For my self intervention I changed my sleep schedule. For the past couple quarters I have been going to bed later and latter. Before this intervention it was hard for me to fall asleep before 3am. As a result, I would sleep in really late on the weekends and days that I didn’t have morning classes which would perpetuate the cycle of not being tired at a normal time. On days that I had morning classes I would be tired, irritable, and not thinking as fast as usual. In order to fix this problem I stopped using my phone, computer, and anything else with a screen after 10pm and was in bed by 12. At first it was hard to stick to this schedule, but I persevered and after following these rules for a week my sleep schedule has returned to normal. As a result I am much more alert and have more energy.
Last year, during winter break, I found myself being easily distracted with social media quite often. I found that this led to a loss of productivity while I worked on homework, it offered a distraction while studying, took away from my meal times, and made me somewhat of a homebody. I decided that I didn’t want to continue acting in this manner. Therefore, I decided to turn off all my notifications for snapchat, instagram, and Facebook; and I would only see what notifications I had when I entered the app. While this did help in not distracting me while I was in class or doing homework, I found that I still used social media to procrastinate and would scroll through timelines over and over again. Around 3 weeks ago, I told Jeremiah I was deleting all of the social media apps off my phone and vowed to try and give it up for awhile. I do confess that this has not been easy. Snapchat has been the only app I have not used, since you can’t log on through the internet itself. Still, this is a work in progress… I will continue to try and minimize the amount of time I use for social media, and hope to use it only twice a day at most just to check up in the morning and at night.
My intervention for the week is to cook/eat 75% of the food I consume this week. I live a busy life and I find it difficult to find time to cook food frequently. This is difficult because I tend to spend a lot of money on food rather than having enough money for rent and utility money. I’m going to make a conscious effort to actually follow this intervention in order to actually follow this intervention in order to eat food that is healthier for me and save myself money in the long run. I will start this intervention Tuesday 11/7.
Post-Intervention: After this week of attempting to eat 75% of meals in I would say that I was much more successful that I expected to be. I did eat at least 75% of my meals at home and I calculated that I saved at least $150 during the week. I want to try and keep this up for the rest of college and going into my post graduation life.
For my final self-intervention, I thought about what I have always wanted to be, to embody. I have always admired people who are comfortable in any social situation and can make friends with anyone from complete strangers on the street to classmates. I decided that whenever I was in line for something, the water fountain, at Julian’s, at the post office or anywhere else I would make conversation with someone next to me in line. I challenged myself to do this for 7 days. My first attempt was pretty awkward, I was in line for a water fountain in the library and tried to complement their backpack. They didn’t realize I was talking to them until they were already walking away and looked back at me with confusion. I started realizing that I would have the most success off campus; I waited in line at a coffee shop called Linnaea’s and asked a woman behind me what book she was reading. We ended up sitting near each other and realized we both had family in the same small town on the east coast. Sometimes the conversations were short and it only consisted of me commenting on the weather and someone nodding and sometimes it became a 5-minute conversation. It also made me realize how much I wait in lines and how I usually just am on my phone checking texts and Instagram. It was definitely exhausting at times, sometimes I just didn’t feel like starting a conversation or I just wanted to move quickly and be on my way. However, there were many positive effects and I will continue this exercise but not as strictly- maybe once a day I will make conversation with a stranger in line and see what happens.
My self intervention began on November 1st and ended today, though I want to continue the habits formed for as long as I possibly can because the results have been really favorable. I chose to explore the concept of ‘flow’ too; when I was younger and with less responsibility I spent hours drawing and painting. And when I wasn’t drawing or painting, I was thinking about it. It was a way of processing emotions, events, relationships, and as I got older and had to commit more of my time to things like work and school, I eventually abandoned any sort of drawing routine that may have been left. I’ve learned that drawing and running are the two things that help me clear my head the most, and while I still regularly run, I wanted to attempt to reestablish a legitimate chunk of time for art to see if it would have a big effect on me. The first few days were a little difficult because I hadn’t sat down to really work on something big in a long time. Another issue I have when it comes to art is that I am very critical of myself and want to quit as soon as what I’m making doesn’t ‘look good’. It often feels like me and the drawing are in a fight and I feel more exhausted than energized. But as the days went on, I began to ponder what my motivations are and have been behind drawing and painting, and I realized that that critical side of me is coming from a place that only cares about making things that will impress other people, and it has nothing to do with what I thought art does for me. After having this thought, I consciously constructed a mindset that whatever I draw, nobody will see and that allowed me to feel a sort of relief and freedom, and all thoughts kind of just faded away and I was able to focus on what I was doing. During the two days I lost track of time completely and worked for almost 5 hours when my plan was to work for 3. I’m really grateful for having done this and for having the assignment to actually motivate me and incentivize me to do this because I really needed it.
For my self intervention, I decided to focus in on permanently adapting my on-again, off-again vegan diet. My inability to fully commit to veganism is a large source of stress and frustration in my life. I am well educated on all things nutrition and diet, partially from school but mostly from my own passion to know more, and I know this is the right decision. For me, this is more than just a diet, it’s a lifestyle and it falls in line with everything I believe in. These beliefs include but are not limited to: The fair treatment of animals, support for local and small scale farms, low cholesterol food choices (heart disease runs in my family) and the notion that every living thing feels and thinks like us and has the right to not be born only to be slaughtered. I have worked towards becoming vegan for the past 5 months, initially skipping the vegetarian stage and going cold turkey on any and all animal byproducts. This proved to be extremely difficult; I needed to invest time to learn recipes, develop new shopping habits and ultimately understand everything veganism entails. This diet/lifestyle is something I aggressively preached to my friends about and now, because I’ve struggled to stay consistent, I feel terrible for being a hypocrite. The source of my dietary screw-ups includes mostly nights out where i’ll have a few beers and convince myself an exception is alright. Aside from that, cost and availability are factors that will occasionally cause a lapse in dedication. I intend to start small and 100% commit to a week straight of an exclusively vegan diet. I will also start a food journal to keep a record of everything I eat and I will also comment on each meal to hopefully discover eating methods that are cheap, filling and easy to make. Long term, I’d like to at least finish this school year completely devoted to this diet/lifestyle.
My self intervention for the week was to cook all of my meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When I get stressed out I tend to eat out a lot. Because I am on a budget, I end up eating fast food for 4-5 meals each week. I also tend to buy a lot of frozen dinners when I go grocery shopping so I wanted to shy away from those as well. I researched some healthy meals online and found a ton of simple recipes that didn’t take too long to prepare. I went to Ralphs and Costco and loaded up on chicken, rice, soups, vegetables, eggs, bacon, cheese, and milk. I started on Tuesday night by making the chicken and rice I had bought and made a nice meal for myself. I had some mishaps, especially in the first few days, and burned a lot of things I cooked on my first try. However, after a few attempts I started to get the hang of things. Most of the recipes I looked up took an average of about 30 mins to finish but it usually took me an hour to get everything prepared. I think the hardest part was just staying consistent. I would wake up in the morning extra early to prepare breakfast and some days it would be tough to get out of bed and get going. On Saturday, after a night of drinking, I didn’t prepare any of my meals and ate out for both lunch and dinner. I noticed that I felt worse on Sunday after eating cheap food, and that feeling motivated me to get back into the rhythm of cooking. I think I want to keep up this intervention and learn some more recipes. I didn’t always enjoy cooking but it did give me a feeling of accomplishment after everything was done. My mood was also a lot more stable when I was eating good, clean food. My parents have been telling me I need to become more self reliant, so I think this intervention is a good place to start. I will keep plugging away.
My self intervention began on November 1st and will continue for the rest of the month: to energize my body and mind by exercising more and drinking less alcohol. I was inspired to do this from a few friends who stopped drinking for the month of October. For exercise I planned to bike everywhere I needed to go and planned two longer bike rides during the week. During October I found myself casually drinking beer at the end of every day to the point where it was becoming habitual and my pants were getting tighter. I felt like limiting consumption of beer and exercising more would help give me more energy and motivation to do the things I need to do. Today marks two weeks since the intervention began. There were a couple times I drank but made an exception for my roommates birthday and a friends birthday. It wasn’t exceptionally difficult at first, but got more difficult being around my boyfriend and roommates while they were drinking. I biked everywhere possible except work across town and to Arroyo Grande for gleaning raspberries. In order to make these longer bike rides, I should have planned to bike by walking up earlier. Overall my experience has been successful! I feel more in control of my drinking habits and like my mood has improved. Just the two weeks of biking more has made me feel stronger and more motivated to do longer bike rides. I plan on continuing my intervention at least till the end of the month but hopefully for the rest of my life.
Saba Belay Kassa
I have a tendency to snooze my alarm clock, not once or twice, but ten times in a row – so much so that I end up being late and missing out on breakfast, and my ‘morning’ routine. This lack of discipline has really interfered with my day to day life and mood. I wake up already disappointed, and stressed out – I have noticed that I am less inclined to make good decisions, and take actions that are in my favor when I snooze my alarm clocks, often ending my days completing the bare minimum of what I intend on doing, and frankly I am tired of not adhering to my schedule especially because I feel it bleeds into other aspects of my life. If I can’t even wake up when I plan on doing so, how am I going to be able to start a business? Or fulfill other dreams that I have.
Therefore for my last self-intervention, I’ll wake up at 7.30 am everyday for a week starting Tuesday November 14th. I plan on accomplishing this and sustaining this habit by going to bed every night at 11 pm.
Wish me luck!
Tuesday, November 14th – Woke up at 7.15 AM
Wednesday, November 15th – 7.45 AM (snoozed my alarm twice) missed the mark by 15 minutes but woke up a bit earlier than expected Tuesday so it’s fine right? lol
Thursday, November 16th – I woke up at 7.30 AM.
Friday, November 17th – Woke up at 8.00 – woke up a bit late. This time it was on purpose, however, I have been in a bit of a bad mood so thought it would be good to sleep in a bit. I have noticed that
Saturday November 18th – Woke up at 7.30 AM, WOOH! the extra night of sleep really helped with waking up early.
Sunday, November 19th – Woke up at 11 AM (but in my defense I went to bed at like 4 AM) ahh I know, I am really struggling to be consistent in my bed time and going to bed time. I am curious how people are able to balance weekends, and going out with consistent morning schedules. Any suggestions?
Monday, November 20th- Thanksgiving break…woke up at 8 AM – not quite 7.30 AM but I deserve a break right?
Tuesday, November 21st – Last day! I managed to wake up at 7.30 AM
Overall, the challenge didn’t go as well as I intended. As you can see from my above log, I was unable to wake up at 7.30 AM for 3 out of the 7 days…
For my final self-intervention, I will practice yoga for 30 minutes every morning before starting my day. I have had the intention to do this since the beginning of the quarter, yet I never have actually made the time. I always manage to prioritize other things such as sleep, food preparation for the day, or last minute morning studying. In order to make sure that I have the time and energy to practice yoga in the mornings, I will need to do three things. First, I will need to go to sleep at a reasonable time to wake up early enough. Secondly, I will need to prepare food at night for the next days lunch, such as making extra food for dinner to have leftovers the following afternoon. Lastly, I will need to complete my school work on time or early to avoid the early morning cramming! To measure this intervention I will use the time that I practice as well as the energy that I feel at the end of the day. This intervention will rearrange my priorities and make myself place yoga, a practice that helps me reduce stress, at the top of my list.
For the past week, I have practiced yoga in the mornings before my day, and I have every intention to continue to do so! The first morning was difficult as I had work at 7am. I will admit that my practice only lasted 20 minutes, but even that smaller amount of time had a significant impact on my day! I was able to pay attention better in my classes and was more calm throughout the day. The second and third mornings were also difficult to get up early and convince myself to do yoga, but after this it became a routine in the morning that I enjoyed. The time outside with the morning sun and my thoughts really allowed myself to plan out the obstacles of the day to come and provided my mind time to organize itself before jumping into a lecture hall. My schoolwork was all done earlier than normal to allow time for my practice, and I believe this was also had a large impact on my decreased stress levels. Overall, this self intervention demonstrated to myself that prioritizing time for one’s body and mind to de-stress has many benefits and I look forward to continuing to provide myself this time!
This past weekend I finally watched the movie Cowspiracy which I have been meaning to do for a while. I was very surprised to learn just how prominent the agricultural industry is on our planet and how insanely unsustainable it is. I think of myself as someone who cares about sustainability and I was very surprised that my awareness was this low. I began thinking about how unconscientious our society is about the affects of meat on our planet. When we think of little things we can be conscious of, we think of maybe biking to work or remembering to turn off the lights in rooms we are not in. There are many little decisions we can make to help the environment. And even if people choose to drive places they could have walked, or throw some plastic in trash instead of recycling, I believe people are at least aware when they make the decision. When it comes to meat or animal products, it seems that many people think you need to either be vegetarian, vegan, or never think about the issue at all. I wish that people would not be intimidated by having to give up things they like all together, and still do what they can to eat other foods. For my self intervention I will not purchase any animal products for the rest of the quarter. If food is offered to me I won’t turn it down, but when cooking my own meals and using alternative ingredients is a simple thing to do I will make a conscious decision to avoid meat and animal products.
I have a history of changing my diet on a whim. Two years ago I decided to go vegetarian and simply started that day cold turkey, no pun intended. Since then I’ve only had fish a couple of times but no other meat besides that. It’s a change that is completely part of my life now and something so casual for me that I never think about having to buy only vegetarian things or cooking with more kale, etc. Something that I have thought about before is the idea of fasting. If you google the topic then you might find various articles of somewhat questionable source praising the practice for health benefits. This is intriguing but what I find most compelling about fasting is how it is a cultural institution for so many different religions/peoples, particularly those in the non-west. For example the Islamic month of Ramadan is one of their most important religious events and during which Muslim practitioners may fast for a whole 24 hours. The presence of fasting also exists in Hinduism and Judaism among others. I plan to spend 24 hours on Sunday fasting, with the exception of drinking water. Update: I made it to 22 hours. It was an interesting day as most of my necessity to eat was psychological. There were alternating stretches of exhaustion and euphoria. I feel that it is best to prepare before doing this somewhat just to make sure that all nutritional needs are met and that the coming day is less of a struggle. About the actual experience, when fasting over the course of a day you don’t notice it but your body becomes extremely empty. When you finally eat there’s a weird sense that what you’ve just eaten is the absolute only thing in you. This may seem obvious but it’s an odd feeling having this new weight in your stomach. This has changed the way that I feel about hunger and eating in general, possibly making me more appreciative of what I have. I plan to do this again and am determined to make it to the 24 hour mark.
For my last self intervention, I have decided to give up my car. The motivation for this decision actually came as a result from frustration in my current living situation. Right now, there are 7 of us living together, and all 7 of us have cars. Considering that we also live extremely close to campus (near the Front Porch Coffee Shop) this excessive amount of cars feels a little ridiculous to me. None of us need a car to drive to school, we are close enough to bike downtown where several of us work, and carpooling to the grocery store would not be a hard thing to coordinate. I feel as though having my family’s car with me at college is a privilege that I am not utilizing to its full potential, not only because of the little amount that I need to use it, but also because of our limited parking spots that force us to constantly shuffle cars around, creating a huge and unnecessary hassle. If my self intervention goes well this week, then I plan on leaving my family’s car with my parents when I go home for thanksgiving. Thus, instead of driving myself this week, I will bike whenever possible, or get a ride from a friend when going somewhere where a large amount of things need to be carried.
Intervention Completion: November 13th
Tuesday: 6.8 miles to and from where I volunteer with hospice
Wednesday: 4.8 miles to and from Pete’s house
Friday: 0.7 miles to my friends house for breakfast, 4.8 miles to and from downtown, 2.6 miles to a friends birthday, 0.8 miles to another friends house, 2.7 miles home.
Total 23.2 miles.
Getting a ride from a friend log”
Monday: 2.2 miles to and from a friends giving potluck for an CLA ambassador club
Tuesday: 3.2 miles to and from downtown for a club meeting (I had to carry a large poster and thus could not ride my bike)
Thursday: 2.8 miles to and from a large group sorority event
Friday: 0.4 miles home when it was too late to walk
Saturday: 9.2 miles to and from the grocery store with my roommate
Sunday: 29.2 miles to and from church in morro bay.
Total 47 miles.
I think it is funny, because while I was doing this self intervention, I really felt like I was making a sacrifice to ride my bike at inconvenient times, but now looking at this list I feel a little pathetic. I ended up getting a ride places twice as much as I biked. On one occasion, I actually refused a ride from a friend to our other friends birthday because I wanted to keep up with my intervention and bike there, and I actually ended up mapping myself to the wrong place! When I was lost with a rapidly dying phone in a dark neighborhood, and just a little light on my bike…that was the moment that I realized how grateful I am to have the safety of a car for transportation. In these last few weeks of school, I have decided to commit to biking to hospice volunteering that I do every Tuesday and Thursday morning. That will save 13.6 miles of driving every single week!
Through this intervention, I also realized how quick it is to get to many of my friends houses around slo, as well as downtown, and I hope to think twice before always hoping in my car to get somewhere nearby.
Since moving to San Luis, I’ve had the choice of taking public transportation, riding my bike, or making it as easy as driving my car. I usually don’t prefer public transportation because of how inefficient it tends to be on time and quite frankly, I don’t particularly enjoy the odd smells and I also have had a history of motion sickness. Besides that, I also have access to a car and I spend money on gas once every week even though I am biking at least 3 times a week to school, with having class 5 days a week, which is no different than when I had to commute from AG to SLO a year and half ago. Out of my three choices of transportation, I would prefer biking the most. However, when it rains I don’t want to bike and there are times when I have to commute back to AG, leaving me no choice but to drive, and honestly, there are times where I am just plain lazy.
So for my intervention:
1) I will make a conscious effort to bike any where that is within biking distance. The places where I bike to will be notated as way to create a potential trend between where I start and end and the radius I bike from my apartment, including the “breaks” I take.
2) To extend my once a week period of getting gas somewhere close to two weeks. I will keep record of when I get gas.
3) Be aware of the importance that the place I am driving to holds. In other words, differentiate from where it is necessary to drive to and where it is less important to drive to.
I biked for two weeks and occasionally used my car to travel back to AG or do quick grocery runs. In the two weeks of barely using my car, I was able to sustain my tank of gas for almost two weeks. Instead of paying $40.00 two weeks in a row, I saved $40.00 by only having to fill up once within two weeks. On my Runkeeper, I was able to track an approximate amount of miles and the distance I was able to go from my apartment. My typical trips from my apartment were mainly to go either to school or downtown. The round trip distance from my apartment to school is 8 miles and during days where I biked downtown during long gaps, I would bike close to 15 miles or more in a day. I am not sure if there is a trend between the amount of breaks I take to the distance I go. I think that it may be proportional. Taking “breaks” or usually stopping at my destination for long periods of time allow me to go further or ride more miles or the same amount. I also made a conscious effort to not drive anywhere when I was feeling lazy or if it wasn’t a necessary place I had to be at. From that, I realize that I aimlessly drive because I find it therapeutic to go on drives when there’s not much traffic. Since that was limited, I revised and thought of other ways to have therapeutic alone moments and biking in itself was therapeutic. I realize that having access to a car makes is psychologically challenging to not give in to unneeded desires but at the end of the day it was redeeming to know that I didn’t waste any gas and I was also being environmentally friendly along with executing some degree of self control. Having a car is a convenient but biking has many benefits that driving doesn’t have. I will definitely be biking more often than I already do.
For my final self- intervention I will be going the entire month of December without having a sip of alcohol. Since I’ve came to college I’ve noticed a spike in my drinking habits that has never quite gone back to normal. This is also something very near to my heart since many of my extended family members suffer from alcoholism. I have always wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t like them and this is the perfect opportunity to do it. I’ll update this wiki in the new year after being sober for 1 month. I am excited to begin this intervention and cannot wait to see how it affects my social life, academics, and family life. I expect to face a lot of struggle in this especially as I get to see all my old high school friends over winter break. This will not be easy but it is also something that is very important for me to do for my own mental fortitude and self confidence. In order to make this change in my life I will need to develop ways to say no to peer pressure and find creative new ways for me and my friends to have fun. I look forward to the challenge and expect to grow a lot from this.
For my final self-intervention, I have decided to limit my usage of my phone. More specifically, starting the morning of Monday, November 6th, I will go a week without browsing Reddit. I have recognized that the internet (this website in particular) eats up a large amount of my free time. Though it is not an inherently detrimental website, it provides instant and endless distractions tailored to my specific interests. It is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I do before bed, and I use it to entertain and distract myself from responsibilities or even reality, and it has become a non-insignificant problem in my daily life. I have many interests and goals that I feel are more important than the time I spend on Reddit, yet I always seem to prioritize immersing myself in distractions and neglecting academic responsibilities and personal endeavors. I am doing this intervention in hopes that I will learn to have more self-control with this particular vice in order to spend more time on the things I feel truly matter.
After two days in, I have realized that my habitual Redditing is somewhat subconscious in nature. I don’t feel an active urge to Reddit, rather a subconscious compulsion, and on several occasions I have found myself opening the webpage without even thinking and hastily closing it again. I realize that instead, I am spending time on similar forms of entertainment, such as social media and Netflix, while I had originally hoped that I would use the extra time to read, sleep, garden, clean, etc. For the rest of the week, I plan to restrict my electronic usage even further, using my electronics for communication and academic purposes only, maybe even turning off my phone at times, and only watching TV with other people.
After completing this intervention and reflecting on my experience, I have learned several things. Firstly, I realized that it’s not just Reddit that wastes my time, and that I seek out distractions through any means necessary. I did, however, find that I used my phone less and was more motivated to be productive. I had less “couch inertia”. Additionally, I have noticed that after my intervention I am spending less time on Reddit, and I seemed to have lessened the compulsion to use it whenever I have down time. Overall, I’m glad that I chose this to be my self-intervention, and I plan on partaking in similar restrictions in the future, hopefully broadening my exclusions to other distractions and even to my phone in general.
When thinking about things I can actively set out to do to improve myself, several interventions came to mind. But with my younger sister coming to town this weekend, I recalled a conversation we had before she left for college a couple of months ago. I have always been someone who wears my emotions on my face at all times and there is no hiding my reaction to things from other people. But because of this, it has caused my sister to feel like I’m being judgemental or imposing my opinions too harshly on her. This weekend I will set out to practice the art of active listening. Active listening requires one to fully listen and understand before providing feedback, so that the speaker feels like they have your full, unwavering attention. When talking to my sister this weekend, I will 1) try my best to give her my undivided attention when she is speaking, 2) control my facial expressions, and 3) bite my tongue and keep my opinion to myself at times when it is not wanted. In doing this, I’m hoping to make my sister feel a lot more comfortable when she shares her stories with me. Additionally, I want to correct my bad habits so she doesn’t feel judged.
For my final self-intervention I wanted to take up a challenge that I would personally benefit from. I wanted to do something that I tell myself I should do, and use this assignment as a means for actually testing it in my own life. I have heard from many successful people about the benefits of meditation. It is claimed to reduce stress, improve mental focus, and promote physical relaxation. With school, rugby, and work I find myself very busy, however I do have a decent amount of free time in the day, and I usually spend it watching T.V. or on my phone. Instead, for this week I will dedicate 30 minutes of my free time each day to meditating and light stretching. I’m hoping this time will free my mind from all the little things in the day, and the stretching will help with pain relief from my physical activities.
A week later and I have definitely realized a difference after my final intervention. It was actually very relaxing to take some time out of the day to stretch and meditate. Usually when I’m exhausted after class, work, or the gym I sit on my phone or watch TV, but I found meditation to be much more effective. The hardest part was motivating myself to actually take 30 minutes out of my day to do it. I would get distracted or put it off, and a couple days I never even got around to doing it. However, this last week did show me the immediate benefits of meditation and stretching, and I hope to do it more in my future and make it a part of my daily routine.I think if everyone took some time out of there day to meditate, people would generally be more relaxed and happy.
11-06: I am habitually focused on the end goal, and the step-by-step procedure to reach “success”, or at least the necessary ingredients to reach the goal. I’m a mathematical mind with a logical way of analyzing problems, and an emotional attachment to what is true, false, possible, and not possible. This thinking in absolutes typically gets me into some stressful situations regarding my grades, and my greater picture and plan with my life. So, I’ve realized that I need to be more present and more focused on what is in front of me. I need to be where my feet are more. I need to set my mind in my studies here at Cal Poly, and work towards getting my degree rather than doubting the necessity of my degree in the path that ends in me being in a classroom as a math teacher.
Sooo…I am going to try and count how many times I catch myself planning or thinking about the details of my life after Cal Poly in order to see exactly how much of my mental capacity is being spent on overthinking the future when I should be studying linear algebra, reading articles for this class, working on my project, being a better ASI rep for the College of Science and Math, calling my girlfriend, and exercising. I believe getting a count will help me more seriously address my need to be present, and from this week’s observations, maybe I can move forward with becoming more present with a bit more dedication and focus.
11-07: Amendment –
I can do more than the above. There are several things mentioned below that I will explore in attempt to change my habits and shape my commitments to becoming a better human than I am today
1. I want to journal every day as an introspective and creative habit, so I will make attempt to make an entry every morning and night.
2. I want to be more flexible and in shape, so I will also stretch for at least 5 minutes every morning, and do some light calisthenics to wake up.
3. I want to eat less meat, so I for every meal I eat that has meat, I will add a journal entry trying to explain why I chose to do so, thereby actually counting my meals that include meat whatsoever.
4. I want to be more present and mindful, so I will scrap the counting the times I’m thinking about the future too much idea mentioned above, and spend that time meditating for 5-10 minutes in the morning.
1. The journal writing was awesome. I felt much more present and focused on the coming day, the challenges ahead, and how I was going to make the most of the day. Over the week, I saw that my stresses about what was coming up in the future take the spotlight, and my writing quality and length deteriorated. I guess that’s a reflection of my own time management…but I seemed to be more focused this week? Maybe that’s a placebo effect…maybe not. I wrote a total of like 4871 words, but only 792 were written in the second half of the week. (I started the day after my stressful linear algebra quiz)
2. The stretching was also very beneficial. I feel good about being able to wake up and do 40 push ups or whatever and be in a little bit better shape. The stretching definitely helps me feel awake, energized, and ready for the day. I feel like, if I continue this, I will inherently spend less time half awake on my phone, less time feeling tired, and less time in the morning being alive than half asleep. I think 5 minutes of stretching each morning equated to like 115 minutes of more productive morning time.
3. My self-constructed incentive of having to write an explanation of why I eat meat definitely worked. I found it more convenient to choose something plant based to eat than to sit down and come up with a legitimate reason or justification as to why I ate the meat. I ate meat 5 times all week! Not bad compared to my previous habits.
4. I only got to meditate twice, but I think I’ll need some more compelling reason to sit and meditate to work it into my personal habits…it would certainly supplement my journal writing. I’ve had meditative habits before, but their difficult to maintain, and it’s frustrating sometimes when you can’t put your mind at rest.
For my self intervention, I am looking to consume my food in a way that is conductive to the wellbeing environment and fellow citizens. In other words, I would like to become a more ethical consumer. I have already somewhat began this, as for the last 5 years of my life I have almost eliminated red meat and dairy products from my diet. There are times that I slip up, as being in college has made this difficult, but those times are rare. This class however, has made me want to take it a step further. Today Pete reminded us that something as healthy and seemingly innocuous as a banana can have significant consequences as to how ethically conscious our consumption can be, due to the manner in which many are harvested. To achieve this, I can elect to shop at stores that are fair trade certified or even also simply grow my own food, as I begin to live in a more spacious living situation. Other seemingly healthy things also carry a large burden are fish and other seafood. Seafood has long been something I have relied on to help me sustain myself. I feel as though this may be somewhat difficult, but a gradual cut back can definitely work. I was able to largely live without when I lived in the dorms. However, much has been written on the environmental impact that overfishing has on our oceans. Some metrics predict the ocean to be devoid of life in as little as 30 years due to our habits as humans. These two examples are just a few of the many that have motivated me to propose me being a much more conscious and ethical consumer of food when it comes to my self intervention.
11/13 completion: For this past week and a half, I have pushed myself to consume as ethically as possible. As one could expect, this was very difficult in the beginning. However, as I was able to find a groove and fit it into my daily schedule the completion of my self intervention became much less daunting. The first thing I noticed was the fact that such a simple human need had become so much more difficult and required a much larger amount of thought! I realized that when I was particularly hungry or in need of a quick a tiding over, I sometimes turned to foods that, although animal free, were actually not sustainable. This was either due to maybe excess packaging or other processed ingredients. The main idea that I gained through this intervention is that we as a society have a lot of work to do if we wish to truly consume in an environmentally and ethically conscious manner. The fact that it was more difficult to find foods that fit the bill of being able to be ethically consumed than not says something about the society in which we live. Although I would really wish to permanently follow through with this intervention and live that lifestyle all of the time, I feel as though it is simply too difficult for a college student with limited time and resources! Besides this reality, I could easily see myself doing this once I live in a house or other living space that allows for effective growing of fruits and vegetables. However, I am still going to continue on without eating methane producing red meat and dairy products and eat less fish. In doing this, I feel as though I am doing my part to help my body and more importantly, our world no matter how small a contribution it may be.
For my self intervention, I would like to give up social media for a week. I want to do this because I feel that social media is something that many young people are obsessed with and does not necessarily contribute to my quality of life. I believe that the time that I usually spend on social media could be better used to hang out with people in real life or being more productive. For my Quantitative Interruption, I will keep a journal of how I feel each day during this experiment and I will count how many times I go searching for my social media apps on my phone. I would also like to see if not using social media will help to cut down on my phone’s energy usage, so I will record my battery percentage at the end of each day.
This past week for my intervention, I decided to give up social media (snapchat, instagram and facebook) and took note of how it affected my social life, study habits and battery life. I must say that the first couple of days were the hardest. I realized that I often turned to social media as a form of distraction. If I became bored with my homework, I would turn to my phone. I also noticed that I would turn to my phone to pass the time if I was waiting for an appointment, or for my next class to begin. Not using my phone for this past week, however, allowed me to open my eyes and observe what was going on around while I waited. I did a lot of people watching or just looking around in general, which allowed me to feel more present in my everyday life.
As far as the social aspect goes, I actually felt less connected socially which I found interesting. One reason for this I think is due to the fact that snapchat allows me to interact with friends and family who aren’t close enough to speak to in person. It also allows for more casual conversations to occur rather than texting and I definitely missed seeing the faces of my loved ones each day. A second reason why I felt more disconnected socially was due to the fact that many around me would still use their social media while waiting or to relax; so to try to talk to them during that time was difficult to do.
The final criteria that I wanted to measure this week was my phone’s battery life. Although I forgot to write down what percentage I was at at the end of each day, I did find that my phone would last throughout the entire day without needing to be re-charged. At the end of each day, my battery life would be between 70 and 80 percent, which means I didn’t really even need to charge it at all.
Overall, I think this was an interesting intervention to do. It definitely made me more aware of what was going around me, but I miss some of the communication factors that my phone provides. So far, I have re-downloaded the snapchat app, but am unsure if I will download the others as well.
This intervention I will turn off my phone November 10th through November 12th. This weekend is my grandparents 55th anniversary and most of my large family is gathering for the weekend to celebrate. This could not be a more perfect time to test this self intervention. Most of us already know we are all addicted to our smartphones and that taking a break from technology is good for you. The average person checks their smartphone approximately 150 times in 16 hours. A three-day digital detox will help me realize just how important it is to unplug and give my full undivided attention to my love ones, live and be in the moment.
Nov. 13 Completion:
Not touching my iPhone for three days was so relieving. Luckily the three days flew by because I was busy enjoying time with my family. I surprisingly slept better, I was more aware of my surroundings, in the moment and less distracted. I listened to others more and time slowed down. When I craved to check my notifications and emails, I would stop, be aware of my thoughts and try to put my focus of something else. When I was by myself instead of checking my phone, I would people watch more often, read, walk outside, pet my dogs or simply sit on the front porch with warm tea while I watched the cars go by and the leaves blow in the wind. I am definitely always putting my phone on silent whenever I am spending time with loved ones, in class or with friends. A happiness tip I would recommend to everyone is to stop checking our phones. I learned addiction can only be understood when the object is taken away and you only truly understand when you step out of that world.
From the first two interventions, I learned about disparities in communication, as well as the amount of trash one can accumulate in a small period of time. Both of these were learning experiences that made me want to alter my lifestyle, so for my third intervention, I’m going far out of my comfort zone in an attempt to go all caffine/alcohol-free for a single week. Being a busy college student I’ve developed habits that have become a part of my everyday routines since I began college; and though I moderate my use of all of them, there’s an argument that it’s more healthy to go without any of these things. I have a feeling this will be the most difficult intervention, and in order to make this change, I’m going to need the support of my roommates along with my social friend groups. I hope to see more qualitative changes in mood and energy as a result of this intervention.
I will begin this intervention on November 6th, 2017.
…..November 13th – While the intervention wasn’t quite the booming success I had hoped for, I made progress in my mood and habits. After my third day without caffine & alcohol, I got a pretty bad headache from what I would consider caffine withdrawls, which was a relatively rude awakening. I found it very difficult to wake up in the mornings and not reach for something I had grown to nearly expect. I didn’t expect the difficulty of not having coffee to outweigh not drinking alcohol, but it most certainly did. Not drinking alcohol was easier during the weekdays, yet when the weekend came around I admit I couldnt resist the temptation to have a drink or two. Even though I didn’t succeed in completely eliminating alcohol, I did succeed in eliminating caffine. It was a bumpy first few days, but I adjusted and am feeling better not centering my routines around forms of substance.
In his book, “The Craving Mind”, Judson Brewer (a good friend of mine from graduate school) talks about empathy fatigue, when physicians (for instance) become distanced from their patients because compassion (means to suffer with) causes them to expose themselves to a river of pain. He proposes the pain is caused by taking the patient’s pain personally, developing an ego attachment to it; and suggests that compassion can happen without pain if the compassion provider transcends egoistic attachment, but makes the patient the focus of their thoughts. Brewer suggests that we document:
– the number of times we take something personally,
– the depth of the attachment,
– the length of the attachment.
I’ll do this for a week starting Tuesday, October 31, 7 AM.
…. Nov. 12, 11 PM. It seems I’ve done this for almost 2 weeks. It’s been a valuable experience. For instance, when you get angry one of the things that leave you helpless is not knowing what to do!… And this may sound irrelevant, but now I know… I’ll log it and see what happens in me. The result is that the duration and depth of attachment… of insult or anger has drastically decreased. Additionally, I have found that I know what my role is in it, and I can accept them for being who they are, and that this is fine… or sometimes fine.
Our first intervention struck a chord with me. I am currently taking an architecture studio course that has a focus on sustainable design, and while I believe sustainable building design is particularly important, that assignment made me very aware of how poorly I was executing these values in all other aspects of my life.
For this intervention, I would go a week without eating fast food, and instead opt for food choices that not only produced less waste but also are labeled as organic, and GMO free when available. This intervention would drastically reduce my weekly waste, which I learned was composed primarily of fast food waste. This shift was not the easiest for me to make. I heavily rely on fast food, particularly at school where I have little time to grab food between class and cannot return home in a ten-minute gap. This intervention would take some planning…
The answer was quite simple, and many people do this already, including one of my roommates. The answer was to prepare my food prior to the start of the week and portion it out to last throughout the week. I went to California Fresh on Sunday and bought the food I would need. The portions were quite large. I bought approximately 3 pounds of meat (I am aware that this has significant environmental impacts, but my carnivorous tendencies are something I am not willing to part with at these times), microwaveable rice, corn, carrots, chicken broth, jalapenos, limes, and cauliflower. Fortunately, my house is stocked with a variety of spices already. And I had previously purchased milk, cereal, bread and peanut butter that I ate for breakfast throughout the week. The meat was wrapped by the man in the deli, the rice came in a sealed plastic bag within a larger cardboard box, and the chicken broth came in a waxy cardboard box. It seemed unavoidable that these items come with packaging, but fortunately the vegetables were without packaging.
The task of preparing this quantity of food proved challenging. When I do cook, I typically prepare a single meals worth of food. For this challenge, I had to bring out the largest pot we own in addition to a mid-sized pot. I cooked the meat, microwaved the rice, and chopped the veggies eventually combining everything in the large pot. I let it all simmer and then cool before portioning it out into meal sized servings. I placed the meals into the fridge.
The following day I began my plan, I had one of my typical breakfasts, and grabbed one of my meals on the way to school. Fortunately, my studio class has a microwave and I was able to heat the meal that would not have been very good otherwise. At night when I returned home, I had another portion for dinner. I realized that without snacking through the day, these portions had proven very small and I was quite hungry after each meal. At this point I knew that this would be a challenging week for I was not used to eating such small portions. My typical subway sandwich was simply much more food. I decided I would try and stick to my plan despite this. And I did. It wasn’t the best experience, as I didn’t seem to become accustomed to the smaller portion sizes by weeks end. Also, eating the same meal for 2/3 meals a day proved underwhelming. A huge plus I believe was the cost savings! I will provide a cost comparison after I have the chance to calculate how much I typically spend on fast food for these meals in a week. In the future I can surely see myself doing more meal prep, and I will likely cook more than just 1 meal. Sunday was a great day to do the prepping, as the food tasted fine throughout the week and Sundays are my most open day scheduling wise. Most importantly of all, my initial goal of reducing waste was met.
My experiences, friendships, and attitudes all come from a place that values technology, social media, and the constant stimulation of inputs and feedback from others. In other words, the things I associate with mostly, if not all, include some use of social media or technology in order to work or be efficient. For example, the clubs, organizations, and friendships I’m in all require some group page, event, or assignment to be represented on a platform such as Facebook or Instagram in order to be successful. That’s why through the necessity and enjoyment of those platforms, I’ve become addicted, unable to leave it for an entire day without feeling off. On average, I spend at least 5 hours on Instagram/Facebook intermittently throughout the day. If I were to remove myself from that, imagine how much time I’d be able to spend doing something productive like work out, study, or meet people in real life. I’ve attached a screenshot showing my use of social media within the last 7 days:
From my battery usage, I can see that I spend 27% of my battery life on social media, not including the time I spend perusing on my computer. Therefore, my self-intervention will be to limit use of apps, specifically Snapchat and Instagram, to see if it makes any difference in my daily life for an entire week. I cannot stray away from Facebook, however, since my clubs and other responsibilities communicate through there. However, I will reduce my usage on that too. I will then report back to see if I’m become more focused, happier, and better without constant social media. I will report back with my findings.
A week has passed and I went without a personal Instagram or Facebook. What a horrible week to do it on; not only was my Greek fraternity hosting an initiation for its newest pledges, but a lot of fun things happened that I could’ve recorded onto social media. However, it all worked out at the end. Why? I actually lived the experience, rather than filming it onto a platform that I would never check again.
I went on my affiliated accounts (I am in charge of two clubs’ social media accounts) and had to do my regular posts there, but other than that, I stayed far away from personal perusing. However, it was hard to not stray away from being tempted to re-download it again. However, I have realized that I am happier and experienced way more with my peers than if I were at the sidelines.
Final verdict: am I going back to my old ways? Not entirely. I’ve learned that I can have a good time and make use of that free time to reflect and talk with people rather than resort to my phone. However, if everybody else is doing it, then I will too. I’m forever stuck on that bandwagon.
I browsed “The Craving Mind” that Pete had referenced in his reflection and was introduced to the concept of the Flow. I’m familiar with its effects, but hadn’t seen it expressed in concrete terms before. This is how the author describes it: “The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. “
My goal for the week is to follow a somewhat abstract method for tapping into this thought pattern. I’ve found myself increasingly reflective and self-conscious when in class, often trapped ruminating over negative experiences and fears that arise when I’m stressed. My goal is to actively channel my focus onto my classwork this week in ways that are conducive to tapping into this “flow” and releasing myself from the familiar cycle of distraction and malaise. Will document and post back on Nov 10. To do this I plan to actively
– Fulfill my educational responsibilities for their intrinsic value
– Return to presence while in class and view my time as continuously unfolding
– Meditate both when I rise and before going to sleep
Nov 4: Woke up to my alarm at 7 a.m.
Avoided all of my normal routines and went directly to the fridge for a full glass of water.
Went straight to my back porch to sit in silence and contemplate my day. Found it very easy to focus, presumably because the excitement of the first day has elevated my mood.
Started directly on homework and finished my assignments for the day with time to spare
Still drove to class which made me feel guilty, but had enough time to park near the bus and focus on work for the rest of the day.
Came home late and meditated before sleeping.
Had the best night of sleep I’ve had in months. Feeling hopeful about the rest of the experience
Nov 5-7: Still waking up at 7
Meditation feels more and more taxing as a difficult period of school comes around. Finding it nearly impossible to manage my thoughts, but more still with more distance than before I started the intervention. Increasing detachment to my feelings and emotions provides some reprieve.
Managed to bike to work on Tues. Exhilarating experience and something that I feel compelled to work more into my life.
Increased attention in class but still struggling to stay engaged and not dwell on some of the negative thoughts / distractions / beliefs that arise.
Came home and meditated before sleeping on Nov 5 & 6. Went out to the bars on Nov 7th instead and felt crappy for it.
Nov 8- 10:
Waking up much easier, have noticed a slight shift in my meditation. The 30 minutes I spend each session feels more productive and rejuvenating. Incorporated taking a quick cold shower after.
School has become increasingly more demanding and I struggle to stay present. Still feel it is a worthwhile and important task to maintain a focused perspective.. attempting mostly to stay aware of my actions and where I direct my attention.
Continued to meditate before bed and definitely plan to carry this out beyond my intervention.
The experience provided me with a much needed break from my normal mental routine. Noticing rapid changes throughout the course of just a week was motivating. I am tentative to change my old habits, because I have ordered my life around them so completely.. However the moments of presence and freedom this intervention gave me pushed me to keep challenging myself and moving forward. Meditation at night specifically has become a cherished time of my day and I am excited to see where that leads.
In one of my business classes that I am taking we discuss the concept of “Information Technology”. This is any type of technology that we can get information from, pretty self explanatory, including phones, radio, televisions, automobiles, computers, etc… My goal for this intervention was to cut down my “information technology” usage. I strategically chose times of the day where I feel that I use technology the most so I cut it out of two of my classes and hours outside of class to cut down my usage as well. I also decided that after 8 p.m. all information technology was off-limits or put away. I wasn’t allowed to use it in the morning until I have been awake for 3 hours. I didn’t realize my connection with all my technological devices and how dependent I have become on them. I find myself relooking at the same applications just minutes after I have already exited out of them because I don’t know what else to do. I don’t want to rely on this too much and I want to focus more on interaction with my roommates and friends and the external environment than with all the technological devices in my class.
The first day was hard. I caught myself a lot reaching for my phone or computer and having to consciously say no and instead I would go on a walk or talk with my roommates. As the days went on, it got easier. I practiced this throughout the week, I did have a few slip ups or I would get a little frustrated because I was continuing with the intervention even though all I wanted was to sit in my bed and watch netflix. I wanted to get out of this mindset. Technology is not an escape. By the end, I realized that through the tough moments and moments where I didn’t even notice, I cared less than I did about what was going on.It was a good lesson that I need to limit and cut myself off every so often from technology (which includes social media and the like) and give myself a hiatus. It gets in the way of my school work and conversations occasionally which hinders my productivity. I felt way less stressed or anxious and had much better time management than I did before. I also felt much more connected with my environment.
Below this line is from Spring 2017
Kensey Nadler (note from Pete: Candles pollute way way more than any kind of electrical light technology for the amount of light that you get. While this is still a great self intervention, it actually increases your environmental impact).
For my third self-intervention, I only used grid switch lighting for 30 minutes a day. If my roommates were home and had turned on lights I did not have to turn them off but I simply could only initiate the usage for 30 minutes if was the initiator who flipped the switch. Here were my findings.
1. The dark is relaxing. Eating, bathing, cooking, and reading with low to no light proved to be lovely and explorative.
2. I was more aware of natural lighting and the way infrastructures uses or lacks use of passive solar light through windows/positioning. This got my brain in a design thinking state I hadn’t previously accessed.
3. I was more present for sunrises and sunsets
4. I used a small solar powered camp light called the Lumi, which I charged in the window while I was at class during the day. Using the lumi as my light source was pleasant because of the multiple colored soft lights it produces, However, it would often run out of battery quickly and I would have moved to a room where a roommate was using lights.
5. There is no need for light use during the day in my apartment and will continue to not use them post intervention
6. realized I need to invest in more candles and became even more sensitive to fluorescent lighting situations
7. Overall, I found there to be a lot of learning and growth from my time in the dark. Post-intervention I was grateful for the convenience that grid lighting provides but missed the aesthetic and mood of alternative lighting (and the knowledge/ satisfaction through actively exploring a more environmentally sustainable way to live). I am now intrigued to find a balance between the two. Maybe, development of a more convenient solar alternative lighting source that is powerful, reliable and aesthetically pleasing. I will keep exploring these concepts and know that eco-design and personal development of a more sustainable lifestyle is something I am excited and eager to continue exploring.
Before this quarter started I was clueless about how my lifestyle has contributed to society. I have taken resources for granted that I use for everyday for a comfortable life such as heating, water, power (electricity), transportation and food. In reducing my heating I stopped using my heater at home and started wearing warmer clothes to increase conduction. Since my friends and I like to play sports at night we use to use a fluorescent light bulb at night, but now we have switched to glow in the dark material to save energy. I changed my transportation habits by trying to walk or bike short distances and using the bus for longer trips. I also adjusted the food I eat to be more sustainable by limiting my red meat intake and eating mainly eggs, and chicken. Though I can try to reduce my external cost to society there is always some harm done to society when trying to do my everyday activities. I am optimistic that in the future we can reduce this external cost to society and the environment by rethinking our everyday activities and further improving current technologies.
I am an introvert, and, while I am fine with that, I want to be a bit more socially outgoing. Being an introvert can mean many things; for me it is that I much prefer the company of a few friends than that of a lot of people of which I may know a few. For my self-intervention, I do not plan nor want to do a complete 180 and become a super socialite, but I do want to leave my enjoyable circle of friends a bit, or at least add to it more. I would like to do this by interacting with others more. I have been trying this recently and have found it to be very pleasing. I have talked to and become friends with a few people who had been people on the fringe of my life (some people in classes, on the bus, etc.). I have been happy with how it has gone so far and am looking forward to continuing it.
This class and nearing graduation have caused me to rethink my priorities for the future. I know that I want to prioritize being happy, and to do so I want to build healthy consistent habits to contribute to my happiness. A Ted Talk I watched this past year talked about how easy it is as a motivated person to want to wake up and immediately start being productive by sending emails, checking Facebook, or doing homework. But, their are psychological studies that show doing something for your self everyday is good for your well being, particularly by starting the day with something you enjoy. Starting March 9th I will start and end my days reading my favorite book for at least 10 minutes. I can easily measure if I do this each day, and my hopes are to reduce stress in my day to day routine and feel even happier with myself.
I found reading each morning and night rather therapeutic. I missed a couple of mornings, but for the most part it was an easy activity to add to my daily routine. Doing this each day allowed me to focus with more clarity on my professional and student duties. In the future, it will be healthy to understand that setting aside personal time for myself is massive for my productivity. I will continue to read and find new ways to enjoy myself and remain happy.
I wish to become a more observant person. Through the course of the last few months I’ve become aware that in general, I am not extremely observant pertaining things that happen around me in day-to-day life. As such, I aim to draw every day for 15 minutes, going to a different place on campus. This will allow me to realize what happens on and around campus more and hopefully in everyday life.
Conclusion: The last week has been hectic, and though I thought I’d see this as a hassle, it was a good break for me between studying for finals and compiling portfolios. Although not the original intent of the intervention, I’ve found a lot of neat little nooks and crannies around school that I never knew existed, just from going somewhere and thinking “hmm… where would be a good vantage point for a sketch”. My sketching skills are still sub-par for an architect, but hey its only been 10 days. As for whether I’ve gotten more observant… I’m not really sure, though I feel like I’ve become a lot less stressed out from things in general by just taking breaks from working. So all-in-all, I think that… though I’m unsure whether I’ve achieved the goal of being ‘more observant’, its a goodactivity that I’m going to incorporate more into my schedules form now on.
I am taking it upon myself to meditate for 15 minutes a day. As someone with anxiety, and with finals around the corner- I often find my health deteriorating around this time in the corner. Along with meditation, I wish to be able to appreciate myself more. I often set extremely high goals for myself, and if I don’t meet them- I feel that I have failed. I’m hoping that I can also meditate on self-appreciation as well.
This week I will use my phone only as a phone. I will only use it for texting and calling people, or if I need to use the internet for something school related. I will also keep my phone in my pocket as little as possible by putting it in my backpack or leaving it at my desk, and I will wear a watch so I don’t need to pull my phone out to check the time. Other than that, any time I need the internet I will use a computer. Mostly, I am doing this to stop scrolling endlessly through social media. I think I tend to spend a lot of time doing that, and hopefully I will spend my time with people, outside, reading, or playing music instead.
Follow Up: I feel like I was successful in giving up my phone for a week. I stopped using instagram, reddit, and other time wasting apps and found myself bored with nothing to do sometimes. This led me to talk more with my room mates and we had some great conversations. I also played my bass more than usual and spent a considerable amount of time outside on my bike, and even went to Bishop’s Peak to boulder on Saturday, where normally I would feel like I wouldn’t have enough time. Also, I noticed that while eating, I spent more time in conversation with people which was really nice. I also started running with one of my roomates a few times a week and we both really enjoy it. In the future, I will use these apps but I will try to be much more aware of the time I am wasting on them and of ways I can be productive with my time.
I will reduce my water use. Firstly by timing my showers and make sure I take 3 minute showers. If there’s any water waste I’ll catch it in a bucket for use in washing dishes or watering plants. I also want to reduce my electricity and gas usage by being more efficient when using appliances. I’ll document the change in an excel sheet the best I can.
Conclusion: I didn’t have a bucket so I wasn’t able to catch the water wasted while the water heats up. I also realize that 3 minute showers aren’t too manageable. I was able to reduce my shower time to 5:30. I also had a roommate meeting to discuss our power/water usage and the things that we did that wasted power like leaving lights on or leaving the oven on for a long time while not using it. We made an agreement to reduce usage.
I have been inspired by this class to rethink my energy usage. I want to explore my dependence on it and explore alternative lighting.Starting today March 9th I will only let myself use lights for max. 30 min a day. The remainder of the time I will use candles and my solar camp light in my home. If roommates have lights on that’s ok but I personally will not turn on any switches. I’m eager to see how this changes my perspective.
Note that candles produce way WAY (more than 5 times as much as an incandescent light, and about 50 times more than using an LED light) more CO2 than using electricity for the same amount of light. Still, it’s a fine intervention.
My goal is to try and have a more positive outlook on life. With all the chaos and stress from such a busy quarter, it’s easy for me to feel discouraged if things don’t go as planned. To address this I plan on writing down three things every night that record the things I have achieved that day– whether it be something as small as cooking a homemade meal for dinner. I think this would help me recognize the positive things that happened that day rather than dwelling on the negatives.
UPDATE: I think this exercise has helped improve my outlook on life, however, I think with all the stress of this quarter coming to a close I was still pretty overwhelmed by it. I think I may have to find other ways to destress such as meditation or yoga. However, I think I will continue the exercise to write down things that I’ve achieved and hopefully over time it will have a bigger impact.
I think it’s very easy for people to wake up and immediately grumble about their alarm going off, wishing class was cancelled, worry about an assignment they didn’t manage to turn in on time… etc. I find myself doing things along these lines in the morning. I’m going to start my day off every day saying “Today is going to be a great day” out loud right when I wake up. Whether it’s when I’m running around the house because I didn’t wake up to my first alarm, or simple waking up and seeing the sky outside. I think a big part of people’s happiness comes from their attitudes about the things going on around them, and I want to focus on being a less-stressed, happier individual!
Follow up: I was pretty good about doing this every morning, and if I’d forgotten that morning I would say the words then and there when I’d remembered. I think this made a huge difference in my attitude each day. Even if I’d had a bad morning where my roommates left the kitchen a mess or I was stuck in traffic, I’d say the words, force a smile, and everything seemed a lot less irritating. I will definitely continue this practice from here on out. I feel like a happier person all around and I think that’s something I’d like to hang on too :).
I want to be more efficient in work. In order for this to happen, I need to devise a plan to be productive. First of all, I will find a way to procrastinate less by reducing the in-between time it takes for me to decide to work. This means less time spent on decision making and more time on actually working. This way, I could more things done, get more sleep done, and stress less on the things that are due in the future.
Follow up: This last week has been extremely tough because of architecture final reviews. I think I was pretty efficient in working full time. I was off social media and meal prepped so I spent less time on making decisions. I made a plan for myself in my head of what I needed to complete and I relatively pulled it off okay. There was some things I wish I could have done better such as finished some things before the deadline, but that was out of my control and basically because of physical limitations of needing a small amount of sleep to function.
As a busy and chaotic college student, I rarely set aside time to express gratitude. There are a lot of people in my life to be thankful for, and I don’t feel as though I acknowledge them for it. For my self-intervention, I will write 3 thank you letters everyday for a week, and mail them to people that have supported me in some way. Starting March 9.
UPDATE: After doing this intervention for a week, I am disappointed at how I could not seem to get into a rhythm of setting aside time each day for these thank you letters. I was hoping to create a positive habit in my life, but instead I noticed myself continue to push it off until I had to make up some thank you cards the next day. However, the positive part of this intervention is that I made a list of people I’m thankful for and an even longer list of why I appreciate them. I came to realize that if I truly held myself accountable to do this every day, I would never run out of people to thank. The reasons varied, too, and it was very eye-opening to see how many different ways I am impacted by people in my life. The thank-you letters ranged from saying thank you for being a reference on a housing application to even saying thank you for my tennis coach in a meaningful way. I have yet to hear a response back from those I’ve sent the letters to, but I’m projecting that I will feel very “warm and fuzzy” inside knowing that someone is aware of how they’ve helped me.
My goal for the self intervention is to sleep for 9 hours a day. I have gotten 8 hours a day, but I still fall asleep in class. Maybe if i sleep for longer, I will be better rested, feel more open to talking, and be part of class. Maybe i will also have more energy to walk around instead of using my car. Anyways, goal currently is to sleep for 9 hours and see what happens. Predictions: hopefully I will feel more better rested, and that I will feel more interested in the things that I do.
So, I realize how hard sleeping 9 hours will be. And even if I slept 9 hours, one week might no be enough to see any real changes. As of now, the only thing I have noticed is that I really have to finish my work early and plan out when I am going to sleep.
Going into sunday, I was behind in sleep hours (I may have gotten 7). But I managed to catch up by taking naps periodically throughout the day. A problem arose however, and even though I was ready to sleep at 12, I was not able to sleep until 3. Meaning I fell behind in sleep heading into Monday. A deficit that will be difficult to fix over the dead week.
In terms of self-intervention, the question “why are we doing this?” is probably something that I would like to address. Self-interventions are things that you do to improve yourself. It is so difficult to stay on top of this, and we are all doing things to better ourselves, but we just cannot do it easily. What it boils down to is: if we are unable to do things to improve ourselves, how can we expect to change to help the world? I am unable to do my simple task: sleep more. There is no dispute, sleep is good for you. I will almost never get 9 hours. Pollution is bad. Almost no dispute. We will never reduce our pollution enough. Now it is important not to get disheartened, and to take baby steps. But ultimately we are just so resistant to change that we can’t even help ourselves. So maybe changing the environment is more of a societal problem.
My self intervention will be to get rid of 3 paper bags worth of stuff in my room. As I move from Cal Poly I will be happier to just travel with the things that are necessary for me. I was inspired by the film The Minimalist, and believe I will feel cleaner and less responsibility to keep things in order. I will get rid of the stuff without putting any of it in the trash.
Recently I have noticed that I have been spending too much money on coffee. I have gotten lazy about making coffee every morning because I live so close to three very nice coffee shops. I also have been studying way later and for way longer because the quarter is reaching that point where it becomes very busy. I will only buy 3 coffees in the following week.
Update: I ended up doing better than I had expected. I bought zero coffees this entire week and I think I will continue to buy as little coffee as possible. Overall, I think I saved about 20 dollars this week and I got better sleep because I was not drinking coffee so late at night.
Over the past couple years I have gotten various injuries all over my body. I go to the gym regularly and have recently noticed that my wrist, shoulder, and knee pains had started to become slightly worse. I have been lifting for a couple years on and off and have never made stretching a priority, even though I know it is very beneficial when lifting. My intervention for the next week I will do a series of different leg, wrist and shoulder stretches every morning and night for 20-30 seconds each. This will include the quad, hamstring & calf, and inner thigh stretches for legs- the extended arm and the chicken pose stretch for my wrists- shoulder rotation, cow faced pose, and the standing wall stretch for my shoulders.
– After a week of doing these stretches I have noticed a slight difference in my overall flexibility and pain. I didn’t manage to remember to do my stretches every night but I did do them every morning. Overall, I have noticed that my legs and shoulders have become slightly more flexible than before. The pain by my hip has improved significantly and my shoulder injury has also improved, although less so. My wrist has not been affected at all which makes me think that its actually sprained or significantly injured. I will go to the doctor sooner or later to check this out. I am very glad that I imposed this intervention upon myself and stuck with it because I now see the many benefits of stretching regularly. I will try to continue stretching daily.
I plan to schedule my days in order to stay organized. I have noticed that without a planner, it is difficult for me to organize what I have to get done over the course of the week. If i write down everything that I have to do, hopefully it will help me plan my time according to each activity. I hope to see an increase in school centered activity rather than indulging in recreation.
After a week of daily scheduling, I found that I was more productive and was able to schedule my days according to assignments that were due. I had plenty of time this last week to designate to either finals projects, group meetings, or my work schedule. There were a few late nights but that was because of the work requirement that I underestimated from another class. I think I will continue this self intervention into next quarter, I liked having a set schedule and designated time for my weekly activities. Thanks Pete!
As my project deadlines grow closer (I have at least 4 projects this quarter, on top of finals), I’ve noticed that my sleep schedule has become unpredictable and lacking. A few days ago, I unintentionally woke up at 4am, having only fallen asleep 4 hours ago. I believe that if I schedule my work better (i.e. working more efficiently during the daytime and less at night) I think I can manage to get my sleep schedule back on track. My goal for this self intervention is to achieve at least 8 hours of sleep every night for a week.
UPDATE: For the first few days I managed to get at least 8 hours of sleep, sometimes even 9. But for the past two days I have been lacking in sleep, primarily due to finishing projects and studying finals. So while I believe it is achievable for me to sleep a healthier amount, I probably should have planned earlier in the quarter to avoid a heavier workload during dead week.
I have made a goal for myself to evaluate and plan my upcoming weeks on Saturday afternoons in order to optimally balance my work-life schedule appropriately. In order for me to have more time for my friends, girlfriend, and myself I need to execute my planned out weeks as accordingly as possible (with small deviations for spontaneous events). My self intervention will revolves around a new golden rule of a 4 hours of productive work every day outside of class time.
Follow up: As finals week has now wrapped up, I am looking at the amount of work I had done the previous week and how it ultimately made my finals week much more easier and smoother to handle. However, this wasn’t due to a 4 hour minimum of productivity every day, in fact I winded up taking a step further and did 5 hours a day. 5 hours a day of studying is not bad at all. 2 hours were always taken care of during hour breaks in between classes and the other 3 would be taken care of in the evening after a break from coming back from campus. Splitting study time evenly throughout the weeks ensures that I don’t get stress and that I remain sharp on the material. Meanwhile I had plenty of time this week to spend with some friends and my girlfriend of course. I think this has been the most successful finals week I’ve had ever. To top it all off I got rewarded with an internship offer this past week and I’ll be heading off during the spring. Thank you for teaching me a lot these past two quarters Pete! I’ve truly enjoyed your classes and I now know I want a career in helping clean energy and sustainability. I hope to apply my industrial engineering knowledge within those fields. Take care!
I have a hard time being positive, which usually results in me saying negative things which I think creates a feedback cycle. So I’m going to try to be more positive and in order to make this measurable I will not make negative comments or statements. If I want to respond to something that’s not so great I will try to turn it into a positive and look for the silver lining. I’m curious to see if this improves my mood or not.
Experience: I think that I was able to limit myself from saying as many negative things, but realistically I wasn’t able to stop completely. Instead, when I did say negative things I would follow them up with positive things so even if something wasn’t great I would try to comment on the bright side. Even if I was by myself I would try to turn things around and think about any possible silver linings that would make things seem better, and honestly that really helped to improve my mood. For me it’s more about being hopeful instead of stuck on whatever makes me unhappy in the moment.
I find myself always busy. Especially this quarter I am always doing something and have little time to relax. My intervention is to be willing to say no when I need down time. I will spend 20 minutes of me time everyday. This could be anything that feeds my soul. Update: So far this has been going great. I went hot tubbing, watched some tv, got a pedicure, sat in the sun and have been doing a good job of enjoying myself while still having fun! After a few days I began to forget to spend time for myself. I get so caught up in school, work and life that I forget to sit and do things that bring me joy. I guess everything I do does bring me some type of joy and satisfaction or I wouldn’t keep doing it. I try to fill my life with the things I love most, God, family, friends and as long as I keep doing that I am happy.
My self intervention will be taking shorter showers. I will time myself by using a 5 minute hourglass. My goal is to take 10 minute showers for a week. I think it is relaxing to take longer shower, but to save water, I wanted to change. I hope this intervention can change some of my bad habits.
For my self intervention, I always postpone grocery shopping for food for at least a week in favor of eating out. This behavior is not a sustainable one as it costs more money, time, and energy. I will try my best to be more proactive because it is possible to make a difference for the environment, all it takes is effort.
I will meditate for 30 minutes every day starting tomorrow, March 9th. I’ve dabbled in meditation throughout my life and have found it very, very rewarding. However, I have never made a routine out of it, so this seems like a great opportunity to implement it in my life. This is kind of a vanilla intervention though, so I will continue thinking and maybe do a second one that’s a little more interesting.
Part 2: I’ve meditated every day for 30 minutes since Thursday (6 meditations) and its been amazing. I was planning on adding a completely different intervention to this one, but I was feeling such a significant result that I didn’t think I needed to. I tried some mediation back in high school and although I felt a very positive result, I never made it a routine. But now that its been an assignment, I’ve kept at it and I’m not going to stop. I’ve been way more calm and happy. When I play music, I am playing better through more confidence; I”m feeling like I can tackle any mental challenge. Being in control of my mind and my anxiety is very freeing and I will definitely continue this daily mediation. For awhile, I’ve been very interested in Buddhism and a few months ago I bought the Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Buddhism. Each page contains a sentence or short passage of Buddhist thought. Although I’ve read through the book, it’s hard to internalize all of the messages. So in the near future (probably in a couple weeks), after I practice my meditation more, I will meditate on one passage per day until I am done with the book.
I’ve begun noticing that on days when I am busy, I eat predominantly snack foods instead of balanced meals. Leading up to the end of the quarter, I cook less and eat way more high-carb snack foods. I’ve decided to cut high-carb snack foods out of my diet until the end of this quarter (I started March 2nd). This includes chips, crackers, and popcorn. Thus far, I have been pretty successful. On the 4th I ate a bunch of popcorn when I was at a friend’s house because I forgot I was counting popcorn as a snack food, but since then, I’ve done really well. I’ve eaten more healthy snacks (a lot of nuts, berries, and other fruits), but I don’t think I really cooked that much more. My roommate and I have been really busy every weekend for the past month, and haven’t made it to the grocery store in a while, so we’re pretty out of fresh fruits and vegetables. This self-intervention really opened my eyes to how often I eat things like chips in my daily life, and how unnecessary they are nutritionally. Because I was eating trail-mix and the like, I was hungry less often and saved a lot of money on impulse buys.
My biggest challenge is serving my family. In particular my relationship with my son, who I adopted three years ago when he was 5 stretches me. He didn’t respond well to the same parenting that worked great for Tekuru. He responds to firm boundaries with rebellion. It’s difficult to get anything done or go any place because he rises to the opportunity of obstructing what is happening. My goal is recognize that I don’t need to get anything done, but I need to be his father. So my intervention will be to recognize when I perceive a necessity to make Neil do something and examine what would happen if it didn’t happen that way. Then I will ask myself what my fundamental goal is with Neil (which usually will be to build a relationship as his father) and respond accordingly. I’ll try to do this for a week… and likely forever after that as well. Quantitatively: I will not impose my will on my son unless I deem it necessary for his survival. That may last only a week, but it might drive me crazy, but we’ll see. Starting March 8.
So, March 13, I’m logging some failure. But first, I’ll state that when I did refrain, things went well between Neil and me.
Friday morning, Neil yelled at me and pushed an orange I’d given him off his desk. He was using his computer and wanted to be left alone. I picked him up and put him on the ground and told him he was done with computer. I quickly realized my intervention-violation and told him he was fine and I was sorry. However, I realized that I’d violated it even walking into his room because I really knew he didn’t want me there, but I wanted to give him an orange. If he eats something it puts him in a better mood.
After the weekend, I realized that I’d imposed my will on him “by proxy”. His friend, Jug, listens to me astutely. So, if I want them to go outside, I just tell his friend to go outside, and Neil will follow. I had a good idea, but found ways to compensate. I tricked myself. Hence, I will try with a more positive intention: rather than not preventing him from doing anything, I will empower him to do what he wants, which doesn’t mean I’ll buy him a Traxxas because he wants one, but I’ll help him figure out how to shoot something with his Nerf gun… for instance. Ok, I’ll start again tomorrow morning.
After the second weekend, I did much better. I catch myself telling Neil to hurry up to get to school and instead as him how I might help him get to school on time, if that’s what he wants to do. We seem to get along better when I’m able to do this. I have a long way to go to be a good parent, but this self intervention will likely go on… and on.
Below is for Winter 2017
I did a couple of things for my self intervention. I kind of focused on living a healthier life but also dedicating more of my time to doing things with other people in mind. Basically I decided that I would not only eat healthier and exercise more but also do one thing every day for someone else. This actually ended up being pretty easy since countless opportunities presented themselves because my mom had just gone through surgery. When I first started I obviously didn’t think so much time would be dedicated to helping her but it ended up being a very satisfying experience. I had to give up a lot of time that I would normally spend with my friends that were in town in the holiday but in the grand scheme of things I got to spend more time with my mom since I moved out. Thinking about it all my mom spent her whole life trying to make mine comfortable and successful and even though it was for a short time it was so nice that I got to do the same for her
My idea for my self-intervention stemmed from watching the Ted Talk about having better conversations. I realized how all too often I let my mind wander rather than give my full and undivided attention to my work or peers. I want to be a better listener and work on my ability to stay interested and engaged. I can do this by checking my phone less, focusing on my tasks at hand rather than letting my thoughts hinder my ability to focus,
and by being a listener rather than a responder. I know that this will help me in the future because everyone has something to teach me!
Another self intervention that I would greatly like to work on is my ability to believe in myself. College has presented all of us with many opportunities to doubt our abilities, but I know that we are ALL capable individuals who have so much to offer the post-academic world. I would like to work on being excited for my future rather than daunted by the unknown.
Follow Up: I have been very scatterbrained lately because of all of the assignments that are due now that it is the end of the Quarter and unfortunately that has led be to not be the best listener toward my peers. My mind is so focused on the things I need to do that I am unable to be an engaged and present friend. I will work on that.
As far as believing in myself, I have done better. I am not daunted by the workload but excited to celebrate the end of a crazy week!
My self intervention will be
For my self intervention I really wanted to focus on cognitively not worrying as much. As someone with a lot of anxiety, this was really difficult for me. Whenever I started to feel anxious or stressed or irritated I took the time to step back and think about why I felt that way. During this process I learned a lot about how I interpret other people’s actions and words. This helped me be a genuinely nicer and more understanding person by not taking these things more personally than they were meant to be. I felt myself start to be more present in my everyday interactions and actually be more empathetic. To be completely honest, I have never been one to do or enjoy self interventions, but the results of this experience have definitely caused me to reconsider.
My self intervention was inspired by a friend of mine who recommended trying to do three small nice things per day that you normally might not do. I would do things like say hello to a passing stranger who looked upset, offer a ride to someone who needs transportation even if it was out of my way, and focus on really truly talking to my friends instead of just conversing and hanging out all the time. These things that are meant to make someone else’s day better honestly do a lot for me as well. I just feel better when I go out of my way for someone and see how they lighten up. The saying goes “What goes around, comes around”, but I really felt the rewards immediately, and will continue with this goal. It is already becoming more second nature, which is the true sign of successful self-improvement.
My self intervention was to try and be more patient. I really liked the empathy intervention so building off that I thought that if I was more patient with things then I could be more empathetic towards different situations. This intervention allowed me to take a second and breath when I didn’t agree with something or something was frustrating me. It allowed me to look at things from a different perspective and evaluate how I felt about the situations. I think this was a really good intervention and I will continue to try and exhibit more patience.
For my next self intervention I thought it should also relate to health except in regards to working out and staying active. I’m trying to figure out what causes my chronic headaches I’ve been having for years and now that I’m eating pretty healthy, I thought working out would also be beneficial. I also want to add peace into my life so my intervention is going to yoga but which I already do, instead going on a regular basis. So far it is going well but I want to stay self disciplined and make sure that I go every day or as often as I can. I don’t want to make excused. This ongoing self intervention is showing me that I do have self discipline and exercise does alter my mood.
For my self intervention I am going to make myself read everyday for at least 20 pages. I currently go through periods with reading (for pleasure) where I will read every day for 3 hours a day, and then not read for 2 months. I want reading to become a daily habit, and I know it is possible. If i can search on social media for 30 minutes a day, to an hour, I know I can complete my goal for reading simply by substituting that time. By doing this I am replacing wasted time (scrolling on social media) with an educational activity that will benefit me in more ways than I can name.
I began the self-intervention thinking I was going to make efforts to help those around me (whether that be by spending time with them in an emotional rough-patch, helping them with their errands, or whatever a friend in need may have called for.) But, upon arriving home I found myself battling the frustration of spending my break home in the way I had imagined and competing with the ideas my family had for this reunion. I’m specifically talking about my younger sisters, who have grown up with more attachment to the camera, and how their idea of time well spent usually included time in front of a laptop, a lens, or a Netflix show. And, my frustration with the lack of ‘authentic personal engagement’ as I would describe it now, actually manifest itself in frustration towards my siblings. This led to slightly tense conversations and occasional discomfort. So, after reflecting on my first day back, I decided to re-evaluate my self intervention in order to re-connect with my family by letting go of my ideas on how family time should be spent. I was open to any suggestion my younger siblings provided for what we would do next. And in a roundabout way, this led to the more intimate experiences I was craving when I first arrived. We told stories (true or fictional) around a fire, we held hands while watching a movie, we swam together, and we held photoshoots with dramatic landscapes. Regardless, I still find myself frustrated by my loved ones isolating themselves with their phones or computers instead of engaging in the family dynamic. However, I think I have learned about how I can connect with my siblings. By letting them come to their own ideas about how they wanted to be or spend their time, we shared an unexpected kind of authenticity that ultimately gave me some great memories to bring back to Poly.
For my self intervention, I am going to spend more time on things that I want to do rather than things which I “need” to do. One of my biggest hobbies is producing music, so I am going to put more of an effort towards creating new tracks. The goal I have in mind when I make a new song, is that it needs to be better than the last. I think with this mentality I will be able to continuously make good music from here on out.
I have been trying to follow what I initially said in my self-intervention, and so far it is going well. I have been doing a lot of what I “want” to do lately because I have been working on finishing assignments ahead of time – giving me more free time to work on music.
For my self intervention, I want to focus on being more mindfully present and positive in my day to day activities. I have realized that I am almost always thinking about something other than what I am doing. I think about things that I have to do later, things that I would rather be doing, or other miscellaneous subjects. This often means I am not really paying attention in class, and sometimes not paying attention to what people are really saying when they are talking to me. This week and thereafter I want to focus on paying attention and enjoying whatever I am doing instead of letting my thoughts drift elsewhere. With this being the last week before thanksgiving break, my mindset would usually be to just “get through” this week. I would look forward to the week being over and think about how nice it will be once Friday comes. But when I think about it, this week is a part of my life that I’ll never get back, and I don’t want to just “get through” life, I want to make the most of it. So this week I am trying to be engaged in the moment and make the best of whatever I do.
The objective of my self-intervention was to try to stay engaged in and positive about whatever I do throughout my day. This changed my mindset about my everyday tasks and gave me an overall better attitude, especially about things that I normally would rather not do such as homework or cleaning up after my roomates. I also felt that I could pay attention better during class by trying not to worry about other things I had to get done or other things I would rather be doing. I cannot say that I was able to keep this positive and engaged mindset for every minute of the entire week, but whenever I would catch myself not enjoying what I was doing, for instance eagerly looking forward to my work shift or class being over, I tried to focus more on what I was doing and find a way to make it enjoyable. I plan to continue this effort and hope to create a strong habit of keeping a positive mindset.
For my self intervention, I am going to eat less chocolate and drink less coffee. I am way too addicted to these two and know I need to cut down on them because it is so unhealthy. Every time I have a craving for chocolate I will try to eat something healthy like fruits, and when I want coffee will try and remember to drink water instead.
Follow up: During most of break, I was actually able to keep my goal of avoiding chocolate and coffee and instead eating healthier alternatives. The first few days were a little hard because I had to keep reminding myself to not make a cup of coffee in the mornings. However, by the end of the week, I found myself drinking more water or tea without even having to remind myself. Even though coffee was not too hard for me to give up, I found it really difficult to avoid eating chocolate. I did try to be conscious about about my intake but despite this, I slipped up on Wednesday night and ate some chocolate cake without realizing it. I have not yet consumed chocolate after that night have been eating a lot of fruits. From now on, I will try to limit my chocolate intake to once a week.
I would like to participate in more campus clubs and events. I’ve gotten a little too complacent with my current schedule and social circle, and once I’m done with class and work I usually just go home and hang out by myself or with my boyfriend. It’s nice in the moment, but I often find myself feeling discontented and unexcited, like I’m not really developing my interests or taking full advantage of the opportunities Cal Poly offers. For the rest of the quarter, I would like to fully immerse myself in the clubs I’m already involved with, rather than just halfheartedly show up like usual. Also this quarter, I’m challenging myself to go to at least one big campus event, for one of my clubs or, even better, a club I’m not in. And, next quarter, I want to join one new club of interest or take on one new regular responsibility.
All quarter I have been trying to limit my eating of sugary and unhealthy foods, and the times that I eat food. I set a goal for myself to not eat after nine during this quarter, as eating late is supposedly supposed to make you gain weight. I also was not going to drink any sodas, or eat candy except one day a week.
Update: I have trouble staying away from candy, and find myself buying a bag and telling myself that it’s okay, that tomorrow I’ll stop. Eating after nine is less of a problem, unless I am studying. I find myself needing snacks when I am doing schoolwork, and often times I devour food with an intense intensity when studying.
Update 2: Nothing really changed from my first update, although I’ve maybe gotten worse as finals approach as I’m stress eating and snacking more due to the amount of time I am studying.
I intend to focus on self-reflection and habit breaking during my “Self-Intervention.” I tend to overthink and often give into self-doubt and worry. As a result, I find myself consumed and even debilitated by my uncertainty, frustration, and catastrophic thinking. My overactive brain often leaves me exhausted, leaving little energy to be proactive and productive. Hence, my goal this week to stop negative thoughts immediately as I become conscious of them. The theory is that acknowledging triggers and reinforcing positive substitutes will improve my self-awareness and my perception of other people’s words and actions towards me. My hope is that through this self-intervention, I will be able to gain insight through reflection on the positive effects that focusing my energy elsewhere has on my life, productivity, and peace of mind.
Follow-up: During break I really tried to remain conscious of my thoughts and emotions. This was particularly hard to manage in the midst of planning, shopping, prepping, and cooking of my family’s Thanksgiving meal. Although I have been in charge of our Thanksgiving meal for the past 4 years, I still inflict an immense amount of pressure on myself year after year to ensure that everything turns out perfect. The biggest progress I made during this intervention was recognizing specific triggers or circumstances that often stimulate anxiety. For example, I become unreasonably negative and doubtful when I am stressed, overwhelmed, or unorganized. Recognizing this fault, I made the arrangements to ensure that there was minimal stress throughout the process. I managed to do so by delegating my time more wisely. I made sure to shop for all my groceries immediately when I got home for break, I chopped all my mise en place 2 days prior to Thanksgiving, and made just about everything I could the day before. This left little for me to do on the actual day of Thanksgiving, which allowed me to socialize with my family and enjoy myself. Also, by better delegating prep tasks to my family and friends, everyone felt like they had contributed to the dinner in some way.
Cooking is an arena that I am fairly confident and comfortable, but academics and overall achievement is where I tend to be most doubtful and negative. Hence, my goal is to continue these self-awareness, time management, and stress/anxiety prevention strategies throughout the last 3 stressful weeks of this quarter to truly assess my progress.
Throughout the last week, during my self intervention I have realized how often I consume sugar mindlessly. My roommates and I have a share table in my home and my roommates generally put lots of treats and sweets on it. I generally eat these without even thinking about it, but this week I really avoided them. I also cooked differently. My friend hosted a thanksgiving party and I made pumpkin pie, but used honey from my family’s bee hive and maple syrup to sweeten it. I was much more conscious about the amount of sweeteners I used because the cost of honey and brown sugar is much higher. I did not give up chocolate entirely. I did make some homemade chocolates and also found a new brand at Lassen’s that uses coconut sugar as sweetener. I hope to continue to push myself to not consume sugar and sweets for the following week of break. I also plan to grow a stevia plant so I can use the leaves. I need to think more about the impact my chocolate consumption has on the world. The beans are shipped so far. I buy mostly fair trade and organic higher end “artisanal” chocolates, but the beans still get shipped from across the world. It was most difficult for me to do this in a social setting, like at the thanksgiving meal and when I went to the coffee shop with a friend where I totally blanked on my self intervention and ate a granola/tarte/pie bar that tasted so sweet! That’s when I realized I messed up.
My “self intervention” will be centered around cutting unhealthy eating and spending habits. Despite buying plenty of groceries, I have noticed that I still frequently buy fast food throughout the week. I want to cut down on food costs while at the same time eating healthier. Essentially my plan is to force myself to cook at home more and in between class breaks, rather than buying food on campus. Not to mention, that I’ll also be cooking in large portions on weekend so I can store food for the rest of the week. Last but not least, I will also be committed to exercising or going to the rec center at least three times a week. I am determined to keep this self intervention for at least until the end of the quarter.
Self intervening myself has posed to be much more difficult than originally expected. Originally, my goals were to cut down on food costs, such as eating on campus, and motivating myself to go to the rec center at least three times a week until the end of the quarter. However, It’s hard to consistently be active in both goals that I have set for myself. One week I did better in cutting down on costs than I did with going to the rec center and the other week I completed going to rec center three times but ate on campus a few times (darn my appetite). However, that doesn’t compare to the failure I had over our Thanksgiving break, as I did not meet both my self intervening goals that week. None the less, I am determined to complete both goals finally this week! I realized that it’s much more effective to self intervene yourself if you let others around you know that you are self intervening yourself on bad habits. Although, I don’t expect my friends around me to remind me of my self intervention (otherwise it wouldn’t be a self intervention) it is just a nice added pressure to push me to succeed. Looking forward, I don’t expect this self intervention to be temporary, in fact this to me is all just a hump that I have to go over in order to permanently establish these better habits. This has been a valuable challenge, I am determined to financially spend smarter and healthier on food and consistently keep my body active and healthy.
For my self intervention I want to work on the fact that I overthink and over analyze almost everything. I noticed that becoming anxious from overthinking has led me to become rather self focused and I tend to end up not noticing other people’s needs or feelings. I want to do this by having time for meditation and some creative outlet to help reduce anxiety and by making sure I ask at least one friend every day how they are doing.
Throughout the week I meditated every night and as it was break I had the time to draw and paint but I noticed the most helpful part of my self intervention was exercising. Having the time to exercise helped alleviate some stress and allow me to be more aware of other people and their feelings. I think i chose a pretty difficult thing to try and stop but overall I did notice the the things that I did helped with overthinking and anxiety. I still need to work on being aware of other peoples feelings.
PI) For my self intervention I will try to cut down on my social media-ing and instead read a novel, clean something in my house, or work on another project outside of school. I tend to look towards social media to “turn-off” my brain when I need a break but with how negative everythings gotten with politics I think another outlet will be better.
PII) It seems that outside forces learned of my vow to detach myself from technology over break, so not by choice but out of no other option I was left Internet and phone-less for the majority of the break. A freak power-outage killed my Internet providers modem and them my phone stopped working, leaving me feeling cut off and isolated from the world. While the lack of noise from internet trolls and annoying pop-ups was a blessing, the need for the uselfullness of Internet eternally plagued me. “What is the weather going to be like?” “Did the bridal shower venue email me the rental contract?” etc. But despite all of these problems I seem to have made it through my caveman-like experience unscathed and already on my path to righting all of the wrongs technology seems to have delt me. I can say that while I may not have gotten a lot of cleaning done, I can check a couple books of my list.
For my self intervention assignment I will be trying to take time every day to draw or paint. I think that having a creative outlet such as drawing or painting for pleasure will have a positive effect on managing my stress levels as well as my emotional health. By taking this time away from academics, work, and social media I will have time set aside to reflect and focus on one thing (drawing) without distractions or multitasking which may allow me to feel more at peace and less anxious.
I have found this self intervention to be extremely beneficial and it will definitely be something I include in my life from now on. Especially with finals coming up I will look to my creative outlet as a serious stress reliever. I got caught up and found that at moments it was challenging to make the time to distance myself from my busy schedule and focus on something as simple as art. I found myself convincing myself it was unnecessary especially at times when I had a lot of things to get done. But I took the time for myself and I think my mental stability has really benefitted from it.
For my final self intervention, I will be attempting to realize how the privilege that I am afforded affects my daily life. I want to be aware of the numerous ways that my life is better off due to factors that I don’t control — factors that have aided me without requiring my own hard work or mindfulness. I do consider myself an incredibly lucky person, and now I want to dissect this thought and understand it better, so that I can then be extra mindful that I am not hurting anyone or creating inequity.
I’m not quite sure how to define success in the scope of this self-intervention (I probably should have thought about that when I started). Although I haven’t reached any predetermined milestone, I do feel more aware of my stance in the world. During this intervention I have tried to take moments to reflect on my position for both big things and little things. The word privilege is a loaded word. Different people invoke different ideas when they hear it. I think a lot of people get defensive when they hear it; at least I think that’s what I experienced when I tried to talk to certain people about my intervention. It was important for me to remind myself and those I talked to that being aware of privilege is not an attack or a condemnation. For me, it is about mindfulness. When I am mindful about my place in the world, I am not only able to make decisions which (hopefully) will lead to a more equitable world, but I am able to FEEL GOOD (i.e. feel empowered, feel a sense of agency, not feel attacked or condemned) making those decisions. I’d like to continue this trend of mindfulness.
I will be doing a “complaintervention” this week. I work two jobs, volunteer, and take a full load of courses. This has been putting me under a lot of stress and pressure, which I usually end up complaining about to my roommates and my boyfriend. For the sake of their well-being and my own, I’m really going to try being more positive and having a better look on some of the things I normally get irritated by.
Resolution: I was actually surprised by how well I stuck to this. Every day for two weeks, whenever I found myself getting incredibly frustrated or upset, I made myself take a mandatory 5 minute “chill” time before readdressing what made me upset. During this time, I would not talk about my feelings with anyone until I could be more calm. Often times, I found myself not even needing to complain about it after the 5 minute time period was up because I realized that those things weren’t worth getting upset about. It also helped me communicate in my relationship with my boyfriend, as I feel like I was much more heard and respected when I talked to him about any issues I had in a more collected manner. Now granted, it was absolutely difficult to remain positive after the results of the election and while working Black Friday and hitting several hours of overtime every day for the entirety of the break. I would be lying to say I didn’t let the occasional complaint slip past my tongue. However, I really feel as though my overall happiness was improved by this intervention, and I hope to continue this.
I will begin meditating on a daily basis. This will mean that I will dedicated at least 30min of my day to meditation. During the day I am busy from the moment I wake up until a couple hours before I go to sleep, and some days I don’t get much of a break. Being productive is a good thing, but when my day becomes very busy it is unlikely that I will take a moment to relax. This is something that I don’t like about being busy, it results in me being stressed constantly and having a poor attitude. I believe that taking the time to slow down during the day will result in less stress overall and hopefully having a better attitude about life and being busy.
Follow-up: This task was much harder to pull off than I had expected, I started strong but I was unable to meditate every day. I did do my meditation for the first three days after I had started then I became consumed with school work. It is funny because the exact reason I felt the need to meditate was the same thing that prevented me from doing it. It did not take priority over my school work and unfortunately it fell by the wayside. When I was able to meditate I felt like it did reduce my stress level but only temporarily. If I was able to do this consistently it would be worth it and I feel like it could help me manage my workload and stress levels. It is something I will continue to work on.
My intervention will be to read for pleasure every day for at least 30 minutes. I like to read, but find it hard to rationalize reading for when, when there is so much other reading/work I have to do for classes that will be graded, or could lead to a better understanding of the subject. In order to accomplish this, I will have to create the time instead of substituting reading for other activities. So, I will wake up earlier in the mornings to read before I start the day. This time would otherwise be spend sleeping.
Resolution: Over break I went to Baja and didn’t have any service or wifi. This made it admittedly easier for me to follow through with reading more frequently. While I didn’t have to wake up earlier to achieve this because I had much more free time, I did have to make the conscious effort to read. There is plenty to do there and being with my mom didn’t want to spend too much time just focusing on myself. I felt accomplished after I read and enjoyed the time relaxing. It took me a couple days to really get into it though as I was still in “grind” mode from school. Ultimately, I’ve realized there are tradeoffs in every day life. Whether that be going to the gym or reading, or spending time with friends or reading, its hard for me to prioritize reading. I think getting into a habit of reading before bead every night would be more attainable as it wouldn’t typically impede on time otherwise spent with other people.
I am going to raise my hand to speak in class at least once a day. I can be pretty quiet when it comes to speaking to a large group. I often find myself answering discussion questions in my head or asking my neighbors for clarification (who often don’t know the answer). This will take me out of my comfort zone but increase my confidence enough for me to do this more in the future.
I unfortunately forgot about my self intervention more than I would have liked. I would think to raise my hand as I am walking to class but as I would sit in lecture my focus would be more on what the professor is saying than my intervention (which also is a good thing). I was most successful raising my hand in chemistry when I would be confused during a lab procedure or a practice problem she is doing on the board. I also realized that in order to raise my hand I actually had to have a question or answer in mind. In one of my classes my professor just reads off the powerpoint, so I never really have questions about the material. I however did consciously participate in the discussion in this class because of my intervention.
I will begin my days by meditating. This will require of me to mentally schedule time before I begin making breakfast, taking a shower, and all my other morning activities prior to embarking into the day. Sometimes I find myself living at a very quick pace, which is fine, but recently I have been distracted from myself. From waking up in the morning, I will check my email from my phone while in bed, scroll through social media feeds, immediately make a cup of coffee or begin cleaning up around the house. I have had consistent yoga and meditation practices in the past, but it seems everything in my life ebbs and flows. The objective of my intervention is to reclaim my mornings as a time for myself without a cluttered mind.
Follow-up: I have not been consistently been meditating in the mornings, but the act of reclaiming my mornings has been a positive experience. Some days I would meditate, and others I was aware of the intention to meditate yet had no desire to actually do. The act of reclaiming my mornings was often as simple as practicing mindfulness while brewing my coffee. I learned that taking time out of my day, especially in the morning, to tune into myself and be quiet is a powerful way to begin the day.
My goal is to manage my health better through eating habits and exercising. Because of my studying habits and project requirements for my major, I often end up eating late at night. So I’ll limit myself from doing so three times a week, including weekends. Hopefully I’ll be able to reduce the number of days at the end of the intervention. For exercise, I have been In order to achieve better studying habits and spend my energy and time more efficiently, I’ll work out at least twice a week and record time I spent at the recreation center to exercise.
Follow-up: After Pete introduced this intervention to class in the beginning of this quarter, I started on this intervention. And throughout week 1 and 2 and up until week 3, I did manage to go to the gym at least twice a week. For each workout session I did the following: running for 30 minutes (approximately 250 calories burned), fast jump ropes for 15 minutes (approximately 130 calories burned), squats for five minutes (approximately 12 calories/min), 5 x2 minute plank (approximately 5 calories/each 2 minutes), and moderate stretching session for 30 minutes (approximately 250 calories burned). So calorie burnt from every workout session is equivalent to about 715 calories. But once the quarter started to get more realistic with exams, I completely abandoned this intervention. I used to be conscious until the fifth week and then decided not to stress over it. So that’s 1,430 calories I decided to store (?) in my body weekly. If I actively carried out this intervention I could have burned total 14,300 calories by the end of the quarter. As a final thought, I think bringing some sort to change to our lives, on our own, is a very difficult concept to carry out. We don’t change very easily and has to deal with extreme amount of stress when the change is forcefully given. In order to bring change with our own efforts without any pressure and force, it requires very strong motivation and priority to be set. And even so it’s often just temporary.
For my self intervention I’m going to try to limit my social media and internet entertainment access. I’m definitely addicted to social media, especially Facebook & Netflix. I waited until today, after the election, to start this intervention to help avoid the craziness of the election results. I’m hoping that if I limit my wasteful internet usage I can be more productive with schoolwork. I’m setting some regulations on when I can use the internet and for how long. I want to turn off all electronic outlets by 10pm (I have a 7-10pm class). Along with becoming more productive I want to get to bed at a decent time. Let’s see how well this goes! 😀
Update: I went ahead and did this self intervention until November 18th. At first I had to constantly remind myself to NOT go directly to my phone or computer when I was “bored”. Instead I had to direct my attention to other things like homework and other activities. I was able to go to the rec center two times more than I usually go during the week because I had finished my homework and studying on time/early. By cutting off electronics at 10pm I was also able to go to bed at a decent time. After a week and a half of strictly limiting my internet usage I really was able to accomplish more that I imagined. Now going into the future I’m probably not going to be as regimented internet access, but I will be definitely using my computer/phone time in a more useful way.
For my self intervention, I have decided to do a few things. I have decided that each day, I will compliment at least one person on my walk to class, or in a restaurant, at the grocery store etc. Specifically, I will compliment someone who I do not know. Also, I am going to sit outside for 15 minutes a day, and put my phone away and either bring a journal to write about my day, or bring some paper to do some doodling. This will almost be like a meditation. I heard meditation is very good for your health and I do not get enough of it. Especially since I am always on my phone, it would be good to break away from that and get some time for myself. Whenever I do get free time, I enjoy writing in a journal about the events in my life. Lately, I have been so busy that I do not get to do that. This self intervention will help me to be able to take some time for that, and to do good to others and complimet them.
I have decided to stay away from negative people and upon waking ever morning start out with a prayer . I will practice being positive in attitude and behavior . I will completely abstain from any mood altering substance. At the end of each day I will take 15 minutes to reflect on the day and write down my feelings as it relates to my self intervention. After the intervention period i will review what I have recorded daily and see if there is something of value there and record that for future reference. My experience was clouded by a case of the FLU, however I was able gain much wisdom from my illness and through this disoriented, disabled consciousness, cleanse somehow, my mind and body. At the end of my self intervention I reflected upon my diary and noted that it was an uphill battle until I became ill, then remarkably I was able to stay positive somehow knowing I would recover. What I did not realize was that in the process I would had somehow cleared out erroneous clots of mental and physical garbage. In other words the practice of being positive against all odds really works and abstaining from “bad habits” made it all happen. I am going to stay on this path ,it just feels good.
I decided for my self-intervention I wanted to trace the development of my exercise regimine and elaborate on how I can work to make more time for the gym. I noticed that at the beginning of the school year, I allocated plenty of time in between my classes to make time for the gym. However, as the quarter progressed I’d slowly make excuses to go later or another day. However, something I have come to learn after 4 years of college is nothing is going to move progressively forward of for a betterment without adequate effort. To my credit, at least acknowedging the lack of attendance in the gym is there. But more so, I have been aiming to derive these desires out of my own will power. I realized several times I can truly fit in the gym in the morning and evening and will circle back to elaborate on my mid-quarter reset expecations.
Tiffany Nhin: The college years away from home had made me eat really unhealthy, because I’m graduating soon, I really want to start being healthy again but I can’t get into the daily habit right away. I’ve never been great at staying hydrated. My intervention goal for the next week is to drink the equivalent of 8 water bottles throughout the day, every day. I am slowly incorporating these routines into my daily life and I think as summer reaches I would have to drink more water anyways.
Follow Up: In the past week, I have been drinking a ton of water on the daily and because I was sick, it really forced me to stay hydrated. The equivalent of 8 water bottles was way more than I expected so I only started out with 4 in the first couple days. Although I did drink a lot of water, it was not consistent because I would forget to drink water or it was not in my reach (inconvenient timing). After a week of this intervention, I found that I got over my sickness faster, healed much better and went about my 8am – 8pm classes without getting headaches. I am definitely going to try to continue this and even increasing the intake.
I have decided to do sort of a lifestyle intervention. I have been told with my numerous knee surgeries and issues with sleeping that doing yoga is incredibly helpful. I have decided to try to wake up an hour earlier and do yoga every single day, not only for health reasons but also to focus on myself. In addition to this I will be trying to give up added sugars to fix my diet. Especially as I get more stressed out during the quarter, my reliance on ice cream increases. I believe these two changes can make a dramatic impact on my life.
My self intervention was mainly focused on taking care of my body. As I get more stressed, I often start neglecting my health and well-being. I started off by giving up added sugars for a week. This proved to be one of the most difficult things I have ever done- I didn’t realize how much I used sugar and snacks as a crutch when I was stressed out. In addition it made me realize the lack of self control I had. By the end of the week it did get easier- in fact fruits and vegetables started tasting a little too sweet. I also surprised myself, I was at an Indian function, and felt no need to eat my favorite food (even though I hadn’t had it in months). In addition to giving up sugar, I also decided to start doing yoga. Doing yoga actually had a pretty profound impact on me: I am more awake (even though I wake up an hour earlier to do yoga), my injured knee hurts less, and my concentration has improved. In fact, I’ve enjoyed the effects of doing yoga so much, that I have continued to do it for the past 3 weeks. All in all, this experience has taught me a lot about balancing life. I realized that no work is worth sacrificing my health. I need to take extra time to take care of myself regardless of my workload.
For my self intervention, I seek to accomplish two things. First, as others have said, I looked around my house and my room the other day and realized that quite frankly, I have so much more stuff than I could ever need. With this, I am going to seek to get rid of a large portion of my clothing and “stuff”. Most specifically, I have a large amount of cold weather and waterproof clothing that I really don’t use, so for the upcoming winter season, I am going to seek out homeless individuals within my community that would make better use of these items than myself. This is something that I can do personally to make a difference, however small, in the world. Secondly, I think that people (myself included) complain far too much about anything in life, and often completely forget how blessed and fortunate we are to be living where we live and have the opportunities before us we have. For my second intervention, I am going to try to write down something new I’m thankful for when I wake up every morning, and try to not be so negative, as I know that millions, if not billions, of people across the world can only dream of the taken for granted comports I have and the opportunities before me.
Since I began my self intervention, I truly have felt so much happier and more fulfilled in life. One of the things that I sought to accomplish was for two weeks to write down something new I was thankful for every morning when I wake up. This was a wonderful experience, and near the end I honestly enjoyed thinking of new things. It really helped change my perspective on my life, giving me a more gracious attitude and demeanor. The second part of my intervention was very eye opening, in that I donated a sizeable percentage of my clothing and possessions to either homeless persons directly or thrift store and other organizations. It was very moving to me that when one of the first homeless persons I approached and asked how I could help (In Arroyo Grande) said that his winter coat was falling apart and the nights were getting too cold for him. I just to happened to bring a spare snow jacket with me and I gave it to him along with some wool socks. The look on his face was enough to fill me up with emotion. Something as simple as giving away a piece of cloth truly changed this person’s life. But it made me question, what is so great about me? Why do I deserve to have such everything in life in such abundance while so many others have so little? Moving forward, I am going to try to maintain this lifestyle and always be looking for new ways to help others. I thought this was an excellent and truly life-altering experience.
I am going to abstain from complaining about my classes and school. I find that even though I enjoy all my classes I tend to complain about the workload, midterms, homework, etc to my friends a lot. I don’t want to be a negative person and want to be more positive with my day-to-day interactions. Instead of complaining, I’m going to find something positive to say. I’m going to share exciting things I’m learning and how I’m being challenged instead of griping about what I have to do.
UPDATE: I think overall it went well. I found that in the times that I would normally start complaining about classes to my friends, I found other, more positive things to talk about. I would mention what a nice day it was, how somebody positively impacted my day, or something interesting I learned. It was nice to see how negative comments and thinking can be replaced by much more positive and uplifting comments which put me in a better mood. It’s such an easy change but it really does make a difference, especially in the middle of a busy and stressful day. Of course I didn’t do perfectly, I caught myself complaining a couple times, but when I did, I was able to turn it around into something positive. I really enjoyed this intervention.
My self intervention for this week will be to refrain from eating out (i.e. fast food, coffee, etc.) Last week with midterms and projects was a bad week in terms of consuming outside my household. I hope to reduce my own personal food waste and save some money. Eating out usually results in overeating and consuming more than needed which results in contributing to food waste from receiving excess food that doesn’t taste as good reheated…Instead, I’ll focus on consuming all the food I have at home and coming up with new and creative ideas to keep my meals exciting. Things I will do include brewing my own coffee the night before, preparing smoothies in advanced, packing to-go snacks, and planning dinners beforehand.
Follow-Up: By Friday, I really needed caffeine and I spent all day Saturday with a fat migraine. It showed me how reliant I have become on coffee/caffeine and that my eating habits aren’t the best. I was also able to reduce my amount of food waste by going through my current food supply and planning meals ahead of time.
Pete Schwartz – Interventions often take the form of fasting something… like “no cell phone” or “no meat fish or eggs” or “no car”. All this is good. However, there can also be things you commit to do such as, “say ‘HI’ to 10 people every morning and start up a conversation.” I’m going to try a combination of the two. I’m going to reserve after dinner time to my family for the next week. This means no snacking and no computer use… unless this would be part of a family activity, which is unlikely. I’ll write about it at the end of the week…..2 weeks go by. OK, I learned about my procrastination and didn’t start until Sunday before Thanksgiving. It was the deadline for me to finish before class on Monday. Rather than getting sucked into the computer, I played cards (“nines”) with Robin and Neil (Tekuru was in Joshua Tree with friends). After Neil was in bed, I asked Robin to talk about our expectations for each other and ourselves in our marriage and as Neil’s coparents. I recognize that I wouldn’t enter into a business relationship with someone without first defining our roles and expectations. However, this is exactly what I did when we married ~4 years ago. So we stretched for a while (which I realize is a great thing to do before bed) and then uncovered some of the reasons why she might feel disappointed and I might feel unappreciated. In general, in the evenings, I spent more time talking to the kids and doing the dishes and folding laundry. An important counterexample is Monday, a friend dropped by, we munched food long into the evening, and then after she left, Robin and I got sucked into the computers habitually… I felt separation arise between me and Robin, and we didn’t sleep well. I’m grateful for this evening of “failure” because it really contrasted the effect of the intervention. How I compensated for the change: We went to bed earlier and that is great. However, I sometimes then wake up at 2, 3, 4 AM. Then I just work for a few hours and go back to sleep. Sometimes I wake up and I’m hungry, and that’s probably why I woke up, so I eat – I consider this cheating in my intervention. The truth is I have too much work to do without working after dinner, so to continue this lifestyle change poses challenges. Lastly, what if Robin wants to read NPR after the kids are in bed? What is my role to not be on the computer but be her partner? In fact, one of the best memories of the week could be seen as a compensation mechanism: Friday night, Tekuru sat on my lap and Neil on Robin’s lap while we both read NPR on our computers at the same table… Imagine the kind of vocabulary an 8 year old will get reading NPR. The big challenge for me is I can’t keep up with Tekuru. She reads about twice as fast as I do and keeps wanting to push the page up.
Petra Knapp – I am going to take an intervention from sugar. It is a costly addiction that harms me personally and funds an industry that is harmful to the environment and dumps chemicals into most of their products, in addition to being harmful to those consuming it. I will refrain from eating any form of processed sugar from today for one week until next Monday, and hopefully in the future.
Ari Burton: I plan to spend this week leading up to thanksgiving break without coffee. I am doing this for two main reasons. Coffee and caffeine have negative impacts on immune systems and are heavily addictive, an addiction i 100% have. The second reason is because this quarter I have learned so much about the coffee bean industry and how disastrous major coffee corporations are to people in coffee growing countries. So I will be doing this intervention as way to stand up against the treatment of people at the lower end of coffee production as well as to better my own health.
Update: So this was not as easy as I had thought it would be. I work 3 jobs, and I often do double shifts which means a 14 hour work day. On Saturday, day 3 of my intervention I caved, I needed coffee between shifts. However, lucky for me, living in San Luis Obispo I had the opportunity to buy coffee from a company that supports fair trade and is not detrimental to any Southern American communities, Higher Grounds Roasters. I was at Trader Joes buying something to eat before I headed up to my other job and I really wanted coffee but I was trying to stay true to my goal, until I saw this label, and I read the back, googled the company and decided this is a brand of coffee that I could 100% support. So I bought 2 bags, went home, made myself of cup of coffee with my lunch and headed to work. I know this still contests my goal of not drinking coffee in part because it’s bad for your immune system, but I felt a lot more justified in drinking this coffee. For the rest of the week I only had 2 more cups in total, which for me was a great success considering I would typically drink 2-3 cups daily. Hopefully I can cut down on my coffee consumption overall after this, and I plan to continue to by this brand of coffee or other with same morals attached to the company.
Lezah Winick: I have two interventions inmid for this upcoming 2 weeks. I hope to have four interactions with people where I don’t use my phone and provide my undivided attention for 40min to and hour. Another part of the intervention is I want to start cleaning my room on a daily bais. I am very comfortable living in a messy room, however, I am happier when my environment is clean. I will set out things to do before I leave in the morning and things to do before I am able to go to bed. I hope that the habit will catch on.
Follow Up: I was very suprised with the outcome of my intervtions. I was confident that sitting with someone for about 40 minutes with out technology interuptions was going to be so much easier, however, it was harder to find someone else also interested taking a break from technology for that amount of time. So in the art of not wanting to burden other people with my own personal intervention I really let it drop and stoped trying. The cleaning of my room actually lasted for about three weeks which was huge, however, it definitley is starting to get messy again and I really need to create easy guidelines to keep me engaged in cleaning my room on a daily basis other wise it is overwhelming and then it slowly gets worse and worse. I know that I can keep this intervention going and I would like to be more outgoing and see the technology fast less of a burdern. I was think I could lead by example and put away my phone while hanging with other people and eventually they might also want to take a break and focus on what is infront of them. The point of the intervension is to focus on my self and not others.
Below this Line, Is for Fall 2015
Famous Film Makers: So Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer ate only food from the waste stream for 6 months (including $20,000 of organic chocolate from the dumpster) in “Just Eat It”. Read about it.
Garrett: Over Thanksgiving break, I decided that I would go a week without coffee – an impressive feat for me, given that I typically consume upwards of 600mg of caffeine (bare minimum) on a typical school day. I started on Wednesday, and made it all the way through Thursday. Then, on Black Friday, I had to work an eight hour retail shift. It was my second week on the job, so I was awake for most of the previous night with nervous thoughts. I was exhausted on my way to work, so I broke down, went into Starbucks, and ordered a trenta cold brew without water with three shots of espresso. Addiction is rough.
Beth: Like many others, I went through my clutter and gathered items to give away. I also asked my friends if they would like to contribute. By the end of the week I had 2 trash bags of clothes to donate. It felt good to get rid of clutter and reduce some of the excess in my life. However, it is hard to resist the impulse to buy new clothes to replace the ones I gave away. I keep having to remind myself that I don’t need them…
Brentyn: On 11/12/15 I started going through the clutter in my house to donate away. I have accumulated too much over the years and tend to not get rid of anything. Most of it I don’t need anymore. I’ve been going through clothes that are still good but I don’t wear anymore and getting them ready to donate. I cleaned out a lot of art supplies and gave them to a friend who was learning to draw. I don’t want to just through everything away but I want to make sure it gets used and isn’t just stored away in my house.
Mitsuyoshi: It is 11/13/15 and for the next week I will get enough exercise per the recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine. My health is one of the most important assets that I have and I want to take care of that. Too many times I make excuses about not having time or lacking motivation to go and do something active. The ACSM recommends 30 minutes of activity every day, which honestly doesn’t sound bad. 30 minutes can be spared during the day to go for a run, ride, or hike. Given that the rates of diabetes and obesity are going up in this country, I want to decide to make my well-being a priority and get out and move.
Vanessa: I am starting today, right now(11/10/15). Deleting all of my social media apps from my phone. I will not be going on Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. I will be doing this for a week. I think I’ll have more peace of mind and I am excited!
11/12/2015: I went on Facebook to post on Cal Poly ride share to leave town for the weekend. It made me happy to see one post. I ignored my notifications and only posted on the group page instructing readers to direct message me considering I can have the messenger app and can avoid newsfeed posts.
11/16: I realized that I rely on facebook for my current news. I feel out of the loop on current events and feel I should subscribed to a couple feeds rather than using social media to determine my opinions on situations. It has been a bit tough for me to refrain from logging on but I have been successful. There was one summer where I omitted social media from my life. I was on an internship away from my hometown and friends and I was trying to focus on my work, health, and outdoor activities so it was nice and very easy. I feel that being in the campus setting has made this experience different. It is forcing me to evaluate how my surroundings really do affect me, and I don’t think I like that.
Neelima: One thing I’ve done for years, is watch TV or look at my cellphone while I eat dinner. This has turned into a bad habit, especially in college because when me and my roommates are eating, I still watch Netflix on my iPad while everyone is talking. It has made it so that I become really antisocial during those periods of time. For that reason, I made an active decision to not watch any sort of TV and put my cellphone away while I was eating. To be honest, it did force me to talk to my roommates more, but I realized that this was the time that I used to relax and that those 30 minutes of watching TV while I eat is really not that big of a deal.
Curtis: I’ve decided to start taking up meditation again. I used to do it sporadically but it never stuck for me. In order to facilitate this I’ve decided to schedule 15 minutes at night, which is when I usually have the time. One thing that I’d like to use to help me is my smartphone. Rather than trying to avoid using my phone, I think it would be really interesting to use it in a more mindful way.
Caleb: Monday, November 9th – I decided to keep my phone completely away from eyes during all social settings and times I am bored at home in order to be present with the people I interact with. I recently got my first smart phone and was always super critical to my close friends about how whenever we hang out, everyone is one their phones more than 50% of the time while I just sit there and watch. It annoyed me to the point where I was completely against having a smart phone for the longest time. This past summer, I caved in and got a smart phone but made myself a promise that I would never use it in social settings unless it was due to receiving a call or to share pictures with people I was with. I also told my self I would not have a ridiculous amount of social media related apps on my phone which causes you to be constantly distracted. Since I have gotten the phone, I’ve fallen to the temptation and am now the person that I used to be so annoyed of. I strongly needed an intervention and deleted these apps on my phone for the week.
Sunday, November 15th – The week is now up. It was definitely a very refreshing experience. I refrained and was successful in every social interaction, but would go on my phone at night before bed (which is not really any better, but at least I’ve made an improvement). I was put back in the same situation again as the only friend not on their phone for the majority of the time when we hang out. It humbled me because I realized that I have not been realizing this happening any more because I too am normally on my phone. It definitely shook me up a bit in the best way possible, and hope to continuously be reminded of how ridiculous these situations can be and how I can change my self in order to help change others.
Violet Tylock: A week ago I decided to delete all my social media accounts and see how long I could go. I realized that I get distracted from class and conversations with people. I found that it was easier than I thought to get rid of Instagram and Snapchat but surprisingly Facebook, the oldest app of them all, ended up being the hardest to give up. Not because it was entertaining or but because I realized that it is how communicate with things going on at Cal Poly and even more specifically for my individual classes. So far I am a week into my intervention and I have not one re-downloaded my Instagram and snapchat apps and I find myself not only keeping more focus on whats going on around me but also finding it easier to leave my phone and in general pay less attention to it. I ended up not going long with out Facebook just because my class created a page for studying and the clubs that I am in both use this as a major form of communication.
Kat: My weakness is that I love fruit juices. In one week, I may have up to three plastic bottles, and it borders me. However, I came up with a compromise: reusing the bottle to grown herbs or small indoor plants. I read this section of the class from the begin of the quarter, so I kinda cheated. Now I already have three bottle pots (I called it bot pot) with healthy plants growing. My cilantro seeds are sprouting; my marble queen is loving her bot pot; and I am waiting for my baby breaths to sprout! So far, my plants love it,and I get to spend some time to be creative making the bot pots, but it seems like I am not keeping up with the rate of producing plastic bottles. It has been seven weeks since I started the project. I still have about ten bottles waiting to be useful again. I am hoping to turn them into bot pots this Wednesday because we have no school. By the way, thanks to the coffee group, I’m using coffee ground as part of the soil. Thanks guys 🙂
Blake: For 48 hours I am going to try to 100% abstain from technology including my phone, tv, laptop and anything else i may have the urge to use. I expect this to be very difficult because i am always around technology whether it be at home or in the classroom. By far the hardest to not use will be my phone because I am constantly either texting someone or checking instagram for something pointless. This self intervention is well-needed and will hopefully help me focus on other aspects of my life such as school and health.
I decided to do my self intervention from November 25th to the 27th. Doing the intervention during thanksgiving gave me the chance to look up from all my technology and connect better with my family. Initially it was very difficult, it became a habit for me to look at my phone multiple times a day and at least 30 times throughout the day i found myself scratching at my pocket to see if my phone was there. Also it made it harder to try and connect with friends because i had no way of reaching them. I often found myself telling my sister to tell my friends to come over so i could get ahold of them. Overall I’m happy I chose to do the challenge during Thanksgiving because it allowed for me to better connect with my family for a few days instead of looking down at my computer or phone.
Taylor: I’ve decided to go without eating meat and processed foods for a week. I have always been displeased with environmental footprints and means of operation of corporate food industry giants, so I figured this would be the perfect time to make a change. For the next week I will seek out a vegan diet consisting of more grown foods, and foods made with minimal or no animal products.
This intervention seemed to have more grey areas as far as beginning and ending points but ultimately I was successful in my goal. It was easier to ease into the process then to just cut out certain foods all together. Over all I do feel noticeably better eating more of a plant based diet and it is nice to be able to control exactly what kinds of oils and ingredients make it into your food. However the one thing that got to me real quick was the lack of breakfast options that I gave myself. I am used to having different combinations of eggs, bagels, breakfast burritos, etc. in the mornings and throughout the week i seemed limited to fruit and oatmeal, which left me pretty quick and sometimes feeling malnourished. So although i have moved back to eggs in the mornings, i do appreciate the higher density of nutrients and fiber of plant-based foods along with the absence of unnecessary extra oils that are present in meats. I feel like this has been a very positive experiment and I will continue to keep up the same practices.
Kelsey: Starting today, November 9th, I am going to choose to drink water anytime I am thirsty rather than juice, gatorade, or milk that I usually choose. I rarely drink any water throughout the day, and I am interested to see if I notice any change in my energy or possibly feel healthier than when I rarely drink water. I have heard that drinking a lot of water is also beneficial for clear skin and I would be interested to see if I see a difference in that regard as well. Drinking water is such a great habit that I know I need to improve, so this intervention may be a good start to changing my ways.
Sarah: 11/13/15 I decided to stop using my phone in all social settings. I think that as a society, we are having a harder time being present in our conversations and relationships, so I am choosing to make an effort to better my own relationships. I’ve even begun treating class as a social situation since I am paying money to be here, I should be just as present in my classes as well. Obviously, my grades will be able to thank me for it later.
Ted: I’m going to attempt to go without eating any kind of unhealthy snacks or processed foods. I normally eat a pretty balanced diet, but I always seem to eat a lot more junk food than I should. Going without it in the long-run has no negative consequences I can see so I’ll be sure to note anything significant.
Cody: I am giving up drinking beers for a week. I want to give up this aspect of my life due to a self-cleanse. I want to get out all the glueten in my body. I am searching for a more pure fresh feeling within my body. I think by getting rid of this tasty habit for this week. I will feel invigorated and happy with my self-discipline. Giving up beer will improve my life in multiple aspects. This will be hard. I love beer.
Jennifer: I am giving up take out food for a week. I think it is important to cook at home with ingredients you are familiar with. I am an alright cook, but what really matters is that I enjoy to cook. I think planning my meals out and cooking with natural ingredients will not only save me from an unhealthy lifestyle, but will also help me save a few dollars. My first step is to hit up the local farmers markets and get me some delicious ingredients!
Teo: I decided that I am going to give up sweets for a week. I have a few vices in my life and the candy thing has been haunting me since I was a little child. Besides it being terrible for my health and wallet sweets have been a kind of dopamine rush that I have used as a coping mechanism for too long. I believe that taking some time away will help me gain a perspective on why I feel such a strong draw to satisfying my sweet tooth.
David: I eat out way too much, basically for like every meal.. which is way too expensive to keep up. I live back in Nipomo which is a good 30 minute drive so it’s always way too inconvenient to just go home and cook. So I plan to pack my food the night before and only eat what was previously bought at a grocery store for a week.
Frankie: For my self intervention, I’ve decided to give up unhealthy snacking. I always have some form of unhealthy salty snack with me: either chips, crackers, or trail mix (but mostly chips). My salty snacking is constant throughout [literally] the whole day and it’s been a habit of mine for way too long. I am planning to use fruits as my main substitute for salty snacks.
Tom: For my intervention, I shut out technology for 24 hours starting Thursday after my TV broadcast. I wanted to do one day and then see if I could go longer after I reached my goal. Truthfully it was refreshing to not have facebook to refresh over and over again to pass the time. I took a nap, played basketball and got some reading done for another class, before getting ready to go out Thursday night. After heading out downtown, I didn’t have trouble keeping my phone in my pocket. I probably should have left my phone at home to truly experience a lack of technology, but I rely on my phone for transportation to and from downtown late at night. I woke up Friday and went on a bike ride after a long and lazy wake up. My TV remained off in the morning, which is typically unheard of for me. I didn’t watch any ESPN or consume any other media. The day dragged on for a good while until the mid afternoon when 3pm came around. I really felt lonesome and bored without the technology and media that I consume on a daily basis. It really puts into perspective how most people don’t have access to the same media as I am.
Loren: I am going to avoid using my phone when I am with other people and when I am in class. My phone is a big distraction when I am in class and I need to give the teachers respect and attention they deserve. This is something I really need to work on because it is a big distraction in my academic and social life. I know I get annoyed when my friends don’t listen to me when they’re on their phones and I don’t want to do the same to them. I might try to take it a step further and take a week long break from social media but that probably won’t happen.
Sara: Whenever I am with other people or in a public setting, I am going to put my phone away. I want to be able to give others undivided attention and not be distracted. I also feel that a lot of the time people walk around looking down at their phones. When I do this, I am probably missing a lot of the environment around me. I am curious to see what I notice from this self intervention.
Haley: I am going to avoid looking at my cell phone during class and while I have any academic work in front of me. I use my phone as a distraction by making communication with friends and family a priority over uninterrupted focus on academics. Just having my phone sitting next to me on the table pulls a large amount of my attention away from the task at hand and I constantly find myself stretched too thin. This is something I need to bring into many aspects of my life, learning to separate tasks and activities from each other in order to be more present to each one individually.
Edward: I am going to avoid buying food for the next week. I have a bunch of stuff frozen that I should use up before thanksgiving break, However, due to being too lazy to plan ahead, and defrost it I keep on buying more. This is a terrible habit, and I believe is a pattern of behavior that a lot of other Americans share. Looking at what I have, I think I should have enough food to maintain my current eating habits for the next 3-4 days, but after that my diet might start to involve a lot of rice, and frozen corn/pees. I was able to successfully not go shopping, but the last two days were a lot of rice. It really was a great exercise for me though because I ate through a lot of the random stuff in my fridge, and as a result none of my food went bad over break. I really think that this is a great exercise because it teaches you not to over shop.
Quinn: I am going to avoid processed foods for the next week. I don’t eat a ton of processed foods, about the same as any average college student, but I would like to cut back. I just went grocery shopping and got only fresh foods and prepared a meal plan for this week. Started out this morning with eggs, toast, and an avocado. 11/21 update, continuing past a week here because I’m really not minding it as much as I thought I would, and it’s probably a lot better for me. I’m not going to to super rigid about it or anything, but I’m just going to keep grocery shopping healthier and avoiding processed foods when I can.
Ryan: I am going to go 72 hours without any food and only water. It is 7:30 PM on November 8th and I plan to go without food until Wednesday at 7:30 PM. My goal is to feel real hunger. I find myself complaining about being hungry after having just eaten a large meal a few hours prior. The food that I do eat I feel as if I do not fully appreciate it. To live in a place where I have instant access to all of the food I could ever eat and to not fully appreciate that fact is fairly unfortunate. With this self-intervention, I would like to at least have a better grasp and understanding of all I have to be thankful for (in spirit of Thanksgiving). I’m still unsure of what the actual outcome will be but that’s my goal. I plan to update my progress daily on how I’m feeling. I have also informed my roommates about what I’m doing and told them to pay attention to my behavior to see if they notice any changes that I may miss. Excited to do this but ask me again tomorrow. UPDATE: It’s 10:00 PM on the 9th and I’ve gone about 27 hours without food. This will probably be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I am trying to maintain a normal lifestyle so I went for an easy 5 mile run earlier with the Distance Club. Right now, I feel pretty weak and unenthusiastic. After practice at 4, I had to take a nap for a little under an hour. I then went to a pancake and eggs dinner party and refrained from eating any food. It was very difficult to turn down the food and I found myself zoning out while looking at the food. Since the party, I have found myself craving ANY kind of food that pops into my head. Even food I thoroughly dislike. I am going to bed now to see if I feel better tomorrow. UPDATE: It is 7:01 on the 11th of November and I have 29 minutes left of fasting. This has been an extremely difficult challenge. I don’t think it help that I got sick the first morning so I was fighting a lack of food plus a sickness. Maybe that played a large role into how weak I’ve felt and it wasn’t so much just the lack of food. If I were to say I have gained one thing from this project, it would be that happiness is impossible if your basic needs are not met. I have felt overall terrible for the last two days (first day wasn’t awful) and haven’t been able to partake in jokes and stuff with my roommates (which play a huge role in my happiness). I can now cross this one off my bucketlist. I know for a fact that I don’t want to feel like this again and don’t want anyone to feel like this. As someone who had never experienced real hunger before (is it arguable that I still haven’t?) I would say this is a very eye-opening experience for me and I believe I now have a greater empathy for those who are critically hungry. Glad I was given this opportunity to do this and log throughout the process.
Megan Braun: My self intervention this time was about eating healthier. I don’t think I necessarily eat unhealthy but I wanted to only buy groceries that were health centered. I wanted to take more ownership of what I intake and more consciously/actively focus on what I buy. I think it is important to nourish our bodies and different fruits, vegetables, etc have different benefits. For example I have been getting chronic headaches for years so I thought eating well might help.The intervention showed me that I have more self control than I thought but I do like to snack on some unhealthy snacks. I want to work on picking better alternatives and working on my self discipline in regards to health.
Kate: For this coming week I plan to write down any complaint I can think of instead of telling another person. I feel that when i complain about something the people I tell complain about issues in their lives. One building off another can lead to a very negative energy. I tend to be a positive person but often slip a small annoyance into my conversations. I hope that by writing it down I can get it off my chest and analyze what I’m complaining about.UPDATE: In hindsight, I wish I had chose an easier intervention. I was only able to keep it up for three days but I was still able to gain some new insight. While I thought writing it out was going to help me forget it, but instead it made me feel like the issue was bottled up. I felt almost alone with my problems because I was not able to talk them out with people. I tend to get very anxious about things and turn to my closest friends to calm me down and find a solution. I felt as if they weren’t helping me when I needed them, while in reality I hadn’t told them I needed help. Another thing this challenge made me realize is that other people complained the same amount regardless of if I was complaining. My hypothesis was wrong people don’t always try to one-up one an others complaints. Maybe, like me, people just need to to say how they feel out loud.
Maddi: I am going to limit my caloric intake to 900 calories per day and continue to work out, bike, and live life as usual. I realize that so many people around the world are limited by the amount of food they eat in a day, regardless of how much energy they expend throughout the day. I think limiting myself will be really hard because I love food and it seems like a lots of college activities involve eating. However, I figure 900 calories is not too extreme and should give me enough calories per day as long as I plan it out. I look forward to seeing how challenging it is and feeling the hunger that so many feel around the world (except much worse).
Update: I successfully have completed 5 days of 900 calorie intake from [[tel:11/9- 11/13|11/9- 11/13]]. It started out pretty hard. During my work outs I felt light headed and that I was unable to perform to the best of my ability. My stomach was pretty much always hungry, even if I had just recently eaten. However, toward the end of the week, I noticed I grew accustomed to my stomach’s feeling of emptiness and stomach growling. I wonder if this is a similar shared feeling others with food insecurity experience…they grow used to it? Either way I have much more empathy and awareness for what food insecurity is like (though my situation was far less real or harsh as many others face). In the end…I get to go back to eating normally and know that this was just a small intervention. Some have to live with that as a reality…I have a much deeper appreciation and understanding of that now.
Pete: I won’t take any food that I didn’t bring to the home or grow here. Some challenges at home. Two weeks ago, Robin popped her ACL, a full clean tear. We just got the MRIs back. This presents several hurtles for life. The first is that, having done 9 Ironman Triathlons, Robin’s hopelessly addicted to beta endorphins (exercise), and she’s not happy if she can’t work out. Secondly as “bike people”, we shop by bike, and she does the majority of it. She can still ride, but it’s not easy or comfortable. Complicating things, the two grocery stores near us are going out of business (three days left – everything must go!), leaving only Trader Joe’s – 4 miles away. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when she complained that I reached for some cereal the other night. I mean, “can’t I eat some cereal if I want some?” I thought. She told me she has to carry that cereal home, and our family eats a lot of food, and I didn’t need to eat cereal after dinner and that’s a habit I could change too. Then she said she was just plain sad. I’m embarrassed to say I was first annoyed because I do my part for the family in my opinion and if I want to eat some cereal I should be able to eat some cereal. I’m sure you can all recognize the value of empathetic reflection here. And how do I want to be about this? I went out and bought a whole bunch of stuff to eat from what they had left at the store – lots of tortillas and eggs, but no cereal. Anyway, I’ve been eating only stuff I bring home and helping her more. It’s worth saying we have loads loads loads of guavas now (the kids aren’t allowed to eat an apple until they have a guava first). There are still some pears getting ripe, and we have lots of jam from the passion fruit and figs this past year. No, I’m not suffering – fresh fruit and breakfast burritos or pancakes made with pumpkin that we grew or scavenged after the pumpkin carving party in town. However, it has given me so far an insight about where my food comes from and who is affected by it. …… OK, about a week down, and all the stores are closed. Closest grocery store is Trader Joe’s ~ 4 miles away. I just found out that Robin can’t get surgery until the new year. This intervention is going to last a while longer. I haven’t eaten cereal for a week and today we ran out of tortillas… I rode the tandem with Neil to Trader Joes, and purchased all the pumpkin cereal and pancake mix we could carry. A woman offered to drive our food home for us. I responded that this was adventure and thanked her. Lessons learned:
1) It only takes a moment to get soaked riding a bike in the rain – how many more times am I going to have to learn that?
2) Blown out inner tubes are excellent bungee cords. Also note my full backpack at bottom.
Elliott Salazar: I am choosing to source as much of my food as I can from local, homegrown, and gleaned sources. I started over the weekend by getting about 15 pounds of carob from a tree on campus, a bunch of persimmions from a tree off foothill (permission given by owner), and pumpkins left over from Halloween. I have been sourcing my greens and things for salad from weeds (mallow mostly in this season) and from the garden. I started/planted bunches of seeds for winter grow outs (beets, carrots, and various grains). I have been amazed at how much self restraint it requires to not purchase foods that are just one meal or a “quick fix” from campus or else where. My intention behind all of this is to maximize the health benefits I get from food as well as take action in my food ethics.
Correction: I will eat food that I grow, glean, forage, hunt, fish for. That is priority. Secondly I will purchase local food, and more importantly ethically raised food [raised in a holistic system with fertile soils-non petrochemical based] This causes me to have to know more farmers/gardeners, so I am making it a point to meet more of them in the area. I will continue to study, experiment, and develop models of regenerative food bear bearing ecosystems. These ecosystems MUST be developed with consideration of the social environment as much the physical and biological. This makes me need to become a better communicator, and develop strong relationships with people of many cultures and who are from high to low in regards of wealth and social standing.
Mary Dundon: I am in a long distance relationship so electronic communication is very important. However, quite often, I am distracted while on the phone or Skyping with my boyfriend. I might be watching TV in the background or browsing Reddit or doing homework. I am going to prioritize so that when we schedule time to talk, I am really there communicating with him, not just responding automatically. This will be especially important as we won’t be seeing each other this weekend so it will be a full 2 weeks until the next time we get together.
Update: Twice in the past week I strayed from this intervention and started browsing the internet while I was talking to my boyfriend on the phone. However, I realized what I was doing and stopped so that I could focus on the conversation more. This was actually very insightful because even if he doesn’t always realize that I’m not actively paying attention to him, when I am giving him 100% of my attention, he can tell. This was especially effective this week because we were apart this past weekend (I was at a wedding in NorCal and he was with his family in SoCal) and very busy with our respective activities so we only talked briefly. However, because we had connected so much over the past week, it didn’t add any strain to talk less over the weekend.
Below this line is from Winter 2015
Kylie Zarmati: I chose to go seven days without spending any money. I tried this earlier in the quarter during our first intervention and completely forgot about it, needless to say I spent money. This time I successfully went the week without spending. I did barter a concert ticket for a loaf of homemade bread on my last day of the intervention, and I realized what good friends I have surrounding me and willing to support me. The intervention made me feel accomplished and also lighter in the sense that I felt I hadn’t accumulated anything, whether necessary or not. This helped me understand that it is very possible to live in our society while spending very little. I feel privileged to know that there are certainly ways of attaining those things necessary for survival by other means, especially if you are willing to help others out when they are in need because this will almost always be reciprocated.
Violet Tylock: A week ago I decided to delete all my social media accounts and see how long I could go. I realized that I get distracted from class and conversations with people. I found that it was easier than I thought to get rid of Instagram and Snapchat but surprisingly Facebook, the oldest app of them all, ended up being the hardest to give up. Not because it was entertaining or but because I realized that it is how communicate with things going on at Cal Poly and even more specifically for my individual classes. So far I am a week into my intervention and I have not one re-downloaded my Instagram and snapchat apps and I find myself not only keeping more focus on whats going on around me but also finding it easier to leave my phone and in general pay less attention to it. I ended up not going long with out Facebook just because my class created a page for studying and the clubs that I am in both use this as a major form of communication.
Jack Bowen: For my intervention I gave away all the clothes I don’t really think are necessary. I’ve now got 2 pairs of pants, a pair of running shorts, 3 t-shirts, a flannel, a jacket, and a suit. Honestly it’s not that hard. Getting rid of some of my excess has yet to feel uncomfortable or transformative. I think it’s because I still have a weeks worth of clean laundry. I want to try to make a uniform, an outfit I will wear every day for a week, and see how that feels.
Antonio Rodriguez: I recently attempted to go to sleep early for the past week. Being the type of person that functions better at night can be extremely devastating because you go about your day unable to keep your eyes open. Ever since I arrived to Cal Poly (transfer student: first quarter), I have been sleeping at 4:00am everyday. This is not a decision I make, I just get a sudden urge to be productive around 1:00am and that leads to a sleepless night. For about 2 days, I was able to get to bed before midnight and get about 6 hours of sleep. Sadly enough, the 3rd day and beyond I have not been able to follow through with this task. I continue to try to sleep early but I was not able to follow through with it. (Nov 2) It is now 1:30am and there is no sign of me falling asleep anytime soon.
Pete Schwartz: Starting Wednesday Nov.19, for one week, I will eat just three meals a day. This is a challenge because I pretty much eat constantly from the time I get home to when I fall asleep. Robin says “Thats weak” – OK, woman, I’ll only have two meals a day – breakfast and lunch. I’ll eat nothing after 1 PM and I promise I won’t turn this into a “how much can I stuff myself at lunch and eat early in the morning” contest.
Nov. 22 – starting day 4, Saturday: OK, I’m pretty relaxed, like really relaxed. Maybe I don’t have the excess energy necessary to get stressed. I get pretty hungry by about 2 or 3 PM and it grows until bedtime. I couldn’t sleep the first evening because of the noise my stomach was making. But I sleep through the night and am not hungry when I wake up. I once fasted for 150 hours with only water… and it wasn’t a good idea. I mean, the first three days were really cool, euphoric, but after that, it was not a good idea – I could see my body falling apart as I went from about 165 lbs to 137 lbs in the 6+ days – don’t do it, it’s a bad idea, but 3 days was great. I can see some of the same signs that maybe I’m metabolizing muscle, so I did have a somewhat larger lunch yesterday, Friday. I go to bed hungry every night and consider what it must feel like for others. My situation is nothing like theirs. I am in complete control. I know when my next meal is. I watch my family eat all they want. What if it wasn’t like this? What if it was constrained? If I went to be not knowing when I’d have food next… for my children who were asking for food? The embarrassment, shame, panic? I am grateful that I can only imagine.
It turns out that the week I chose coincides with the largest number of banquets I associate with for the entire year. We just got back from the Estab’s “Friendsgiving Feast”. The food has been excellent… or smelled excellent. Oh well.
Unforeseen benefit?: I think I work more productively in the evening. But I’ll know more after the next days.
Nov. 26. 4:00 PM and I can eat now again! What I’ve noticed. I’m hungry in the afternoon. Late at night is not so bad, and I’m happy to go to bed: I can eat in the morning! But I wake up and I’m not hungry and feel more at peace than I usually do – I feel more aware of my breathing. I meditate and go about my morning. I eat around 8 AM, but then I want to eat again at 10 AM. As I am nominally a vegetarian, I usually have turbulent gastric intestinal activity, but after the first few days, this seems to have calmed down. The toilet bucket is filling up must slower than usual (more information than you need?).
I didn’t drink any alcohol for the week – beer for breakfast? no thanks. My drinking normally consists of splitting a beer with Robin while cooking dinner maybe 3 times a week. This week, instead I watched Robin drink her half… and then my half. So, I may inquire how this intervention worked for her.
I’m cold at night. Robin complains that there’s too many covers on us. What does this mean? Is my body becoming more efficient because there is less food to burn? The physicist says “average power in must equal average power out”, so it could be that if I eat less rather than lose weight, I’ll require more insulation to stay warm. It’s clear that we will burn less fuel if we have a better insulated house. However, maybe the same works for our bodies: I can eat less and just wear more insulation! This would lower my food related carbon footprint.
I would like to eat in the afternoon, yet, I find great value in this experience I’ve had this past week. I will go back to eating dinner with the family. However, rather than celebrating by feasting until I drop (onto my computer) tonight, for the coming week I’ll eat a light dinner and then nothing until the next morning.
Nasim Delavari: I will attempt to refrain from using my cellphone (except for calling my mother because if I don’t call her, she assumes the worst has happened to me) from Friday evening to Sunday night. I figured I would start with baby-steps as trying to not use my cellphone for an entire week would hinder my academics since I mostly use text and email on my phone to communicate with lab partners, professors, etc. This weekend would be a challenge because it is Halloween weekend in SLO, but I’m going to take on the challenge to see really how dependent I am on my smartphone and if I can do without it. Update__: I tried this and caved within two hours. I didn’t really assign myself a new self-intervention but I began to become more self-aware. I usually buy drinks from Starbucks at least three times a week, and the paper cups add up. For the “don’t throw stuff away” I built a tower of Starbucks cup (paper and plastic) on my kitchen counter. About 2-2.5 weeks ago, I bought a tumbler from Target for $3 and I have been taking that everywhere with me. I realize the convenience in using it! I order a drink, use my own cup (and get a personal cup discount!), and then I wash it out and use it again. Today (11/26), I’m back home in San Diego where plastic bag bans do not exist. In fact, I saw a person petitioning to prevent plastic bag bans outside of one store. This was the first time I went into a store, Target, and became self-aware that I don’t have a reusable bag and that I NEED one. Normally, every time I would go back home, I would think “Whew! Don’t need to remember to take my reuseable bag every time go shopping!” So, right when I walked in, I grabbed one of their reusable bags for sale, and at check-out, I asked the cashier to place all my items in it. I think it’s really interesting that this class has made me so much more aware. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the only thing I have been able to think about is how many people deal with food insecurity day-to-day, and how many photos I’m going to see uploaded to FaceBook and Instagram of my friends and family gathered around a table FULL of food and complaining about how bloated they are. As a result, I might embark on a new self-intervention where I limit how much food I buy and consume.
Jason Patterson: My self intervention has been to take the bus around SLO as much as possible, while catching rides with friends, and not driving my car as much as possible. I feel it has been challenging if I miss the bus, or am n a rush to get somewhere. But overall I have reduced me driving my car by a dramatic amount since I got my license.
William Pedrotti: I will attempt to walk around for a week without wearing shoes (except for in my chemistry labs for safety purposes). After one day I’ve realized that it sucks to not have shoes. The act of walking around without pedal protection turns a trivial task, walking, into a non trivial act. You must walk slower and pick your steps to avoid small very sharp rocks. This has limited the amount of “thinking” I am able to do while walking around because my thoughts are focused on not hurting myself as I walk from point A to point B.
Catlin Khamashta: I (and my roommates) will not throw away any food scrap in order to help motivate us to finally get our compost bin started which we have been talking about for awhile now. I hope to have a compost bin within a week of gathering smelly food scrap. All of this starting after I get back from a conference I am attending in Chicago next week. Because we eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, it shouldn’t take long to get pretty rancid. UPDATE: It got rancid so we went to home depot and got a bin to put them in. The worms was another issue, but we finally found where we wanted to buy from – Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. Waiting for the arrival of 2000 red wigglers. This will be very exciting for spring planting! We have a garden in our backyard currently, we hope to make full meals from the produce next summer. We’re on the road to success.
Kathryn Greenup: I will not be “bored snacking”. I can only eat when I’m hungry and I’ll only eat until I’ve quenched the hunger, not until I’m super full. The point is to save money on snack food, not be wasteful, and to improve my health. I also eat a bunch of candy from department candy jars when I deliver them their mail and my intervention will stop me from indulging. This starts Monday the 8th.
I had a really hard time not snacking because of my roommate situation. This was unexpected because I never realized how much we sit around the counter and talk while snacking. So it was really hard for me to talk and watch them eat while I abstained. I admit that I did eat a few snacks, most of the times it was when a roommate got a new type of snack and I tried it. I timed the intervention to coincide with when I was stopping the part of my job that gives me access to the candy jars, so avoid the temptation. Delivering mail had become an environmental cue that made me crave candy and it was better to intervene when I didn’t have that strong influence. Overall, I think it was an enlightening experience to have tried. Though technically I failed, most days I succeeded and I’m proud of that. I didn’t end up saving money on snacks because my roommates just ate all the snacks I would have eaten, but I’m sure my body is better because of it and their’s aren’t. I think I’ll stick to a moderate level of snacking as my new norm, because I realized that I can survive just fine without snacking all night long and I feel better in the morning when I don’t indulge at night.
I am still undecided about what intervention I want to do because I am going through a lot of changes already. I do have an almost 11 month old son at home. I never thought that I would not be able to finish getting my college degree but I knew it would be harder. My first quarter back was last Spring and I did very well but back in spring my son could only sit up or roll around. He is now efficiently crawling and pulling himself up onto furniture and cruising. His world is expanding way past his tummy time play mat and he requires much more entertainment and supervision. Now that I have a very mobile baby, I have noticed a few changes in my behaviors.
I noticed that I have become used to operating on significantly less sleep. I usually can’t start homework until after my son falls asleep at 8pm. He wakes up when the sun comes up so we are up around 6:30am. Before having a baby I was much more picky about where and when I could get myself to really focus on homework and be productive. Now, I feel like I can turn on the homework switch any chance I get.
I have also been noticing a conflict in me between between feeling alot of pressure and stress to get through school fast so that I can provide for my son and wanting to relax, enjoy, and cherish this time I have with my son while he is a baby. This year has passed by fast and especially after today’s lecture from Rodger I am learning that I should not tell myself that I have to put off happy.
I have also had to let some friendships go as well as make new friends. I still have some friends asking me if I want to go downtown at night or go to football games, but those activities are just not options for me and many of my friends work during the day when I would be able to hang out. I have new mommy friends which has been fun and also provides somewhat of a support system. Being 21, still in college and having a baby is not the norm. Some people are supportive, some people judge and some just don’t know how to react. I am grateful to have other girls as friends that are going through the same struggles.
LIke I said in the beginning, I never told myself I could not finish college after having a baby. I have been thinking of not spending money for a week. I do not work as much anymore and I need to find ways to save more money. Usually I am spending money of fast food because I do not have the time to prepare meals. If I do not have the opportunity to spend money during the week I am hoping I will make healthier choices. I already tried doing this but I only lasted 4 days. Two of those days were Saturday and Sunday so I had more time. Tuesday night after class I was hungry and caved. I will probably try again next week.
Lindsey Pedroncelli: Yesterday I deleted my Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat accounts and have uninstalled Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Snapchat from my phone. I don’t plan on making another Instagram or Snapchat account, but let’s see how long that lasts. Since I have my phone with me more often than I have my computer, I’m going to avoid using social media on my phone. I’ll probably still go on Facebook on my computer, but not on my phone throughout the day. I want to do this for at least a week, maybe longer.
Rose Petros: I will turn off the shower when shampooing my hair and shaving for three days and see my response. Since we are in a drought, this will be a great way to save water. So, I met my goal and did this for three days. I feel cold when I shampoo my hair and shave without the water running, but I feel that the environmental benefits outweigh my comfort level. I will do this for four more days and then stop. I decided that it is too uncomfortable to shave without the water running, so I will turn the shower on and off to save water. I will continue from now on to shampoo my hair without the shower running. Yeey. I saved water.
Justin Connolly: I fix bikes on the side, and often have to get new parts for them when i don’t know how to fix them. I decided to only fix bikes with existing parts, which takes more time and effort, but cuts down on waste from throwing away old parts. The intervention has been going well, as I’ve fixed four bikes without needing new parts (rebuilt 2 rear derailleur, fixed a bent rim, fixed shifting mechanism). It really felt nice using creativity to fix these bikes, instead of following the traditional route of replacing anything that’s worn down but not completely ruined. I plan on following this intervention indefinitely.
Tiffany Rios: Going to school full-time, working part-time, and being extremely involved with youth ministries at my church leaves me with very little spare time. I always find myself saying I don’t have time for certain activities like exercising. For one week I am going to exercise for at least one hour per day. This will force me to manage my time more efficiently and hopefully show me that I can prioritize my day to make time to improve my health and for other important activities.
My intervention was very successful. I was able to stay committed to what I had planned and reaped maximum benefits. Since I had to fit some sort of exercise in my day, I found myself not logging onto Twitter or Instagram nearly as much because I really didn’t have the time. I experienced more restful sleep and felt more energy throughout the day. I was also making healthier food choices and I found myself eating a lot less packaged food. Overall, this was a really beneficial intervention. It is something I plan to continue.
Sara Feldman: I have decided to go vegan. It fits into my schedule perfectly because my doctor wants me to try going vegan. However, that doesn’t make it any less hard!! I’ve been a vegetarian for 17 years, but I’ve never gone completely dairy (and egg)-free. I’m definitely craving cheese (I miss pizza so much), chocolate, and ice cream, but I’ve been managing to keep up with it. It’s difficult, but it ensures that I’m promoting the ethical treatment of animals by not eating any product that comes from them. It’s also an extremely healthy way of life – I’ve even lost some weight in just two weeks!
Dina Saba: I’m going to quit my daily morning habit of purchasing a large Starbucks Tazo iced green tea. After some thought about a possible self-intervention I could undergo for this class, I chose this very specific one because I realized how much of a mindless act it is for me! Before two weeks ago, I used to drink Tazo every single day of the week. Crazy, right? Plastic and recycling aside (another incentive for me to nix the drinks), I just really want to start being conscious of my decisions. Why order my favorite drink every day and make it an arbitrary act? Why not order a Tazo tea when I really want it, and really enjoy it? I think this self-intervention will teach me how to squeeze more joy out of my life. It’s truly exciting! So far, I have been successful in avoiding Tazo (or, I guess, arbitrarily resorting to Tazo). I even decided to buy a box of Lipton green tea and brew it at home! Lipton definitely doesn’t stack up, but I’ve decided that this venture has been good for me. I’ve grown to enjoy hot tea rather than iced, and furthermore, I prefer this newer experience of coming home after school and having a hot cup or two with homework. I feel like I was successful in the greater scope of things, that I can learn to “enjoy” rather than to just “do,” which is harder than it seems. I’ve found this activity to be very introspectively valuable.
For my self intervention, I will refrain from using any form of social media for a week and I will not use my cell phone at all while studying or in class. I already started the second part and it’s been going well so I thought I would add the social media part to make it more challenging. Not using my cell phone at all while in class or studying, I’ve noticed that my concentration is a lot better and I am more interested in what I am doing. I want to integrate that as a permanent part of my life. I think that not using social media will also have these kinds of effects, so cutting myself off completely for a week is a good way to see if that’s true.
I found that I was unsuccessful with cutting myself off from social media entirely. With it being so easily accessible and the constant references in every day life, I was able to cut down on my social media usage a lot, but not cut it out of my day completely. I noticed that the less I use my phone the more engaged I am in anything I am doing whether it be sitting in class or hanging out with friends. I have tried to use social media a lot less and I find myself now using it mainly when I am alone instead of letting it be a distraction when I am doing other things. I also deleted and changed a lot of the people I follow and who follow me on social media so that the content that I see is of more substance than what I was previously looking at. I have been using Facebook as an outlet for news stories or interesting articles instead of looking at meaningless picture like I would have before. I find this tactic to be very useful especially since I am a journalism major, because I am able to use my social media in a way that can benefit my education and career instead of just using it out of habit.
My intention is to give up my news feed for 7 days. I’m not confident that I can accomplish this but it may allow me to focus more on my studies. The news cycle takes up a good amount of my attention and likely keeps me from being more present and focused on the more tangible and important things in my life.
Reflection: I achieved my goal of a 7 day news blackout over the week that just so happened to be the midterm elections…. which was OK because the midterms played out exactly how I thought they were going to and it would have indeed been a major distraction during an intense week of school with several project deadlines as well as having relatives in town. This was a hard intervention as A) I am a Public Policy graduate, and B) I largely define myself as an avid information consumer. I found that I had greater focus during that week specifically on my school projects…. which leads me to believe that the truism “quality over quantity” also applies to information consumption…… although I admittedly felt somewhat naked not knowing what was going on in the world for 7 days. I will likely try this one or two times a year in the future and it may be useful for me to consider it a mental vacation or sabbatical of sorts.
Mariah Woolard: There’s a sidewalk on my way home and people always cut the corner and ruin the grass I’m conditionally myself to not do that and help the grass grow back. It seems small but it actually has taught me something about being intentional about what I’m doing and what it’s affecting. Maybe by the end of the year, I’ll have made some difference to that patch of grass, or showed other people to stay on the sidewalk and it will be a domino affect. After I have done the intervention, I decided to continue doing this throughout the year. Like I said, it wasn’t a big change in my life, but it did have a tiny impact on the Earth and myself. An unexpected outcome of the intervention was how many friends I walk home with and how many I end up telling them why I don’t take the shortcut across the grass. I’ve brought up the intervention and the idea of staying on the sidewalk multiple times to multiple people, and even changed others’ minds about walking on the grass. It was pretty cool and I plan to continue it throughout the next two years while I live here.
Gabriela Belen Gomez:
Hello everyone! My self intervention is to only use candle light after dark. After reading my book for the class book report I learned that people in villages in Africa go to sleep generally by 5-7 pm when the sun goes down. They have no electricity. So I in response decided that if I need to do anything after daylight is gone I will only use a candle and matches. No lights. I have already done this for the last two days and it can be rough sometimes, especially when I need to cook, or shower. I am getting used to it and I am finding that we are pretty spoiled to have light all the time. Sometimes we really don’t need it.
Ande Fieber: This week (11/2-11/8) I will only be eating food I’ve purchased from the farmer’s market. My goal is to help myself understand the way of life that requires people to travel to markets to purchase their food; so many people live without grocery stores that I think it would be really interesting to become one of them for a week. Hopefully this will also help me to see what an abundance we have here in California and appreciate the fact that with farmer’s markets, I have access to fresh and local produce seven days a week.
My intervention was somewhat successful, but I experience a lot of little failures that taught me a lot about my relationship with my food! I found that carefully planning my trips to the market was much more difficult when there were only certain times I could go; farmer’s market times didn’t always fit with my school schedule and I really had to plan ahead in my shopping for the week. On the other hand, I got the opportunity to talk with the growers about their produce (rather than just checking the tag/label at Trader Joe’s) and I greatly reduced my use of packaging by putting all my raw fruits and veggies into the same reusable shopping bag. It was really interesting to see such a myriad of goods available to me from such a small area on the Central Coast, and I was very proud to live in such a productive place. This intervention also reminded me to eat more healthily–processed foods were obviously out of the question and I had to get pretty creative in cooking tasty food from scratch for every single meal.
Maggie Andrada: My self intervention will start this week, Monday, Nov. 3. I will be taking shorter showers for a week since we are in a really bad drought! If I am able to do it with no problem I will always take shorter showers.
I found that this was an easy change to implement. I was able to cut my shower by 3 minutes!
Brett Avedisian: For the next school week, I am going to cut off electronics at 10 pm and attempt to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night. Sleep is one of the most important things humans need in order to function properly and be healthy, so hopefully this intervention will allow me to sleep better and feel more refreshed in the morning.
Gina Furio: My self intervention has been an ongoing one that I started to do before we even talked about it in class. I noticed that I wasn’t paying attention in class so I decided to try to stop using my phone while in class. It’s a challenge to break a habit that is so ingrained, but I think it will be healthy for me in the end if I can break myself of it.
I didn’t just try this for one week. It has been going on for about the last half of the quarter actually. It’s really challenging because whenever I start to get bored in class, I reach for my phone. I managed to stay myself most of the time and just force myself to pay attention. So it’s still a work in progress, but I think I’m getting better at it.
For my self intervention I decided to stop eating candy, cookies, ice cream, etc. for a week. I have a sweet tooth and after Halloween passed the candy became my go to food. It took some time to accomplish this task with the candy sitting in the living room. But I managed to go a week without the sweets. It was hard but I am stubborn and determined to do it. Since going the week without I’ve noticed I eat significantly less of the candy than before. One of the other most interesting things was that I noticed the more stressed I am with the quarter the more sweets I tend to grab. Being aware of this I hope to be able to monitor myself so that I’m not stress eating junk food as we move into finals week.
Paige Cross: My self intervention will be to go completely meatless for one week. I want to see what it’s like to find alternative forms of energy and protein other than meat and see the effect it has on my health and how I generally feel.
My intervention occurred the week before Thanksgiving break. To say that going meatless was tough was an understatement. The first day was easy, but as the week progressed I found myself needing a little bit more when it came to my meals. After about 4 days I definitely felt a physical difference, I didn’t have the same energy that I usually did and found it difficult to run the long distances that I was used to. To be honest, I didn’t make it a full week. I went out to eat on the weekend and quickly caved for a chicken sandwich. However, I’m glad I attempted to make a lifestyle change (albeit only for a few days). My eyes were opened to how blindly I ate… The way I was eating was more like grazing than anything. I also gained a new sense of the effect that food had on my body. My mother always told me, “eat your protein,” so naturally I never went without my daily serving. Going without protein gave me a sense of how important it is for my body to receive those nutrients.
Nicholas Stockler: For my intervention I will be eating only local, unprocessed foods for a week. The lack of transparency in the food that I purchase is unsettling to me and I would like to know how my purchases are representing my values. So for one week, starting soon although I am not sure when, I will be finding foods that I consider to have minimal energy used in their processing, locally transported, and low in embodied energy.
Megan Snyder: Starting the week of the 16th, I want to only want to eat food that is produced locally. I have realized that I have a tendency to buy food that is less expensive which usually means its less healthy and of course increases my footprint. It will be a struggle since many of the foods that I know I can buy that are local would be at farmers and I have class during that time. Also, I know that local meat would be hard to find, so I will have to learn recipes for foods without meat.
Reflection: I really struggled with this intervention. First of all, I attempted to do this during a week where I was working long hours on school work which made it hard to take the time to make homemade meals. Second, it was difficult to turn down food that was offered to me (especially because I am always hungry) or turn down people when they asked to go out to eat. The third challenge was finding local foods and planning out meals to fit with them. I was able to find a few local foods at Vons and made it to one of the local farmers markets, but it was hard to find enough to feed me for a week. I ended up eating the same foods multiple times or didn’t have all of the ingredients. I do think that buying local is doable. It isn’t much more expensive and there are plenty of ways to find local foods (like the numerous farmers markets), but I do think if people are switching to locally grown food then they need to be very good at planning out meals and their preparation and know how to cook from scratch. It seems much easier to just buy the pre-made, over-processed food that we have available to us, but for me, I had much more pride in my meals knowing the food was locally grown.
Katerina Flores: Instead of restricting my use of technology, like I originally thought, I have decided to “use my powers for good”. Starting, Monday, Nov. 3, I plan to use my resources to outreach to those I usually say I dont have enough time for, like calling my grandparents a couple times a week, or my best friend who lives out of state and is going through a rough time. I have uninstalled various distracting apps from my phone like 2048, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and turned off the internet feature. My thoughts are why isolate myself instead of extending the hand of friendship.
Follow-up: My project was a complete success! I love not being surrounded by technology and have been in contact with my family much more. Actually, it has gone so well not using most apps on my phone I now usually forget or leave my phone completely. I have also connected with family that I have not had “time” to in the past. I really dont feel the need or plan to re-install apps on my phone. I believe there is obvious advantages and ease using technology, but there is not a need to be so absorbed into it all the time. Reading the newspaper/watching the news instead of Facebook or social media is so much more interesting than the shallow argument friends are having online. This process was not particularly difficult for me, but might be for other people.
Kelsey Rustigian: For my intervention, I feel like I really need to take less showers in a week, but since I really enjoys showering and like to stay clean, I will just be shortening my showers to 5 min max whenever I do shower.
It is now the end of the quarter and I can honestly say i stuck with my self intervention the whole time. I also made an effort to have my roommates participate with me in at least trying to take shorter showers. Once we got our water bill back this month we found that it went down by over 100 dollars. It may have a little to do with the fact that there has been rain so water is less expensive than it had been, but all in al I would say my intervention was very successful and contributed to spending less money on a monthly basis.
After December 10th, we received another water bill, and we still managed to knock off over $100 worth of water saved than we had in previous months. All in all I would say my self intervention ended up being very helpful to me as well as my whole house and our bank accounts.
Evan Quigley: My intervention this year has involved transportation to school. Instead of driving my car and buying a parking pass, I have decided to ride my bike from off campus which is a little over 3 miles round trip. Half way through the quarter I have been able to manage and get to class on time, but the bike ride is beginning to take a toll on my legs. Plus, with the winter season coming up, the rides there and back are going to get colder and the rain will a challenge to keep dry. Hopefully, I will be able to tough it out for the year and enjoy the rides to campus regardless of the weather. On a side note, the bike ride to class at 7 in the morning is a beautiful experience: biking in the cool crisp air on highland drive and glancing at the late stages of the sunrise over the agricultural fields. So far the self intervention has been rewarding.
Update:So far there have been a few days of rain in SLO, however, the bike rides have not been too bad. I have already gotten a flat tire, but being here in America, we have the resources to fix our bikes. Plus our roads are not as rugged making transportation quite efficient. In regards to developing countries, getting a flat tire would be more devastating. Thus, I cannot say how impacted I’ve been with this self-intervention. But I have gained more empathy for those that have a bike as their primary source of transportation.
Beatrice Lunday: My intervention for a week is to only eat locally grown foods. This means planning my meals more thoroughly so that I can get everything that I need at the farmers market. This will be tricky for me because I eat easy snacks such as chips or popcorn whenever I study. I will need to find alternative snack foods as well as make sure that I don’t go to the store for the convenience foods or anything that I just happen to want to eat that day.
UPDATE: I was able to get about half of all of my food locally sourced. I was able to get persimmons, avocados, tangerines, limes, and apples locally. I didn’t end up going to the farmers market to get the food though. I found local trees that were in parking lots, on the property that I live and I talked to my neighbors who also have fruit trees. The experience was really rewarding. It felt good to eat food that may have otherwise gone to waste and was locally grown. I look forward to continuing to eat locally and I hope that I can start consuming more than half of my diet locally.
Perri Berman: My intervention is to not use a stove, oven, or microwave for as long as I can (without eating out). The only time I’ll use these appliances or eat something “cooked” would be in lab (I’m food science). I originally wanted to go for raw veganism but that seems a little too extreme since I would still like to eat tofu and peanut butter. This is going to be very difficult for me because I work at catering for about 25 hours a week and I am constantly surrounded by prepared foods and snacks so it will be a true test of my willpower.
Update: I survived the diet for 4 days. It was very interesting and I never want to do it again. I knew I was going to have to eat more because I would need to make sure that I got enough calories but I did not realize how much volume I would need to eat. Salad tastes good but 6 cups of salad does not taste good. I got very tired of chewing and flavors got very boring after eating such a large quantity of one food. I got very dizzy and nauseous periodically throughout the day and I was unable to exercise because I was so tired. I also got very friendly with bananas by the end of this process, I ate at least 2 a day and I hated bananas before the intervention. When you get hungry on this diet you are HUNGRY there is no waiting 20 minutes to get food, you need it IMMEDIATELY (bananas really saved me here). It was very difficult watching friends eat and talk about food and I was taunted at work with delicious things. My friend even shoved pizza in my face and tried to force feed me and I resisted! The problem was that when I decided on an end time, I counted the minutes until midnight and stuffed my face. Then I felt equally bad and dizzy because I overate when it ended and undid all my hard work. Overall, I tested my willpower and won and I would like to incorporate some raw vegan meals in my diet as long as it is not my whole diet.
Jake Sikkema: My intervention for the week of Nov. 3-10 is to significantly cut down on my use of electronics. I believe that this will enable myself to understand what it is like to grow up without them or with limited use of them. It will give me a perspective that i have never seen before.
After a week of cutting down on my use of electronics, i was able to get more things done in my life. I found myself with more free time to do with what i pleased. I ended up going to the gym a lot more than usual and felt less stressed for time when working on homework. I feel the need to extend the time i spend away from electronics and that this will improve my way of life. This week has taught me that without trivial things in our way, one can do great things towards self improvement.
Sammy Ness: My intervention I am participating in with my group involves not taking hot showers for a week. Especially with the recent drop in temperature, this has been particularly painful to manage…however I feel better using less hot water, and my showers have been shorter since they aren’t a comfortable temp.
Brooke Kamler: My intervention for the week of Nov 3-10 is to not waste any food. In order to do this I have to think ahead and buy less.
This was a really good exercise for me. It is disgusting when you think about how much food goes to waste in some countries compared to how much food is needed in others. I felt better about myself when making a conscious effort to not waste any food. In order to do this I not only had to buy less, but also buy strategically. I am going to continue this intervention because it is not that difficult and every time i throw food away that is spoiled, I feel really bad.
Cara House: I have been doing my intervention since Pete asked us to come up with our own self intervention. I plan on not using paper towels for anything. I realized that I use at least 3 paper towels every day. Since I have started, I am down to one towel every other day on average. The hardest place for me to change my actions is when I go into work. I have been trained to do things a certain way, and it is harder for me to work around it. It is not impossible, but I just have to put a little more effort into being as productive and efficient in my daily duties while avoiding the production of as much paper waste as possible. I tend to justify using these things because I am at work and I “need” to use these things, but that is an assumed constraint that I have placed on myself. I am more aware of decisions I can make on my own at work, while still following protocol. The easy way, though it is faster for me, is not always the path to take. Even though it is just a few saved paper towels right now, I have noticed other areas in the hospital that we produce waste or could be more conservative with water. I hope to address these observations with my boss and see if I can work on implementing new, more conservative protocols while still obeying sanitation and AHAA regulations.
Well, it has been about 4 weeks of trying to minimize my paper towel consumption. Making this a long term change has been a huge struggle for me. I see myself caving more and more as time goes on. It makes me realize how easily we fall into the social norm. The other day I was changing my brake rotors and brake pads on my car and used about 6 paper towels in the process. Afterward, I sat down and asked myself why…I couldn’t come up with a good enough reason even to appease myself. I still have progress to make but I am happy with the fact that I am at least aware of the problem and taking actions to correct it. In doing so, people ask me questions about why I am doing what I am. I hope this gets them to think for a minute about the waste they are producing and perhaps make a change in their lives, no matter how small that change is.
Megan van Hamersveld: I decided to complete my self-intervention the week before last, but I was not completely successful. I had decided to not spend money for a week to see how much I depended on my ever-ready funds to buy food or gas or whatever, I made it most of the week but then did not want to miss out on participating in an exercise activity I really like to do on Thursday (which costs $15) so I caved and spent the money. I also bought gas to drive my car over there, and from there my intervention was ruined. I know I could have gone without this activity and,therefore, without using my car, but I guess I saw this activity as having more benefits for my overall well-being than it did costs for failing at my intervention. Since I did end up failing, I feel like I should take on another self-intervention, and all of my peers’ ideas are really inspiring, so I’m currently racking my brain for something to intervene on that will truly make a difference on the way I see things (like that trash-keeping intervention) rather than just become simply a challenge that I may or may not complete.
Garret Powell: I’m planning on using less water by taking shorter showers, shutting off the water when I shave or do the dishes, and ultimately highly monitor my water usage for this weeks self-intervention. Considering we are in a drought I’d like to help and do my part. After monitoring my water usage heavily for the last few weeks I realize that it really isn’t that bad! It not only saves time and money to use less water, but you get a feeling of satisfaction knowing that you’re being conscious and aware. I plan to continue to be conscious of my water usage.
Mitchell Moriarty: For my intervention I will not be on facebook or any social media. I will try to eliminate my usage of a phone. I will be incognito in these areas and rely only on face to face communication which is what most people in developing nations do anyway.
Reflection: Gotta say it was a good idea. It was really interesting to be basically incognito and not have anyone know where you were or what you were doing. It seemed whenever I walked into a party to see my friends I was greeted with an applause because no one was expecting me, they all wondered where I was, what I was doing. It was cool being mysterious like that. Being untied to social media hinders some things though, like communication. But I enjoyed it prefer face to face communication better.
Polina Mandrusov: My self intervention is to not spend any money for a week, starting Monday, November 10th. I will need to make sure to plan my meals in advance if I have to spend a whole day on campus. I usually only spend money on coffee, lunch or snacks on campus because I don’t plan enough time to pack a lunch. What I learned: This intervention was a real eye opener. I went grocery shopping the Sunday before my intervention and bought enough food to last me a week. The only thing I regularly spend money on is food, as I often walk to school and rarely need to fill up my gas tank. Well, I only lasted a day, because on Tuesday, November 11th, a group of friends invited me to go out to Dinner, and I was too hungry to not buy food, and even more so, felt awkward not buying food when all of my friends ordered food. My friends offered to buy me dinner, but I felt like that was cheating out of my intervention. So I decided to restart my intervention on Wednesday, November 12th, and I successfully completed my intervention of not spending money for a week. I never realized how often I want to spend a money on fro-yo or coffee. I now realize that it should not be that hard to just eat at home or pack a lunch. I had plenty of food at home, as well as coffee, and I had no reason to spend money. This intervention has proven to me that I really need to plan my meals out and do a better job of utilizing my groceries. Rather than buying unnecessary food items, I need to use what I already have.
Elena Teare: Starting November 4th, for two weeks I will not eat meat, and make at least 6 dinners per week at home and not from a fast food restaurant.
Carter Sandzimier: Starting November 12th, for 3 days, I will only spend 5 dollars on food and drink a day. Luckily I work at dollar tree, and can stretch those few dollars to their full potential. This will be a challenge because I enjoy making/eating 3 full meals a day, which will be close to impossible on five dollars a day.
My self intervention was a success! But I wanted fresh food after the first day! My foods of choice were peanuts, microwavable burgers, extremely large microwavable burritos, cashews, a gallon jug of water (surprisingly only a dollar), veggie chips, Mac and Cheese, and pasta. Not the best food, but still better than some campus dining. The only positive result of the experience was I drank a lot more water than I normally would have with more money to spend on alternatives. Having worked at the Dollar Tree for a few months as a casher, I have seen people do their grocery shopping there with food stamps. More bang for their buck I guess, but the food is not surprisingly subpar and lacks nutrients. This self intervention was a combination of fasting and eating poor quality food. It really opened my eyes to the lifestyle some people live here, and even more drastically abroad.
Gabriella Bragoli: I will not be eating any processed/packaged foods. This will be a challenge, as I have become accustomed to the convenience of of grabbing a quick snack (granola bar). It will take a change in my purchasing habits as well as some forward planning with my meal prep.
Alexandra Ongman: I will not be taking any pain relievers for the next month. I hope that this change will allow me to reassess my own pain tolerance and lessen my reliance on the kind of relief that most of the world is not accustomed to for such common things like headaches or cuts.
My experience has been incredible. I never realized how often I would be tempted to take a simple pain killer, even for the most minor inconveniencing pain. I believe if more people tried this there would be an enormous increase in empathy for those who do not get to CHOOSE to not have relief from day to day pain, let alone pain from legitimate diseases or injuries that result from the poor conditions in which they live. I am truly aware of the gift it is to have medicine so readily available. Pain tolerance aside, it was transformative to realize that I did not NEED those pills to overcome minor aches and pains, and that I am lucky to even have the choice to do so rather than have suffering be my only option. I highly recommend that you try this small self intervention just to heighten on a small scare your awareness of the experiences of many many people in the underdeveloped world.
Aydee Melgar : I will not be using hot water for the next week with my group. This means only cold showers. UPDATE: From Nov. 3rd to the 9th I took cold showers and did not use hot water to wash my hands. It was really hard convincing myself to take a shower in the mornings before school especially because the weather has been cold lately but I managed to do it. I noticed my shower time decreased significantly because I no longer enjoyed having to shower. Not using hot water for a week made me realize that it is not really necessary although nice we can survive without hot water and not having it can really help us save water.
Brandon O’Rourke: Starting November 13, for one week, I will use only my bike and the bus for transportation and leave my car at home.
Eric Ly: Starting November 24, for one week. I will only buy recycled products and recycle anything I can such as cans,paper,and plastics.
Vanessa Lasseson: I wrote an intervention long ago but I think it was accidentally overwritten, so I’ll recount it the best I can! Somewhere around Week 5 I decided to stop using shampoo for a week and shower in cold water. I know that the chemicals in shampoo aren’t good for your hair and that cold showers can help save on energy usage. After a week, I found out that I didn’t need my water to be so hot. As for my hair, it went in to a greasy limbo that was neither great or terrible, just greasy. Once the week was up, I started showering again like usual, but I stopped showering in really hot water and instead tried to keep it on the cold side.
Yenny Zaldivar: So after I failed to follow up with my first self-intervention proposal I decided after our last class that I would intentionally avoid shopping on Black Friday, I would not be a consumer for that specific day. When Friday came, I slept in and felt pretty damn proud of myself for having resisted the sales. Then I noticed that my parents were gone. They came back later that day with some purchases, including a tablet they had bought for me. It was a bittersweet moment….I jumped between thanking my parents and lecturing them for having gone out and spent money on what I considered an extravagance. I feel that I indirectly failed at this self-intervention. Who knew it could be so hard to NOT be a consumer.
Meghan Thompson: My intervention was not spending any money for two weeks. I thought this was going to be a lot easier than it was and that is why I originally challenged myself to do this for two weeks instead of just one. While I did not spend any money, I did have people buy things for me occasionally. I guess that means I cheated. Or maybe not, because I personally didn’t spend my money at the time. Either way, I found myself feeling more limited than usual. I really thought hard about what I needed to buy and what I truly didn’t need. This intervention made me realize just how much of a consumer I am in an average week. It made me more conscious of how I spend my money.
Gina Giannosa: Though I tried my best at my self intervention, I failed most of the days. I attempted to get out of bed by 5:30 a.m. each morning for one week. I did this in hopes of getting more done in the morning and going to bed earlier to get a better night sleep. Unfortunately, I only did this a couple days during the week (though those days I was productive in the morning!) I prefer waking up earlier and going to bed earlier, but it seems on a college-student schedule, that just does not work. I end up staying up late most nights studying, and even later on the weekends. Though I still wake up at a relatively good hours (7-8 a.m.) I would feel better if I went to bed earlier and woke up earlier. I think being conscious of wanting to make a change is a good first step! I would definitely like to attempt this self-intervention, and maybe a different too, sometime in the future.
: I was a vegetarian for 10 days before Thanksgiving. I lost 7 lbs and found I actually needed to eat more than usual, which was interesting. I still ate eggs and milk, but I also had a lot more beans and peanut butter than I was used to. At farmers market on thursday, I spent 2x as much $ as I usually do ($20 vs $10) on produce and I consumed it in the same time period. However, I didn’t spend close to $30 in daily/weekly food either on-campus or at a grocery store, simply by not purchasing lunchmeat or chicken. I did feel as if I had less energy at times, but I am not sure if this was a direct result of my diet or if I wasn’t sleeping as well due to an increased work load late in the quarter. I decided to do this because of the carbon footprint activity we did in class where one of my biggest contributors was meat consumption. I don’t think I will continue a vegetarian lifestyle, however, I am much more conscious of the impact of meat, and will be more likely to choose chicken over steak/pork in the future when previously it would have been otherwise.
Edit: I have no idea why this text is green. Edit: I fixed it for you! – camille
Calvin Sandeen: Since the beginning of the intervention I started using only reusable water bottles. One of my friends back up north has been promoting “Ban the Bottle” which I’m trying to take part in. Unfortunately I still drink beer and wine occasionally but I’ve cut out plastic disposable bottles. I found this has been beneficial to my health by hydrating with only water. I feel better about myself and what I’ve been doing since I started.
Camille Lo: For my intervention with my group, I didn’t not use hot water for a week. I did cop-out a bit and use a little warm water so the shower wouldn’t be icy but it was still COLD. Showering changed from a nice hot indulgence to being strictly for cleaning; half the time I couldn’t decide what would be worse, staying in the uncomfortable water or stepping out of the water into the cold air (we usually have the heat off and windows open in my apartment). Although my water savings were a plus, I was mostly motivated to forgo hot water to remind myself how often and easily I benefit from our relatively high standard of living in the US. The first few days weren’t too bad, but as the week went on I was really tempted to take a hot shower after long days in studio. By the end of the week I went back to warmer showers, but I still don’t turn my hot water up nearly as high as I used to, and every time I shower I’m reminded of the many privileges I access on a daily basis.
Cameron Rosetta: For my intervention, I did not spend any money for 3 days to evaluate my dependence on money and see how not having a monetary source effects everyday life. I didn’t think ti would be too difficult initially because I thought I could rely on what I already had and make do throughout the day. I quickly realized how often I used money throughout the day for random necessities and food. I had tests during this period and realized I couldn’t even buy scantrons. I had to ask my roommates for a couple. What if I needed pencils? I realized how everything in our culture is valued based on money, not utility. You can’t do much of anything without money or some other external source to help you out. It was interesting to see how I behaved differently and how I was essentially at a disadvantage to those around me. It made me think about my purchases more and hopefully I will be more efficient with my money as a result.
Jordan Goldie: After today I am not going to use electronics past 10pm. I will do this for minimum of 3 days but will try to make it 5 days. Since I go to bed around 1am every night there are three hours each night that I will not be able to use electronics. This will be especially hard because after 10pm is when I usually relax, watch TV or entertain myself on youtube. We’ll see how this goes. All right, so I lasted 4 days. Again this intervention may seem weak to some peoples perspective but for me it was a real struggle. After 10 pm is usually my time I am either doing homework, on my laptop, watching television and heavily using my phone before I call it a night. The first night I turned my computer as well as my phone off and put them away in a drawer so I would not be tempted. I realized how reliant I am on electronics for quite everything I do in my life, entertainment, schooling, keeping in touch with friends and family. Not only did I have to think of unique ways to keep myself entertained past 10pm I had to manage my time much more effieciently because once the time came around the only studying or assignments I could do was out of a book. This did open my eyes to really appreciate what is around me nature wise and how awesome of a place San Luis Obispo truly is. I did some night adventures to the P as well as to Avila to keep myself occupied which I never really would do before. All in all, this intervention has shown me that even though technology gives us much more power and capability in this world it also can distance us from it.
Shelby Boyd: I didn’t intentionally begin a self-intervention for this class, but this week I realized one that has been on-going for the last several months. Last spring I decided I wanted to go to grad school (not at Poly) after I graduate in June. Because I have a tendency to decide something would be cool to do, and then never move forward with it, I started talking about grad school with everybody. The last several months have been full of anchor points that I set up to make myself move forward, finding schools I’d like to attend and submitting applications. Most of the actions have been unintentional–“I said I wanted to go to grad school, and my parents gave me a GRE study book, so I should look at it.” and then “oh, if I want to apply this fall then I need to sign up to take the GRE” (so I did, even though I didn’t feel ready), then “I need to writ essay drafts so I can show them to a family friend who offered to help”, and finally “well, I’ve done all the prep work so I guess I should submit this”. My intervention was to find a way to accomplish something I really want to do. By recognizing that I tend to not get things done, I got as many people as possible to hold me accountable. As of this week I have submitted one, and have most of the others almost done! Even making it to this point is something I never thought I would actually accomplish, so I think my unintentional intervention was successful whether I get accepted to any programs or not.
Ryanne Born: For my self intervention I tried to not buy food in plastic wrap. I found this to be too hard, so changed it to just produce that is not packaged. I found that this was definitely doable, however it just took a lot of preparation. I had to plan out my week, so I could go to farmers market or make sure that the grocery store I was shopping at didn’t plastic wrap it. Doing this intervention made me realize how much waste I produce just form food alone.
Steph Fellows: I did a few interventions during the quarter but the main one was giving up all technology for any personal reasons. No facebook, tv, movies, internet or texting. I don’t own a tv or ever watch movies so that one was easy but over the last few years facebook became a mindless escape for when I needed a break during the week day. Texting was hard because I am constantly organizing things and it is how I stay in touch with people all over the world. I made a point that even though I couldn’t text, I still had to communicate with people so that just meant I spent more time making phone calls. During November, I happened to be on national TV so people were texting and facebooking me all the time which made it pretty inconvenient to respond. I’d either have to call every single person back or be a jerk and just not respond…depending on the person, I way too often chose the latter. Once the month was over, I realized that I really have no need for most of these technologies anyways. I thought that I would get back on to facebook and my personal email and have all these things that I missed. But in fact, I missed nothing, gained a ton of time during the day, and was way less distracted during the weekday without a million texts running through. I will not be using facebook or my personal email going forward for anything other than completely necessary and I’m going to subscribe to the theory that I will only text if it saves me time instead of taking up more time.
Curtis Li: For my intervention, I tried to retake up biking to school. I found it to be a little difficult to go home at night because I have a class from 8-1o this quarter. There were times that visibility was very low for me due to fog. I also recently got a flat on my back tires. Even though it is sometimes difficult to bike home, I think I’d like to stick with it.
Nicole Petersen: For my intervention I’m going to stop using paper towels for a week. During the first intervention I noticed that a lot of my waste consisted of paper towels. Since then, I’ve been actively monitoring my paper towel use and taking mental notes of what I was using them for. I realized that most of the time I was using paper towels for trivial things, like to wipe water off my hands after washing dishes, and not as napkins. To do this intervention, I’ll need to have several hand towels and make note of what I’m using them for. I’ll start off with one hand towel that I use just to wipe water off my hands and a second hand towel that I’ll use as a napkin. I’ll have to remember to wash the second hand towel regularly. This intervention will help reduce the amount of waste I produce and help me cut down on my paper towel costs!
Cameron: For my intervention, I plan to produce no direct waste from my diet. I already compost, and will not consider compost waste, however, I plan to drastically reduce my dependence and impact on landfills as I do not believe they are a viable sustainable “technology” and that humanity I “aught” to stop perpetuating it. This will need to involve everything directly involved, including bringing reusable cups to cafes to bringing reusable bags to the store. I hope that this intervention will instill a more consistent good practice in me outside of the temporal confines of this class. I would be nice if these were simply second nature or muscle memory and did not involve thinking about whether or not to consume something that generated waste, but it seems in this modern environment, thats almost impossible.
Elisha Pollock: Usually at night I look at my phone before I go to bed and every morning I wake up and look at my phone…snapchat stories, instagram, email, facebook news–I hate it! By the time I get up and at ’em it’s been a half hour since my alarm went off and I haven’t really gained anything. For the next week, I am going to read before I go to bed, and have quiet time when I wake up (PHONE FREE). I may need to get an alarm clock so I don’t have my phone close by when I go to bed.
Matt: For my intervention I did not drive for 2 weeks. I only rode my bike to and from work and school. I really enjoyed the experience, the only problem that I experienced was trying to grocery shop, carrying everything back was difficult. If I continue to only ride my bike, I’ll need to find a better way of carrying larger items besides my backpack. This intervention has shown me how easy it is to be more environmentally friendly, although I am not going to keep up this intervention to this extreme, I will incorporate riding my bike in my routine as often as possible.
Nicole Petersen: For my intervention I vowed to not use paper towels for a week. The reason why I chose to do this was because, during the first intervention I noticed that I unnecessarily use a lot of paper towels. Most of the time I use them to dry my hands after washing dishes or to wipe them off when I’m cooking. Even though I showed such a dependency for paper towels during the first intervention, I surprisingly had no difficulties with completing my second intervention. This is because, the week that I did this intervention was a very stressful and busy week for me in school, and during stressful school weeks I drastically change my eating habits. I do not cook during these high stress periods because I don’t want to deal with the hassle of cleaning up the kitchen and washing my dishes afterwards. I also have the tendency to eat most of my meals directly out of a can so that I can avoid doing dishes (don’t judge!). Even if I do use dishes during stressful school weeks, I’ll often stock pile them in a corner of my room until I have the time to clean later when I’m not as stressed. Since I wasn’t cooking or washing dishes during the week that I did my intervention, I also wasn’t using the kitchen sink. Therefore, I didn’t feel as much of a need to use paper towels during this week because I had no need to dry my hands (Note: I only use paper towels to dry my hands when I’m in the kitchen, not when I’m in the bathroom). Of course there were a few times that I wanted to wipe my hands off after using the kitchen sink; however, I used my pants to dry off my hands instead of a paper towel.
For my first intervention I did what Pete suggested and didnt throw anything away for a week. I knew this one was going to be difficult because I can get really irritated when things get really messy. I wouldn’t say I am a clean freak but I can relate. I asked my roommates just not to take out the trash for 1 week and deposited all the trash around the house around the trashcan as a compromise. Throughout the week I had a hard time not throwing away the trash outside and began to be pretty irritated by it.
Conclusion: By the end of the intervention I had come to realize a few things. I had never before thought about what people do with their trash if they don’t have access to trash services. I began to think of what that would be like, to keep and use every single thing in your possession, or to not actually have anything you can throw away. It seems silly to me that we buy so many things here in the first world only to throw them away. I will buy less disposable products in the future and recycle more.
For the first intervention I attempted I didn’t throw any of my trash away all week. This became somewhat difficult due to the fact that I had my girlfriend and my daughter basically with me all week at my house, so there was a large amount of trash that was accumulating. Besides the sheer volume of the trash, I think there wasn’t a real problem organizing it and making sure that compost, trash, and recyclables are all separated. Quantitatively, I believe would have scored high overall if we were assessing this with a rating. Perhaps a 9 out of 10 with a point taken off due to the fact that we still threw toilet paper away, and the fact that there was a lot of plastic waste that honestly made me feel guilty for.
Conclusion: By the end of the intervention I realized how much plastic waste there was and this was pretty disturbing, but one of the big upsides is that I really learned how to build compost. The amount of food that we normally just throw away every week could be used for energy for our plants outside. One barrier is that I have a pesky dog that like to get into things, so finding a place that she couldn’t get to where I could dump the compost, as well as a place that it wouldn’t dry out in the sun might be difficult. This being said, I’m sure I can use my ingenuity and make it work. I also noticed that there were a lot of containers that I could reuse and not even have to throw away or recycle. Overall, this intervention has really opened my eyes to the amount of garbage we go through on a weekly basis, as how I can help reduce that amount and play my part in leaving less of a footprint in waste.