Near the beginning of January, I wrote about how I wanted to start some new habits. It’s hard to imagine that changing just a couple of things can turn into major lifestyle improvements, but that’s what happened. First, let me try to explain what has changed:
1. I haven’t been watching TV.
I stuck with it and (mostly) didn’t watch TV during January. That’s four TV-free weeks. I made some exceptions for social TV-watching with my husband, which meant a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory, The Daily Show, and Real Time with Bill Maher. However, I completely cut out my habit of watching TV while simultaneously cleaning, working, or relaxing. Cold turkey quit.
This had a GIANT, unexpected impact on my daily life. I had no idea that I was using TV as an excuse to avoid engaging in my life. But it’s true. Instead of giving in to feeling bored or tired or “wanting a little distraction,” I had to come up with ways to fill my time in more active ways. And so I did.
2. I did yoga (and walked a bit).
I’m a little sad to say that I didn’t walk as much as I wanted to. I told myself I would walk at least a mile a day, set that as a goal for myself on RunKeeper, and I am still 2 miles short of reaching that goal.
On the other hand, I have practiced yoga 23 times this month. I am currently on a 7-day yoga streak. That’s awesome! I am painfully aware of how tight my hips and hamstrings have become (stupid office chair), but I am also back to being regularly active and completely in love with Yoga Today. I’m also cutting myself some slack and doing shorter yoga sessions sometimes with the YogaJournal.com 21-Day Challenge.
3. I started uncluttering daily.
With all that extra time, I decided to make an effort to unclutter on a regular basis. I have to give some credit to my husband, who sometimes goes into deep-cleaning mode and drags me along with him. So after some major cleaning earlier this month I decided to try to keep the apartment that way. I have now done at least basic uncluttering (i.e. not letting dishes and stacks of paper/clothing pile up) every day for over 3 weeks.
4. I restarted my paper journal.
I used to be committed to writing in my journal, but somehow in the past few years I slacked off. I bought a journal right before moving to Germany, and I probably wrote in it a dozen times in the first year we lived here. But since I haven’t been ending my day collapsed in front of a TV show, I have been journaling. For someone who feels relatively self-aware most of the time, I have found it surprisingly eye-opening and helpful to process my thoughts at the end of each day. I have been doing that for four weeks straight.
5. I started a brand-new blog.
If any of you are a little nerdy like me, you might be curious about my new blog, Coding Linguist. In my free time (you know, when I’m not working or doing all the other things I started this month), I am learning to program. I was finding myself dying to share some of my observations about all my new programming projects and ideas, so I started that blog. It’s also a hilarious record of my tendency to start more projects than I can juggle at any one time.
… and more.
In addition to those major changes, I started knitting again, I have been cooking and baking more, I have almost finished my German integration course, and I am feeling like my days are longer and more peaceful than before. In other words, I am more engaged. I may let myself go back to watching an hour or two of TV/movies on the weekends, but I don’t ever want to slip back into using TV as a diversion from my real life. My life is too much fun for that. 🙂