2016 is 1/24th over! That’s one way of looking at it.
Another is that January more than half over.
Can you believe it? In just a couple of weeks it’ll be February.
Did you make a resolution for 2016? Have you kept it? How’s your progress?
Back in December I stumbled across the 30 Days of Yoga series on the YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene. Following my own advice on making a New Year’s Resolution stick, I started right there and then, on December 21st instead of waiting until the new year. I know this, because I posted the link to Facebook on Day 3, saying that I had completed videos 3 and 4 that morning.
I received positive feedback when I posted it, but then I wasn’t sure if I should keep posting these videos every. single. day. I figured that maybe I would continue to do the challenge without giving a daily update to my entire friends list.
Then something weird happened.
I couldn’t stop.
I didn’t want to cut back on the updates, because I didn’t want anyone to assume I quit. So I kept on going, even through the Christmas holidays. Facebook became my accountability partner. Some days were more difficult as our routines were a hot mess: there were family gatherings one after another, we stayed at my parents’ house, I was getting to bed way later than usual and struggling to rise before the sun.
New Years Day proved extra hard as there was no way I was waking up before 10am. I don’t know how anyone sets January 1st as a target to accomplish anything. It doesn’t even count as a real day, really. It’s like the entire holiday season decides to deadweight on you before lifting up and away on January 2nd. I ended up doing Day 17 at 10 in the evening in front of a computer that pauses videos every 25 seconds. To add to the craziness, a tired and antsy Sweet Pea started climbing all over me while I was trying to keep it together. She was also hungry for some milk, which gave my “Cat-Cow” new life and new meaning. It was rough, but it happened.
The next 2 days were off the grid as we went on a few family excursions to take advantage of the holiday weekend. There was no yoga to be had, and I was disappointed that I didn’t keep up. However, I redeemed and completed days 18 and 19 on the 4th of January. (If the numbers don’t add up, it’s because I got a little eager and did 2 days at a time if I felt the first video was too short!)
If I aimed to start on January 1st, I’m not sure if I would have began! There were so many obstacles in the way for almost a week and I probably would have just forgotten altogether. January 1st is ironically not a very “resolution friendly” day. As I write this, I’ve finished the 30 Days of Yoga Challenge this morning and will be starting Yoga Camp shortly! Yay accomplishment!!
I also downloaded the app “Duolingo” on the recommendation of a friend. Duolingo helps you learn a language in a fun, game-like mode where you collect points at the end of each module. It’s totally free, and I’m already 5% fluent in Spanish, hah! It sends you reminders every day to practice so that you can meet your daily goal – I currently have mine set to 10 minutes a day which is 2 modules, or 20 XP. Depending on the language you’re learning, you have to translate back and forth between it and English through writing, matching pairs, or speaking. And yes, it analyzes what you say. (Technology, right?) I say it depends because the Russian that I’m learning hasn’t asked me to speak anything into the microphone.
If you already know how to speak some of the language, it gives you a placement test and advances you to the appropriate level. I’m a bit disappointed to say that all those years of French class only got me to 23% fluency. Womp womp. It also lets you add friends so you can keep track of each other with some friendly competition, and see who’s slacking 😉
I think I’ve kept up with it more than any other app I’ve downloaded because it’s easy, you can do it anywhere, and it holds me accountable. I get a phone notification every day at 3:39pm (random) telling me to practice. I also get an email every day reminding me to continue my streak – right now I’ve been going 18 days non-stop. (It would have been 23 days if Boxing Day Weekend didn’t happen, but that’s no excuse, I know.) I’m hoping to keep up this streak all year and then maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to speak a few phrases next time we go to Mexico instead of sheepishly reverting to English.
(One language rant that I’d like to go on: it’s really hard to speak the local language when the response you receive is way out of your league. We went to Quebec shortly after Sweet Pea was born and as someone who can (roughly and apparently only at 23%) translate from English to French, it’s not so easy the other way around. I’d order something in French without a problem, but if they respond with a question I don’t understand, you can almost see the blank thought bubble appear above my head. Then they switch to English, and I get glared at for not understanding. Waaa! Sorry… I’ll go back to Toronto now.)
So those are the two new “Level Up” additions to my life this year, as well as something REALLY big that I’m working on. I’m so excited and so scared at the same time, but I’ve put it off long enough and now I’m just going all in without a net. You’ll know soon enough!
What have you changed for 2016? Let me know in the comments!
P.S.: If anyone knows of a decent app that teaches Mandarin, let me know!