In my HOME BACE membership group, we have weekly accountability meetings on Sunday mornings.
We call them WAMs. I didn’t come up with this name. It came from the book The 12 Week Year.
The WAMs are short Zoom meetings where we talk about what we really want to focus on in the upcoming week.
We pick our one thing.
Everyone’s one thing is the thing that is like the basic foundational block that will get them to a bigger goal.
Like if I want to save money, my one thing might be to pack my lunch every day to bring to work instead of ordering out.
If I wanted to stop eating lots of garbage, my one thing might be to make sure I eat a fruit or veggie with every meal.
If I wanted to wake up earlier in the morning, my one thing might be to set my alarm one minute earlier every day for 30 days and by the end of the month I’d be getting up a half hour earlier.
Sometimes, though, we will pick a one thing to focus on and then realize it’s not the right one thing.
It’s not the most basic thing we need to do. We might have picked a one thing that’s a couple rungs up the ladder from where we currently are.
Last week my one thing was to do an hour of cardio and ten minutes of strength training six out of seven days.
On Monday I was successful.
On Tuesday a bunch of life shit happened and I had to make some decisions, and exercise did not make the cut.
I wasn’t planning on my one day off being the second day of the week, but that’s just what happened.
Wednesday I was successful.
Thursday I was successful.
But then on Thursday night, my mind and anxiety got the best of me.
There is a certain base level of anxiety you are operating under when you are going through a divorce.
And then on top of that election anxiety set in.
I didn’t realize how stressed I was about the election!
I could not, for the life of me, get to sleep.
I was EXHAUSTED at 9:30 pm.
On a side note, I had a really, REALLY,
bad episode of insomnia about 20 years ago.
It lasted for months.
It’s ultimately what landed me in a hospital/rehab center where I was diagnosed with major depression.
Now I know when I have a string of nights where I can’t sleep, that’s a red flag.
It’s a sign that the depression is knocking at my door.
Or banging on my door.
So twenty years ago, that’s when my habit of watching TV while I fell asleep became solidified.
I needed the distraction.
I needed something to do rather than just lie in bed waiting, and waiting,
to fall asleep.
I would wait for hours. It was horrible.
It took a long time to fix that insomnia issue.
It took lots of experimenting with different kinds of medication to just knock me out so I could get some rest.
Then, once the insomnia disappeared, I was able to stop taking medication and get to sleep on my own.
But the TV remained a habit. Eventually it stayed on 24/7.
This was back when I was single and before I had kids.
Eventually the 24/7 TV habit was whittled down to just watching the TV until I fell asleep.
This practice is great in the short term. It allows me to never lie in bed with racing thoughts.
I just watch TV until I pass out.
I don’t have a television in my room anymore.
But I have an iPad.
So the habit has continued.
I have not been able to break the fucking iPad habit.
It’s become my blankie and I just can’t let it go.
I’ve become so dependent on it that the thought of going to sleep without it is almost unbearable.
When I find a new Netflix show to watch, that’s when things get even worse.
Because I don’t watch TV during the day (unless I’m on the elliptical or washing dishes).
So the iPad in bed is my reward for making it through the day.
And I made the BIG mistake of starting to watch Outlander about a week ago.
So last Thursday night when my thoughts were out of control and I was so tired but I couldn’t go to sleep and I was in bed at 9:30, I had also reached the last two episodes of Outlander (which might also be the two most disturbing episodes of any TV show ever) and at 12:30 a.m. I was STILL awake, but now I was like WIDE AWAKE and stressing even more about the election and totally fucked up by those goddamn Outlander episodes AND I had to get Number 3 to swim practice at 4:55 a.m. so now I was also stressing that I was going to finally fall asleep and be so out of it that I would sleep through my alarm and he would miss practice so now I was just a total mess.
I got about three hours of sleep that night.
And as a result, exercise on Friday was not going to happen.
I was just too tired.
I was too tired to do anything, really.
My brain was almost incapable of thinking clearly at all.
And that’s when I had the a-ha moment that my one thing wasn’t 60 minutes of cardio and ten minutes of strength training.
Because I work out daily already.
My one thing is my sleep hygiene and that motherfucking iPad.
I had to get rid of it.
I want to be that person who can gradually make changes when it comes to bad habits.
But at this point in my life, I’m not.
With this kind of stuff I gotta be all in or all out.
So I revised my one thing at this past Sunday’s WAM.
I had to go cold turkey on the iPad.
I gotta clean up my sleep hygiene because lack of sleep prevents me from doing the things I really need and want to do.
Last night I made it through the night without my iPad blankie.
It’s only one night.
But that first night is also probably the hardest night.
And I did it.
I’m not breaking the damn chain on day 2.
I know I can do it again.
I KNOW IT.
So anyway, I just wanted to remind you that we all have shit that’s holding us back. Sometimes we are just focusing on the wrong things to move forward.
I’ve got my new focus, and my goal is to get 100 days in a row under my belt.
I made myself a habit tracker to help keep myself motivated.
Do you have a new habit you are working on? Statistics show that when you can “see” your progress you are more successful.
Click here to download a free habit tracker for yourself, and let me know what habit you are working on.
I’ve got one day under my belt.
And tomorrow I’ll have two. 😉
How about you?