First off, I’ve mentioned my resolutions for this year a couple times – that is, to finish projects instead of just letting them go undone. But in addition to that, I’ve taken on two challenges for January, even if I’m not doing particularly well with them. But they’re the kind of challenges that I’m going to finish and do completely…just maybe on a delayed scheduled.
The first is the January Cure. This is a month-long project led by one of my favorite home blogs, Apartment Therapy. It is a guided month-long home refresh that gives you a small project every day, and a larger project every weekend with the end goal of home that is cleaner and easier to maintain in a clean state. There’s a lot of getting rid of things you don’t need. Sorting through hidden spaces that are often neglected. But there’s also a decent amount of meditating on how we use the spaces in our homes. For example, the assignment on Day 6 was to sit for 10 minutes in an area of your home that is problematic and to just look and think about it. Too often these spaces just become a part of the daily rush and are easily ignored. I sat in the closet/dressing room next to our master bedroom for those 10 minutes, and I was amazed at where my thoughts went – as instructed I imagined it when it was empty, and I started mentally removing and rearranging the things that are problematic there. For so long the task of cleaning and organizing that space has felt impossible to start, and now after that time, I feel like I have an idea of what to do.
I’m not doing the best possible job. Of the 12 assignments so far, I still have five sitting in my Habitica “to do” column. Granted, one of those was assigned earlier this morning and I can’t do it until I get home, but I’m still at around 50% completion. Which should feel terrible. I should look around me and feel like I’m still living in a pig sty. But the beauty of the cure is that even when you don’t do everything, you are making significant progress. The closet/dressing room I mentioned above? I did a 30 minute cleaning session on it as part of Day 7 (convenient after having done my meditation on what was wrong with it in Day 6!), and even in those 30 minutes, I didn’t get a lot done, but something changed. I’ve looked in, and the Boy has peered in, and things are looking better. There is an optimistic bent to the state of untidiness – like if I only put in another 30 minutes, there will be a real change. It’s sort of thrilling to think that simple tasks can make your home life so different for the better.
You don’t have to do the Cure in January. I know there are lots of people on the AT threads who say that they’ll be starting in February, or doing it at another time that fits their schedule. All you have to do is start with day 1 on a monday, and follow through with the projects. I’m not going to let myself forget about the items that are still left to do for me, and will be approaching them as I have time.
The second challenge that I’m giving myself for January (and again, let’s be honest: I’m super behind, so through February too) is Yoga Revolution. It’s a 31 Day free yoga practice based on YouTube led by Adriene Mishler, a yoga teacher from Austin, Texas. The 31 day practice is for all levels and is designed to get us all back in a healthy mindset through healthy actions, and also through mindful contemplation about ourselves, our lives and our bodies. Adriene leads the 30-minute practice each day, and guides us yogis through a different state of mind we should be in – ease, intention, honor, stability, serenity, empowerment, etc.
I didn’t find this one myself. This was all Nicole – on New Years Day she said to me, “Hey, want to start a 31 day practice with me?” And I said, “Sure, why not.” And once again, I’m super behind – today is Day 17, and I’ve only completed up through Day 8. Even so, having done Yoga at least 3 or 4 times each week this month is invigorating. I forgot how much I love to do it, and after that first day of clearing a space in our living room and pulling out my mat, it’s something I’m determined to keep doing. I’m trying to be realistic with how much I’ll be able to do in any one day, but even getting myself in the habit of doing this is inspiring me.
Last March when my Lenten discipline was walking, I often used the Jessica Smith walking workout YouTube videos. I have forgotten how easy it is to just throw on a video and do that – while the idea of going to a yoga studio or outside is there, I can still make time for myself doing these indoor workouts. The month of January is busy, and things will continue to stay busy throughout the late winter and early spring. Most of that is my own doing, but the Yoga Revolution challenge has inspired me to take more time to focus on myself and my well being through exercise. I’m not perfect about keeping up with it, but I’m doing my best and that’s pretty good for now.
Is anyone else doing a January challenge? Or doing either the Cure or Yoga Revolution? Do you think that a challenge that lasts a specific amount of time has more chance for success than a nebulous resolution that may not be thought of again after you make it?