So this year my One Little Word is Focus. I thought I'd share, on a pretty much monthly basis, how it's going this time around.
I set goals to focus on each month. These are things I've wanted to do or be for a while. The plan is that by focusing on one at a time, maybe I can actually make progress towards those things. ;) I chose one spiritual discipline and one habit type thing. For January my spiritual discipline was solitude and my habit was exercise.
So for exercise I have to admit, it took me until half way through the month to even get started. I was sorely unmotivated. What changed? My husband and I are now competing with each other for miles run. :) I won't say I have the habit down pat now, but we are continuing it and I will hopefully have it down soon.
I have to say I was surprised at how much it motivated me to have him on board. I'm normally a self-motivated person. In fact, I normally don't want other people involved in my goals at all. :) But this time it really helped me.
I think it also helped to realize there is not "a good time" for me to exercise. I need to look at my week ahead and plan accordingly. Sometimes it's at night, sometimes it's early, sometimes the middle of the day. It also helped to realize my limitations. I am too tired at night if I wait until my kids get to bed. But if I go at 7-ish, when my husband is dealing with them, I can use the last of my energy for the day on it and my dinner has settled enough.
So I've run 10 miles in Jan! I'd like to comfortably run a 5 k 3-4 times a week in 30 minutes by the end of the year. Right now I'm barely making it through 20 minutes and don't even have two miles down per run. But I'm already seeing changes in my body and how well it handles the runs, so I still think this goal is doable. I know it doesn't sound like I'm doing that much now, but remember that I just started halfway through the month. So that 10 miles is only 7 runs! I think that's good considering I couldn't make it a mile without speed walking part for at least a week!
I'm just hoping that I don't give up in the summer when it's really hot. I'd love suggestions from those of you who run for making that work. Where I live, it's 80 degrees at 5 am in the summer and I am so not motivated. Maybe I just need to suck it up.
By the way, excuse the bad handwriting in my journals. I'm lazy with my hand in my journals unless I'm making an artistic type page, and I do journal, not scrap, my One Little Word.
As for solitude, I've learned a lot. The very shortest, briefest recap: I have more solitude in my day that I realize when I look for it, it refreshes me, solitude as a spiritual discipline is being alone for the purpose of spiritual activitiy, it's best combined with another discipline.
As for February:
My spiritual discipline is praying and fasting. Just with this morning's study I've realized that, since it's techinically two separate disciplines, there's a lot of info to go through. But I can totally combine my newfound habit of developing useful moments of solitude with prayer and fasting. When I looked over my list for the rest of the year, I see many areas I will be combining with solitude. That feels good. I feel focused. It feels useful.
My habit is Home Care. I'm focusing on improving my everyday:
-cleaning (just the basics in an every day habitual way, like laundry, dishes, and a few minutes a day on a room)
-sticking to my schedule, not being lazy.
I'm keeping my home care habit light in description, because I am not going to let myself be lazy this month. I WILL do the things on my schedule, OR ELSE! I don't know what my punishment is, but I WILL do things! It's 28 days! Seriously, I can do it. I think I can, I think I can, ....
Anyway, I'll update on One Little Word again at the end of February. Hoping to continue the exercise habit, have my homecare routine and such down, and have great experiences with praying and fasting.