Turtle steps


I was flicking through some of the bookmarks I hadn’t really gotten around to reading last year, and stumbled back
across 52 Changes (and yes, I’m aware I’m a few years out of date…!). This is an eBook from the guy who does Zen Habits. It lists a suggested habit to form (or in a few cases, break) each week for the year – and I’m really tempted to give it a follow! In fact, I am: at least starting (I’m well aware of the evidence this blog presents as to how some of these experiments pan out…!).

Anyway, to quote from the book:

The changes in this book aren’t a way to improve your life. Let me stress that: this isn’t a self-improvement book. It’s an experimentation book. It’s a change lab. It’s a way to explore yourself, to figure out what works best for you, to get out of your comfort zone, to learn how to change, and to be OK with change. And that’s the most important thing: learning how to be OK with change.

It’s about living life in a way that will give you the greatest fulfillment, will help you help the world, and to live more fully and in the present.

Which sounds worth a go, right?! I’m loving the intro, in it’s laid-back tone and lack of pretension. It’s all ‘give it a go, see what works for you’ rather than ‘must do x, y then z’. The advice is sound, too: one at a time (my downfall!) and start small. And – I love this! – “Enjoy the Change. If you don’t enjoy it, it’s not worth doing. And it won’t stick anyway.”

The order isn’t prescriptive, so I’ve been thinking about what would work best for me. So many are already in my mind:
mindful eating, exercise, yoga, meditation, sleep, creativity, and the lovely ‘unprocrastinate’.

Sleeping seems kind of key to me – I’ve been having far more disturbed nights back in my own bed than in the peace of my dad’s house over Christmas, which is disappointing and really highlighting the detriment that has on my day-to-day. But that’s habit #26 – half a year away! But then… if I plan to try anyway, maybe the 6-month mark would be a good reminder to focus? A read through that ‘chapter’ (a brief description, why, and a ‘how’ for each habit) shows that it draws in exercise and meditation, so maybe the order flows well. Although I wonder if ‘walking’ is better done away from Scotland’s icy January weather!!

So… for right now I think I might just start at the beginning, with meditation. I’ve always loved my dabbling, but always fall out of the habit. Here the suggestion is 2-5 minutes: and hey, isn’t that a more sustainable habit than 20 minutes?! Also, I think I may make today the ‘official’ start – Saturdays seem more flexible than Thursdays, which ever day the year starts on!

Which isn’t to say I’m not even looking at the other stuff – exercise, healthier eating, blah blah – until the ‘habit week’, but I figure this way I can have one thing that is unshakable for the day. And – true to my scanner nature! – know that next week I can shift to a new area (although keep up with the meditation, too!).

Let’s give this a go! 🙂


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