Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting sleep and reaching goals

There is a pretty cool thing going on called the 30-Day Personal Revoltion Lifestyle Challenge. I was reading about it, checking out peoples' "bucket lists" for the upcoming month, following the Twitter conversation, and getting kind of excited. I could totally do this: publicize my efforts for the next month to accomplish all the goals I keep setting for myself but never complete.

For those who are new:
  • exercising every day
  • taking my dog Maddie on a long walk every day
  • eating three healthy meals each day
  • and flossing.
But then, after I made this list, I realized. The last thing I need to accomplish my goals is another list. I write lists like there's no tomorrow, people, ok? And I've tried the getting-the-public-to-hold me accountable thing. Frankly, that's not your responsibility. Who wants to do that?

Then I was reading Peneleope Trunk again, just re-reading archived posts because I like reminding myself of the little nuggets of wisdom she has that resonate so much with me, and stumbled across one about sleep. And how you don't necessarily need 8 hours, but they reccomend 6 or 7, and if you don't get enough, that grogginess you feel is the equivalent of yu after four beers.

(All of that is linked to in her post, I just can't find t now. Besides, I think you should go poke around on her site anyway.)

And I thought: what if I just stopped trying to make myself get up after 6 hours of sleep and exercise? When I get 7 hours, I don't need to drag myself out of bed.

It's important when you set goals to also set yourself up to succeed, not undermind yourself. How often have we heard or read that? But there I was basically doing that.

I keep saying 'I exercise more reliably when I do it in the morning.' And although whenever I do work out in the morning, I feel great, I DON'T ACTUALLY DO IT. EVER. So what the hell am I talking about??

Penelope also had a post about how, when you insert self-discipline into one small area of your life, it creeps into others on its own. I've already decided the real goal I need to have is to be more disciplined, and now I have the perfect way: just get 7 whole hours of sleep every night.

That means going to sleep by 1130pm and getting up when my alarm goes off at 630am. Then going on a 30-minute walk with Maddie, eating a healthy breakfast, taking a shower and going to work.

(Is there something wrong with me that I need to spell that out for myself?)

I can always exercise in the afternoon when I get home when I'm alert and have energy And 30 minute walk in the morning is both not challenging and exercise, to an extent.

Awesome: the key to reaching my goals is more sleep!

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