I would love to say that I’ve been on top of the Happiness Challenge I set myself. Nothing would give me more joy than to tell you that I’ve been following all the steps I laid out, and it’s made a difference. Continue reading
Today was the first day of my twenty-one days. I have to admit, I have had trouble finding the time to consciously be aware of fitting the steps into my days.
Even not making the conscious decision to do the steps, I still made a dint in them. The neighbours were walking down to the creek this afternoon, and instead of saying I didn’t want to go because it was getting late I went anyway, even though I knew my daughter would be a handful at that hour. I shared amusing comics on Facebook. I journalled tonight about the things I’m grateful for.
The one thing I haven’t done is meditated. So before I go to sleep tonight I’ll be listening to some music (without lyrics) before I drift to sleep.
Are you joining the challenge?
Normally when you think exercise, you think about running long distances with sweat dripping down your face and exerting yourself to the point of a heart attack.
I’m not talking about that kind of exercise. All I’m talking about is getting yourself moving, for an extra two minutes a day, over the twenty-one days. Sounds pretty easy, huh?
Here are some ideas about how to get this movement into your day:
- Take the furthest available car park at work, school, or the shopping centre. Even if it’s only an extra minute’s walk, that’s two minutes both ways.
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Doing squats while you’re washing dishes.
- Doing morning prostrations. They’re not that difficult to do, you can go slowly, and believe me you still get a work out.
- Scrubbing that grout in the bathroom.
Seems easy, doesn’t it?
Do you have any suggestions for adding exercise into the day?
How do I feel about my birthday?
Not negative. Sure, I have dark circles under my eyes. I should lose about 20 kilograms (44 pounds). I need to take better care of myself.
But, I’m alive! I’m (reasonably) healthy. The dark circles are from staying up late working on things I love and because I have emotions to process. How great is it that I have emotions to process though? How wonderful that I’m working on my passions? Isn’t it fantastic that I’m setting goals and living a life that is taking me closer to where I want to be? I am currently between point A and point B. It feels good to finally be moving in the direction of my dreams. Not something I’ve always thought I was capable of.
So what are my goals for year 34?
Well, I have a lot of projects over on my writing blog to get through, but in the sense of this blog – things to improve my well-being and happiness – are simple: give up animal products, lose that weight, run a 5k in October or November (have to check the race calendar), get through my reading and listening lists, pay off one of my credit cards, and complete the Happiness Challenge.
I’m working on the steps to accomplish all of those things this year but for tomorrow I’m just going to relax and enjoy my birthday.
Do you have any goals for this year?
In preparation of the start of the Happiness Challenge on 10th January, here is some information on Meditation.
What is meditation?
The simplest definition is “a discipline that involves turning the mind and attention inward and focusing on a single thought, image, object or feeling” (ATMA).
How to meditate?
There are a variety of ways to meditate: It’s all about focusing on one thing. You could concentrate on your chewing action when you eat, every stride when you jog, on your breath, or scrubbing the grout in between your bathroom tiles.
- How to Meditate Daily: Some general information on meditation.
- Do Nothing For Two Minutes: The name sums it up. This site plays a sound track of gentle waves, as soon as you move your mouse or touch the keyboard it stops.
- Calm.com: On this website you can set a certain time limit on guided meditations or music for a specific period.
- Meditation.org.au: This site has a free online course on meditation.
I wanted to start this year by setting myself a challenge to be more positive. I’ve devised a plan I’m going to try for twenty-one days to see what happens to my outlook by following a few little steps. The great thing about these steps is that they can combined. So, depending on how hectic my day is, I can cut the steps down to only a couple. I’ll explain that tomorrow.
(two minutes a day)
Meditation is shown to improve memory, concentration, anxiety levels, and happiness. I only tried regular meditation for the first time late last year, and I think it truly helped keep me more positive during a very trying time.
(two minutes a day)
Exercise is great for your health. You probably already knew that. Did you know it’s also good for improving your energy and mood?
(two minutes a day)
Noticing the things you’re grateful for helps you cultivate positivity. However, it’s not just about listing things you are thankful for in a journal. Showing those who play important roles in your life that you notice their actions, or even those who might only play a minor role in your day, has a number of positive effects: physical health, enhances empathy, reduces aggression, and better sleep.
(two minutes a day)
There are numerous benefits of journaling: stress reduction, enhancing creativity, increasing focus, and assisting with personal growth.
5. Positive Social Media
(the whole twenty-one days)
Social media is great for being connected with one another. It’s also been a great way to vent and whinge about the things we’re not happy about. Concentrating on only positive posting is not only great for you, but also has a positive effect on others who subscribe to your feeds.
Are there any of these points you’re not sure about? Don’t worry, I’ll be explaining them all.
PS Forgot to mention I’m starting this on 10th January.