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fair warning - this one’s a bit longer than normal. grab your cuppa, and settle in ;-)
wow. wow. wow.
i kind of can’t believe now that this experiment is complete. at the start it seemed to stretch out for ages ahead of me, and now - POOF - we’re done!
i guess that’s true of much of life though, isn’t it?
so… what has changed in these 31 days? what have i learned?
here we go.
first - i learned that i can count on myself to do what i say i will do, dammit. this is SO HUGE for me. it’s never been all that much of a problem for me to do what i say i will do for others (at least not since my early 20’s :-) ). however, doing what i ‘commit’ to doing for myself… that’s been a whole other ball game. so much easier to let myself down, you guys. you know? i always justified it by telling myself that it was ok to not follow-through for me… after all, i could always start again, or pick up later. no big. for others though… i mean it’s embarrassing to flake out on others; to not follow through on commitments made to others… that’s just not acceptable. (it makes me feel sad to write this out right now. to admit that this is sincerely how i felt. to recognize that i pretty much always came after everyone else. so much for putting on your own oxygen mask first, huh?)
so what did i do that i said i would do?
to start… i did every single day of the 31 days. consecutively. one night i even got my butt up out of bed to come back out here and finish, then post, what i’d started writing earlier in the evening but never finished. yep, you betcha, i thought for a minute about either skipping the day altogether… or just pushing that day back one day. neither sat well with me though, so i got up (i was already all snuggled up too!) and finished then posted that day. was pretty chuffed if i’m honest!
beyond that… i’d started a (lenient ‘circadian rhythm’) intermittent fasting program. i don’t eat between about 1850 - 0750. really simple. but there are times that dinner isn’t ready by 1850, which means that the last thing i will have eaten would be lunch. that means i go to bed hungry some evenings (and wake up starving and hangry, but still not eating for a few hours yet). you better believe that there have been evenings that i’ve thought “well, maybe just this one time. no one else would even know, or care, what’s the big deal?!” but the big deal, of course, is that i would know. that this is something i’d committed to. period. the other big deal is that i’m starting with the circadian rhythm schedule on the way toward a schedule of 16/8, if not 20/4 (your fasting window is the first number, feeding window is the second) so i want to allow myself to get used to this schedule and get super comfy with it. i can’t do that if i’m constantly ‘cheating’. so yeah, i’ve stuck with that too.
oh, and one more thing. money. i can be a bit of an impulse spender, you guys. it’s been an albatross around my neck for just about as long as i can remember. it’s gotten me in more trouble than i care to relate, too. lots of shame there, and yet it always felt like something that was just beyond my control. out of reach. but you know what? lately… it has just not been an issue. not that i haven’t seen things i wanted, i surely have. but that i’ve really considered them and in almost every single instance i’ve decided either ‘no’, or ‘not now’. i have saved a lot of things to ‘favorites’ lists… that’s for sure ;-) but i haven’t made those purchases.
do you have any idea what kind of self-confidence it builds to have shown myself - repeatedly now - that i can stick with what i have chosen as my priority and not give into something that feels (very much) like an addiction? i suspect that this, alone, has contributed a good bit to this feeling of walking on clouds. <3
second - i. am. happy.
i really hesitated to write that. i’ve always been one of those people who tends to lean more toward melancholy… and, for the most part, that’s not really bugged me. (when it tips over from that into something headed toward The Big D… that’s a different story.. but that wasn’t always the case. i just tend to be someone who likes emo music, and moody images, and darker enclosed spaces, etc… laughing at myself now because i just had to go to Pandora and start playing REM’s Automatic for the People album ;-))
i also don’t yet know whether this will last (or will last as long as i keep doing the daily gratitude and feeling it) and whether it’s actually started reshaping my brain (neuroplasticity for the win, y’all!), or whether this is something more akin to a manic period.
just not enough time to know yet, but i’ll find out. either way though, really, to have felt as amazing as i’ve felt all week this week was entirely worth it, even if a dip does come after. the fact that i know that i can feel this way? #priceless
i mean, honestly. this morning and for much of the day i felt positively giddy. wtaf?!
but… obviously… i’ll take it #happythankyoumoreplease
so there we go. i really did just get a ton from this experiment. i’m SO grateful (ha!) that i did it, and stuck with it, and i’m curious about what will come next.
speaking of… more on that below…
so what’s next…?
great question! that’s something i’ve been asking myself too lol
i think i’ll take a short break from the (daily) blogging. i have never done this before, not for any length of time, so it’s been a bit intense (though also really really good, obv).
i intend to carry on with the daily gratitude (i’ve just set a reminder on my phone #noexcuses). some of it will be personal, but i’ll share some over on my Facebook page. you’re more than welcome to play along there if this has called to you in any way.
i’ve really enjoyed the format of this experiment though, and i think i’m going to allow for Life to present me with an idea for another experiment. i have absolutely no idea, at the moment, what that’ll be and what it might look like.. but i’m fairly confident that something will show up before too long. once it does, i’ll create the draft posts, create the images and the ‘rules’ around it, and will let you know here.
still considering a newsletter service in case there are any who would like to play along with me for any current experiments in process.
also considering creating a tiny (super inexpensive - maybe even free) offering around this experiment. it’s made such a huge difference for me, and i really feel like it could do the same for others. i also know that sometimes it’s easier when you have someone or something reminding you, and kind of helping you along.
so anyway, those are the ideas floating around in my mind right now. if you have any others, i’m entirely open to hearing about them. hop over to the Facebook page and let me know!
but for now… thanks for being here, thanks for reading, and thanks for playing along in whatever way best suited you. i’ll see ya again before too long!
hope you had a Fabulous Friday :-)