October 2019 – 3 challenges

A few years ago I decided to follow the basics of Minimalism.

I chose to do this, to change my life on autopilot, and to consider my choices.

I like to test my sense of control with regards to my decision-making. Also I like to live with challenges.

Currently I am learning about my choices with 3 self-imposed challenges which all support the continuation of my chosen creation of a simple and beautiful life based on those basic principles of Minimalism:

  • Sober October
  • 21 day Deepak Chopra abundance meditation challenge
  • Courtney Carver’s Project 333

Sober October

I came across the Ocsober and Sober October movement and I am loving it! Although I would not class myself as a heavy drinker, I am a regular drinker, usually enjoying a glass of wine in the evenings.

This year I decided to stay sober for October. I think it was first motivated by a friend of mine who did something similar and who has never had a drink again. Then Courtney mentioned the same. She has stopped drinking. Then I became aware of a sizeable and growing teatotal culture.

It is 30 October today so I have not drunk alcohol in 30 days, or more. My comments:

  • I seem to have more clarity of thought
  • I am definitely sleeping better
  • I am drinking more water
  • I choose to spend my spare time more productively
  • I have so enjoyed not experiencing the downsides of drinking that I am feeling that I might extend the self-imposed ban as we slide into the busy festive season.

That said I have not had an overly social month. Once the summer pre-Christmas socialising starts, I will be interested to see how it unfolds.

21 day Deepak Chopra abundance meditation challenge

The 21 day Deepak Chopra abundance meditation challenge is run via WhatsApp and every day I am sent a short and inspiring audio file – in Deepak Chopra’s wonderfully soothing voice. There is usually a task and a meditation.

It is proving a rich experience and sticking to a daily meditation practice where I am accountable to a WhatsApp group is working well for me. Today I am on Day 16 today – the theme is gratitude.

  • I am feeling calmer
  • I am gaining greater self-knowledge
  • I am experiencing the benefits of a regular daily meditation practise – things like dealing with fear and scarcity
  • I am recognising family patterns
  • I feel hope
  • I have so enjoyed the daily practise that I am feeling that I might continue starting at Day 1 again.

That said I have needed to feel that I am being held accountable by a group. Once the group disbands, I will be interested to see if I do continue on my own. I hope I do.

Project 333

Project 333 is just great. I would highly recommend it.

I have done it before – for 1 month. I am now signed up for 3 months. Today I have been dressing with 33 items or less for 1 month. 2 months to go!

Yesterday I cheated by mistake because I wore my red converse which were not on my list! I forgave myself because I only wore them as it is Spring here and snake season and a school reminder had gone out about wearing closed shoes – because a snake had been found in my younger daughter’s play area.

I cheated again yesterday as our hot weather turned to a freezing spell and I had not included a warm jacket on my list. I see Project 333 as an opportunity to simplify decision fatigue around clothes, and not a punishment, so I am again at peace with this hiccup.

Even with my human moments, I am finding it fairly easy and very helpful. Less time and energy and thought goes into what I wear – simply because I have fewer options. And not 1 comment on my repeat outfits yet.

And So

In fact I had an email exchange with Courtney (yes, Courtney in person!) and I said that clothes and clutter are not my big struggles. What is my struggle – sensible money handling.

This is why I took on the abundance challenge. I think some more money challenges my be coming up. A no spend month. 52 week money challenge. And more. It’s my big one!

My friend Van sent me a post from IG @jordanpetersonarchive yesterday. It is an exert from his book Atomic Habits about self control which I applied to my self-chosen challenges:

When scientists analyse people who appear to have tremendous self-control, it turns out those individuals aren’t all that different from those who are struggling. Instead, “disciplined” people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control.

Jordan Peterson – Atomic Habits

So onwards. New habits, old habits, end of the year approaching, festive season busyness, Spring time here, and a nod towards “restructuring my life in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control.”

It will certainly be one of my more mindful festive seasons and I am looking forward to it!