A Month of Habits

by mybiggestphan

Even before marathon training started back in December, I consider myself to be a very ambitious individual. I would read a lot of productivity blogs and read articles that promoted different habits that everyone should pursue or strive for. Some of the habits that I’ve been working on fell through, whereas others have stuck with me. When March came around, and lent was about to begin, I decided, out of nowhere, that I wanted to give up something. And so I gave up porn. But a couple of days later, I started, after reading different articles to see if I could last a month without other things as well. Here is my journey:

COLD SHOWERS – I started to take cold showers every morning. I would jump in the shower and the turn the knob to the coldest setting possible. The first few days were rough. I found myself shivering uncontrollably. The first day lasted for about one minute but as the days progressed, I stood longer and longer in the cold shower. I found myself being able to fight against the discomfort of the coldness of the water and fighting past the shivering. I was able to brace myself for the sensation of the cold and controlled my breath every time I stepped in. Controlling your breathing is definitely key to having a more relaxing experience but even on day 35, I still struggle with the cold. I found there are many benefits to the cold shower therapy. I became more alert in the initial hour I woke up (although my poor sleeping habits prevented me from being energized throughout the day). I feel refreshed and my skin looks great. However, lately, my back has become really stiff and in a lot of pain and my subconscious is telling me to attribute it to the cold shower and how its causing me to not be loose at all. So as of now, I’ve been doing the hot/cold combo and it’s been pretty awesome and a habit I will be keeping with me for the rest of my life.

LOGGING THE FOOD I EAT – I am on Day 217. I have this habit of writing everything I eat down, the mood I’m feeling and whether I did any form of exercise that day. I found this nice to track your life and your eating habits. It doesn’t necessarily make me change my eating my habits but it does allow me to reflect how my mood may differ from day to day depending on what I eat. I haven’t been able to find a correlation yet between exercise, food and my mood but this is because I haven’t analyzed it fully yet. It’s also nice to show doctors if I ever need to give them a log of some kind of what I’ve been eating. I use Evernote for this task and if you want a template of what I do, this is what it looks like:

Day 217 – 4/14
MEAL:

Breakfast –  Oatmeal
Snack 1 –
Lunch –
Snack 2 –
Dinner –

EXERCISE: None

MOOD: Woke up groggy and not really wanting to get out of bed. Got to work and hammering out everything I needed to get done. Ambitious and motivated.

Day 216 – 4/13
MEAL:

Breakfast –  Ramen
Snack 1 –
Lunch – Pasta with avocado/eggs/mushrooms/peppers
Snack 2 –
Dinner – Turkey burger

EXERCISE: None

MOOD: Rested, motivated to get things done. More awake than day before. Still anxious about hearing

NO FACEBOOK – I’m a huge fan of social media and I think it really connects you with people you don’t normally talk to. Facebook in particular is amazing to network and to find out about events happening in your area. But lately, especially with my marathon training promotion and fundraising, I had been overexposed and felt like I needed to back away for a little bit. And on March 13th, I decided to opt out of Facebook for an undisclosed amount of time. The month without FB has been amazing. I found myself more productive and not looking on FB every time I was bored. I found myself so reliant on it to feed the time that I don’t know what to do with myself, instead of actually focusing on my most important tasks. But the drawback was that I felt really out of the loop when it comes to my social network of friends and knowing what was up in the community. Friends would constantly say that they had photos of me that they couldn’t tag and that they had group messages I was part of and couldn’t respond to. I missed deadlines for social events and surprises and you know what I realized, all of these things didn’t phase me. It’s that phrase “out of sight, out of mind.” Of course I would react after the fact but when it was done and over with, I didn’t really care. Now that I’m back on FB, after a month of being off it, I found myself making a more conscious choice not to go on it every time I was bored. I will set aside a certain period of time to really go on the site and explore but then go back to my tasks at hand.

MEDITATION – This has been a habit that I have been consistently doing for nearly a year now. I only do 5 minutes a day and it is so refreshing to be able to clear my mind. However, it has gotten to the point where I need to improve the 5 minutes and make it 10 minutes or a great length of time. There are some days where I don’t have the time to sit physically in my pose so I decide to be mindful when I am traveling around the city, in my car or what not. I encourage everyone to take up this habit because it really does calm you down and make you more aware of the things around you. It helps relieve tension and forget about the worries of the future and the past. This is one of the lifelong habits that is positive for your health and well-being. Do this!

I have other habits that I am also working on but it hasn’t been consistent enough to write about. But in the next year or so, I hope to make this routine:

WAKING UP AT 5 AM
PLAYING CHESS and/or SUDOKU at least ONCE PER DAY
READ for 30 MINUTES
WRITE FOR 1 HOUR
JOURNAL EVERY DAY

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