In the last handful of months, I've found myself very intrigued by the concept of mindfulness. To me, mindfulness means slowing down, thinking more about every decision I make, and really evaluating whether or not things align with my values.
I think a lot of people associate mindfulness with going with your gut and making daily decisions. I totally agree with this, but I think that one element of mindfulness often gets forgotten: the things you consume.
So I became curious. What am I consuming without even thinking about it? What unhealthy items am I putting into and on my body? What music and podcasts am I listening to that are wasting my time?
And so Conscious Consumption was born.
Conscious Consumption is the NEW experiment that I will be conducting on myself for the coming months. I have no real planned end date. I'm kind of just winging this.
Basically, I just want to know what I'm inviting into my body, into my ears, into my eyes, into my brain, into my stomach.
Will I like the results? Maybe. Maybe not.
Will I use the results to change my habits? Only if I want to.
So why the hell am I doing this?
The idea of consumption has been floating around in my head for a couple months now. It probably started in a long-forgotten podcast that got me thinking one day. Honestly, I don't remember. But I think I realized that I'm reading all these books and listening to all this advice and I don't even know if it's good for me. Is it making me a better person? Is it aligning with my values? Is it serving me in any way? Am I even really soaking it all in?
Those are all great questions, but if I want to discover the answers to any of them, I need to keep track.
But first, what am I even consuming?
In a single day, I might consume:
Books, magazines, and newspapers
Social media posts from businesses, friends, family, and strangers
Food & drink
Toiletries, medication, & other things I put on my body
E-courses, worksheets, blogs, and email subscriptions
Shopping purchases (clothes, accessories, electronics, etc.)
Trash & recycling items
So how does this experiment even work?
Every day, I'm going to record the things that I'm consuming. Because the list above is preeeetty long, I'm only going to keep track of a handful of things at first and maybe add some more along the way.
To start, I'm going to focus on books, TV & movies, podcasts, music, and games. All media focused. Later, I might add in social media, toiletries, and food and drink.
Each month, I'll be posting a blog of everything I consumed for the previous thirty days. I'll try to reflect a bit, but probably not on each item. As I find things I want to change, I'll be talking a little about those techniques, a well.
So what's my goal?
My goal is to notice some patterns in my life. Am I wasting a lot of time on stupid phone games? Probably. Am I listening to a lot of podcasts that I don't really like but I just think I should listen to? Quite possibly. Am I reading books that aren't teaching me anything? Not necessarily a bad thing. Are the things I'm consuming reflecting my values? Not sure yet. I not only want to recognize these patterns, but then be able to make changes based on them.
Ultimately, I want to be more mindful about what I consume and I hope my journey inspires someone out there to do the same.
Here goes nothing!