I am the kind of person that likes to set myself up for success, and in order to be successful, I need a plan. I am often envious of those who are able to “fly-by-the-seats-of-their-pants”. Knowing that I am not one of those people, planning is key for me.
If you read my blog last week, you know that I am leaning into 30 days of no social media. If you read the blog last week, you also know that this is kind of a big deal for me. Some of you are reading this wondering, “why is this so hard for her?” Others are reading and thinking “how is she going to survive on Okinawa without this resource?” I am thinking, “dopamine is a real thing, and it’s addicting. It is time to change the current brain cycle waves and replace them with something else. I need to get my brain to be engaged in other, more mentally stimulating things than social media. I hop on social media when I am procrastinating, when I am lonely, or between tasks. I need to find things to do that fill small pockets of time because that is primarily when I get on social media.” (The link to last week’s blog in case you didn’t read it: Social Media Hiatus – Monday Morning with Mona)
What are some of the things I am doing to set myself up for No Social Success?
As you know, I don’t have access to tv, so I can’t transition from one screen to another. I have to find things to do in my spare time that don’t involve a tv. Truth-be-told, I could watch HGTV for 30 days and not miss Facebook for a minute, but that’s not an option, so I have to identify other ways to use my brain in a positive way.
Read a book. Actually, I checked out 3 books to prepare for the month. One is a personal development book. I have listened to the concept of 5-4-3-2-1, and I have a feeling that it will help me take action on a few aspects of my life that are stagnant. I chose a Krakauer book because I have read some of his other books, and I love his writing style. Then, I chose another Lisa See book because I just read one of her books, and I also wanted a paperback book so that it would be lighter to throw into my purse or tote if I want to take it to a beach to read. (Sometimes it’s the little things, like a lighter weight book, that makes packing up to go to the beach just a little easier.)
This brings me to the next thing I can do. I can pack up and go to a new beach or my favorite one – the one right in front of my house. I plan to keep a chair, a towel, an umbrella, and a water bowl in my car at all times, so Gus and I can pick up and go. Once again, this little planning piece will help get me off the couch and on a beach. I can read on a beach, look for sea-glass, throw the ball to Gus, and do small beach clean ups. Having a purpose on the beach will definitely make me feel better about going too!
Other things I can do are journal, meditate, and do light stretching. These are things that I used to do daily, but lately I have been scrolling instead of meditating. I love the Calm App, but I may need to integrate other meditation apps or websites to help guide me through short meditations once or twice a day. I love my journal, and I can create journal topics to cover each week, so that I don’t just stare at a blank page. Light stretching takes no time and really changes my physical state and my mindset quickly.
Painting or crafting is another thing that I enjoy doing, but I seldom pull out the paint and brushes. Every time I apply some paint to a rock or a canvas, I enjoy it. The key for me is to pull out the paints and the canvases so that engaging in the project doesn’t feel like a pain. It would also be beneficial to me to take some time to identify some things I actually want to paint.
Learn Japanese. Actually, I don’t know how much of this challenging language I can learn in a month, but I can for sure set up a good habit by studying a little each day. I plan to use Lesson 1 – Introductions and Greetings | Georgia Public Broadcasting (gpb.org) as my guide.
Fix my website. I use the blog link of my website, but I have not added any other content to any of the other tabs. It’s time to add helpful tips for anyone who happens to visit the site.
Create a photobook. I love Shutterfly and the simplicity of adding pictures to create a book of memories.
Write a thank you note. I love stationary, and I have some beautiful stationary. It’s time to put it to use.
Pick up the phone. I am terrible about calling people, and I miss them so much, so I should make more phone calls.
Research future investments. I can look into stocks, mutual funds, or real estate investments. Bringing my financial future back as a priority would be wise.
Repot a plant or work in the garden. In Okinawa, there are always weeds to pull, snails to remove from plants, or a plant that will thrive in another, bigger pot.
Something that I do daily is physical activity. I run 4 days a week, have 4 strength training sessions a week, and I attend 1 yoga session a week. I can always add in a bike ride, a leisurely walk, or a paddle on the paddle-board or the kayak. It would probably be good for me to add in some “non-planned” activity into my life.
I am sure that there are other things that I can do fill in the gaps of my day, and as I think of them, I will write them down so I can share with you. This list is for me, but I hope that it will give you some ideas on positive things to do during your free time as well. We all have more free-time than we think we do. It just becomes a redistribution of our time…less time on couches, more time doing fun, productive things. (If you are a mindless eater – like I have been known to be – these are ideas that you can use to keep from mindless eating too).
If you think of anything else I can do, please comment. I would love some fresh ideas!