Hitting the reset button


First up, a happy new year to you! I’ve been offline quite a bit since the end of the year – a conscious decision – so this is my first post in a while.

I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, but recently (around mid-December) I realised that I was wasting too much time on pointless things like TV & social media, and when I sat down and really thought about it (actually, this probably happened on one of my morning runs!), it became clear when this slow drift started to happen.

You see, before I began marathon training in June of last year, I had been meditating daily for well over a year. The practice of meditation helped me not only quiet my mind, but also focus my time and energy on things that mattered most.

As anyone that’s trained for a marathon will know, the training becomes all consuming – it takes over your life – and the only way I could fit it all in was to find more time in my day. And so my meditation practice slowly faded away.

With the marathon well out of the way, a new business launched and going great guns, and a realisation that my mind was getting back to being really busy and thinking about the future, in mid December I decided to start meditating again. I’m now on day 28 and feeling much better for it.

There’s a few other things I’ve started doing too. First up, I’m back to journaling every day again – something else that stopped with marathon training. Now my morning routine consists of getting up around 5.30am, meditating (I use the Headspace app), exercising – usually a run – then making breakfast, brewing some delicious Sacred Grounds coffee, and journaling.

This was my routine before the marathon, and I really feel that it’s beneficial for my physical & mental wellbeing. The other addition this year – and for this one credit goes to my good friend, and recent podcast guest, Chris Marr – is that each morning I’ll read from the Daily Stoic and reflect on that day’s reading. This stuff goes back to Roman times, but it’s as relevant today as it was back then, maybe more so!

I’ve introduced a couple more ‘hacks’ designed to make my life better. In no particular order these are:

  • All notifications on my iPhone are switched off, other than a couple of apps we use as a family to communicate. To be fair, I started doing this back in the summer last year and it’s amazing the difference when you’re not being distracted by social media or email notifications. I’ve gotten better at not checking email or twitter, although I could still be better. That’s a work in progress; and
  • I’ve deleted Facebook off my phone & iPad, so I can only check it when I’m on my MacBook. I’ve been using facebook less and less, so deleting the app was the next logical step. This weekend I missed a couple of messages, which was a little annoying, but nothing too important. I’m wondering what else I can delete?

So at the start of 2018 it feels like I’ve hit the reset button. I’m more present, more in the moment, less dependent on that damn phone screen.

Are you making any changes at the start of the year? I’d love to hear what your routine looks like in the morning!

5 thoughts on “Hitting the reset button

  1. Happy New Year Ali! Glad to hear from you 😊.
    I did the same thing with Facebook. It’s been a great change for me. I find that I only go on every few days now to check up on blog stuff. It’s really worked out well. I really like what you’ve said here about focusing in on the best uses of your time, on stuff that really serves you. I think you’re so right that eliminating or cutting down on things that don’t, like Facebook, really creates a healthier and more productive mindset. I personally think it makes me a bit happier as well (I play less of the comparison game when I’m off social media!).
    Anyway, happy to see you around 😉.

    1. Aw, thanks Cat! I really needed to take some time out. January has ended up being such a busy month for our business that I just don’t have the capacity to engage online as much as I would like – I’ve got 3 of your blog posts bookmarked for reading when I get beyond the madness. Thanks for taking the time to comment, it means a lot x

  2. Ali, love it ! Great minds think alike, my post this Tuesday 16th at 8am will be on the Roman Stoics and I write daily in my Daily Stoic journal !

    I may have mentioned this to you around notifications when we met in Dundee in November, but while I turned off all notifications on my iPhone a while back (and even downsized to an iPhone SE), a friend of mine told me that (IIRC) the head of “Getting things done” has gone further. When they unlock their iPhone there are NO apps at all on the home screen, just their latest motivational message. To see any apps they have to swipe to the next screen. Nice !

    Now, having committed well over 100 days ago to daily posting… and occasionally feeling the resistance to that, I just need a bot to write my posts 🙂

    1. Great minds indeed Tom! I love the idea of no apps on the home screen – I’m going to look into how to do that. I think I reached about 120 days of daily blogging before I stopped. No idea how Seth has done it for so long!

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