I say this every time, but… I can’t believe it’s November already! 😮 In my last post, I summarised how I did with my October goals and listed some positive things that had happened over the past month. You can find the full post here, but I’ll summarise the goals for context. I had three goals: use less Uber (maximum twice a week), use less Deliveroo (maximum twice a week), and drink less alcohol (maximum two days a week).
I did well with the Deliveroo and alcohol goals, and kind of semi-well with the Uber-related one. The Deliveroo goal is cooking-related, and cooking is one of those routines that I need to master – it goes without saying that I will continue in November and beyond to improve my cooking skills and order less takeout. After October, it doesn’t feel like such a stretch anymore as I’ve set up some basic routines for that now. 🙂
Using less Uber is also something I will work towards, as is drinking less alcohol. I might even decrease my drinking allowance to once a week instead of October’s two days – I don’t feel like that’s going to be a problem either, and won’t require me to set a specific goal.
There will be three new goals in November that both excite me and scare me at the same time – a big and time-consuming one, and two routine-building ones that will most likely be very challenging as well.
November goal 1: NaNoWriMo 2019
I’m still pretty new to blogging and just starting to work out my blogging schedule and the specific topic areas I want to keep writing about. This is all super exciting and fun, although it takes a surprisingly large junk of time out of my day, every day.
I came across something intriguing on Twitter a couple of weeks ago and had to check it out: National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short! It reminded me of something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I couldn’t resist the challenge, even though it would mean committing to a rigorous daily schedule for the whole duration of November.
What is NaNoWriMo?
It’s an amazing initiative for creativeness and writing. Every year since 1999 loads of people (I mean, thousands!) around the world starts writing a new novel from the first day of November. The goal is to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month!
You start seeing the #NaNoWriMo hashtag on Twitter more and more. I’m expecting to see it pretty much every day now that November is here (note to self: where did the time go again?), and people start talking about their progress and related joys and frustrations.
NaNoWriMo has a great support facility in its community platform where you can connect (become “buddies”) with other writers doing the same challenge and ask questions if you need any help or support. The organisation itself is a non-profit, which means participating is free, however, you are encouraged to donate something, if you can and want to.
What will I write?
I think this is a really really really cool thing, and I actually feel in over my head a bit here, but I am super excited to take part and see what comes out of my 50,000 words. I have a rough outline of chapters and ideas that I will be writing about.
Even though NaNoWriMo is geared mainly towards fictional novels, you don’t have to write a fictional novel. My “novel” will actually be a non-fiction & memoir piece related to happiness and mental health. 😊
It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages, and NaNoWriMo is giving me the perfect nudge to actually get started, beat the doubts (there won’t be any time for doubts!), beat the anxiety (there won’t be any time for that either if I want to keep to the schedule!), beat the procrastination and whatever those other things are that have kept me from doing this in the past!
Find more about NaNoWriMo on their website here, and excuse me in advance for a very possible increase in the number of writing-related tweets in various mental states (I’m expecting a lot of frustration – it is a big challenge, after all).
If you’re taking part too, good luck! You can add me as a buddy on the NaNoWriMo site if you do a user search with Mori Ganna. 😄 I’d love to hear your tips on how you keep to your writing schedule, as it’s a LOT to do in one month!
November goal 2: Early mornings
I have struggled with getting out of bed early all my life. It feels physically and mentally impossible to get up early most days. There is no self-discipline, or will, even if both are there as strong as ever when I go to bed the night before. It just all disappears when I wake up and I cannot grasp it anymore. Even if I want to get up early, I just don’t – and I don’t know why it is so hard. Why is that!?
I do have some issues sleeping sometimes due to insomnia, but this happens even during those times when I get several hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you have any tips or insights to share, please let me know? 🙏
So, what is the goal here, you might ask?
The goal is to get out of bed by 7 am each working day, and by 9:30 am during the weekends or days off. That means no snoozing the alarm 7-9 times in a row anymore. 😬
This will be through-out November, and as today is the first day, I am happy to announce that, so far, I am on track! I got out of bed at 9:10 am and it feels amazing. I’m still on holiday so I’m glad it wasn’t one of those 7 am mornings yet… 😆
Why this goal? Why do I want to get out of bed earlier?
This is the number one contributing factor to my issue with taking Uber too much when I need to go to work. When I am tired, all reason goes out the window and I come up with excuses to take a car instead of public transport. And that is too expensive. I’ve been better with Uber since the October goal, however, the waking up part is as inconsistent and as difficult as ever. I need to have a better routine.
This is also important if I am to succeed in the above writing goal. I won’t have time to do blogging and novel-writing properly in the evening if I come home from work at 8 pm, sometimes later. I will need to get used to doing some of it in the morning before I leave for work. AND, do it in time, so I won’t be in a situation where I will be late for work if I don’t take Uber, either. 😨
Methods for making yourself get out of bed earlier
I’ve had to do some research on tips and tricks that have helped others overcome the challenge of early mornings. Here are some that I want to try out – I will let you know how it goes and what worked for me later on! Let me know if you have any additional tips? 😀
Try to go to bed earlier the night before. For me, my ideal bedtime would be by 11 pm. I will set my smart speakers to tell me when that time is approaching, so I’ll have sufficient time and energy left to finish what I was doing for the night and go to bed early.
Leave your smartphone in another room when you go to sleep. Set it on silent or night mode so you don’t hear notifications. Do not use it while in bed! This will help with getting to sleep quicker, and when the alarm goes off in the morning, it will force you to get up. (Just don’t go back to bed afterwards!)
Make a list of what good things there are in your morning. Pay attention to details. For me, I enjoy when I have time for a cup of hot, black, delicious coffee! I enjoy when I have time to think, to just sit and drink my coffee in peace. Make a list of such things when you come across them, and the pile of positive things about waking up early will grow, giving you more reasons and motivations for getting up.
Be gentle to yourself. I tend to jump right in at first, and then when (if) I fail, I feel really bad and want to give up. I will try a different approach this time and aim to let go of the disappointment ASAP if I do happen to sleep in once or twice. The main thing is to make overall progress!
November goal 3: Drink more water
In addition to getting up early in the morning, another thing I’ve been very bad at is drinking enough water, as long as I remember from since I was a child. I don’t feel like I need it unless I’ve had a full bag of salty popcorn. I can go a full day without remembering to drink any water, without feeling thirsty, and towards the evening I start getting a headache due to dehydration.
That, unfortunately, is often the first reminder that I should drink some water. Sometimes I don’t even realise then, but I accidentally end up having water because I will drink it to down the painkillers!
Do you know that feeling after you’ve wolfed down that bag of popcorn when a glass of water sounds like something you NEED in order to survive? You can’t wait to have several, huge gulps of fresh, cold water down your throat, washing away the thirst, the salt?
That’s what I imagine others feel on a regular basis, just out of nowhere, and that’s why they are comfortable with just randomly drinking a glass of water regularly during the day… 🤷♀️ I’m probably wrong and they’re just better at the routine than I am.
How many glasses of water should you drink per day? Some recommendations say somewhere between 6-8 glasses would be a good number, and I will go with that.
My goal is to drink a glass of water 1) when I get out of bed, 2) later in the morning, 3) with lunch, 4) in the afternoon, 5) in the evening when I get home from work, 6) with dinner, and 7) later in the evening – but not too late so I don’t have to pee when I’m already in bed! 😆
Benefits of drinking more water
Everyone knows that water is necessary to maintain good health, and even, maintain life. Without water, it wouldn’t be possible to stay alive! An adult human body is 60 % water, and blood is 90 % water. That in itself is a huge motivator to pay more attention to how much water you drink!
When you drink water, it contributes to your blood delivering oxygen to each part of your body. If you become dehydrated, your blood can become thicker, which increases the risk of high blood pressure.
Water helps your skin stay healthy and less wrinkly! If you avoid dehydrating yourself, you might also have fewer skin conditions.
Water is good for the brain too – if you don’t drink enough water and you become dehydrated, your thoughts and reasoning can become sluggish. You also get a headache – something I often experience myself.
Your gut needs water too. Drinking enough water can prevent indigestion, heartburn, acidic stomach and constipation. I am no stranger to these things either. 😐
I hope that with this new routine that I will try to get used to, some of these issues will slowly start disappearing. When I think back to my life and my overall physical health, I think a lot of the issues I’ve been having could very well be due to lack of water!
How to motivate yourself to drink more water?
Here are some things to try out to motivate yourself to drink enough water on a regular basis. I’d love to hear if you have any additional tips that have worked for you? 😀 I will try out the below ideas during November and will let you know what worked for me the best later on.
Include your daily cups of water as separate items in your to-do list, and cross them out every time you’ve drunk a cup.
Personally, I find it really hard to drink when I’m not super thirsty, and sometimes even gag when I try. It feels like I’m forcing it. 😔 If you have this problem, try fizzy water/mineral water. I know, it’s a bit worse for your teeth, but as a temporary solution, while getting used to the new routine, it might help!
Every time you finish your glass of water, fill it up again so it’s ready for your next “drinking deadline”. Place it next to you on your desk while you work to constantly remind you (if you work at a desk as I do), or pour it in a bottle if you’re out and about!
Set a reminder on your phone for each of those times when you’re supposed to drink that cup of water. If you work from home and have smart speakers, you can also get them to give you little reminders and nudges.
Do you struggle with getting up early too, or have you had similar issues with remembering to drink enough water? I would LOVE to hear if you have any tips on either of these challenges?
Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year yourself? 🙂