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Hitting the Bull’s Eye

woman at a computer feeling burned outHow many times have we felt like what Deanna described as being “between successes?” Wow, that truly resonated. Just living life day to day is such an enriching opportunity for growth. As I reflected on the thousands of choices that present themselves each day, it hit me that it’s extremely difficult to be “mindful” when my “mind is full.”

There’s a simple exercise to estimate just how clogged with thoughts a mind can be. Find a quiet space, get a pad and pencil, set the time or the stopwatch function on your phone for one minute, press start, and jot down every thought that runs through your mind in the next 60 seconds. (Even thinking “I’m not thinking of anything” or “This is silly” are thoughts.)

When the time dings, count the number of thoughts you tallied. Then, multiply them by 960 (the number of minutes in the roughly 16 hours a day that I’m not sleeping). I marked down 12 thoughts in that minute, multiplied by 960. It turns out that, on an average day, I have around 11,520 thoughts! No wonder my brain feels tired sometimes. It’s a busy place.

This led me to think about how to simplify the process. Change requires focus, and it’s a challenge to hone in on something new when my mind is already full. When I’ve tried to make several changes at the same time, I’ve felt overwhelmed. Now I can see why this might have happened. This insight gives me new hope and a different strategy.

My plan is to decide at the beginning of each day what one change I’ll attempt that aids in my healthy life journey. At end of the day, I’ll reflect on how things went, learn what I can, and put it to rest for the night. Tomorrow, I’ll decide what I most need to address. It may be a repeat of yesterday or something totally different. But one thing at a time, one day at a time, one step at a time — I will get there. Everything doesn’t have to be done at once.

What’s the target you would like to focus on tomorrow?

Learning as I go, Barb

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