March Challenges: Updates

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February 28: With the success of my February 10-Minute Daily Challenge, I decided to do it again in March. Actually, I decided to continue with my 10-minute daily meditations and to add another 10-minute daily challenge. And as I looked around to decide what to do, naturally, it had to be cleaning.

A clean house makes me more productive in everything else in my life. While certain things are daily non-negotiables (like making the bed first thing in the morning, doing the dishes throughout the day and regular bathroom cleanings), just about everything else is usually done over a full weekend-day (or two).

As a result, I sort of dread cleaning (which I don’t actually mind doing), because I feel like I have to have full day or weekend devoted to it, which mentally and physically exhausts me. Breaking the chores into 10-minute tasks, however, could be the answer. We’ll see!

March 31: Here’s how it went:

Day 1: Meditation was good, cleaning was good, too. Got a bunch of rooms vacuumed, as well as the living room furniture.

Day 2: Meditation was early, which means I was a little distracted. Cleaned the downstairs bathroom, vacuumed the hallway and bathroom upstairs.

Day 3: Medit, great. Cleaning, great. Got the upstairs bathroom done.

Day 4: Medit was transcendent, half the time. Thoughts of work, business floated through the rest of the time. Cleaning was great, in 10 minutes I got all the downstairs and stair hardwoods mopped.

Day 5: Medit was good, enjoying not using a mantra this month, just letting go. Cleaning meant straightening my office and I’m only about halfway through with immediate needs and, at some point, will get around to bigger projects in there, like skim-coating and painting. Can that be done in 10-minutes segments? We’ll see!

Day 6: Medit was good but I was a bit unfocused throughout. Worked on my office again for cleaning, happy with what I got done, and more to do.

Day 7: Dang, this day got away from me! Didn’t do anything: no meditation for the first time in five weeks, no exercise, no 10-minute cleaning. Just goes to prove that if I don’t put it in my datebook, I’ll still forget to do it (and, yes, I still keep a paper datebook).

Day 8: It wasn’t intentional, but I got my cleaning in as soon as I got up (the oven!), and got my meditation in right after walking Ella this morning.

Day 9: Feeling so, so lazy today. Tried to meditate tonight but the mind was racing about work-related stuff and it was the longest 10 minutes of my life. On the flip side, as soon as I was done with that, I reset the timer for 10 minutes and whipped around the house and cleaned both of the bathrooms. Stellar!

Day 10: Today’s cleaning was focused on decluttering–there were lots of things hiding in plain sight that needed to be put away. Great meditation after that, which was better than yesterday’s, happily.

Day 11: Forgot to set the timer for cleaning but pretty sure I was right around the 10-minute mark. Cleaned the stovetop, scrubbed the stainless sink to a shine, vacuumed upstairs, cleaned the bathroom floor. Medit was great, too.

Day 12: Tired today and time got away from me. Got about five minutes of random cleaning and straightening in and, just before bed, got in a 10-minute medit, calming.

Day 13: Medit was good. Cleaning was fine, too, just some general straightening.

Day 14: General straightening again today! Funny, if I don’t plan ahead with my cleaning, it gets relegated to straightening, vacuuming and bathrooms, all of which need to be done regularly anyway, but none of which breaks me out of my cleaning box. Lovely medit.

Day 15: Intentionally took today off from Barre3 (doing it 5-6 days a week) but that knocked me out of my near-habit and I didn’t get cleaning or meditation done, either. Rats.

Day 16: This day was quickly slipping away but I got a meditation in. Two days in a row without my 10-minute cleaning, but even though it’s off the 10-Minute Challenge track, I’ll make it up with 30 minutes tomorrow. The house needs it and so do I.

Day 17: Oops. Got 10-minute meditation in, no cleaning.

Day 18: Nothing today, stinko. Ugh, I cannot let this slide now, not when I’ve been making such great progress!!!

Day 19: Back in it.

Day 20: Nice meditation. I realized about halfway into this month that, while it was nice to take a break from a really focused mantra, sometimes I just do better with one. So, after futzing in my head for a while, I nailed the one I’ll use for a while (unless the mood strikes to use a different one, or none at all). This one makes me a little uncomfortable, which is why I think it’ll be good for me. Oh, did I forget to mention cleaning? A bit of straightening, nothing earth-shattering.

Day 21: Good meditation. And some car cleaning, too. Not a full 10 minutes, but okay nevertheless.

Day 22: Good meditation and, finally, good cleaning, too. Vacuumed upstairs, tidied a few rooms.

Day 23: Great all around, all in.

Day 24: Only halfsie for cleaning but good for meditation.

Day 25: Nothing today! Running around the countryside was it. But, in a way, that was meditative (at least, the six hours of driving was) and the walks around a property I saw were beyond lovely and gave me some much-needed foresty fresh air. All in all, all good.

Day 26: Great meditation, very focused on my new mantra, even though it’s still sort of a weird one for me. Cleaning…not.

Day 27: Great meditation. Some straightening, but I really need to recommit to this cleaning in April.

Day 28: Meditation was a prayer for a friend. No cleaning.

Day 29: With Passover tomorrow, I’ll get a couple of hours of cleaning in, so today’s cleaning was straightening, putting stuff away so that I can get a good scrubbing in (truth be told, in the current cleaning mode, just being more mindful of it has made the house tidier even when I don’t always get my 10 minutes in). Good with medit.

Day 30: As planned, no Barre3 today, ran around like mad and cleaned a ton instead. But, also, this also led to missing meditation, too. Great time with family and friends at our Passover Seder.

Day 31: Spent several hours in the gardens today, just cleaning up post-winter, and I love the smell of the earth so, so much. Made great progress, have some ideas for changes and additions to the gardens and the energy to do them, too. And, I got meditation in, too!

Lessons learned: I still need to remind myself to get these things in, which means putting them in my datebook. But, overall the house is much cleaner and I’m much calmer for it. And meditations are great, too, still helping, though today (March 31), I decided that the one that feels weird will become part of a walking meditation for 10 minutes when I’m out with Ella (which I am, for at least 30 minutes, and sometimes well over an hour, twice a day). I’ll use my seated 10-minute medits for something else.

So, yes, these 10-Minute Challenges are great overall, I highly recommend trying them, and I’m sticking with both of these for April.

Thanks for sticking around!

{Photo by Pixabay, used courtesy of, thank you!}