Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Getting rid of stuff that's not working

As part of my Transform campaign, I'm working on making some changes in my life. But this process is largely trial and error. After reading Gretchen Rubin's book about habits, Better Than Before, I learned that the reward system largely does not work (e.g. If I lose 10 pounds, I can buy myself those cute shoes). Nonetheless, I still harbor the idea that if I do all of this hard work, I should get some sort of treat. I really don't know why this is.

I did learn that I am motivated by external sources, not internal (this was a bit of a surprise to me, too!). This doesn't necessarily mean other people--I love watching the little arrow progress around the treadmill's track signaling that I'm closer to completing another lap. But, this is also why I'm doing a sugar-detox diet with friends. Left to my own devices, I think I'd only be eating scrambled eggs and veggies. And I'd be doing a lot of crying. And I'd probably give up after about 5 days.

Part of this Transform journey is figuring out what works, but another part is figuring out what doesn't work. As it turns out, I really don't like exercising in the morning. When I lived in Oregon, I could manage it because I would work out with friends who lived in the same apartment complex, and we would use the complex's gym. Convenience, it turns out, is super-important to me. I am more likely to exercise at work, even if they don't have all of the equipment I'd like to be using, than I am to drive to my local gym. Mostly because I'm already at work.

I'm more functional when I have time to get up slowly. This morning I got out of bed at 6:40 am and left for work at 8:40 am. I'm pretty sure most people do not spend two hours getting ready to go to work, but I like to sit at the kitchen table and read while I eat breakfast, and whenever I don't do this, I feel sort of off-rhythm all day. Sometimes I do productive things before work, like pay bills, but most of the time I just read.

I've discovered that meditation does not work for me, at least not right now. It simply became another thing for me to do, and while I was meditating, I really, really struggled to turn off the "monkey mind." In theory, that's sort of the point of meditation--to be able to turn off the monkey mind, but I actually found my pulse speeding up while I meditated instead of doing whatever it was I needed to do IMMEDIATELY AFTER I FINISH MEDITATING. So I decided to stop trying to meditate. I might try again in the future, but right now, it is not a good fit.

As it turns out, this Transform project is also a project of self-discovery!

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