Listen to other episodes of the Human Tortoise, if you like...
Starting July 1st 2018, I embarked on a self improvement habit that, theoretically, shouldn't get in the way of normal life but will leave me with twelve nicely developed skills each year. I'll spend 20 minutes a day for a month learning a skill, or developing one I already have, and along the way will share how I'm doing it and why it has been beneficial. Starting out, some friends helped share some ideas, and I picked out my commitment for July.
On Sunday my friends drew some options out of a hat, potential skills or practices that I could learn in a month, taking just 20 minutes a day to concentrate on improvement. Alongside my own efforts, I'm inviting you to join me each month - either with the same idea, or maybe something else that you'd prefer to spend your time on.
Perhaps the universe was telling me something when 'Meditation' became the first skill of this project. A project I'd initially thought would be gentle practice of doing. Instead, here I am each day trying my hardest not to do anything.
So, I've spent a little more than 20 minutes on Sunday, Monday and then today, meditating for the first time in my life.
I've started off with an app on my phone called Calm. It comes with a ten minute 'Daily Calm' session, which I've tried each day at very different times: on Sunday right before bed, yesterday in the midst of a crowded train journey, and today sitting on the roof of my boat after a morning coffee.
I'm still figuring it out and it's not all easy. I rarely switch off (I'm always hopping out of bed to make notes and my mind is always wandering off here and there, working out problems and wondering what I need to be doing next, so I struggled the first two days. But this morning it was gorgeous, just stopping and giving my tiny brain a moment to heal. Usually, I would have been tapping away on my computer, so letting the sun's warmth and cool breeze rustle my strawberry blonde locks felt particularly nice.
The Calm app also has a feature called 'Sleep Stories' which have promptly sent me off to the land of nod each night this week. I think I can get used to this.
Visit the 20 A Day page to find out what else I've been up to, and for plenty of other ideas to get you started on your own positive habit