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Posts Tagged ‘Walking’

Since discovering Ryder Carroll’s bullet journal maxim of “the compound effect of incremental change,” I have been applying it pretty much everywhere I can.  There are all of these things that I want to do from mundane to interesting, from simple to complex, and I am trying to apply the incremental change approach to all of them.

While the effort is starting to pay off, sometimes if feels similar to the advice about eating the elephant one bite at a time.  But what happens when you get so sick of eating elephant that you can’t possibly stand to eat another bite because if you do, all of the bites you have already eaten might come right back up on you?

At what point do you run out of increments in your day? What happens when you end up not having much in the way of flexibility because you are busy checking off all of the items on your daily list? There also might be occasions where you have to break the projects or activities down into such small increments that you can’t get through them all before it is time to start all over again.  Cleaning the house fits squarely into this category for me.

The question has become more pressing now that I have returned to working full time. So far I have been able to keep up such daily disciplines as Morning Pages, going for a walk, and a certain amount of knitting. There are also professional development plans I need to keep moving forward, and those are proving to be more difficult to break down into increments.

I am holding steady for the moment, but how many increments are there in a day?

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Like many people, I could do with more exercise, and I struggle to work it into my life on a consistent basis.

A friend of mine suggested recently that I should just take a walk around the block first thing in the morning. I could always do more later, but I would be starting the day with some fresh air in my lungs. Sounds easy enough, right?

The view as a I start walking down my street

While I enjoy early mornings, I am not much of a morning person. I don’t wake up and pop right out of bed, ready to face the day. If I wake up to lovely music on the radio and feeling snuggly and comfortable in bed, I am not keen to change the situation, and if I do get myself upright in short order, it takes a while before I feel like getting dressed and really starting the day.

This bumblebee is more industrious than I am in the morning.

It took three days between advice and action, and the first action did not bode well. The temperature was not too hot, but it was quite humid. Exhaust plus humidity equals dank air which is not particularly pleasant to breathe. I did make it through a short loop through the neighborhood, and I have managed to do the same thing every day since. Today marks eight days in a row.

All sorts of flowers, wild and cultivated, grow along my route.

The key is to not think about it too much. I get up, put on appropriate clothing, have a drink of water if I think about it, pick up a house key, and walk out the door. I don’t take music or my phone. I don’t wear any sort of device which tracks where I am going or how many steps I take or how far I go or what my heart rate is or how many calories I am burning or compares one day to another. I don’t know how far or how fast. Sometimes more and sometimes less, varying the route according to the morning’s whim. I just walk.

There’s a river to my left as I walk this path.

While I am not sure how much it is helping overall (it has only been eight days), it has not been difficult. As the song says, I just put one foot in front of the other.

I was worried that it would be difficult to motivate myself without music or that the brain weasels would detract from the salubrious effects of these morning perambulations. If I feel as if anxious thoughts are taking over, I can sing a song in my head — make my own music. I pay attention to where I am going and what is around me.

A feather

Yesterday I took a second walk with my phone so that I could take some pictures. I would like to take more pictures, especially of some of the houses I pass, but carrying a camera gets in the way of the simplicity of the endeavor, and folks might not care for their homes being photographed by a random person strolling through the neighborhood, so I am going to wait and see on that idea.

Maybe I will give it some thought on tomorrow’s walk.

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