Good morning!! Oh..well, it’s actually afternoon in Melbourne. I had a bit of a sleep-in this lovely Saturday. Oh…well, it’s actually a dismal and rainy Saturday, but it’s a lovely day to be snug inside.
It is going to be a lovely day today, and a lovely weekend, because I am adding positive mental talk. I find it really challening to stop my critical thoughts impinging on everything. I’m not a negative person to be around, I’m just negative to myself about myself. Early on in this experiment I tried dropping the negative thoughts and found it really hard to remember to monitor my thoughts. I think it will be important not to specifically try to stop the negative thoughts, because then I will feel as if I’ve failed every time one of them inevitably sneaks its way into my mind. My aim is to stay mindful and consistently focus on positive things so that I decrease the frequency and potency of any negativity.
I think I need two types of positive thoughts: positive self-thoughts and positive situational thought. Clearly, I’m so critical that I find it easier to tear myself down than to build myself up again. This morning I had sleep-in for the first time since the school holidays and study week began. Not once this week have I managed to wake up later than 7:30am. I should be really pleased at finally getting an extra few hours of rest today, but there’s a little part of my mind that is pointing out that it’s already after midday and I’ve achieved nothing! This is where I need to instate some positive self-thoughts to counteract this.
I often notice that I’ll spend a long time looking forward to the weekend, or a few hours free of responsibility, and then suddenly it’s over and I don’t feel that I made the most of it (and beat myself up about it). What a waste of some perfectly good free time! If I’m being productive, I want to take the time to notice it so that I can feel proud of myself. If I’m being lazy, I want to take the time to notice so that I can focus on relaxing rather than having moments slip by.
These positive thoughts will require more active mindfulness than I’m in the habit of practising, but I feel that the months since this experiment have started have begun to focus me in more on myself in a mindful way, albeit without any real consistency.
One of my big focuses for improving my life is productivity. By this I mean both the obvious type of productivity – study, organising bills and files, housework and other chores – but also the productivity of doing and improving at things for myself, such as practising yoga or the piano. A key problem that I have is the moment when I could flop on the couch or I could tidy for ten minutes and then flop on the couch. I tend to procrastinate and choose the flopping option.
So, this weekend, I’m going to drop inactivity. At least three times each day I am going to stop myself from sitting down and instead do something. My first thought was to have a not-overwhelming time target – such as thirty minutes – but then I thought that I could spend thirty minutes just making dinner and still flop the rest of the day. It’s not so much the amount of time as the choice not to sit in the first place that I think is important. I don’t care if each thing I choose takes only 5 minutes, that will still be three 5-minute tasks that I’ve done instead of merely being a blob. My football team is in the AFL grand final this afternoon and that would be a perfect example of when I could spend a few hours being a blob or I could watch the TV and do a bit of tidying or stretches at the same time.