So to start, let me tell you a list of things I’d like to do/try/become more involved in. This isn’t all-inclusive (I mean I’ve got “earn a million dollars” and “exercise everyday” in my mental list, but those aren’t happening any time soon), and it’s certainly not specific bucket-list-style items, it’s more of a list of
“Lifestyles I’d like to experiment with”:
1) The 100 things Challenge started by Dave Bruno, but only to an extent. I’d modify that to include certain “groupings”–all of my makeup, for example–as 1 item, and I’d probably allow myself something like 300 items, at least to start. (Let’s be real, I currently own 370 books–not including literary magazines or the recipe books in my closet, which I just remembered existed. And yes, I just counted them all, so that is an actual, factual number.)
2) Reading 52 books in one year; essentially, one book a week.
3) The Whole30 Challenge started by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.
4) Yoga and certain parts of the yogi lifestyle.
5) Project 365.
In fact, I’ve sort of decided that I’ll talk about each of those items in separate blog posts, hopefully when I actually start doing them. Which brings me to my main point:
I’ve either failed or not bothered trying each of those 5 things. The “Why” can be simplified into 3 main categories:
1) Excuses/Wrong Choices
3) Being overwhelmed
I’ve got excuses for everything, and as much as I’ve been trying to stop using excuses at all in my life, it’s hard. The hardest instance for me is when I’m late–and I’m late a lot. When I’m on my way to where ever I’m going, the little demons in my head start whispering excuses or even exaggerations that border on lying, for why I’m late. I’ve gotten better at not letting those little demons out of my mouth, but they’re still there inside my brain. And while I need to allow certain freedoms for myself–not doing the Whole30 Challenge in September, for example, because obviously I want cake on my birthday–I can’t allow those acceptable things slip into the negative realm of excuses.
While I sometimes think that money can be used as an excuse, there is the concrete, undeniable fact that I’m more than $20,000 in debt thanks to student loans and car issues, etc. But I don’t need money to start practicing yoga in the mornings, or to get rid of items I own, or to read books (did I mention I own more than 300 books?), or even to take a picture every day (crappy phone quality pictures still totally count). So while money might be a hindrance to certain things, it’s likely that there’s still a work-around somewhere. The biggest money problem I’d run into from the above 5 lifestyle changes would probably be the Whole30 challenge, simply because it would mean starting from scratch on a lot of things, and let’s be real–food isn’t exactly cheap.
I made a post about change and fear a while ago, and I think that’s a big part of why I get overwhelmed with things–the fact that I’d need to change a significant thing in my life to accomplish any of them, even if that “thing” is simply devoting more time to doing something like reading more, instead of watching a TV show. Another factor is that when I get excited about change and trying a new lifestyle, I try to do too much at once, sending my brain into panicky overload-mode until I shut down.
So where do I go from here?
I start small. I’ve been trying to get rid of a few things at a time, and that’s great until I forget for 3 or 4 months at a time. Goodreads has a Reading Challenge option, and I’ve been trying to slowly increase my yearly goal (last year it was 15 books, and I read 16; this year I’ve set the goal at 18). I do practice yoga occasionally, though it’s mostly when my back is really hurting (still, that’s something, right?). A big thing is that I need to focus (by picking one to really push myself to do, instead of trying them all at once).
Until next time,