I feel like I’ve been a slacker lately on the blog. Not because I haven’t been posting, I have, but I’ve been posting less than I previously was, and less than I want to be. I have a number of posts that I’ve started or want to write that I just haven’t finished and posted and that makes me feel a little delinquent.
As a firm believer in the adage “every day’s a new day”, and someone who feels hopeful and optimistic at the start of every new year, month, etc. I’m confident I can turn things around. And, I’ll start with a Friday Five list!
Normally, my Friday Five doesn’t have a unifying theme, but this week I’ve been thinking about streaks and challenges and while this information doesn’t all deserve it’s own post, a list is a good place for it.
1) I finished the 100 happy days challenge. This is one of the posts I mentioned above that I have started to write and have not finished/posted. Hopefully, I can get that wrapped up this weekend. I’ll write about it more in that post, but I have mixed feelings about what I got out of the challenge. It was a good way to recognize small things that make me happy, but at times taking a picture/posting it every single day ended up being more of a drag than a boost.
2) Results of my summer stretching streak: Ha! When the Runner’s World summer running streak came around this year, I really wanted to do it, but my legs just weren’t feeling it. So, instead I decided to make up my own streak of stretching. The plan was to do at least 3 stretches every day from Memorial day through 4th of July. I managed about 12 days before I missed a day because I just plain forgot. It was all down hill from there. I really just had no motivation to stick with the streak once I’d messed it up. Oops!
3) I’m going to start a gratitude journal. Today. I’ve been wanting to do something along these lines since I first read a “thankful thursday” post on a blog somewhere. I don’t personally want this to become a regular post on my blog, so instead I’m going to keep a gratitude journal. I have the perfect notebook in mind, and I looked up some tips online. This article suggests that you shouldn’t write every day, and I like that strategy. Looking back, I think the happiness challenge would have been more fun for me if it wasn’t daily. I’m going to write my first entry today, and my plan is to start out writing every 6 days. I might post about this on the blog every once in a while, but I don’t anticipate wanting to share everything I put in the gratitude journal with the whole internet.
3.5) I’ve been using a new happiness app. While 100 happy days kind of fizzled for me, I really do love the idea behind the whole thing. I want to be more aware and grateful for the good things in my life. Also, I believe that if you put in a little effort to be happy, you will be happier. That last principle, practicing happiness, is the idea behind an app I found recently called happify. I signed up for the free version and have been using it for a week. You start a track (I’m in one called “Conquer Your Negative Thoughts”), and they give you little activities and games to do within the track. I’ve been trying to do it every day, and so far I like it. It doesn’t take long to visit the site and do one quick activity. I don’t really know if it can actually make a person happier, but as long as I enjoy doing it, it probably will work for me.
4) I found a really neat meditation app. l’ve wanted to learn to meditate and get into a meditation habit for years now. YEARS. But, well, I suck at it. I have a couple books on meditation that I’ve never finished reading, and when I got a smart phone I downloaded a couple meditation apps that I never used for longer than a week at a time. Recently, I found a new meditation app that I really like. It’s called headspace. The free part of the app is a program called Take10. It’s a ten day track of guided meditation (10 minutes each) for beginners. I started it a few weeks ago and then it fell by the wayside, but I really liked it, so I’m going to start it up again and complete the entire 10 days this time.
5) I’ve started the Kinetic Revolution 30 day challenge. We’ve all heard how beneficial non-running activities can be for our running. I’m constantly reading about cross training, stretching, foam rolling, and other exercises that will make me faster, stronger, and less injury prone. Unfortunately, running is really the only activity I’m able to stick with (see above stretching streak failure). However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying to start new habits. So when I heard about the Kinetic Revolution 30 day challenge, I got all excited and signed right up. It’s a series of exercises and drills aimed at runners to improve performance and reduce risk of injury. It’s supposed to take 10 to 15 minutes each day. I have completed day 1 so far, it took me 30 minutes (there were how to videos to watch, which added on time) and it was tough. It definitely pointed out some muscles that aren’t as flexible or strong as they should be. Also, I did day 1 on Tuesday, so clearly this will not be 30 consecutive days for me. Hopefully, that’s not a problem.
Thanks for sticking with this long,dry Friday Five post. I’m sorry if this turned out a little ad-like. I really just wanted to make a list of the many challenges, programs, and habits I’ve been trying out recently. I wasn’t given anything in exchange for mention or review, this post is sponsored only by my crazy desire to do a million different streaks and challenges all at one time. 🙂
Are you doing any streaks or challenges? Do you like to try and force a habit by doing it every day for a specified period of time? Have you tried out any of these things I mentioned, if so what do you think? Did you notice that my list has 6 things because I added a number 3.5?