Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 3

Today was the 3rd day of my new habit, and a couple of days were already challenging... Well, getting up at 6.15am just to lace up my shoes felt a bit weird. Getting up was really hard, but not any harder than at 6.30am to be honest (i am NOT an morning person)... The next day was easy, I had a day off, so I got up at 9am, laced up my shoes and even did a little stretching (putting your shoes on and taking them off right away without doing anything feels a bit odd...). This morning was not an easy one either. Yesterday I took a day off to go to my friends’ wedding, and we ended up partying until 3am. So when the phone rang at 9am this morning for a work related emergency, I was not feeling that energetic... I had to jump (crawl) out of bed to go to the office. When I came back, instead of going right back to bed like I really wanted to, I put my shoes on... And the next thing you know it was time to get ready for work... 

So, already challenging, but quite positive and encouraging I find, and I am more and more motivated to make it work...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It starts tomorrow

So I am starting tomorrow. The 6changes website advises to plan ahead your starting day so you can build up anticipation. Indeed I am quite excited to finally start tomorrow. Also, it gave me some time to figure out how the heck I was gonna do this when working on the liveaboard ?... Not so easy to go running around a boat, even if it is a huge 37m boat... So on days I will be on the boat, I will switch my waking / running, with yoga / sun salutations; on the sun deck with the sun setting, I think it can be a pretty cool start for a day...

I guess tomorrow will be my first test run: I have to go diving, so in order to start my new plan, I will have to get up at 6.15am instead of 6.30am... I know it’s only 15 minutes, but at this early hour, every single minute of extra sleep counts right ?...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

6 changes

Alright. I have done my homework. I read a bunch of websites and I particularly like the one from Leo Babauta, The idea is to choose 6 or less changes that you want to make in your life. You will work on only one change at a time, and spend 2 months on each change to transform them into habits. When you have decided what will your first change be, you then make a basic schedule for the following 8 weeks, integrating this change in your daily life. You need to find a trigger, something that you do everyday, that will precede that new habit. For example, brushing your teeth, drinking  a cup of coffee, etc... You need to start very small, but really stick to it everyday. It should be your priority, over anything else. If you stick to it for 8 weeks, then it becomes a reflex, and your brain associate the trigger with the new habit. That is the idea anyway.

So I am gonna start next Monday. My first change is daily exercise. I have been trying for years now and when I decide to exercise, I do very well and stick to it for a while, but there is always a moment where work or lazyness catches up and I drop the ball... So lets try again. My schedule is pretty hectic : some days I go diving, and I work from 7am to 5pm; some days I go home after that around 5pm, but some days I need to do some work at the office and I stay until 8 or 9pm; some days I work at the office from 11am till 9pm; some days I am off; and there is no planning to this, it is all from one day to the next. So finding a trigger was not an easy task because my days are all so different... Well, actually i DO get up (almost) everyday. Great. Here is my trigger. Get up and go exercise. 

The first week, I am really only supposed to get up, lace up my shoes and that’s it. Second week, get up, lace up my shoes and go walk for 5 minutes. Everyweek you make it a little bit longer and harder, and by week 8, you are running 20’ everyday. I can see that it won’t be easy on diving days, when I will have to get up at 6am instead of 6.30am, but at least at that time, it is nice and cool out there... To give myself a longer term goal and a pretty good motivation, the Man and I will sign up for a triathlon that we will run this summer in the US. He has done many marathons and triathlons, but this will be my first. I find it quite exciting ! The distances are quite short, and the course is flat, and he will stay with me the whole race (even though he is sooo much faster than me...). Something to look forward to, I can’t wait !

I know I am supposed to stick to only one habit at a time, but I am doing so good at de-cluttering, that I don’t want to stop. Yesterday, I put away one of my favourite pair of jeans, that I don’t fit in anymore. Not only are they my favourite pair, but they also have a history : they saved my knees in a motorbike accident a few years back in Thailand, and still have a patch on the right knee to prove it... But really, what good are they doing to me in my cabinet if I can’t wear them ? I will give them to someone and maybe one day they will save their knees too...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A good start...

So I haven’t came up with a plan just yet. But I have thought about what I really want, and here are the 3 most important things for me at the moment : I want more time for myself, I want to get healthy and I want to declutter my life. The plan of action will come later, at least i have the goals...

So I pretty much had the perfect day today. First of, I took a day off. I woke up and read my book for a while, and when the Man woke up, we went for a 2 hours walk in the hills behind our house. Then we came back home and I spent a couple of hours getting rid of stuff (we just moved in to a new house, and the moving out was a bit hasty, so there is loads to do there...), cleaning and organising (I feel a bit de-cluterred already...). The house looks and feel so much nicer. Then we went to the beach for a couple of hours before having a thai massage (absolutely marvelous, I would strongly recommend one once a week if I didn’t know how ridiculously expensive these are in the western world...) and finishing the day at a local festival for the opening of a new temple. Loads of time for myself, good exercise, and a good de-cluterring session. Just a perfect day.

But I know all days won’t be like this. I have to work tomorrow, and after my day of diving I will probably have to spend a few hours in the office to catch up with all the paperwork and stuff, so it’ll probably be another 12 hour-day. So much for exercise and time for myself. So I will focus on de-cluttering. From tomorrow, first thing in the morning, I will get rid of one thing.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Finding the Zen path in Thailand

When I left Europe for a long trip through Asia, it was my first time in Orient. I was picturing Asia as a highly spiritual, quiet place with incence burning everywhere, monks in every street and pagodas at every corner... I was slightly wrong... Instead I found excessing noise, traffic jams, entire malls of electronics... and also a Man and a job in the diving industry.

We have been living in Thailand for now 5 years, and that same desire of spirituality and simplicity I was after when I left is still there. We got trapped in a new routine, 9,500km away from home, got ourselves jobs that are even more demanding and stressful than the ones back home, so I decided it is about time to do somerthing bout it. Yes, that’s it, I have been reading and thinking about this for ages, now I have made the decision : I want a simpler life.

I have always made up excuses for not doing so sooner : I don’t have time but as soon as this project is over I will; there is no good gym around here, but as soon as I find a good one close by, I will go; you know these ones already, you have used them... My personnal favourite (I have used it for years...) is, I live in a country where it is too difficult to be eco-friendly and watch what you buy (amazingly enough here, everything is written in thai, which makes it a little more difficult to figure out where your products come from and what’s inside !), but we’ll leave soon, I’ll start then ! Mind you, we have been talking about leaving Thailand for more than 3 years now, and we just signed up for another season... ;-) 

However, I have to say there are some advantages in living out here. We don’t own a TV, we don’t really have access to newspapers or magazines, and we don’t really have time to listen to the radio or read the news on the internet. So we are not all that polluted by the medias that are hiding so many things from us behind the screen of the news and the advertisments. I was watching yesterday the story of stuff (, and Annie Lenoard was mentionning this amazing fact : today people in America see the same number of ads in one year than their parents in their whole life in the 50’s... Isn’t that crazy ??? Of course we are not completely consumerism free, and I have to confess that I just spent 120 USD in a brand new ipod. Well, I have been wanting to buy one for over 6 months, and everytime I am at the shop, I in extremis manage to resist the urge and go home without, convincing myself that I don’t need it. Sure I dont NEED it, but I really wanted a new one : not because my old one was too old or out of date, just because it was just too small to keep all my music in there... Anyway, last time we went to the shop, I resisted again, but as I was leaving the electronics section, I saw that new ipod 5th generation 2,000b cheaper than the regular price... So I bought it. The idea to get a bargain was stronger. To be honnest I do use it a lot, and we can’t really call this an impulse spend since I have been resisting for so long ! Plus my boyfriend is really happy because he got my old one !

Anyway I do enjoy the fact that I am shopping in local shops and at markets (although it can be a tedious process because out of the 10 items on your shopping list, you will probably find 2 in each shop, which makes the shopping sooo much longer) and not at malls where you cannot avoid the adds and where the temptation is everywhere. But, like I said, I miss being able to read labels and ask the shop person where the products come from (I know my thai is ridiculously bad, but even if I was fluent it would not make any diffrence because they wouldn’t know - they are not really concern about all this just yet...). I also miss being able to buy clean household products and cosmetics (not that I use so much make up over here, but you know what I mean...).

Anyway, I have decided to start doing something about this. I don’t axectly know what just yet, but the plan is to figure it out soon. There are a lot of internet material and keys in hand solutions out there, some more attractive than others (I don’t think I am ready for the 100 things challenge just yet, I would rather start smaller and work my way towards less and less stuff..., and I particularly like the 6 changes for 2010 ( However, I do plan to do some more research on all these very usefull blogs, and then hopefully come up with my on plan. This blog is my attempt to figure it all out, and my probably the story of my strugles along the way...