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Posts tagged ‘resolutions’

Random Thoughts – on healthy eating

So I’ve been trying to eat healthier, with more vegetables and fruit in my diet.

I’m not much of a fruit person. They all look delicious, and then I don’t like them.

But I found out that I love mashed cauliflower. It’s so yummy.

On the other hand, I thought I really liked carrots a lot.

Turns out I like carrots when they’re smothered in mashed potatoes and gravy.

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How are you doing on your goals this year?

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Resolutions!

Okay, so I’m doing resolutions again this year. A little late, haha, but that’s me all over. I did okay with my goals in 2012 – not as well as I’d like, but my failures were in those giant goals I set for myself that would require a radical overhaul of my 43-year-strong habits. Cause, you know, that’s not too much to ask of myself, right?

I spent a lot of last year beating myself up for those failures, and the rest of the time learning how to suck at something without hating myself for it. (If anything, I’d say that’s the real lesson I learned.) At the end of the year, I wrote a big long post about what I thought  I’d learned. Basically, that for those major life change, long term goals, I really needed to plan out steps and smaller goals along the way. Which is not a wrong idea, in and of itself. You know, if I knew how to do small steps like a normal person with good sense and a modicum of patience.

So, naturally, at the beginning of 2013 I did the typical Michelle thing: I made the work of goal achieving harder and bigger than it already is. I mapped and planned and plotted and charted and listed. Same old thing; biting off more than I can chew and overwhelming myself before I even really get started. All my charty listy mappy plans were just too cumbersome and added more work to already difficult (for me) goals. My checklists fell by the wayside almost immediately, and I struggled all last year to get my act together goal-wise, not getting any further ahead than I had been at the beginning. 

I did accomplish a lot in 2013, I really did. But I missed the simple resolution process that I’d started in 2012. I wanted to do many of those same goals again in 2013, but without the reminder and prod here on the blog, I let a lot of the smaller things, like visiting family and taking an outing each month, fall by the wayside. I missed doing those things, but they don’t come to me naturally. Without my resolution list, I simply forgot to aim or plan for them.

This year I’m going back to the 2012 method of setting and tracking my goals here. Some of those not-so-simple goals are back, but I’m working with a life coach to help me learn to set reasonable steps, or goals-within-a-goal. But I think the main thing she’s going to help me with is to slow down and not bite off such big chunks. Patience. And to enjoy this whole process, because it should be fun and inspirational and a kind thing I’m doing for myself.

So here are my 2014 goals:

  1. healthy budget
  2. healthy diet
  3. exercise 
  4. spend time with family or friends I rarely see
  5. go someplace different or go to an event each month
  6. keep a daily thankful journal
  7. Write at least 6 Queries for the blog this year
  8. re-paint my kitchen and put up shelves
  9. take a computer class
  10. go to bed at the same time every night
  11. get up early every morning

So that’s it, my 2014 resolutions. I’m excited to get started, or re-started, as the case may be! I hope 2014 is a great year for me and for you, too!!

I Exercised! ……for maybe five minutes

Oh, my friends…  I’ll have to fight hard for this one.

On month eight of twelve, I finally pulled out my tiny trampoline to start fulfilling my exercise resolution.   Should I tell you that I didn’t even do that until the third week of August?  Yeah, I think I’ll keep that to myself.  Should I tell you that there are various items sitting on it right now, that I dumped there when I came in the door, and that it’s been accumulating detritus for a week?  I don’t think I’ll tell you that, either.

In August, I realized that I want all these things for myself, and yet I don’t have a plan for getting them.  I set these goals, these resolutions, but I never took the time to map out how I would reach the end of this one-year journey, what steps I would take to get there.  In one case, that didn’t matter: I wanted to take a photography class, so I found one and signed up.  But the rest of the goals I wanted to accomplish do not fall into that one-and-done category.  The rest of my goals required thought and planning and…well, more goals, defined steps to get there.

Simply thinking about my big goals hasn’t provided me with the concrete guidance I need.  Thinking about a goal gives me an overall idea of what I want and how I might accomplish it, but when it’s time to do the work, I am left to meander here and there, finding my way to the end any way I am able.  It’s like following pathways in the woods: some are real, some are dead ends, and some just lead you around and around to nowhere.

There’s another drawback to just “thinking” about what I want: I’m noticing that I spend too little of my thought-life in the present.  Particularly with the resolutions I’m not successful with, the ones that are more difficult for me motivation-wise.  I spend most of my time in “if only”.  If only I had stuck with my healthy eating in April, where would I be now?  I’d feel so much better; I’d weigh less; I’d be happier with myself and with my body.  If only I had kept strictly to my budget, I’d have more money in the bank, I’d be this much closer to paying off that last credit card.

If I’m not thinking about the past, then I’m “could-ing” myself into the future.  By this time next year, I could have this much money in the bank.  By this time next year, I could be at this weight.  The thing is, when I’m concentrating on the “if only’s”, I am less happy, less motivated, and it’s even harder for me to keep going.  Because I’m concentrating on something negative, on what I didn’t do or what I wish I had done.  Those thoughts and feelings hold me back as much as anything else, because they mire me in my failures.

I fully believe in visualizing yourself attaining your goals, but if all you’re doing is planning and thinking about the future, then the present slips beneath you unnoticed.  All your excitement and your hope is focused on some vague point down the road.  It seems to me that it would benefit my journey more if my excitement and my hope were centered around my next step.  Anything that I can do to make my next step easier and more natural, then that will make my end goal that much more possible to achieve.

At this point I’m just going to keep plodding away.  I know I’ll continue at least three of my resolutions into 2013, and I’ll use the experience I’ve gained so far to build on next year.  I can’t continue just “thinking” about what I want to do – or should do, or might do, or will do in the future.  So, I’ll spend the last months of this year putting together a real set of goals: not just a final destination, but the steps I’ll take to get there.  No more wandering down forest paths – I’m going to make myself a map.  That way, I’ll know where I’m going, I can accurately measure my accomplishments, and I can focus on the steps I’m taking RIGHT NOW .

Items of Interest:

Resolutions – August 2012

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Week In Review – so far, so good

I know you want to hear about how I’ve put mothballs under the hood of my car, or how I was painting yesterday and had a crazy moment where I  thought the walls were mad at me.  But I’m not going to tell you either of those things.  Instead, I’m going to recap how the New Year’s Resolutions are going.

I know you’re excited, but please save all applause until the end. continue reading…