Consideration of some current habits and February challenges
I planned February as a month long sleeping experiment, with the rules only being that I'll go to bed at 10pm and get up at 6am. After the last two weeks of attempting that as a dry run, I noticed a few things. Just going to bed at 10pm doesn't mean I'll be able to fall asleep straight away. I had two instances of rather severe insomnia, where I didn't fall asleep until 1:30am and 2am despite doing my normal routine that usually gets me to fall asleep in 15 to 30 minutes. Sometimes Zzzquil didn't help, and only allowed me to feel extra groggy when it came time to wake up.
I also know I have some weekend plans that will likely run past 10pm - I've been invited to play board games one evening, for example, and I'd hate to leave mid-game just because it was 9:15pm. However, I know I'm rather useless past 11pm, so I have a limit.
Knowing this makes me think that a good schedule is 6am - 10pm on weekdays and 7am - 11pm on weekends. Of course, the biggest improvement I need to make is in my environment. Despite the fact that I use a blue light blocker and dim my phone screen as the evening progresses, I need to stop using my phone while in bed. This means I need to alter the habit I currently have of listening to guided meditation as I fall asleep - one of my goals is to not remember the end of the meditation, which happens about 25% of the time.
The habit was to play the meditation app when I get into bed. But sometimes I would read for 15 minutes or so instead, then play the meditation. Once in a while, if I felt extra restless, I would just read more and then pretty soon I'd been in bed for two hours without falling asleep. No longer for the February challenge! I will play my guided meditation app just before bed to calm down, then go to bed with my phone out of reach. That will also get me out of the habit of hitting snooze.
The other challenge I considered is daily piano playing. While it is still important to me, I think it is more important in the short term to pass my SQL exam. So, February and March will be devoted to studying for 70-764 in the evenings. I will continue to play piano, but not make it a daily habit. I still have my other habits running - going to the gym after work if I have nothing going on, and playing piano for 15 - 20 minutes after dinner at home. I do expect to add to those two with not eating any foods with added sugar on weekdays.
I'm hoping for a healthier me as 2020 continues on! I still have plenty of bad habits to conquer. The biggest is procrastination - something I've struggled with forever. Heck, I'm struggling with it now. It's 2pm and I had planned to get a lot of things done already. At least this blog post is done for today.