Having decided that I would let this discipline carry over to other parts of my life and in fact make a few resolutions for this year - you know, just to try it on for size - I thought it might be a good thing to check in this morning and see how I am doing with them. After all, we're almost two months into the new year already. So, let's take a look at how I am doing...
Here is the list of the goals I set out for myself. I'll gloss over the running-related ones, because aside from saying that I am still working towards them, there isn't really anything new to add. Just to refresh your memory, here were my non-running-related goals for 2013:
And, as far as they go, I am pleased to say that I am still on track. Here's where I am at:
- Clean up my core
- Stretch more
- Get the kids outside more
- Try my hand at meditating
- BIG GOAL: Worry less
Core: I am in the fourth week of a regular core program. I have drawn out the original four-week program by actually making each week into a three-week program in and of itself. My core was so weak, that it took me that long to feel I could progress from week 1 to 2. So, six days a week - aside from that one slip up that had me sitting out for several days - I do about five minutes of core exercises. I suppose it doesn't sound like much, and I would be lying if I said I didn't wonder sometimes if that really is going to make that much of a difference. However, in the end, five minutes a day is more than zero minutes a day, so it's an improvement.
Stretch more: Originally, I wanted to fulfill this by starting weekly yoga classes. Unfortunately, given that I have one day a week I can do yoga and also given that that day is usually sucked away by something else, I have yet to actually meet this goal as originally intended. What I have done successfully, though, is to recommit to stretching more after running AND I have been very consistent with nightly foam rolling sessions. Both, I believe, have had a positive impact on reducing the daily aches and pains I get from running.
Get the kids outside more: This has been hit or miss. When handed a day off of school, I was very pleased with myself when instead of just sending them out to play, I went out too and played with them. Unfortunately, the weather has been such that no one wants to be outside for too long. So, I guess I could say I am still working on this.
Meditate: This goal is the one I am probably most proud of. I haven't done too much meditating yet, but I feel that I have taken the time to properly set the stage for it. I have developed a morning routine that I feel I can stick to and that will one day include meditation. The new routine entails waking up an hour earlier than I had been and sipping a cup of hot lemon water. Then I allow myself to read whatever I want until my kids wake up. I did this for several weeks while I just got used to the early hour. This past week, I have finally started to slip in some meditation between the waking up and preparing the hot lemon water and the actual drinking of it. Since I don't actually know what I am doing, it's hard to say if I am actually meditating or really just sitting there with my eyes closed breathing deeply, but whatever it is I can now do it for about seven minutes. Again, small improvements.
What I have noticed is that the lemon water/reading combo is a very relaxing routine for me in and of itself. Waking up earlier and taking this time for myself I feel I have discovered a very gentle way to start the day, and beginning each day with some "me time" has really positively impacted my days so far. Because I have already had that time to myself - for myself - I am noticing that even if my day gets hectic later, I seem better able to handle it. As a result of this routine, I feel calmer throughout the day. I seem to be happier generally and I definitely have more patience with my kids.
Additionally, I have used the morning routine lately to set an intention for the day. This was an idea I picked up from a couple of sources on the Internet, so I cannot claim it as my own. But that has been somehow nice, too. For example, today knowing I was waking up after not much sleep last night, I set the intention to be friendly and nice even though I was tired. It's a small thing, but I think setting intentions like this is making a big difference in how I move throughout the day.
Finally, the big goal: worry less. Well, this one is really hard to quantify, but I am working on it. Part of worrying, I believe, is simply in how you talk to yourself. So, when I find myself worrying about something, I simply tell myself to let it go. Also, to help myself, I have decided to use Lent to my advantage. Some people give up soft drinks, some people chocolate (I did that myself last year). This year I have decided to give up stress. So, if you ask me what I gave up for Lent, that's what I will tell you. I gave up stress. Is it really gone? No, of course not. But again, it's all about intentions. I guess I believe if you give voice to your intentions often enough, eventually you will follow through. If I tell myself I gave up stress enough, maybe one day it will happen.
How are you doing on your goals?