52 Changes

I started Zen Habits’ 52 Changes in the second week of January because I couldn’t fall asleep. I looked over the list of changes and was stoked to know I was already practicing some of the habits. So for the past month I’ve tried four different changes. On Saturdays (or in reality, when I remember) I choose another change and give it a go. I love structure but crave flexibility, so 52 Changes is the perfect mix to try.

But I know myself. I don’t like to fail, and I don’t like to not see things through or realise that they actually aren’t as easy as I thought they would be. So I’ve decided to take these changes as they are. In true Zen Habit style, I’m going to be in the moment, I’m going to give them a go and if it doesn’t work, there’s always next time.

My first month went a little like this:

Walking

I really like walking and talking and usually that combination gets me tired quick. When we lived in Canberra we were within walking distance of everything we needed. Since we started upon our new transient lifestyle 14 months ago, we haven’t walked so much, so I decided it was time to bring it back. We now walk every day to the shops, the local pub or until we get tired. It’s a nice routine and a great way to end the day and catch up.

Meditate

I meditate between 5 minutes to 15 minutes a day, using a guided meditation app. I use Simply Being or Relax & Rest. I also find it helpful that when I’m too tense or on the verge of panic I close my eyes, breathe in and micro meditate. It helps me calm down and move on. I’ve tried to meditate on my own, but I need the focus and guidance. So for now I stick to the apps as I start my day.

Get More Sleep

This has been the hardest and one I’ll probably have to go back to every now and again. I tried for a week and failed. Change takes time, but time and sleep are tricky for me. I tried to sleep early and tried to wake up only 15 minutes earlier then usual, but I wasn’t consistent enough. But that’s OK, I knew it wasn’t easy. And sleep is my Everest! So I’ll give it another go, but maybe in a couple of months.

Floss

After not being able to adapt the Get More Sleep change, I decided to go the other extreme and pick flossing. This was mainly because I was feeling fragile and needed an easy win. I started flossing every night back when Tim and I started living together five years ago. It was hard to start the habit but because Tim did it every day it made it so much easier. Perhaps this is why our push up program is working, since there’s someone else to help you along the way, to push you, to encourage you and to be there. OK, so perhaps that’s too deep a connection just for flossing. But the fact is, I do it every day, and it’s nice being rewarded for something good I already do. What works for us is that whoever grabs the toothbrushes and toothpaste also gets the floss. It’s a visual reminder that it’s the next logical thing to do. It took time to make it a habit, but now that it is, it feels strange not doing it.

My first month of the 52 Change challenge went pretty well. Yes, I did already do three out of four on a regular basis, but I’m still quite proud of myself. I’ve acknowledged that I do them, how it makes me feel and it’s given me the confidence to think I can take on any of the changes, whether they’re new, old or overly tried. As long as it’s still fun, I might as well give it a go.

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