Saturday, May 23, 2015

I need to make public resolutions. Do you?

Yesterday I reviewed Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. Another thing mentioned in the book is the need for accountability. Some people, like me, need to make public resolutions to feel accountable.

I thought about starting this blog for more than a year before actually doing it. While reading Rubin's Happier at Home in March 2014, I added "start a blog?" to my list of possible changes to make myself happier. Then about a month ago I started writing down ideas for blog posts. I was thinking more seriously about the idea, and I wanted to tell someone. I knew that once I told someone I would have to actually start the blog. That's just how I am.

Several times I almost mentioned something when talking to my sister or my mom on the phone, but I didn't. I think I was looking for someone who would have a neutral reaction to the idea. I didn't want to be discouraged. A few days before starting this blog, I mentioned my idea to my brother-in-law, Adam. I'm not even sure how it came up in conversation, but finally it was out there.

I've been very low on work recently due to a recent announcement about the state of the company I work for, so after two days of searching for a blog URL, I just went to Blogger and created a blog. It was a lot simpler than I thought, and it was free. And now here we are three weeks later.

Another habit I've been meaning to get into is exercising more. Our family joined the YMCA at the end of February, so I've been trying to fit some classes into my schedule. The evening classes were working for a while, but with baseball for Christopher and my own evening plans, it's not working out this month. I've decided that the only way I'm going to get regular exercise into my schedule is to do it in the mornings. Which means getting up earlier. Ugh!

I tried to start this week, but I found that I was just too tired to get out of bed on Monday morning. My alarm went off at 5:00 AM, and I turned it off and went back to sleep. I usually go to bed early, so I know I'm getting enough sleep. Why do I feel so tired in the mornings? Caffeine, I realized. So this week I have been weaning myself off of caffeine.

I am a green tea drinker. I usually drink one cup of Tazo China Green Tips tea at home with my breakfast, and then as soon as I get to work, I have another cup. Then around 1:00 PM I have a third cup. And at 3:00 PM or so I have a fourth. (My company provides free Tazo tea.)

Monday and Tuesday I nixed the afternoon tea and only had the two cups in the morning. Then Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I only had the first morning cup. Today, none! We're going camping this weekend, and it's hard to have tea while camping since you need hot water, so I thought this would be good timing.

My plan is to start exercising in the mornings beginning on Tuesday since we'll still be away for Memorial Day on Monday. Another thing I learned from Better Than Before is that the habit of the habit is more important than the habit itself. So I've decided that rather than trying to get up at 5:00 AM right away to make it to the Y for a class, I am going to try to get up only 30 minutes early next week and just go for a quick run, walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes, or do some stretching or yoga poses.

Then the next week I'll move it back to 6:00 AM and try to get to the Y to run on the track or lift weights. Since things are slow at work right now, I don't have to rush in in the mornings, so I can gradually work my way back to 5:30 AM or even 5:00 AM if I want to make it to 5:30 AM classes at the Y. I think if I can get into the habit of exercising in the morning, I can build up to something more substantial once that routine is established.

My hope is that by the time I start a new job, exercise will be second nature, so it will be easy to fit it into my new morning schedule.

I'll give an update in a few weeks, but now that I've made a public declaration, I have to do it.

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