Saturday, March 3, 2012

Making a list (or two)

One of the responsibilities of my job is, every other month, to mentor a student teacher during their practicum for their TESOL certificate. It can be quite challenging, for a number of reasons (and read "challenging" as both fun and difficult - it's frequently both, at the same time!) but it can also be totally awesome. And often in completely unexpected ways. I have a practicum student right now who is not cut from the usual cloth, and it's been delighfully refreshing. Her lessons (she has to teach 8 of my classes over a month) have been quite different, both in approach and topic, to what I've become used to. In a good way! But the lesson she taught yesterday (for a writing class), as it turned out, grabbed my attention in a way that was beyond mere professional interest.

She had come across a video about this guy's "30 Day Challenges", and built a lesson around it. And holy moley, did it ever send my brain into overdrive! I've got this 40 by 40 list, as I've mentioned before, and the coming up a little faster than I'd realized! So this lesson got me thinking, and plotting, and scheming - and revising - and I came home last night and locked myself in my Magic Room with a pen and paper & started making lists. And I've got me a plan! Which, as it happens, ties into both yesterday's class, and yesterday's post about the bed.

I dug out my original 40x40 list, and a lot of it was, really, not realistic. By "not realistic" I mean in terms of time, finances, and sheer nerve. There was no way I would have the money or the time to do all those things, in a relatively short period - less than two years, from the time I made the list. I knew it at the time, and it was OK. I knew I wouldn't do everything on the list - but I figured if it even got me to accomplish a few items, that was a win! (And let's be honest - I may try parasailing one day, but skydiving is really unlikely. And I don't feel like that's a bad thing!)

(I'm not saying never to skydiving, either, though. FYI.)

(And, for the record, I'm not tossing the list...I'll add them to a 50x50!)

But...I've already crossed a chunk of items of the list. Without really even meaning to, it seems, as though the act of writing them down were, in itself, enough to get things rolling. Since I wrote the list, about 18 months ago, I have:
  • grown my hair out
  • dyed my hair blue
  • knit myself a sweater
  • learned to make a decent pie crust
  • travelled alone
  • gone to Montreal
  • taken a photography class
  • ridden a rollercoaster
  • taken French lessons
  • gone to not one (as per the list), but two big knitting-related events: Rhinebeck and Sock Summit
  • got a new bed
  • and the one I'm most proud of: the list said to have planned & be saving for a trip overseas. Exceeded Expectations on that one!
So. Last night I made two lists: a revised 40x40 (which includes items already accomplished!), which I stand a good chance of being able to finish in the next 6 months (but it's not a cake-walk, either, coz where's the fun in that?!). And a list of 30 Day Challenges for myself, some of which will help me cross off the rest of that 40.

My rules are simple: doubling up is fine! For example, one challenge on my list is to spend 30 minutes a day in my Magic Room. Another is to practice ukulele for 15 minutes every day. Since I practice in the Magic Room, that time totally counts! 

"30-Day" Challenge can also be a "Monthly" challenge - for example, I want to try some new wines; a bottle a day is a little much, but one a week  (shared!) for a month is reasonable. The challenges can be repeated as desired; some of them are designed to just try something new and some are in the hopes of building new habits to keep. Also, they aren't necessarily related to the List of 40, but can be used to work toward them.

So: first challenge: for the next 30 days, I will: 
  • write a blog post a day! (which may or may not be about The Lists)
  • take a photo a day (which I may or may not use as a post)
  • eat at least half of my daily servings of fruits and veg as veggies - I'm good at eating in the range of recommended servings, and have been trying to find ways to stuff even more into meals, but I tend to eat way more fruit than vegetables. More carrots! And "ants on a log" totally count!
Off to make sure my camera battery is charged up before we leave the house. Let the games begin! 

No comments: