if you’re in the UK you may have seen this bank ad which has been playing for a few months. whilst holding no especial regard for this particular bank I think the message the ad portrays is a powerful one.

I’m writing this on Saturday 9 January, a point at which those New Year’s resolutions can be quivering and quaking under the cold light of day, or of the first Friday night or Saturday night of early sobriety. I can remember how hard those days were and if that’s where you are right now my heart goes out to you. hang in there, it gets easier!

personally I’ve found it quite interesting to have chosen ‘attention’ as my Word of the Year in November. it got my feet under the table, so to speak, and gave me a chance to set strategies over the last couple of months and test them for seaworthiness. I have tried to avoid taking on too much at once as I know that too many passengers lead to a boat taking on water.

the New Year gave me a second chance at implementing some of these and to add some new ones that replace ones that didn’t work. so 9 days in, what is working and what isn’t working? on the grounds that documenting them here will help them stick, and not get dragged away in the general second-week-of-January backwash?

one thing that’s working is attaching new habits to a specific trigger. in particular, I intend to make meditation a daily habit rather than a 5 days a week on average habit. so the only way I have found to do this is to make myself an absolute rule that I cannot go online until I have meditated. I need a carrot rather than a stick in many places of my life and this is working well.

we all love carrots, yes?!

I’d appreciate some accountability with it though so I hope to report back in a little while that I am still doing this 😉

another thing that’s working, and that I’ve been doing pretty consistently since November, is an evening gratitude journal. so I’m now up to, what, 70 days of that? I did it between 100 and 180 days sober and I’ve been trying to get it up and running again intermittently since then. think 70 days is a good start, but again, I will check in here again with it another time. as part of this process I’m currently adding in another strategy: having thought about what I want to achieve in the upcoming year I’ve written a list of areas I want to focus upon, and I’m reviewing this list when I wake up every morning. NB having included the category ‘physical health’ and included as strategies under it ‘meditation, running and yoga’ I was tickled pink to realise a few days later that ‘losing weight’ was NOT on the list 😉 not that there isn’t a little scope for that, as ever – but apparently that isn’t a priority for me right now, which is pretty damn huge for me, I have to say.

something that isn’t working is placing too much reliance upon others to help me uphold my personal aims. as ever, I need to disconnect (re-disconnect?!) from my need to control others’ actions. Diane at Out Of The Woods wrote a great post on this recently, which I have been pondering upon. she says:

‘We try to control others to make ourselves feel safer. Note the key word, “Feel”. We don’t actually get any safer by controlling others. There’s that illusion again, but we are always trying to feel safer. Let that go and live your life—your work, program, relationships, talents and gifts. You may or may not feel safer, but you will feel happier and more fulfilled.’

and lastly, something else that doesn’t work for me is taking things too seriously. which is so easy to forget in the earnestness and effort of growing up in recovery….so in the spirit of this may I offer you my new favourite meditation, courtesy of Jason Headley? enjoy – but probably not in front of the kids 🙂 have a great day! Prim xx

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