As the summer was coming to a close, I made a lot of grandiose statements about habits, rituals, and lifestyle changes I wanted to cultivate.

Of course, I’ve failed in some departments. Like… going to bed early? Meditating every morning? Try pushing midnight or 1 am, and then rolling out of bed twenty minutes before you’re supposed to be at school and bumbling around all groggy and in-a-rush, arriving at my classroom door with a small rat’s nest still in my hair. OOPS! (I always comb it out before any kiddos arrive).

But, in other departments, I’ve seen varying levels of success. Doing all my work at work instead of dawdling? Exploring and researching opportunities and goals? Productive me-time in the evening? Yes, yes, YES! Almost every evening I’ve set aside at LEAST an hour for reading, writing, yoga, painting, running, cooking, whatever. It’s been highly enjoyable. I’ve also made a lot of progress in dealing with my obsessive tendencies and learning from them. It’s not always enjoyable, but it’s necessary.

I think the key is simplicity. One step at a time. I’ve NEVER been a morning person. I’d like to be, but it’s going to take a little while. For now, I’m going to continue focusing on getting my days and evening’s sorted… staying productive at work, not getting too lazy in the evenings, not dipping into OCD land, and going to bed a reasonable hour. Once I’m more comfortable and consistent in those areas, I can look more seriously at some sort of coherent morning ritual or routine. For now, I’m ok with the groggy bumbling… through I’d like to get up at least thirty minutes before the bell!

So… for anyone out there struggling to meet all of their goals… assess which one, two (or three) are most important, and focus on those, rather than going after five or six at once. It’s likely impossible, and you won’t help yourself by feeling like you’re not making any positive changes. Celebrate what’s going well, and embrace what’s not. Just like I tell my darling students… we’re not machines! We make mistakes! Enjoy them, learn from them, and then move on.

Happy three-day-weekend! 🙂

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