I doing? Am I staying focused on my daily needs?
- EVALUATE how I am feeling at each check-in to gauge my efforts and adjust.
- MEDITATE. Start out small – with 5 minutes of quiet.
While my lack of organization in the project makes it seem like somewhat of a flop – I am comfortable by the small victories I have had with checking my internal voices. We are very close to finishing our kitchen renovation and the timing could not be more perfect – my oldest babe starts Kindergarten next week, and with it a new chapter of chaos.
So I want to know your tricks! If you have been living a more minimal lifestyle – how did you get over the transition hump? How did you stay focused and motivated? Thanks in advance for sharing!
Days 3-7 seem to be a blur for me. It is as if I blinked and it was Tuesday of the following week. I have had some victories over the past few days. My number one victory is following #10, No email or social media before lunch. I would have to say that while this is a difficult feat in our tech-savvy world, I am ever so mindful of this habit now. My instincts still reach for my phone as my internal alarm clock jolts me awake at 4:32 am every morning, but I now freeze as I touch the phone and withdraw back to my pillow. I am finding it difficult to hold of from the email before 8am – as the business I am in depends on being reactive to inquiries immediately. But my personal world waits. And I am enjoying the peace that it is bringing me.
Another victory has been instilling a morning ritual (#6). I decided to tackle this one before really starting on an evening routine because I am much more a morning person (hence the fact that I automatically wake up at 4:30am).
I also took a super-long walk on Sunday morning. I think I was gone for well over an hour. I finished listening to The Minimalists’ Everything that remains on Audible. I am not sure if my walk would count for (#19) “practicing mindfulness”, but I am counting it for myself. There is something so satisfying about feeling like you are the only person awake and alive when I wake up with the sun on a walk.
I have also discovered that TV has become a crutch for me. I like to have it in the background while I am cleaning or doing mindless chores. We have a lot going on right now and last weekend we spent inside our home working on house projects. Next weekend I am going to be preparing to send my oldest baby off to school for the first time, so I imagine I will be deep in organization mode trying to prepare for the beautiful chaos of back-to-school.
Since today is going to be mostly a computer day for me at work, I plan on taking my break-times as reflection — is anyone else like me in that I have to fully commit my focus to reflection? — I want to study what my stress triggers are (#26) and then evaluate my top priorities (#9). I believe this will help me get into a better mindset for my weekend of prep and organization.
Tomorrow will be another fly-by-the-minute day as I am headed to a town in North Alabama to see a good friend of mine who is headed to Texas to start a pretty lengthy treatment for a health concern. No matter your spiritual preference – good vibes sent her way would be greatly appreciated.
I did this while riding in the car with my boss as I listened to him battle his day over the phone. I naively see myself as an empathetic person, but there are so many instances in my day-to-day life where I am shocked when I learn something new about a person that I did not see before. I am naturally a judgmental person – not because I am know-it-all, but because I am genuinely intrigued by human lives and interactions. I am curious about what is going on in a person’s brain and why they act/respond the way they do. This causes me to pass judgement too soon because people are so complex and hardly ever show all of their colors at one time. It is important for me to sit back and digest what I am taking in and look from all angles instead of the 2 dimensional view I have at any given moment.
I digress – it was an emotional day for me at work, so my brain is in overdrive trying to make sense of it. Today I am back on track. I consider the previous paragraph my journaling time. I almost went bare-faced today – and honestly got very close – but I decided to test those waters this weekend.
Have you been on this journey before? Any suggestions to keep the momentum up?
30 Day Minimalism Challenge | cissyromano.com
7:45a So, Day 1 and I completely forgot about my promise to challenge myself in my hazy wake up at 5:30ish this morning. That’s OK. I quickly caught myself by 7:15 on my way to work. I currently have my Outlook closed (#17) and my notifications on my phone are now silent (#29).
I am not preparing for my day. It is early and quiet in the office. Hopefully I can use this time to strategize my 30 Day Challenge. I am going to start with these two items to get my momentum going:
- Create/Follow a morning ritual. (#6)
- Create/Follow a relaxing bedtime routine. (#22)
11:30a It is now my lunch break, so I have a chance to transcribe my brainstorming session from this morning. Here are my plans for the first two challenge items:
MORNING RITUAL: this one is actually pretty straightforward for me. Because I am a mother to three small children, I naturally already have a routine in place. However, there is always room for improvement (i.e. maybe don’t hit the snooze from 5a – 5:30a…) For this challenge, I am committing myself to the following:
- Rise earlier – 5a.
- Journal for 20 minutes (#21)
- Meditate for 15 minutes (#2)
- Learn to enjoy solitude (#8)
- No email or social media. I am taking this a step further and adding no electronic devices before I leave for work. (#10)
- Be ready – showered and dressed – before the kids wake up for breakfast at 6a
- Eat breakfast with my kids
BEDTIME ROUTINE: this one will be slightly more difficult. We are currently in the middle of a home renovation project, so it causes our nights to be slightly chaotic. However, I will try to get this as close to “relaxing” as possible. I get home between 5:30p and 5:45p every night, so I am going to start there.
- Cook dinner and eat at the table. (we have a terrible habit of watching Wheel of Fortune during dinner – don’t judge… at least we eat together)
- Clean up the kitchen and wipe the counters down.
- Bathe the kids, then storytime. (no TV)
- Kids in bed at 8.
- 8-8:30 evaluate my challenge progress and update the blog.
- 8:30-9 read
- 9 – lights out!
Original list by Into-Mind.com
So, it has been awhile since my last post. I have a ton of excuses of why my time has been consumed elsewhere… but I’ll save you from my pity cry. 🙂
I recently read a post from The Minimalists about their favorite bloggers (I can’t find the original post! Sorry!) and of course I clicked on every single recommendation – as I can not get enough of other people’s simplifying testimonies. One of their recommendations was Blonde on a Budget. I spent a great deal of time catching up on some of her recent posts and found this: the 30-Day Minimalism Challenge. I think the list/idea was originally from into-mind.com, but I LOVED how she attached her daily updates from the challenge in the post. I am also really digging the simple concept of the 30-day challenge.
Now, my life is so far from simple right now. I have way too many irons in the fire than I am comfortable admitting at the moment. I suppose I am a perfect candidate for this challenge, but the looming possibility of failure scares the crap out of me. Now is better than never, right? Plus, it will give me purpose for giving my blog the TLC it needs.
When I sat down to start planning out my July 21st – August 19th challenge, I noticed some of the points of the challenge were singular events and others were more of a daily practice; so i’ve sectioned off those singular-event items from the others. My daily updates may just be that – updates. Others will be addressing points of the challenge directly. Hopefully my method of challenge-organization will make sense when it is all said and done.
Daily Practice Items
- #2 | Meditate for 15 minutes
- #6 | Follow a morning ritual
- #8 | Learn to enjoy solitude
- #10 | No email or social media before lunch
- #17 | Practice single-tasking
- #19 | Go for a walk and practice mindfulness
- #21 | Journal for 20 minutes
- #24 | Practice Gratitude
The next 30 days will be interesting to see how it unfolds for me. Won’t you join me and hold me accountable? Pretty please.
Here is a printable version of the list (thanks Blonde on a Budget).
If you are joining me in the challenge, let me know your updates too! If you are just following – any ideas or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated!