Wow, how is it already a new month??
January was an exciting month here in the U.S. (a little too exciting at times in the political sphere but that’s a whole other blog post). To me, January felt like a month of hope, growth, and positive change. I didn’t do everything I set out to perfectly, but I still moved in the right direction. Here are some stats:
Number of days I meditated: 27/31
Yoga workouts completed: 23/30
Number of days I journaled/practiced gratitude: 19/31
Hours spent writing my novel: 20/20
Books read: 4
Times I ordered delivery/ate a meal that could be microwaved: 0
The most important lesson I learned this month is that perfection really is the enemy of progress. In the past, if I was on a streak and missed a day, I’d just write off the whole rest of the month. For the first 15 days of my yoga challenge, I didn’t miss a single day. When I did end up missing a few days, I wasn’t too hard on myself, and that made it much easier to come back to it. Instead of trying to be perfect, a better goal is to just do the best you can. Sure 100% is amazing, but 70, 80, 90% is still amazing! In fact, pretty much anything other than 0 is great.
Out of all my goals, I’m most proud of how much healthier I’ve been eating. Ordering food is so easy and tempting when you live in a big city, but I started learning how to cook (better late than never!) and I’ve really enjoyed taking the time to prepare my own meals, looking up new recipes to make, and eating foods that are both good for me and actually taste good. Since I started cooking, I honestly haven’t felt as much of a temptation to order out. (To illustrate how big of an accomplishment this is for me, when I told my friends I was going to try not eating fast food for a whole year, they actually laughed out loud).
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that I started doing stoic adventures this year. I’d originally planned on doing one each week, but honestly I’ve kind of struggled to come up with ideas, especially with the pandemic going on, limiting how much I can do outside of my apartment. I’m still going to aim to do a few each month though. Here are some updates on my stoic adventures so far:
Stoic Adventure #1 Update: 30-Day Yoga Challenge:
I definitely hit the ground running with this one. For the first 15 days, I didn’t skip a single workout, even on days I really wanted to. A big part of my motivation had to do with using the WOOP technique. Tracking my progress after each workout in my WOOP app was so satisfying.
I’ve never been the most active person. I’m about as flexible as C-3PO, and I’ve only gone to a handful of yoga classes in my life. It goes without saying the first few weeks weren’t the easiest. Downward dog, which is apparently supposed to be a relaxing pose (ha!), was the bane of my existence. Every part of me ached after each workout. But about halfway through I felt myself get a little stronger. I wasn’t as sore as I was in the first few days, and I was sure I’d hit a turning point. It was all going to be uphill from here! Wrong. My arms and shoulders ached, I’m pretty sure I strained a muscle in my chest, and I was scared I was going to do some permanent damage to my wrists.
Since I hadn’t had any rest days yet, I decided to take time off to let my body recover. During this time, I researched the proper technique for yoga poses and found ways to take the strain off my wrists and shoulders. After my break, I felt much better. I was a little concerned that I’d be back at square one, but surprisingly I made even more progress than I had up until that point. I found myself actually enjoying downward dog and, for the first time, I could bend down and reach all the way to my toes!
I want to continue doing yoga and improving my flexibility, though I’d like to mix it up with some cardio and strength training going forward. Yoga with Adrienne is such a great resource for those looking to get into yoga, and Adrienne has such a calming presence. The one thing I would do differently going forward is take more regular rest days. Even once or twice a week would have allowed me enough recovery time to avoid taking as long of a break as I did, and rest days are important for avoiding injury. Overall, I completed 23/30 days. Not perfect, but still pretty good!
Stoic Adventure #2 Update: Applying for a Writing Mentorship:
Unfortunately, I don’t have an update on this one yet, because the results haven’t been announced yet. I’ll know this Wednesday!
I was still determined to make progress on my writing, regardless of the outcome, so I set myself a goal of writing 20 hours in January. I took a break the first half of the month after completing my last revision, but I ended up writing about two hours a day when I got back into the swing of things. Getting into the program would be amazing, but even if I don’t, I’m in a great place with my writing.
I’ll have more updates for you on this one later this week!
So that’s January all wrapped up. I’ll be carrying a lot of the same goals into the next month. Some I’ll be adjusting, and some I’ll use the lessons from this month to improve my progress in February. It’s importantly to continually take stock of and adjust your goals as things change. For example, one of my resolutions was to read 100 books this year. If I were to set my mind to it, I’m sure I could do it, but I also realized that trying to read that much was taking away too much time from my writing, which is a bigger priority to me in 2021. I’ve set my new goal to 50 books. That’s still a lot of books, but it’s a much more reasonable goal given what I want to accomplish this year.
Now, on to February!