Things I am trying to be better about

Eating fruit

During my recent travels, I noticed that all of my friends eat fresh fruit every day. Apples, pears, bananas, oranges, strawberries, you name it. Honestly, I look at fresh fruit and think about all the washing and the peeling and the seeds, and I just get too lazy. Which is super, super pathetic. So I’m working on it.

Also: taking daily multi-vitamins, reducing my intake of sugary drinks, and reducing my dependency on ramen.

Not caring if things aren’t tidy

I’m not clinically OCD, but I do have… tendencies. Such as making my bed each morning, arranging our trio of remote controls at certain “random” angles, and struggling to focus when my desk is too cluttered.

Cleanliness may be a virtue, but I let it take up more mental energy than it deserves. So what if Andy’s socks are on the floor, or that stack of magazines is askew, or I haven’t vacuumed in a week? Is anyone judging me? Is this untidiness hampering my work or my life in a real way?

If the answer is no, then let it go.

Exercise

I’ve spent most of my 20s sitting at a desk, and lately, I can feel that inactivity in my bones. It’s a different kind of hunger, in all seriousness. My body craves movement.

(My daily walks with Riley help but aren’t enough.)

Luckily, my good friend John followed his passion and started his own gym, Kinitro Fitness. I can only attend his classes when I’m back in Houston visiting my parents, but he generously created a few at-home workouts for me. (They’re a lot like this one.) For now I’m doing these “boot camps” once per week, and it feels great.

(Or rather, I want to kill John for about 45 min, and then it feels great afterward.)

I also play co-ed sports with my friends — flag football, softball, and even broomball — but that’s a lot more about fun than fitness.

Meditation

I used to meditate when I was in when I was in high school. Just a simple practice of breathing, focusing on that breath, and imagining it flowing through me in different ways. I don’t know exactly when or why I fell out of the habit, but a recent post at Writer Unboxed reminded me of how much I used to appreciate it, and how easy it would be to start up again.

Now I have an alert on my phone that prompts me to meditate for just 2 min each day. Sometimes those 2 min fly by; other times it feels like forever. Either way, I think the mental exercise is good for me, and I would like to gradually work my way up to 10 min each day.

Writing every day

For some people, this is a rule. For me, it’s just an aspiration borne out of logic. I absolutely believe that writers can be successful and productive without writing every day. I am personal friends with many of those kinds of writers.

But me, I’m happier when I write, even if it’s just a few lines here and there. So why wouldn’t I strive to give myself that happiness every day?

Also, I am particularly susceptible to momentum. A body in motion stays in motion, while a body at rest stays at rest. For me, writing today makes me more likely to write tomorrow, which is always preferable to not writing tomorrow.

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6 Comments

  1. I think “trying to do better” about things like this has much better results than things like New Year’s Resolutions. The resolutions feel good right at the time, but I think statistics show they almost always fail.

    Me? Walking every day, definitely. At least a mile.

    I think about stories every day, but I’m cool with not every day producing actual words.

    At least one blog post a week.

    I’m already really good at not caring if things are tidy (maybe too good…)

    • Haha I didn’t realize how New Year’s-y this post was until I published it. :P But I agree, there’s a distinction between those kinds of resolutions and this.

  2. yogadog

    After spending too much time at a desk researching and writing, I noticed that when I really needed to think something through, I would get up and clean. (Don’t judge me.) Something about moving helped my brain churn. Now, I have a treadmill desk. I walk a leisurely 1.2 miles per hour, which is slow enough to allow me to type, read and talk on the telephone, but fast enough to kickstart my brain. I’m on it 3-4 hours a day, but not on weekends. (On weekends, I take my laptop to my couch. Because it’s the weekend for goodness sakes.)

    And may I just add, there is nothing wrong with being tidy. For me, the inside of my head looks so much like an overstuffed filing cabinet that exploded next to a desk piled with coffee cups and donut wrappers, the only way I can function is to keep things on the outside orderly. Perhaps that is why I find vacuuming deeply satisfying. Although if I vacuum more than twice a day my dog gets nervous.

    Avocado is a fruit. So guacamole counts.

    • Oh, definitely no judgment here! Just trying to honestly assess *myself* — not anyone else.

      I’ve been wondering about a treadmill desk! I suspect I may try one someday.

      Avocado is the best! <3

  3. Yes yes yes to a great many of these. I’m also not diagnosed OCD (mainly perhaps because I’ve never mentioned it) but it’s really, really hard to break this habit. Clutter and disorder is almost physically painful, I have to *do* something about it and then I spend less time doing other things and more time cleaning so that I feel good about doing the other things. Like writing. Which is what I really want to do. I have Kondo Marie’s book and I will be doing a structured massive cleaning soon, so I’m looking forward to it.

    Exercise, too. I’m debating whether or not I want to join a gym and whether or not I actually have time for it. I usually just like to run, so I think I’ll just get a new pair of running shoes and head outside for when it’s not prohibitively hot. It’s true, your body is just so happy after. I like a happy body.

    My writing has been suffering from all of the above. I definitely don’t write a lot every day, but I’m taking notes or planning and prodding. I’ve been reading a lot lately, though, which is definitely helping me with structure and other problems that I’ve been trying to think through. I’m storing all these tips in my head and then usually I will sit down and write a massive amount of words after my brain’s thought it all through.

    I really like this post. I’ve been wondering about what to write for this week, so I hope you don’t mind if I borrow the idea?

    • “Clutter and disorder is almost physically painful, I have to *do* something about it”

      Exactly! And I don’t have Kondo’s book, but I am trying to embrace her philosophy a bit more. “Does this spark joy?” Nope! Buh-bye.

      I don’t mind you borrowing the idea at all! Blog away. I’d be flattered, in fact. :)

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