In the past I’ve posted about different habits I’ve tried to incorporate into my life using 30-day trials. A 30-day trial is exactly that. For one month, I try doing something different with my life to see if it works….or not. I’m living that month anyway. Might as well have some fun with it.
Each month this year I chose a different trial. When I’d forgotten what I picked by the second week of the month, I knew it was a bust. No problem. I just let it go and moved on.
In all that trial and error, I did stumble upon a few gems. I won’t rehash the whole year, but a few are worth mentioning.
I found that 10 to 15 minutes of yoga before bed helped me to sleep better and wake up in the morning less stiff. It also did wonders for my stress level, especially in the early months of the job from hell. Yoga was my June trial, and I’m still doing it five to six nights a week. So far this has been the best trial this year.
Spending Time Outside
This trial may sound a little foolish, but as much as I worked this summer I didn’t get a lot of time outside. Walking from my office to my car is not what I consider “outside time”. When I spend time outside I like to take in my surroundings and listen to the sounds of nature. I prefer to not see or here anything that reminds me of civilization. I want to hear the birds, feel the wind and smell the forest.
Time in nature is critical for me. It grounds me. I don’t know how else to explain it.
I picked this trial for July. It worked out well since that’s the month we rented the cabin in the middle of nowhere. I continued this practice into August, but I’m finding it more difficult now that the days are getting shorter. I guess I’ll just have to get over wandering around my yard in the dark.
This one is probably not what you think. Maybe a better word for it would be “planning”.
The trial started with me taking time at the end of each day to plan to do specific things the next day. This was more than a passing thought. I spent time concentrating on what I wanted to do. I could see myself doing it. I could feel the satisfaction of knowing it was done.
Somewhere during the month I switched to planning my day first thing in the morning. I think either way would work, but the morning worked better for me.
I started this in August, and I’ve found it really helps me focus my attention on what’s important. When I don’t do this, I tend to drift through the day and not accomplish much of anything.
I’ve enjoyed these trials and plan to continue them indefinitely. In future months I’ll do trials that are a little less serious and maybe a little on the silly side. Sometimes in the crazy busyness of life, it’s tough to remember that life is supposed to be fun.
Maybe fun can be its own trial.