Day 2 is the bane of my existence

In case you missed my last post, on Monday I embarked on a grand quest to align my chakras, fung my shui, and generally get my crap together. I resolved to:

  • Get up at 6 every day. AM. For realz.
  • Spend only 15 minutes half an hour some amount of time less than an hour staring into my coffee every morning
  • Haul my carcass around the neighborhood as if chased by something threatening but not very fast
  • Not forget to ingest calories besides the cream and sugar in my coffee
  • Notice that I have 5 other family members plus a dog all getting ready to start their day and try to help someone besides the dog, who has got his post wake-up nap routine solid

Tuesday morning I didn’t exactly pop out of bed, but I more or less managed to do it. Coffee was consumed in moderate quantities, although slower than I would prefer, which means I need an espresso machine for Christmas. Suck-Up Dog was roused from slumber and unceremoniously dragged through the neighborhood. Something resembling exercise happened, or at least that’s the explanation I decided on for why I was so incredibly sweaty gross and disgusting smelling before breakfast. I even sat down and wrote a couple more paragraphs of The Book, bringing the grand total to… a couple of paragraphs. I was feeling pretty smug.

Celebrating, I stayed up until about 12:30 reading, hyped up on victory and certitude.

 

Wednesday morning came crashing in like a thing that does a lot of crashing.

My similes are suffering. I am seriously tired.

I came to about half a mile from my house, where I discovered to my shock that I was wearing clothes, sweating, and moving at what Stevie Wonder might call a “run” if he saw me doing it.

Suck-Up Dog didn’t get walked, but he didn’t do much this morning besides look smug as he laid there looking like a bag of mulch with a tail in the middle of the living room.

I think I ate someone’s leftover breakfast off their plate.

Mrs. Nostrikethat drove the kids to school. BUT I WAS AVAILABLE TO HELP.

The first 24 hours of any new habit is pretty awesome. Newness in general is usually reason enough to try something– we are novelty seeking creatures in a world that provides endless opportunities to try something New and probably Improved, too.

The second 24 hours are where dreams are shattered.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend I am a big man because I managed to get up at the same time twice in a row, because on the scale of Hardest Accomplishments of Mankind this comes in at the “buttering toast using fake butter” level of difficulty.

My three year old manage to do it every dang day without an alarm clock, and he can’t even wipe himself. It can’t be that hard.

I am, however, going to sit here and pretend that even this tiny bit of self improvement is worth doing, if only because it’s funny to sit here and think of new ways to describe my fat dog, and because Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world…unless it involves waking up too early then you might want to reconsider.”

New Year, New Habits

There are people in this world that get up every day and relish the challenge that life brings. Then there are folks like myself that get up every day and manage to consume a cup of coffee without hurting anyone. Life’s challenges don’t come until about an hour after the second cup.

I spent a good portion of my 20s and early 30s trying to convince myself that I was a motivated go-getter. I have passed my natural half-life at this point so I decided to be honest with myself: I am actually pretty content to just putter around the house and try a new flank steak marinade. 

I signed up for the newsletter by this guy James Clear, who writes a lot about the power of habits. A lot of it is standard motivational type stuff, but some of it speaks to me so I keep reading. I am also a BIG believer in the power of habit. There are some things in my life that are already on auto-pilot, but there are a lot more things that I don’t do regularly that I’d like to make automatic. 

If I was sitting down and designing a calendar from scratch, I wouldn’t pick January to start a new year. I owe nothing to Janus, for one. For two, it’s too cold, I’m broke from Christmas, and the last thing I want to do is haul my carcass out of hibernation in some misguided attempt to make a New and Better Me.

September is a great month to start a new year. It feels a lot more precipitous for change. Still on the edge of summer, but you know colder weather is right around the corner so you better get that harvest in if you want to eat.

January really has a lot of the “just ride it out” quality to it– in September there’s still time to scramble and get things done if you hurry.

Today I decided to write down a bunch of stuff in my calendar so it would show up on my phone as a repeating reminder. Every day except for Sunday, I am going to:

  • Get up at the same time every morning
  • Have only one cup of coffee, then go for a run
  • Come back and put on Grown Up Clothes, as if I Am Going to Leave The House
  • Eat a decent breakfast and help the rest of the family get out of the door on time every morning so I can walk the kids to school
  • Sit down at the computer and try to write for at least 30 minutes

It is a sign of how far I have to go that I am going to feel accomplished about waking up.

I have always struggled with slipping into Sloth Mode… I want to create a feeling of wrongness when I’m not doing these things. I am particularly excited about the last one, because it’s led to this post, and will, in time, get me to finish The Book.

Yes I am writing a book. No I don’t want to talk about it right now. But I have an outline, so that’s a start.

Any of you all struggling with bad habits and trying to form good ones? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.