I did it!
I'm pleased with how January went. I did not have a 100% completion rate, and for that I'm almost glad. I still felt committed without feeling obsessed, which I think is a great line to ride. And really, there were only a couple days where I missed a thing or two, and no days where I completely failed at everything.
I need to have some way of publicly tracking this stuff. I'm thinking a calendar graphic on the blog where I put a check mark by every day that I do my habit fully and correctly.
For now you'll just have to read my typing.
I was surprised by how little my "8 AM wake time" really mattered. I began rehearsals for a play a few weeks ago, and between that and early morning clients, 8 AM is usually sleeping in these days. When we start doing late night shows, I'm sure this will be more of an issue.
Also, I never missed a meditation, but boy oh boy is it useless to meditate right when I wake up. I don't often fall asleep, but weirdly, my sleepy brain finds it even less easy to quiet my mind than my fully awake brain. It's like the mental muscles it takes to lasso all my thoughts and guide them to a standstill are still getting warmed up, and my thoughts have no accountability on their.
Good to know: Morning is a convenient time to meditate, but not an optimal one.
But I'm through. I celebrated by sleeping in on a day I actually could do so, and deliberately skipping meditation. The Headspace app I use has a counter in it to show how many days in a row you've meditated, and I wanted to break that streak, lest I get too fixated on the number and not the practice.
I'll probably maintain a lot of these habits for the rest of the year (secretly my plan all along). Not too difficult to pull off, even on busy days, and I feel a lot more in charge as I head out for the day.
I will answer texts, calls, and emails promptly. Like, when I get them, or at least within 24 hours.
This is my new habit!
...Yet another blisteringly easy task that is, in fact, extremely difficult for me.
I hate to admit it, but I am that guy who never gets back to you. I'm that guy you have to text three times to get a response. I'm that guy who never RSVPs.
So for this month (thankfully the shortest one of the year), I've decided to reverse that. When I get a text, I will do my absolute best to respond immediately. Calls will be answered and not relegated to voicemail (as is my wont).
Since I've procrastinated writing this post, I already have some insight into what it's like. (Protip: airplane mode may actually be the answer to world peace. Or at least chronic sanity.)
I see why I've fallen into the habit of radio silence. It's just easier. I find myself so afraid to answer a call or text, because then I've committed myself to being "available to talk". Which isn't really such a bad thing, but if you respond to one text, then you gotta respond to the next if it comes right away, then all of a sudden you're stuck in a text conversation when you mean to be doing other things! It cuts down on productivity, dammit!
Okay, let's be real; mostly I just get lazy. I do firmly believe in the above paragraph, but I could be a lot better at talking to the people I've labeled my "friends". If I'm not willing to talk to these people once in a while, can I really call them that?
I can't tell if this is sidestepping the rules, but I've begun to adopt a quasi-Tim Ferriss approach to communication; something he calls "batching". I'll make prodigious use of airplane mode when I'm doing anything that requires attention, but when I'm on a break, eating, hanging out, on the subway, I'll get off airplane mode to be available to talk, and when I'm available, I'm determined to be available.
For the last week I've done pretty well, although putting texts off till later is pretty ingrained into my system. I wish there were some sort of "Mark as Unread" option for texts.
But then maybe my texts would start to look like my email inbox, which isn't exactly a model of organization and promptness.
Off to the races!