52 Weeks of Change: Week 8

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I am a day late in getting out my next challenge, which is somewhat appropriate considering the challenge this week! 🙂 I travelled out of town late last week which played havoc on my challenges and on my work schedule. I had to spend my Monday catching up on things and this blog got pushed to today! But here we are ready for my next step! But first a quick review of my previous weeks:

Review:

Week 1- 15 Minutes of Silence and Solitude Every Day
Week 2- Drink Only Water During the Week
Week 3- Go to Bed by 9pm and Get Up at 5am- Pretty difficult to do last week with the travels. But off to a decent start this week. This continues to be my most difficult challenge to date
Week 4- No Fast Food- had a McDonalds breakfast sandwich one morning. This was the first fast food I have eaten in over a month. It did not taste good to me actually. It was just too processed! It was a matter of convenience that I hope not to repeat any time soon.
Week 5- No Bread- other than the above mentioned breakfast sandwich- have had no bread and feels good!
Week 6- Clean Out My Car- Every Day- I wasn’t even in my car for most of the week last week. So little change there. I will still have to focus on it this week to develop the habit.
Week 7- Portion Control- Not too bad last week considering I ate out more often than usual. I am trying to eat off of smaller plates, limiting my helpings, etc. It will take a little more time for me to perfect this one.

Next Challenge:

Week 8- Slow Down and Live in the Moment- This weeks challenge is a bit cerebral. I have noticed a tendency in my life to be too hurried and too busy. I have become too busy…not only physically but mentally as well! I have found that quite a bit of my mental energy is spent ruminating on things in the past..or thinking about things in the future and I have trouble just living in the moment. This can be a significant source of stress in my life as I have the tendency to have anxiety about things I have no control over or things that may or may not even happen. So this week, my focus is to try and slow down and enjoy the moment. Be fully attentive to what is happening in the present and marginalize my thinking of the past and future. I want to pursue the glory of the mundane and find joy in everyday life. There is beauty all around me and I do not want to miss seeing it because my mind and soul was somewhere else. This will bring some difficulty to my life as my life has been set up around me running in a different gear and others around me are conditioned to interacting with me in that way as well. In speaking with my wife about this challenge, I likened it to the guy at the circus who spins all of the plates on the sticks. If that guy slows down and spends more time with certain plates…then soon there will be other plates crashing around him. Metaphorically, I expect this to happen to me as well. My prayer is I pick the right plates, I don’t succumb to the temptation to continue keeping them all going (especially when I notice some falling) and that I don’t fall into the trap of people pleasing as others expect me to continue to operate at the same level of “plate spinning”. Ultimately, my challenge is to do a few things…and do them well and by doing so, I will create margin in my life to experience life itself….and the glory of the God of that life!

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