Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Checking in with the wellness diary

I made it. Every day for the first three months of the year, I recorded information about my “wellness” as I had outlined back in January. I still have to fully examine my findings but even before that is complete I can say for certain that I have learned something useful about myself.

First, I always heard if you can do something for 30 days, it will become a habit. That is definitely true. At the end of every day, I’ve been recording what I’ve eaten, my time with God, the steps on my pedometer, etc. It’s become such a habit, and definitely a useful one, that I just purchased a new steno notebook for the next three months.

The habit is useful because recording these items every day has made me more mindful about my wellness. For example, when I get to mid-day, I find myself pulling the pedometer out of my pocket to see how I’m doing. I might take a longer walk at lunchtime or get up from my desk more often if I’m far from reaching my desired daily steps. When I want to eat seconds because it tastes good, not because I’m still hungry, I reconsider. After all, I’ll have to write it down. And when I find that my energy is low or my mood isn’t the best, I try to record what I think led to that. Too much work? Unpleasant colleagues? It’s good to contemplate what it was that made the day turn in the wrong direction.

It’s also been interesting to begin considering differences in my personal patterns as the seasons change. Since learning more about the Eastern philosophy of living with the seasons, I do pay more attention to now my body and spirit react to differences in weather and amount of daylight. Upon entering spring, the energy surged in my body and I’m prone to being active until sunset, which of course is later. It feels good to be outside in my garden even after I eat supper.

How about you? If you’ve been keeping a wellness diary, please do share some of your observations.

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