Happy Thursday! I asked in my last post if you all would be interested in posts detailing my intentions for the month. Feedback was in the affirmative (thanks guys!) so here’s a little review of my January intentions and a peek at my February intentions. Also, I would LOVE to know if you set intentions/hopes/goals/fill-in-the-blank-with-related-word each month (or week or day or whatever). And what they are, if you don’t mind sharing, because I’m too nosy for my own good.
Okay, okay. First up: January. A mixed bag. I won’t detail all of my January intentions, but here are a few highlights.
What went well:
-Phone off by 8:00 pm. I didn’t turn it off at exactly 8:00 every single night, but I did make sure it was off at least an hour or so before I went to bed. As obvious as it sounds, cutting out the before-bed scrolling (or in bed scrolling, let’s be real) has been a game-changer. I probably can’t attribute this solely to turning off my phone, but I’ve been sleeping better in the last month. So it’s a win.
A strategy I employ is to give myself 5-10 minutes in the evening to check email/social media IF I want to. (And surprisingly, more often than not, I don’t really want to.) After that, I set my alarm for the next morning and switch it to airplane mode. Then I let it charge and stay in airplane mode until the next day. Just having to turn off airplane mode is enough of a setback to keep me from succumbing to the mindless scroll.
-Drink enough water. I was home on winter break for most of the month of January and I always find it easier to drink enough water when I’m at home. I carry around a water bottle pretty much everywhere and have since I was probably eleven, but some days, especially at school, I get to the end of the day and realize I’m super thirsty and probably haven’t had enough water. While I don’t have a set amount I try to drink every day, I do like making sure I get in a glass or two shortly after I wake up.
So all that to say I drank enough water while I was at home and I want to continue to do so now that I’m back at school for spring semester.
-Journal two pages every day. This was my biggest “win,” I think. I process things when I write about them, so journaling is key to making sure I don’t go crazy, and has been for most of my life. I wanted to do a morning pages type of routine, where first thing in the morning you write three pages, but I couldn’t get myself to do it. So I opted to write at night right before bed. Not to be dramatic, but my life is so much improved when I do. If I go too long without writing, I can feel the weight of everything piling up and it makes me feel needlessly stressed and irritable. Also, writing before bed I think helps me sleep better. Less rolling around in my head. Overall, when I write, I feel like I have more space in my brain. And just more myself.
Looking back, I think last semester would have felt easier if I had taken the time to write consistently. So here’s to lots of journaling this coming semester!
What didn’t go well:
-Read one chapter of a non-school book every night. Okay. I didn’t do this. At all. I did read a few non-school books over break, but not as many as I thought I would.
-Practice violin and piano most days. Didn’t do this one either. I’m in orchestra this semester, so I’ll be practicing violin more. But for the month of January, I did very little practicing. I’ve missed it, but I’m also out of the habit. For the last several years, I’ve practiced every day without fail. Exceptions: fevers and camping. Funny how quickly things can change. Anyways, I’m glad I’m in orchestra and I’m planning to go early to get in some extra practicing.
Of course, all of these are going to be things I’ll have to keep working on. Like praying without ceasing. Obviously, that’s not going to happen in a month. And I knew it wouldn’t. But I’m more intentional about it now.
Whew, I’ll cap it there for January. On to February intentions!
–Smile more. Smiling more makes you happier. Psychology says. That and my natural resting face is not a particularly happy one. This summer, I got into this weird habit (unintentionally) of smiling hugely every time I walked by a mirror. That and working at a restaurant, you smile a lot at customers. But at school, we have a shared bathroom and I would feel weird if I became the Cheshire Cat every time I walked through. Ya feel? Anyways. I haven’t been smiling as much. So bottom line: smile more.
–Cultivate eagerness to learn. Last semester, I had a lot of days where I thought of my classes and homework and study sessions as a means to an end. That’s partially true. But I also want to enjoy learning because the subjects are interesting. And because learning is a gift. It also makes the time go faster AND everything more interesting.
–Take more pictures. I don’t need to take pictures of every little thing, but every time I sit down to write a blog post, I bemoan my sorry lack of photos. Plus, taking pictures helps me pay more attention to little details around me.
–Hunt for the good. Hunt for the good in every day. In every situation and conversation.
–Stretch more. Okay. I know this is bad. But sometimes, I neglect to stretch after I work out. Also, since I haven’t been working out in the mornings, stretching when I get out of bed feels wonderful. And flexibility is a good thing.
–And last but not least: more time for blogging. I had all these grand plans for the blog and I can see now that some of them aren’t super realistic. But some of them, with a little effort and planning, totally are. And I’d like to be intentional about it because it makes me feel less harried.
Well. That ended up being a lot longer than I thought. Thanks for so graciously reading my rambles. And again, if you set monthly intentions, I’d love to hear all about them! I’m new to this kind of thing and I think it’s so interesting to hear other people’s. Lots of love to you!
Linking up with Amanda for Thinking out Loud!