Did I Flunk My Own Positivity Challenge?

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Oh man, I did not want to write this post! I wanted to hide my head in shame and bite my pillow ***. But I said I would do a follow up to the Laser Focus Positivity Challenge, and so I shall. You may recall, a few weeks ago I proposed a challenge to myself and my readers. But dear friends, I did not rise to the occasion. Did I flunk my own positivity challenge? Not quite. Overall I would give myself a C-minus.

Here’s a spreadsheet I created to track my progress. The evidence shows I fared much better with habits I wanted to ditch, than those I wanted to add. (I used check marks for yes and Xs for no)

positivity_check

On the first day I checked off meditation, but what the spreadsheet doesn’t show is that I fell asleep! And I did it again on day two. On day three I switched from evening meditation to afternoon meditation and that was the magic bullet. I remained awake!

I only spent eight minutes watching Eckhart Tolle on video—but you know what?  I realized on video he’s BORING! (That’s not very positive, is it?) I’ll stick to his books. Power walking has been a cinch but it’s already part of my daily routine. And I certainly can do better on being grateful. But is it cheating if you say the same thing more than once? My daily routine is often really dull.

I was much better at refraining from saying the “F” word more than once daily, except I totally blew it the first Wednesday when I caught up with a co-worker by phone. During that same phone conversation I fell deeply into gossiping, although overall, I improved on that end. The gossiping will diminish more after I quit my job.

Surfing the internet is still my Achilles heel. I like to think it’s relaxing and helps me let go of my day. But truthfully, I sometimes surround myself with noise to distract myself from doing more important things. Mr. Groovy has a great morning routine. I need a great evening routine.

I called two friends. I spoke to one several weeks prior but months had gone by before I caught up with the other. And I didn’t say “I can’t” even once. Arising before 7:45 on weekends was a breeze.

The last two days of the challenge were a blur. I received a call with some sad and unexpected news. Over the next few days I felt weighted down and hardly did a thing—perhaps a subject for another post.

So how did my fearless readers do? Well, several had some great goals:

Colin from Rebel with A Plan  vowed to drink water every morning after waking up.

Sue prepared an excellent chart outlining her goals. One major goal was to lose 25 pounds by December 1st for which she included a meal plan.

Harmony at Creating My Kaleidoscope  checked in regarding her husband who’s been feeling a little down. Her recent post about their family vacation in Bar Harbor Maine may have done the trick. Hmm, I wonder if all that blueberry ice cream helped?

Lila at Artsy Finance was focusing on “The Secret.”

Penny from She Picks Up Pennies turned me on to the Calm app. I downloaded it and quickly forgot it was on my phone. What does that say about my commitment to meditate?

Jon from Be Net Worthy wanted to stop being tempted by nachos and cheeseburgers!

ZJ Thorne was working on a reverse bucket list, reminding herself of how far she has come.

Emily over at John and JaneDoe attempted to unplug from the internet after 6 pm and enjoy family time. She then modified her position to giving up mindless internet. There’s a distinction, of course.

Maggie from Northern Expenditure  planned to study Cambodian, exercise and meditate.

Charles Franklin (@CreativeDropout on Twitter) posted his list:

Things I already do:

  1. Gratitude List
  2. Meditate
  3. Exercise

Things I can do (or need to do more):

  1. Mentally dirt-dive
  2. No complaint challenge
  3. More unscheduled fun!

And then Charles gave an update two weeks later:

  1. No-complaint challenge: I set up a 7-day challenge. The longest streak was 2 days. I gave up but still complained less.
  2. Mental Dirt-diving (Meditation): I have restarted meditation (5 minutes) to begin my day (after exercise) and to end my day.
  3. More unscheduled fun: Not sure yet. I have introduced play into my life with challenges (Today’s challenge is to do a flat-footed squat for 30 total minutes.)

He’s certainly on the right path. Way to go Charles!

So where do I go from here?  My first step is to commit right now to one thing that may possibly have a roll-over effect on all of my goals—meditation. I will meditate every day for at least five minutes, either on my own or using an app.

What about you? What habits do you want to develop to bring more positive vibes into your life? Which ones do you want to get rid of?

***The reference to biting my pillow comes from our favorite movie, Waiting for Guffman. You either love this one or you hate it. We make a ritual of watching it at least once a year, usually around Mr. Groovy’s birthday. Enjoy the clip—and see if you can guess which line gives me the most pleasure. It’s one I often mimic—and no, it’s not in the spirit of positivity.

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46 Comments

  1. Awesome challenge! What matters is that you’re a bit better than you were before the challenge began. You’re being intentional. Keep moving forward! LOVE IT! (Ironically, I just finished a post draft about almost the exact same concept, it’ll come out next week). Amazing minds!!

  2. “But is it cheating if you say the same thing more than once? My daily routine is often really dull.”
    No, it isn’t cheating. It’s wonderful that you continue to appreciate the simple everyday wonders.
    Kudos to you for trying all these improvements. We’re all works in progress.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Julie. We vacillate between knowing we enjoy the simple things in life and knowing that we’re boring. More likely it’s a little of both. I appreciate your kind words.

  3. Nice work. That’s a lot to take on all at once, so even though you didn’t hit everything you still made good progress! And you held yourself accountable, which is huge.

    I have found meditation to be very helpful, but definitely needs to be part of a routine. On work days I will meditate as soon as I get to my desk, and that works great. On weekends I will forget about it and end up trying to cram it in at the end of the day just to say that I did it, which is less helpful.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      It’s weird if I try to meditate when I really haven’t made time for it. I find then it’s difficult to stop thinking “When will this be over?”.

      The accountability is a large issue for me right now. I don’t want to turn into a big sack of mush sitting on the sofa when we quit our jobs!

  4. Hold on a second there and don’t be so hard on yourself! This is a positivity challenge, isn’t it? That means you have to focus on the positives – the times you did accomplish your daily goals. And I think you’re doing a pretty good job 🙂

    Mr. Smith has been doing better since the vacation. We’re also trying to make some adjustments in terms of routines and responsibilities. We’ve discovered that one of his big issues is never having time to work on the rental property, so we’re trying to figure out a way that he can finally start doing the remodel.

  5. Several steps forward, zero steps back. I’d say this is far from a failure since you’re better off today because of your efforts, AND you’ve inspired others as well. Sounds like a success story really

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Ty. I don’t know about zero steps back but you’re very sweet to say that. I hope I’ve inspired others. For myself, inspiration comes and goes, but the more I can develop good habits, the less time I have to fall back into bad habits or dwell in negativity.

  6. I’d say you’ve made great progress, not only on your goals but on becoming aware of where you can improve. I think it was an ambitious list to start (you’ll remember I didn’t chime in with a plan of my own!), so I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself. As for me, I’ll have to give it some thought on what I might do.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Awareness is a big part of the battle. Thanks, Gary.
      …well I just naturally assumed you didn’t chime in with your own plans because you’re already close to perfect!

  7. I though you did pretty well Mrs. G. BTW, did you know it takes roughly 66 days to set up new habits according to new research?

    Okay I’m over the secret, it’s a bit too woo woo for me. A lot of their ideas are from the concepts of self-fulfilling prophecies and stuff you hear in an intro to psych 101!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      66 days? I thought it was 40 days – but who’s counting, LOL. Yeah, I wondered what you think of The Secret. I borrowed it from the library a few months ago but couldn’t get past the first few pages.

  8. I have mixed feelings of gossip. I feel like it is a double-edged sword. I generally hate it, but on the other hand Roz from Frasier puts it perfectly, in the episode “Oops.”

    “Gossip is the lifeblood of the corporate world. If it wasn’t for gossip, we wouldn’t know any of the important things, like how much everybody makes.”

    Although you can learn a lot just by sitting back, keeping your ears open and watching everyone else at work.

    It’s like that phrase. Be as innocent as a dove but as wise as a snake. Okay now I sound like a creepy stalker who believes in gossip. It’s a delicate balance!

    I personally believe you will have more time to focus on your habits once you quit your job.

    Source: http://www.kacl780.net/frasier/transcripts/season_1/episode_10/oops.html

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I’m definitely going to watch that episode later – after we go to the ABC (state-run liquor authority) store and get more vodka. I love Roz!

      You’re right about having more time for habits after the job is kaput.

      P.S. I saw from spam it looks like the commenting plug-in was being difficult. So I didn’t publish your other comments but one thing additional you mentioned was the clip from Guffman. So glad you loved it! No one else commented on that. I swear, we know half the lines in the movie. FYI I wanted to buy it but only found it in some expensive collector’s edition last time I looked. So I rent it on Google Play for $2.99.

  9. Am I the only person who was overwhelmed looking at your spreadsheet? I’m pretty sure I’ve listened to multiple podcasts and read several studies about not tackling more than one goal at once. Especially if you’re adding some habits and eliminating others. Not related to positivity, but I’m cutting out Diet Coke (again…I fell off the wagon so hard). And it’s all I can really focus on besides the things that are already fairly routine. After I get this under control (30 days), I’m going after sugar again. I think the fact that you accomplished so many of these things is totally kick butt. Very inspiring!

  10. I love this idea! I’m going to give it ago as well :-).

    It’s hard to break old habits. You just have to roll wit the punches….. and besides a C- is still a pass 😉

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Ray. Ray. Some habits are even harder to break when you find yourself unwilling. For me that’s coffee and artificial sweeteners. They didn’t get added to the list because I’m just not there yet. I’ll probably keep coffee but look for ways to kick the sweeteners in my next round of self-improvement. Right now I still have a lot to work on from this round!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks for your words of encouragement, Green Swan! I’m bound to improve with some of these goals if I stay focused.

  11. Don’t beat yourself up. We all have things we want to do or accomplish ‘in theory’ but few ever do. It is human nature. If we really wanted to do it, we would and wouldn’t need a list. I do the same thing. I say I want to do and maybe I do once or twice but it is hard to sustain. Stick with it and don’t feel bad about it. Welcome to the human race !!

    -Brian

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Sorry I missed your comment, Brian. Thanks for your kind words. Maybe I got a little too ambitious with my list!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      It sounds like a small step Emily, but in fact I know that’s huge. Out of reach is key. I bet knitting can be much more relaxing than surfing the Internet, and you get to create pretty and useful items.

  12. I’d say you did great especially given the amount of things you were attempting to change. Nice job!

    As far as the Guffman, I’m more of a “Mighty Wind” fan, and can quote almost all of that movie. Also love some Best In Show, what a great group of movies. Guffman is 3rd for me, but to each their own. 😄

  13. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I remind myself as I get back into exercising that I won’t be as fit immediately as I was in high school. It takes time to break bad habits and rewire your brain. Keep it up 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks MSM. I’m definitely working on rewiring my brain. It feels a bit short-circuited lately! “Rome wasn’t built in a day” – I love it. I don’t hear that expression too much anymore. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I know the feeling of aimless. I’ve been feeling that way too. Hey, you bought your course materials. That’s one step closer! Thanks for checking in, Maggie.

  14. It was a ridiculously busy month (such a late comment), but I was successful. I just kept looking back at how far I’ve come whenever I was feeling tired and not up to all the tasks I had before me.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I’m glad you’ve been successful busy! Looking at your progress is a great way of staying positive. The whole issue with my cousin happened during this little challenge so given that, and the fact that I bit off too much to chew, I feel I did OK. Let’s see how it goes when I suddenly have a lot of unstructured time on my hands – which I’m looking forward to!

  15. Kudos to you for taking up Laser Focus Positivity Challenge to continue to improve yourself. I think its not easy to find many people who are willing to work towards bettering themselves.

    For me personally, I really need to change up my morning routine. It takes way too long from the time I am awake to the time I actually begin working on my goals.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I start out like gangbusters on the self-improvement, and then I slip. This time around I tried to do too many things. Mr. Groovy has been following Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning. It really works for him. Thanks for your comment, TTW.

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