If I have learned anything so far on this 3-week journey, it’s that little steps taken consistently in the same direction will eventually yield big results. I have tried to change things in my life before, and failed. But this time is different. This time my goals are clear. And I know myself – I know to make changes in very small increments, wait until I feel comfortable with it, then make some more small changes. For instance, I could never set for myself the goal of going to the gym three times a week for forty minutes of cardio. First of all, I hate to exercise – that kind of exercise anyway – it is mind-numbing and I would want to stop almost before I started. I also hate running around in my car, and having another place to go would make me crazy. So I set a goal for myself that I knew I could achieve and maintain – just fifteen minutes of zero-impact exercise focusing on breath. I do this six times a week (allowing myself one skip). This combined with increased hydration and decreased sugar has resulted in a loss of eight pounds. Just little, bitty steps, dear reader, with measurable results.
I’ve also learned how important it is to focus on today only. Each morning I tell myself, “You only have to succeed today.” I don’t think about tomorrow (too scary). I don’t think about yesterday – succeed or fail, yesterday is gone and no longer matters. Only what I do today, in this moment, matters.
So today, I reflected on things that are working. My dining room table is feng-shuied. It’s been amazingly easy to keep it clear, and it really does feel more peaceful. My kitchen sink and stovetop are clean. I’m making consistently good choices for my health. And today, I started using my notebook – you know, the one that’s going to change my life. I jotted down things that need to be done, then chose three to accomplish today. Shockingly, I did just that. (Maybe not shocking to you list-makers, but shocking to me). It totally worked just like it was supposed to!
Today was a good day, but I’ll close with a humiliating confession. One of the three things I chose to work on was to start on the backlog of laundry in my house. I was out of clean dishcloths, so I did a load of kitchen laundry – 12 dishcloths and 14 dishtowels!!!! To understand what this means, I have to tell you that I toss a dishcloth in the laundry about every three days. In spite of the clutter issue, I’m actually kind of a germaphobe. I can’t stand the thought of bacteria growing in my dishcloth, so the moment it no longer smells fresh it goes in the basket. This means that I haven’t washed kitchen laundry since Christmas. Since Christmas! Good grief! This is a landmark moment – never again (I hope) will I let a whole month pass without washing a dishtowel. I am slowly but surely implementing a laundry system – one that works. Little by little I will find the easiest way to do things, and my life will be (re)new(ed).