January Check-in

by Frank Martin

This has been one amazing month for me. A number of things that never quite worked have fallen into place:

Sleep: After probably ten years of sleeping on old mattresses I got a brand new one for Christmas, and started sleeping on my back instead of my side. My mom and I also went on the clean eating diet which includes eliminating additives and sugar. I’m not sure which of these factors made the difference, but I’ve found I’m able to get to bed earlier, and wake up nice and early without using an alarm. I’m generally up sometime between four and six feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

Meditation: Ever since I discovered Buddhism in high school I’ve wanted to get a daily meditation practice going, but have always struggled. Today marks close to a month of meditating every morning, except one. I’ve been working up slowly from two minutes, currently at five. Not that long, sure, but a little bit every day is what makes a habit. Fixing my sleep was the thing that finally made this possible.

Diet: As I mentioned above, I did a pretty major dietary shift at the beginning of the year. January first was a cleansing day, and other than a couple slips (had a soft pretzel at the mall a week or two ago and a Subway yesterday when I was visiting my aunt and uncle) I have yet to break it. The great thing about clean eating is its self enforcing. Especially if you cleanse when you start, you discover how sensitive your body is to what you put in it, and food stuffed with additives and sugar makes you feel sick enough that you don’t want to eat it.

How is everyone else’s year going? Often this is the time when we’ve lost motivation and begun to slack off or given up. Take a minute or two in these last couple days of January to renew your commitment to your resolutions. What have you slipped up on? What have you enjoyed about the changes you’ve made? Instead of obsessing over failure, think about what you’ve enjoyed about the changes you’ve made, and use that to recommit and keep going. Its not easy, but its worth it.

Stay simple, my friends!