I’ve been blogging for a couple of months about my desire to live small, but well. To dig deep instead of staying on the surface. I have chosen areas of focus: more language, more favorites, more simple, and more wellness.
One thing I was very cautious about was quantifying all this. I have purposefully not numbered my books read this year. I am just re-reading my favorites. I don’t have a set amount of time I sit down to focus on my German lessons. I just sit down with a grammar chapter, a duolingo lesson, and then I read a chapter from my reader. I am not counting my possessions. However, I am really thinking about what I own and why I own it. My list of essentials is just that . . . MY list of essentials. As an exercise it has been liberating to learn why I love what I love. I am not weighing myself and tying my self-worth on that number. I am following the “program” as I learn how to fuel my body and move my body.
But it turns out . . it is a thing. I was just poking around the internet this morning as I sat down to do some thinking about one of my #100 Essentials, why it is an essential for me, and more about the company who makes my essential. I stumbled into a rabbit hole and am emerging 2 hours later energized. It was interesting to read how others are going about this deep year, why they chose to do one, and how they measure success.
I think I’ll continue do it my way. Without charts, graphs, without measuring . . . just learning to trust myself and really lean into the areas I choose to focus on. I know all the areas are doing good things in my life.
For instance, my German is really improving. I have finished 13 beginners and intermediate readers. I started reading Harry Potter #1 in German (and listening to each chapter as I complete it). I am enjoying the distance from social media too. I still get on each day, but it isn’t the first thing I grab when I sit down.
This same focus is bleeding over into my devotion time, reading time, and the time I spend researching for various things that interest me. I used to get pulled along diversions on-line. Now I have a purpose, a focus, and I stick with that. I am enjoying shorter bursts of reading time but coming away from the book with more understanding and in some cases just more enjoyment of the story.
I’m staying off the scale, but I know that my clothes feel looser in certain areas (hello abdomen and triceps). I know I am getting stronger because I can complete my sets with a heavier weight than when I started. I know my endurance is getting better too because I can get more motion/steps in during my HIIT workouts.
And the simple part of my depth year continues to be a source of joy and thoughtfulness. I have found that with this fitness program I am going to have to buy a few things, and at first that made me grumbly. But, if it contributes to strength and endurance and I am really going to use it, then I plan to go ahead. Examples include: heavier dumbbells.
Other blog posts about going deep:
Go Deeper, Not Wider on the blog Raptitude by David Cain had an essay about this earlier in the year. He seems to have inspired quite a few people to give this a try.
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits is working on it too.