The moon is watching over me.

image credit: Miljoshi and Fresheneesz

The moon was new on Friday night. Right now, it is a waxing crescent. I care about this because I’ve been using the lunar phases as my new measurement of time. When the moon was last new, I committed to two daily tasks: meditating (for at least 10 minutes) and  using two online trackers, (one to monitor my mood fluctuations and one to keep account of my routine chores.)

I’m a veteran of dozens of organizational systems, from Getting Things Done to I keep lists for everything, including my 101 things in 1001 days list. (Which is now about 6% complete.) It feels like my entire adult life has been about learning to manage my time and energy … which is not unusual for a bipolar. My biggest obstacle to effective self-management has always been my resistance to routine and repetition. This is a problem for a mother, a home school facilitator and a writer.

Common wisdom dictates that it take 21 days to establish a new habit. Or six months. Or a year and a day. Depending on what self-improvement guru you subscribe to. Obviously, there is no magic number. The key, I believe is to choose a time frame that makes sense to you.

I use Google calendar religiously. I track many of my practical goals in terms of months, weeks days and hours. Some personal tasks though – like meditation and mood management – don’t seem to want to fit inside those neat, even boxes you can find in a daily planner.

So. For the entire last cycle of the moon – from new through full and around to new again – I managed to persuade myself to honor my commitment to my two goals – even when I was dead tired. It helped that I could step outside, breathe, and look up into the sky – where Luna was showing me how far I’d already come.

In the current cycle, I will add daily yoga or walking into my day. I’ll let you know how it went, when the moon goes dark again.