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Jessebel Tries Breathing


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Although my last challenge attempt went relatively well, my goal keeping and tracking became inconsistent once school resumed.


And even though last challenge, I said that I was trying to minimize the number of goals, I am going to try to take it even farther this time around. 


So, here it goes. 



I will sleep. By the end of the challenge, I want to be asleep by 10:30pm each night. I will taper bedtime in hopes of becoming consistent. Similarly, I will taper wake up times until I am able to wake up each day by 7am. This has been a goal of mine for years and, even though I experience a pretty significant physical response to a lack of sleep (seizures) and even though I worked as a sleep professional for nearly 10 years, I haven't been able to maintain a regular sleep schedule for more than a few months. I am hoping that this will be step one on my journey towards a year of rest. 



I am going to reduce my fast food intake to 1x per week. I have gone several weeks in a row with no fast food, but then something happens and I end up eating all of the fast food. I want to eventually get to the point that I just do not eat fast food. Ever. Totally doable, but one step at a time.


And that's it. 


I was going to limit it to just sleep and sleep will be my primary goal. Both diet and sleep are challenging goals as it requires so many things. To sleep, I need to have my work finished on time, I need to exercise earlier in the day, I need to limit eating and drinking caffeine later in the day, I need to wake up in the morning, I need to kick the dogs off of my bed if they are keeping me awake and sleep in the guest room if sleeping with others limits my sleep, and I need to stay asleep during the entire period of time. But when I get sleep, I have so much more energy, my mood is improved, and every thing seems so much easier. 


Also, no seizures. 


In terms of eating fast food, the greatest support I can give myself is limiting driving and eating before I leave the house. These things require planning, prepping at night, and waking up early in the morning. 


Plan to Maximize Chances of Success

-I will go to sleep no matter what. If things are not completed, I will suffer those consequences instead of the consequences that result from not sleeping. I will, obviously, try to get all of the things done early enough so I do not have to make such choices, but just in case. 

-I will ask for support from my lady friend. It turns out that living with another person can influence your habits and routines. I do not know that I can do this without her support. Fortunately, she is an exceptionally supportive person. 

-I will try to take the bus to school to prevent opportunities for fast food eating, increase early exercise (adds 2 miles to walking each day), and provides an opportunity to do school work so I do not have to do it at home (and so doing work does not compete with sleep). 


Alright. That's it! Wish me luck!


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Time to rethink my approach. 


It turns out that focusing only on sleep and fast food did little to improve my habits in those areas. I mean, things improved, but my success rate was not any better than it was when I had more goals. For statistical purposes:



In bed by 11pm: 5/7 nights

Awake by 9am: 6/7 nights


No fast food (-1 days to increase chances of success): I ate fast food three times, and I did not consistently take the bus as a supportive action. Largely because I was up really close to 11pm and woke up well before 9am (between 6-7) meaning I did not get enough sleep. 


Basically, my supportive actions were not strong enough to exist separate from the goals. Some of them need to be goals. Because not sleeping and eating fast food are largely a symptom of larger life barriers, it is not really useful to attack them indirectly. I need to work on rebuilding a crumbling foundation before I build too much on top of it. 




My new goals for this challenge are as follows:


Fast Food: I am really confident that I am capable of avoiding the fast food dragon, so I will keep this goal as stated previously. Fast food no more than 1x per week. I have ALREADY eaten fast food, so that means no more for the week. 


Take the bus: My supporting action will become a goal. Take the bus 1 day/ week. It is so hard for me to understand why this has been a challenge for me aside from not getting enough sleep. I like getting up a little earlier. I really enjoy the walk. And I love riding the bus in the morning/ afternoon because it gives me some precious, precious time alone to read or whatever. I did not take the bus today (hence the fast food), but I have two more opportunities to ride this week.


Eat some food: Eat something before I leave the house or bring something to eat with me. This could have been a supportive action, but it really needs to be a goal at this point. 


Nighttime routine: Do not start something new after 10pm. This is where negotiating with the lady friend is important. Being able to say to myself and to her that this goal is important to me is the supporting action. It's harder to do when I am tired. 


They are largely the same. I will see how this works. 


Also, any advice on ways to update would be useful. Particularly efficient ways. 


Peace out.


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Okay. So far, this week has been really successful. 


I took the bus this week (1x).  

I went rock climbing. 

With the exception of today, I have eaten every time immediately before leaving my house (which is frequently). 

I ate fast food today (today is also the day I didn't eat right before leaving the house as I was on my way to eat veggie chili with friends) but ONLY TODAY despite driving at some point every day this week. And the reason I ate fast food was because my car broke down, I hadn't eaten (and wouldn't be making it to see my friends), and I had to walk quite a distance home. So, I'm not mad about that. It was a conscious decision and is thus okay. 

I haven't started new things past 10pm. I may need to push that back a bit farther, but it helped me get to bed by 11pm (within 5 minutes, anyway) every night since I've started. 


I had some things working in my favor. School has not been terribly challenging the last two weeks. The weather has been gorgeous. I've been determined due to an upcoming changes (post-grad fellowship interview coming up Monday; Course work ending in April; final clinical rotation starts in May; graduation in August) which is fairly typical. I have a lot of social support at the moment and haven't had many bumps this week. 


Except the whole car thing. But that's fine. 


I have also restarted the academy emails and will be doing those tasks as they come up each week. I am pretty well on track, so it will mostly be some discipline building and revisiting things like my big why and whatnot. 


Anyway, yay! I'll try to post another update Sunday. 






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