Wednesday, August 25, 2010

10 day cycle

It seems that the 10 Day Cycle has caught on. BelleLumiere, Blue Law by Anna and Sarah Louise are a few bloggers I have noticed taking it up. I would love some feedback on how other people are going, even if you are partaking in the privacy of your own home!

For me, I found that there was something freeing about the fact that my cycle goals were somewhat superficial and on a visual level. Even if nothing else in the week went well, I could still take solace in the fact that I had tried a new recipe, read a fresh book or tried a new makeup look.

This time, however, I'm going to take a different tact. I want to use those "10 days" to explore a new idea, technique or habit and see how it sits. If I love it, then it stays as a permanent fixture in my life... if not, then I can discard it once the cycle is over.

This week, I am entranced by the concept of "everyday". I have been touched often by this idea recently, from different sources but all in the same vein...
  • This post-secret:
  • Sarah Wilson's column on the secret to happiness, in which she quotes Andy Warhol:

    “Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it… almost every day, it’s not good any more.”
  • An article I read in the latest RUSSH (still on shelves) by Danielle Top in which she references Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, a guide to embarking on your creative journey and stimulating your creative juices.

So, these are a few things that I want to try to do every single day, for the next 10 days:
  • The morning pages Three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning, one of the essential tools of The Artist's Way.
  • Make my bed A tip from The Happiness Project's Gretchen Rubin.
  • Read a poem From either of my two new books, A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry and Sylvia Plath: Collected Poems. (If you are curious, you can find them both in the widget on the right).
  • Drink 2.5L of water From my beloved water filter.
  • Exercise No doubt, finding the time to visit the gym everyday will be the hardest of these to abide by, but it is the one I am most committed to! Exercise always makes me feel so much more clear-headed (and self-congratulatory), it really is worth the time and effort.
Now, I have heard different takes on this concept. Some people advocate taking one or two days off a week, or adopting a one week on, one week off strategy, as a means of reinvigorating and inspiring ourselves. I don't think that committing myself to doing these things everyday will impede a designated lazy day or a particularly busy day, but, either way, as Sarah Wilson and Gretchen Rubin say:

“I’ve found it’s easier to do something every day, without exception, than to do something ‘most days’,” [Gretchen] says. “When you say you’ll walk four days a week, you debate which days, whether you can skip Tuesday, etc.”. “Every day” puts the kybosh on such a debilitating debate. It frees you up, while providing satisfaction.

P.S. Here is a shortened list, for old-time's sake.

Book to read:
Sputnick Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Makeup look:
Rosie Huntington-Whitely (via Primped)

Recipe to try:
Scrambled eggs with turmeric (via Sarah Wilson)


Anonymous said...

I know the feeling with the gym inspiring self congratulatory moments! I have completely fallen off of the wagon this week, despite exercise being on my 10 Day Cycle plan! Argh!

Yet again inspired and motivated by your post - thankyou!

Destined For Now said...

I never thought of the everyday vs. some days, but the quotes you listed have now made me wonder. I suppose it would be easier to build a habit upon everyday. I know if I give myself time off I'll skip a day I'm supposed to, say I'll make it up on my off day and then give up altogether.

tonile.helena said...

Hi lovely, your blog is gorgeous! I love the first picture you have on this post, the purple flowers are stunning and I have that Rachel Ashwell book... It's so inspiring! Anyway I'm glad I came across your blog, I look forward to more posts in the future xx

Laura Valerie said...

Thank you so much tonile.helena!

I agree DFN, if you make a resolution to do something everyday it is more likely to get done regularly than if you give yourself leeway - because it's non-negotiable :)

Belle, exercise is something I struggle with. I always hated sports as a child (because I was so terrible at them) and it has taken me a while to stop equating exercise with those bad memories, lol. I just have to keep reminding myself that I really enjoy exercising once I actually do it and feel so much better afterwards :) Thank you!

Anonymous said...

What a great post !
And let me know how you go with the bed making :P - I'm hopeless at remembering, but you may have inspired me to give it a better go.

Laura Valerie said...

Hi Stella! I will let you know, it is great so far :) I am not a bed-maker either (nor a room-tidy-er, unless I have guests!) but there is something comforting about taking a pause to make the bed before leaving the house each morning, and something infinitely lovely about slipping into a made bed in the evening. xx