Monday, July 2, 2012

June: wrap-up

In June my focus was on happiness and positivity. Overall I am surprised how this month has changed my perspective. It is not that I have managed to be happy at all times, or that I have been constantly positive and cheerful, but there is a feeling of growth, of being on the right path.

My core has strengthened and my baseline happiness has increased. My "neutral" state is happier. I am not as easily annoyed, and I am not as easily thrown of balance. That being said I did have my grumpy days where I found it almost impossible to stay happy and cheerful. Perhaps these days are inevitable, but I want to become better at dealing with those days. I want to make sure that I do not take my grumpiness out on my kids, my husband and other people around me. The increased awareness that I have experienced this month has helped, and I can at least see my mood swings coming. I can also better recognize that while they are sometimes triggered by other people's comments, behavior or other external factors, the reason is some internal imbalance, and that there is noone or nothing to blame. On the whole I am satisfied with my progress and I am positive that I will see more improvements in the coming months.

My resolutions:

The daily meditation has been of fundamental importance in my progress this month. Although I've just been meditating for 10 minutes per day, I can already feel the benefits of this resolution. I am less stressed and I am much more aware of my thoughts and feelings. I will continue with my daily meditation and extend my meditation session to be 15 minutes during July.

Keeping a Gratitude Journal.
I've managed to keep this resolution most days. And usually it was quite easy to find things to be thankful for. I guess that is the main lesson learned here:) I am also going to stick with this resolution for at least few more weeks.

The goal was to go out for a run 3 times a week. That didn't quite happen. But at least I got started. And I had at least one successful week:) I also signed up for 5k run in August to motivate myself and I want to be able to run those 5k in less than 35 minutes.

The target was again three times a sort of a check mark here. Writing a blog, as well as keeping the resolution charts has been the key to staying focused on my goals and my progress. Reading blogs on other people's happiness projects has also been very helpful and inspiring.

Walk in the Sun.
The main reason for this resolution was that during the last two winters I have suffered from a lack of vitamin D. I've been constantly tired, and I seem to get every cold, flu, bug that is going around. But now it is summer, and seeing some sun and daylight is really not something I have to worry about. I think I will let go of this one for now but I might add it again as the days get shorter.

The idea was to start my day by really focusing on an important project for 90 minutes. No email, no phone, no facebook, no wandering thoughts etc. It is a great way to start your workday, and leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment. But is has been somewhat difficult to keep this resolution. I've had to take some days off this month because of traveling, and because my kids have been sick. And even when I've been at work there have been urgent emails, meetings, etc. that I need to take care of. I did manage to do this a few times, but I can't say that it is a part of my routine yet. I will continue trying though.

Last week of June: The positivity challenge:

The last week of June I tried to take my positivity to new levels. If I were to grade myself on this challenge I would give myself a B. I smiled as I woke up, smiled as I lied down to sleep, smiled when I meditated, and basically smiled whenever I could remember. I tried to substitute any negative thoughts and beliefs by positives ones. After reading this post I decided to write down any negative self talk that came into mind, I then replaced each sentence with a positive one. This has been very helpful. I believe that changing your self talk from negative to positive can really be life changing, and I want to continue exploring this. Perhaps by focusing on 1 or 2 "positivity mantras" at time for the next few months.

What I found most challenging was pausing before reacting. I really need, and want, to get better a this, especially with regards to my children. I also did some complaining, some dumping and a little bit of gossiping.

My Positivity Tasks: These were the tasks that I wanted to tackle in June:

✓ Clear my desk and bedside table
✓ Write a comprehensive to do list
✓ Read: "Eat, Pray, Love", "The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living" and "Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment"
✓ Make a happy list
✓ Do a positivity challenge
✗ Complete that big, daunting task at work (almost done though)
✗ Watch: "Amelie" and "It's a Wonderful Life" (I don't think I watched a whole movie this entire month)

And now it is July. I am excited to start this month of Impeccable Home, in which I will focus on making space for happiness in our home, and finding sources of happiness in our city. I will post more about that tomorrow.


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