365: Body, Mind, Spirit | Week 1

I did it! Since January 1, I’ve worked my body, mind, and spirit by walking, writing, and reading. I wasn’t sure if I took on more than I could handle, so I was pleased my days went smoothly.

It helps that I’m approaching each area with a no-pressure approach. My walks are super simple. I walk around the neighborhood for now, with plans to walk to the supermarket (that would be a long walk) and visit some local hiking spots when the weather–and my endurance–improves. I’ve kept my walks to 20 minutes on flat streets for now because (1) I’m not training for a marathon and (2) I don’t want to injure myself so early in the project with a 25 mile hike (uphill, both ways) just because I don’t want to admit to the internet that I am truly and completely sedentary.

My husband’s work is big on health and fitness, and at some point in the last couple of years they sent us a pedometer in a pack of marketing material. I used it a few times last week knowing a good daily goal is 10,000 steps. Wow. I make sloths look like road runners. My walks have been around 4,000 steps, but the rest of the day didn’t see more than 1,000-1,500 additional steps. Granted, I’ve been sick; for the most part I walked and then went back to the couch and tissues all week, and I have no idea how many steps I walked in the mornings before my walks, but I doubt the number would be significantly different.

The pedometer was both eye-opening and horrifying. I’ll keep using it and will shoot for 10,000 steps a day. Living in a suburban area like I do, I think this means much longer walks and parking far, far away from supermarkets and stores. I don’t know that I will make 10k in the next couple of days, but whatever I do today is better than what I wasn’t doing two weeks ago.

Reading the Bible and the CCC has been low pressure, too. The daily plan I’m on means I’m done with my readings in less than 20 minutes. I spend more than 20 minutes figuring out what I’m going to make for dinner! Bonus: this week in church we read a portion of the gospel of Matthew that I had already read during the week. It made me feel connected and involved.

It felt good. The whole week felt good. I feel like I am moving in a positive direction.


*The tags for instagram are now #365body; #365spirit; #365mind if you are playing along. I had to remove the colons because the don’t work in Instagram. Sorry about that! If you want to follow me on Instagram–so far I’m posting my daily walks–you can find me at @pancakesfries. I almost always post the pictures to Flickr, Twitter and Facebook, so you can follow me there if you don’t have Instagram.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    Yay! Good for you! Glad you’re feeling positive and doing good things for your body, mind, AND spirit – so easy to neglect one or more of those things. And don’t worry much about the number of steps. Maybe you could even say, “Each day I will take 10 steps more than the day before.” The number doesn’t matter because it’s more than you’d be doing if you were still sitting on the couch, right? :)

    • says

      I’m not worried in the least about the step count. Like I said in the post, anything I do now is better than what I was doing two weeks ago! :)

      I read online that you should try to up your step count by 500 every week.

  2. says

    That’s fantastic – not only that you are taking the steps (pardon the pun), but that they are having a positive impact. I can totally relate to the “getting off your backside” thing – I work from home, and when my kids are staying with their dad (which is half the time) had been known to not leave the house for days. So we got a dog. Now I have to walk every day, regardless of the weather, for a minimum of an hour. I love it, even in the rain (thankfully!), and it has made so much difference to how I feel in general. Not to mention my butt is now slightly closer to where it is meant to be ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. says

    I really like what you said about whatever you do now being better than what you weren’t doing two weeks ago. Totally!

    I tend to take on too much and then quit altogether when it isn’t perfect. Doing something, even imperfectly, is obviously a step forward.

  4. says

    Great work! I found that once I got the ball rolling, as far as getting more active, it seemed to gain momentum. Now, my body craves movement more than it did and I actually feel uncomfortable is I don’t get to jog enough. Plus isn’t is so nice to be outside during that time? I’m enjoying reading along.

  5. Molly says

    Let me recommend a fantastic blogpost on this very subject-I just read it last might, and I’m excited to see the impact it has on my actions and attitude in the coming days. I’m not savvy enough to link it, but google “drops of awesome”. It’s a 5 minute read. Thanks for all you write–I’ve been enjoying your log for about a year, and I like the way you approach things.

  6. Sarah says

    Thanks so much for posting about the Bible/Catechism reading plan! I downloaded it and it looks great…..not going to put pressure.on myself to do it in a year bit I love having a plan. Looking forward to more of your thoughts about it!

  7. Larissa says

    “whatever I do today is better than what I wasnโ€™t doing two weeks ago” – That’s such a great mantra. I can really sabotage any efforts towards a healthier lifestyle by being way too critical of myself. Going for a nice walk will mean nothing just because it’s not like the running I used to do. Or I already screwed up my eating for today, might as well blow the rest of the day. Ugh. Retraining though patterns is so difficult. Thank you for the great motivation! :)

  8. Vickie says

    Any device that reports activity serves the main purpose of making us more mindful of what we are/are not doing. Your attitude is exactly right. I also tell myself I’m lapping all the folks who are laying on the couch. You’re simply moving more into an intentional life in all areas. I think that deserves a standing ovation–for which I will garner some activity points if I bounce a little!

  9. says

    I just read an interesting study. People who exercise and people who do not were divided in groups (with equalization of other potential confounding issues, like intelligence). People who exercise routinely score 27-30% better on standardized tests on the DAY they exercise, compared to days when they don’t and compared to the other group.

  10. says

    Totally agree on the “whatever I do today is better than what I wasnโ€™t doing two weeks ago.” What a motivating thought! Hadn’t conceptualized anything like that before. Yet again I visit your blog and come away with a Zen koan or something. Thank you Jules and keep up the amazing work!

  11. says

    Good for you for keeping it simple. I’ve been doing yoga at home with my bigger kids and am resolved to upping my hiking routine. My 38th birthday is in three weeks, and I’m having a “hiking party” with a few friends to do a 3.8 mile hike up my mountain and back.

  12. Susan G says

    Perfection: “whatever I do today is better than what I wasn’t doing two weeks ago.”

    This is the best – and most inspiring – thing I have read in a long time. Simple, straightforward, and human. Thank you. And congrats on having a great first week (except for being sick.)

  13. says

    Congrats . . . especially for soldiering on even when sick!

    And I’ve been loving the shots on Instagram. What is it about photos of feet, ready for adventure that are so compelling?! Yeah, I don’t know either . . .

  14. says

    Week One down! Feels good. This week, I’ve walked the equivalent of Vancouver to Burnaby – by the end of the week, I’ll have crossed the border and made it to Ferndale, Washington. Well on my way to SanFrancisco. Guess it is time to get a passport ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Jaimie says

    I have finally, finally gotten to a point where exercise feels like something positive and good that I do for myself โ€” not to look better in a bikini, not to “punish” myself, but an actual gift of my own physical and mental wellness. I have really been getting into my yoga and Pilates classes and I actually look forward to going (and miss them when I can’t make it). This is huge for me โ€” I have never been an athlete or anything close to it โ€” and not only do I feel better physically, but it has erased those niggling guilty thoughts that always cropped up when I read or heard something about the benefits of exercise.

    And like everyone else, I appreciate the thought of any movement forward today being better than what you weren’t doing two weeks ago. I’m always struggling to find the balance between striving for improvement and acknowledging the gains I’ve already made.

  16. says

    I made a similar goal for my year; I plan to walk a mile every day between now and my birthday (in early February), with the thought that after the habit’s been established, I’ll want to continue walking (maybe even jogging). I had to start small, but I love the idea of your 365 project, and I’m hopeful. Right now, even getting out the door with tennis shoes on is success! I also plan on rewarding myself with some “real” athletic wear. :) That should help too. (Also… 10,000 steps! Yikes. I’ve got a long way to go. But hey… I’m doing better than I was, right?)

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