March Vlog

Here is my vlog for March. Can't believe March is over already?! Watch the video to see how I did on my monthly challenge for March and to find out what my challenge is for April. What is your monthly challenge for April? I'd love to hear it. [embed]https://youtu.be/vcB1UiysyxI[/embed]

Here's the link to the cleaning schedule I'm going to use: Schedule. I'm adding Fridays to the schedule for myself and on Fridays, I will cleaning the family room in our basement and take care of paperwork (bills, sort mail, sort school papers, ect.).

So long, 2014!!

Have you noticed how it seems to be the "cool" thing to not make new year's resolutions? It seems like nearly every article I read this week that was talking about the coming new year started off with the statement that "I don't do new year resolutions." or something to that effect. I understand all the statistics that say that only a small number of resolutions are actually kept for longer than 2 weeks and that resolutions can set people up to feel like failures. Impossible to Live quote JK RowlingBut, what will we accomplish if we don't create any goals for ourselves? Sure, we could (and should) reevaluate our goals and create new ones all throughout the year, not only on New Year's Day. But sometimes we are so busy that we don't take the time to stop and evaluate our lives and create goals. That is what is so wonderful about new year resolutions! It is a set time every year that reminds us to take stock of the previous year, looking at our success and our failures. And a set time to look ahead and spend some time thinking about what things we want to accomplish in the coming year.

only those who risk quoteThis year I was so busy with the last semester of nursing school and with starting my first nursing job that I never took the time to set concrete goals for myself for 2014. And not surprisingly, I didn't accomplish some of the things I had hoped to accomplish this year. I had a few ideas of things I wanted to accomplish this year; but because I never took the time to list those ideas as goals with achievable steps, I did not accomplish as much as I wanted to. That is the most important step in setting yourself up for success, write down your goals.

So this year as 2014 is ending I am spending some time reflecting over the year and formulating my goals/resolutions for 2015. I work tonight and the rest of the week so my first goal for 2015 is to have my goals focused and written down by the end of Saturday, Jan. 3rd, instead of by the end of Jan. 1st. Because that is the other important aspect of successful goals, set a goal that is achievable in your life and situation.

Aiming too low quoteThen when my goals are set I will check back to them at the beginning of every month to see how I am coming along in meeting my goals. It is important to keep goals forefront in our minds and include them in our decision making process. If it is important enough for you to state as a goal for yourself, then it is important enough to be considered as a factor in making decision. That is the last and possibly the most important step in meeting goals, take your goals serious and keep those goals forefront in your life. If it was important enough to state as a goal then don't set yourself up for failure by ignoring what is important to you.

With those thoughts in mind, I want to encourage you to not worry about if it is "cool" or not to make New Year's resolutions and to take time this week to think about your life and what you want to accomplish with it. Then write those goals down and respect yourself by making choices that push you in the direction of your dreams.

never too old quote

Summer Reset!

So much has happened since the last time I wrote. I graduated from nursing school, passed the NLCEX and secured my first job as a registered nurse. I am really excited to begin working as a nurse. My first day is July 7th! Yay!! In the meantime, I have been catching up with all the household related things that got pushed onto the back burner when my time was consumed with studying, or at least with feeling like I should be studying. :D In addition to some household chores getting pushed off, exercising became less and less. First the times I was exercising got shorter. Then it became a sporadic activity at best. I was feeling so great when I was exercising regularly in the fall. Unfortunately, I just wasn't able to keep it up during the winter and spring months. I spent most of the last 6 months studying, shoveling lots of snow and sleeping. I am finally starting to feel like things are leveling out again (just in time for another major shift when I start working!) and I have noticed that I really don't feel that great anymore. Physically, I'm feeling a little too soft for my liking. Mentally, I'm short on patience most days. And emotionally, I'm feeling a little down. At first I thought I was feeling down as my body and mind reacted to the lifting of the major stress that I was under while I was in nursing school. But it has been 6 weeks since I finished school and 1 month since I passed the NCLEX and I am not feeling better. At times, I'm feeling worse.

I thought that once I had more time, I would jump right back into exercising. I mean, why wouldn't I? I felt so great when I was exercising regularly before. But then I realized something. Could it be that I am afraid of committing to exercising regularly because if I slack off I no longer have an excuse like when I was in school? Now if I don't keep it up, it is me "failing" at achieving my goal. The thought of failure is something that I have long struggled with. I don't like to fail so maybe if I make excuses and don't start then I can't be disappointed with myself when I fail. Here's the thing though. I will fail. We all fail. Sure, not all the time and with everything we do. But the truth is that if we put ourselves out there and work toward a goal, we risk failing. But if we don't risk failing, we will most definitely achieve NOTHING! Whether I fail and disappoint myself is not a guarantee, but not risking failing by doing nothing and I am guaranteed to not meet my goals.

July is a big month of change for me. I am about to embark on a new career. I am going into this new job knowing that the first 6 months, maybe even first year, I will feel out of my element and like I don't know what I am doing many times. That is just how it is starting a job as a new nurse. That is a very common feeling. Also, I am going to work outside the home for the first time in 10 years. TEN YEARS!!! It is going to be a major adjustment for us all to say the least. And I know that as I adjust to my new role as a new nurse and being a working mom I am going to make mistakes, hopefully not too big of mistakes. ;) But does that mean that I shouldn't try my best? No, I know that I will make mistakes or not know some things; but I will get better. With each day and each experience, I will become a skilled and experienced nurse. And I am excited to begin the journey, mistakes and all.

So why can't I apply the same logic to my personal goals? For starters, I realized that when I am referring to what would be an expected learning curve, I called it mistakes; but when I am referring to not meeting my personal goals, I call it failure. Hmm...that's interesting...maybe it's time for a language shift...The other reason is that I am still holding myself up to a high (sometimes unachievable) level of perfection. When other people are setting the expectations I am finally able to measure myself against those standards instead of my own impossible ones. But when I am making my own personal goals I still set the standards at too high of levels at times. Then sometimes this stops me from ever even trying to achieve my goal because I know the goal is too high from the get go. Maybe it is something I could achieve in steps over time but instead, I create too high of a goal then don't attempt it because I don't want to "fail" and disappoint or embarrass myself. Another reason that I struggle to meet my personal goals at times is self-sabotage. For whatever reason, if I start to feel really good about how I am doing, I find reasons or excuses to stop doing it. Why?? That is a question for the ages because I don't think I am alone in doing this. Why do we self-sabotage ourselves? Do we not think we are worth it? Do we think we are going to "fail" big if we keep going so instead we stop before that happens? I could spend a long time thinking about this and trying to figure it out; but quite frankly, I don't really care too much why I do this. I care more about changing these thinking patterns and taking action to feel my best again. Sometimes we don't need all the answers; sometimes we just need action to shake us out of our stagnation.

My birthday is coming up in July and I will be 34 years old. I decided to give myself two gifts this year. I am going to give myself the gift of feeling my best again and the gift of learning that it is okay to make mistakes. I decided this morning that for 34 days I am going to exercise 20-30 minutes a day and feed myself balanced and nutritious meals. This isn't a diet; I will eat snacks (ahem, ice cream) too. :) And I will be completely honest about my exercise and my eating. My hope is to get back to the more balanced eating and consistent exercise that I was doing in the fall when I felt so great. Over the course of these 34 days, I hope to make this balanced eating and exercising a habit. That is why I decided to do it every day for 34 days. I also know that there is a very good chance that I will have days when my eating isn't as balanced as I am striving for or may have days when I don't exercise. I almost made my goal to exercise 4 or 5 days a week because of this. But then I realized that by setting every day as my intention I am giving myself the chance to learn to roll with the days that don't go according to plan. This gives me the opportunity to challenge this faulty thinking that "I can't fail". I think that giving myself the gifts of good health and of making allowances for myself to make mistakes and then keep going are the best things I can do for myself this year. So for my upcoming birthday these are my intentions for myself.

What are some intentions you want to set for yourself this summer? It doesn't have to be big. Start where you are at and think about that you would like an area of your life to look like by the end of the summer. Why not going on this journey with me? You can follow along with me as I go through the next 34 days. I plan to blog each day and giving a honest summary of the food and exercise that was apart of each day. Some posts will probably be short and sweet, after all I will be starting a new job and adjusting to working full time during this time too. Other posts will probably be longer and include recipes and anything else fun I want to share along the way. I will be posting pics on twitter of my meals throughout the day with the hashtag #SummerReset. Then at the end of the day I will blog about it in more detail here. It's going to be a fun, challenging and rewarding time. Summer is a great time to hit the reset button with its longer days, more sunshine and abundance of fresh food available. I hope you join me on this SummerReset. Post your progress on Facebook or twitter with the hashtag #SummerReset and let's work together to feel our best!

Update: I made it through 12 days (only wrote through Day 10) of my summer reset until my new job started and consumed all my time and attention for nearly 2 months. I did learn a lot from this Summer Reset though, even if it was not the full 34 days as I had originally intended. I'm glad for the time I did spend reseting my exercising and eating habits. It made me keenly aware of just how much of an impact exercising and eating well have on my overall wellbeing. Now that I have started to settling into my new job and new routine, I aim to make exercising and eating well a priority again. (Sept. 4, 2014)

Summer Reset!

 

Bring on 2014!!

I love the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. I enjoy looking back over the previous year and looking ahead to the coming one. And this year I am really excited about the coming year!

A Look Back

2013 was a year of continued growth for me. I started on a journey to deal with my food issues and all the issues that went along with them back in April 2012. But it wasn't until this year that I really started to see the fruits of my labors. It finally all started coming together for me this year and I credit that to the intentions that I set for myself for the year and to the continued effort that I put into it. There were times this year when it would have been easier to slip back into comfortable, old habits. But I knew where those habits would lead and I didn't want to be trapped again. And there were occasions that I did repeat old patterns; but once I realized what I was doing, I noticed my actions without judgement and then chose new actions that were in line with my intentions for the year.

I blogged about my the intentions that I set for 2013 a year ago. Here they are from that blog post:

My Intentions for 2013

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  • Manage my time well, utilizing my schedule to do so.
  • Strive for balance in my life. Balancing my roles as a wife, mother, student, home manager, self, and dreamer as much as possible. Following my morning routine will help me stay balanced.
  • Grow my creativity by writing and taking photos more.

I was by no means perfect this year. And that's okay; perfection wasn't what I was working toward. I set these intentions with the desire to add to my life, to increase my enjoyment of life. There were times during the year that I strayed from these intentions. But they were always there, waiting to guide me back onto the path of the life I wanted. I spent 2012 being controlled by food and my weight. All I wanted for 2013 was to learn to enjoy life again. And I am so grateful that I realize that goal this year. Not only did I learn to enjoy life again, but I fell back in love with life! And that is worth every ounce of effort that it took to get to that point. I am so grateful that I am ending the year stronger than I started.

How Yoga Influenced My Life

Another thing that I credit my renewed positive view of my life to, is yoga. If you have been following me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest then you know that I started exercising 5-6 days a week on October 24, 2013. I decided to make that consistent effort to exercise and release stress to see if I could deal with some physical problems that I had been having for a while without having to take medication. There is nothing wrong with taking medication when it is needed, but I knew that I hadn't given exercise and stress management a consistent try. So before I went on the medication, I decided to really try to manage my conditions with consistent exercise and stress management. I was scheduled to follow-up with my doctor on January 2nd so I committed to exercising 5-6 days a week until I went back to see him. At the time, I couldn't decide if I wanted to take the med, but I was so tired of how I was feeling. So I decided to give regular exercise a try and if I didn't see any results then when I saw my doctor in January I could decide to go on the medication.

I am so happy that I tried because I have gotten so much relief from my ailments, even other people can tell by the way I move now that my body is healing. I have noticed that after a high stress event, some of my symptoms start to reappear again. But to combat that, I have increased my relaxation focused activities, amount of sleep and gentle exercise around times of stress, and that has helped to improve and shorten the duration of my symptoms.

When I started exercising in October, my goal was to log onto YouTube each morning and exercise with whichever video caught my attention for that day. I had subscribed to a bunch of reputable fitness channels so I knew that I could make a choice without injuring myself. My goal was to keep exercise fun by being varied and spontaneous about what I chose each day. I posted the videos with a review to share with everyone that followed my blog on the social media sites. And for the first few weeks I did pretty good, but then I rediscovered yoga. :) And now I'm afraid that I haven't been as varied in my workouts anymore. So, my apologizes to everyone that liked getting the varied recommendations from me because I know that lately they have all been yoga, with occasionally some Pilates. :D But I can seem to bring to make myself do anything else!

The truth is that I have gained so much from doing yoga regularly, more than only physical fitness. While I have strengthened my body, I have also strengthened my mind and brought calmness and peace to my life. I am so much better at dealing with stress now, and happier too. Honestly, I enjoy yoga so much now that I secretly wish that I could live in my yoga clothes and teach yoga. Here I am on the verge of graduating from nursing school (finally!) and all I want to do is practice yoga and share yoga with others so they can have their own transformations too. It will be interesting to see where my path ends up going! I have finally learned that I don't have to have everything in my life figured out and planned out. Instead, I am focused on taking life one step at a time; enjoying each step, making decisions as they appear and trusting that I am on the path that I am meant to be. This has given me freedom that I have never felt before.

The Future

Looking ahead to 2014, there are some exciting things on the horizon. I will be graduating from nursing school in May 2014! After many years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication from all my family and with the support of extended family, we are finally on the verge of completing this goal for our family. I have no idea what area of nursing I want to work it and that's okay. I will figure that out and end up where I am meant to be, even if it takes a while to figure it out. One day I will know where my place is.

I am also really excited to continue to grow my yoga practice. About 3 weeks ago I discovered Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. Something about her style and personality really clicked with me and I love practicing with her videos. She is launching Reboot, a 29 day yoga experience on January 2nd. I decided to join the program and I am really excited to see where my yoga practice is by the end of January. I'm looking forward to a month to grow and deepen my practice.

I am also excited to continue writing. I want to blog more and spend more time writing. I started writing a children's book series and so far I have 2 books in the series. It is a lot of fun to lose myself in this imaginary world and write these stories. My children love the stories and want me to write more. They also wish that the stories had pictures. My son asked me if the stories could have pictures "by the end of 2014". I told him that I didn't know but was a good goal. I would love to be able to turn these stories into books with beautiful pictures that my children and other children could enjoy. We'll see... :)

I don't have my intentions set yet for the coming year because my husband had off this year after Christmas and we were enjoying a lot of relaxed family time. But I will share them with you soon. As this year draws to a close, I am grateful for all the blessings of this year and for all the lessons learned.

Onward to 2014!!

Exercise with Me!

Exercise is such a personal thing. We all have our own favorite forms of exercise or favorite trainers that we like to follow. We should all have our own personal fitness goals as well. However, most of us could probably use new ideas or recommendations of exercises from time to time. With that in mind, I've decided to post what I'm doing whenever I exercise. I have found some great fitness channels on YouTube that I am really excited about and I want to share them with you! I won't be posting reviews on here every day for the exercises that I've done. I'm going to post short reviews with a link to the YouTube video on my Twitter feed and on the Facebook page for RR. My personal goals are to build strength and muscle, as well as stabilizing my joints by strengthening my core. My joints are super loose and my strength is not what it was. So I am working to change that! Please keep your own health issues in mind and see your doctor before starting an exercise program. I have been to my own doctor and spent some time in physical therapy working toward stabilizing my joints, so I will be working within my own limits. Please do the same. The most important thing is to follow what our own bodies are telling us. If something feels like too much, then skip it or modify it. If your body is sore and needs a couple of days to recover after a workout, then listen to it. Fitness shouldn't be about punishing our bodies, but about working with our bodies to make them happy and healthy. :)

If you are interested in following my fitness journey or working alongside me with your own journey, you can follow me on Twitter @ sabe30 or on Facebook at Recipes RedesignedI hope you join me and post what you are doing as well! I'd love to follow your fitness journeys too!

To strong and healthy bodies!!

Finding Contentment in Waiting

Planning I am a chronic planner. I tend to plan out both long-term and short-term things. While I would list it as one of my strengths, it has its hangups as well. Sometimes I get so bogged down in planning out all the little bitty details that it leads to uncertainty as how to proceed. That uncertainty often leads me to indecision or anxiety over making the right choice. The fear is that I will make the wrong choice and waste time on the wrong thing before I realize what I should be doing instead.

Which Path?

That fear has cropped up again as I struggle with deciding about my future career. I'm currently a part-time nursing student. I am about to begin my 2nd year. There is a strong push for new nurses to go ahead and get their bachelor degree in nursing because of the direction the field is heading. And I have some good options that I may pursue if I follow that path. But here's the problem, I'm not sure that my heart is completely into going that direction. I feel myself drawn toward the nutrition field. But I have put so much work into getting where I'm at now, it is hard to know if I should make the jump from RN to RD or not. My family has sacrificed a lot for me to pursue getting my degree in nursing and that has added a bit of guilt to the decision for me. Do I follow the path that we have worked so hard for and will lead to easier job prospects? Or do I follow my heart to where I think it is leading me? These are the questions I struggle with. I feel like I have to know right now what I'm going to do when I graduate with my associate degree in nursing next Spring. What field do I get my bachelor degree in?

Right Ballpark, Wrong Seat?

But here's the thing I am beginning to understand, I don't really have to know yet. I can view it as a journey, realizing that along the way, the answers will make themselves clearer. Maybe I won't ever know for sure if I made the "right" choice. Does that really matter? Both career options are good matches for me, my interests, and my strengths. It's like my therapist said, I'm in the right ballpark; I'm just not sure if I'm in the right seat. And maybe I will end up "watching the game" from a good seat but not the best seat for me. That's okay; I will still get to see and enjoy the game from the seat I am in.

Enjoying the Journey

Sometimes we don't know exactly where we will end up. We learn things along the way that help us get closer to where we should end up. So instead of feeling anxious about what to do next year, I'm trying to focus my energy on the part of the journey that I'm on now. I will trust that as I get closer, things will get clearer. And I'm trying to sit back and remember that it's okay to not have every detail of my life planned out. Life's about the journey, not just the destination. And after all, I'm already in the right ballpark. I'll just enjoy the game from here and maybe another seat will open up or maybe I'll realize that the seat I'm already in is the best seat for me. Who knows.

My Gifts to Myself for 2013

Tomorrow is the start of a new year and after spending some time looking back over the past year, I know what I want for myself for this coming year. You could call them New Year's Resolutions or goals, but I'm calling them gifts that I am giving myself. I am calling them gifts because they are things that I want to do for myself to strengthen my overall well-being: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is my hope to end 2013 stronger than I began it. Time Management

The biggest key for the next year is to work on my time management skills. Time seems to dissipate some days and I know that there are many things that I do that waste time or don't make the best use of my time, like...ahem...Twitter, Facebook. I probably don't need to check them a million times a day. ;) In the interest of making better use of my time, I created a schedule for me and my family. I created one last year and it helped some, but I was too detailed with it and filled every time slot in the day. Mind you, they were all important tasks, but I learned from that experience that I do not like to have my weekends scheduled. So for this new schedule, I scheduled my days M-F and kept Saturday and Sunday open, except for my morning routine (I'll get into that shortly). There are a few time slots during the week that are empty and I chose to leave them so because I know that other things will arise during the day and schedules can run over too. These empty slots give me a cushion in my day.

Another key component to the schedule is making the most of the time that the kids are awake and home from school. The time after school and before bed goes so fast that it seems like we hardly ever get the things done with the kids that we want to. The kids have a few chores that they are supposed to do, but we have been lacking in the follow-through because we simply forget about them. But we believe that it is important for them to contribute to the household and learn life skills, so I have created a space in the schedule for their chores in addition to the family time. Life can't be all playtime, even for children. They should be taught about balance in life too. No one, old or young, needs all work or all fun. A balance of the two is healthy for us all.

AM Routine

The other key to accomplishing what I hope to this year is my morning routine that I have created for myself. Morning is the best time to get certain things accomplished. I've tried getting up earlier to get things done in the past but I used that time to get a jumpstart on the day. And I didn't stick to it, because who really wants to get up early just to do laundry or other housework? Now I have realized that a better use of the early morning quiet time is to use that time to exercise, mediate, pray, read, write, and study. The activities and work of the day I can do when the whole house is wake, but these quiet and creative activities are best done first thing in the morning when I am alone and undistracted. Because mornings are a more productive time of day, I have pushed the housework duties that require less thought to the afternoon when my brain is more prone to wandering.

My morning routine now starts at 5:00 AM and since it is vitally important to good health and happiness to be well rested, I have to go to bed far earlier than I had gotten into the habit of doing. At first, the thought of going to bed so early seemed kind of awful (as did the 5 AM wake-up time), but I looked at how I was spending my evenings and realized that I wasn't actually accomplishing anything productive in the evenings. I like to spend some of the evening relaxing with my husband but after a certain time, it becomes more about just vegging on the couch than relaxing together. So I decided to make better use of my time and spend the early part of the evening with my husband then go to bed and read around 9:00 PM. I have been creating this new routine on paper for a few days but only started it in practice yesterday. After hearing me talk about what I wanted out of my days, my husband decided to join me in going to bed early and waking up early too. He is not getting up quite as early as me, but he is getting up early enough for him to have time to ease into his day with some exercise and quiet activities too.

365-Day Project

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I was interested in Marelisa's idea, from Daring to Live Fully.com. Her idea was to decide what you want to accomplish in 2013, then decide what you can do every day to work toward accomplishing that goal. This is her 365-Day Project. I had already formulated my goals for this next year when I read her article. Reading her article gave me the final push that I needed to commit to giving my best to my goals for this year and to commit to my own 365-Day Projects to achieve my goals.

My Intentions for 2013

  • Manage my time well, utilizing my schedule to do so.
  • Strive for balance in my life. Balancing my roles as a wife, mother, student, home manager, self, and dreamer as much as possible. Following my morning routine will help me stay balanced.
  • Grow my creativity by writing and taking photos more.

My 365-Day Projects for 2013

  • Follow my morning routine every day.
  • Write every day.
  • Take a photo every day.

I am really excited for this coming year! I can't wait to see what it has in store for me and to see how I grow and change throughout the year. 2013 is going to be a good year.

Happy New Year!

Crafting 2013

I have been thinking a lot about how I want to live out my life. I probably has something to do with the fact that everywhere I turn there are articles on "end of the year lists" or "resolutions for the new year." ;) I find that I often become more introspective toward the end of the year, especially the week between Christmas and New Years, even without all the internet reminding me that the old year is ending. And why not, now is as just a good time as any to re-evaluate where you are at, how your year went, and how you want the next year to go. Sure, there are plenty of things that happen that are out of our control, but that does not mean that we should not create a direction and plans for how we want our life to go. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained", right? In addition to my own thoughts about how I want to try to live this next year, I have read some interesting things that have been influential in helping me decide what kind of year I want to craft for 2013. Two e-books that I read and enjoyed were regarding time management. And let's face it, what good are plans and good intentions if we don't use our time wisely and create time for those plans? Both of the e-books were a short, easy read but were helpful to clarify some of my own thoughts and to provide some additional direction. The books are "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast" by Laura Vanderkam and "Tell Your Time" by Amy Lynn Andrews. Then this morning I read an article by Marelisa from DaringtoLiveFully.com called, "Launch a 365-Day Project in 2013". This intrigued me. I have some things that I want to accomplish this coming year, but do I have the courage to lay it all out there and commit to achieving those things every day? One thing's for sure, if I would take my daily goals for 2013 and turning them into a 365-Day Project, there would be no doubt that by the end of 2013, those goals would be habits. And considering the goals that I have for myself, I would love to create them as habits.

I am going to spend the rest of today nailing down my goals for 2013. And since accountability is helpful for sticking to one's goals, I'm going to write them down here and check in with how I am doing sticking with my goals throughout the coming year. Check back tomorrow for my goals for 2013!

Saying "Good Night" to the Night Owl

Given my druthers, I would stay up late at night and sleep until I was fully rested in the morning. It isn't so much that I like sleeping late in the morning, but rather that I enjoy feeling rested and I enjoy staying up late at night too. I do love early mornings though. It is just the getting up that makes early mornings so hard. :) I guess you could say that I am a tired night owl (since I tend to stay up too late given the fact that I have to get up at a set time each morning regardless of what time I went to bed) who wishes she was an early bird. I have tried numerous times to get up earlier in the morning and I loved those early mornings! I have learned that my days go better when I can start the day off with thirty minutes to an hour of quiet, unhurried time by myself. Those days I am more productive, I have a better mental outlook, and I have more patience with others and myself. On the flip-side, when I stay up late at night, those are the times that I can be more plagued with negative thoughts. There is more time to look back over my day with a critical eye, judging myself for the things that I did or did not do that day. While it is helpful to take time to evaluate and do some self-assessment, it is not helpful if that self-assessment is not honest but instead is always judgmental. It is important to be honest with ourselves, but gentle and nonjudgmental too. Also staying up late sets me up for a tired and generally more stressful day the next day because of the lack of sleep. Another advantage of rising early is that I spend that quiet time being quiet, which is so good for my soul. Late night is typically spent watching tv or a movie (and feeling bad about myself). But in the quiet of the early morning, I do not watch tv. I usually sit outside on my patio and listen to the birds while I read, write or just breathe. But in order to have the quiet, early mornings, I need to start going to bed earlier so that I can get enough sleep too because sleep plays an important role in our mental and emotional health. It is going to take some getting used to and some resetting of my internal clock probably but I think that it is time to say "good night" to being a night owl and "good morning" to being an early bird!

Scattered Focus

I'm feeling a little stuck right now. I see several paths laid out before me and I do not know which way to go. Also contributing to my feelings of being stuck is the fact that I have too many balls in the air. Everything that I am juggling I enjoy doing. But it is not possible to juggle all these things and do them well. And I believe that "anything worth doing is worth doing well." Currently I am trying to do everything and I feel like I am doing less than my best because my efforts are spread so thin. In fact, I actually feel like I am spinning my wheels instead of making progress with anything that I am working on. But I am afraid to let anything go. Everything that I am juggling is important to me so I have hung on to all of them, trying to make it all work. It is time to face reality. I am in a state of inertia because I have taken on more things than I have time or energy for and I do not want to let any of them go. But I am growing tired of this feeling of inertia. It is time to take a good hard look at reality, at my hopes and dreams, at my abilities, at what I want out of life, and it is time to make the hard decisions and pick a path.

Goals

It is nearly impossible to end up where you want to in life without goals. With that in mind, I set some goals for myself recently. Goal #1: View food through the correct lens, as energy and sustenance for the body.

Goal #2: Manage stress in a healthier way.

Goal #3: Live a more balanced life, recognize that not everything has to be done perfectly.

 

I thought of some mini-goals that will help me meet my larger goals. These mini-goals may change or get added to in the future as I progress toward my goals but for now, this is where I am starting.

mini-goal #1: Wake up at 6:00AM during the week and do 30 minutes of yoga, jogging, or walking. I have found that when I start my day with exercise, I tend to thinking more positively about myself throughout the day.

mini-goal #2: Exercise on the weekends by doing something active with my family, like playing tennis or soccer. This will help us all cultivate the habit of being active.

mini-goal #3: Eat something within 1 hour of waking, like a greek yogurt or banana with peanut butter. This is so that I can reconnect with my body's hunger signals. Then after that, I will eat breakfast an hour or so later.

mini-goal #4: Track my calories and hit my daily target so that I can relearn how many calories my body needs to function. I will hit the daily calorie goal to maintain my weight and not shoot lower. If I try to secretly shoot lower so that I can still restrict then I will not learn what my body needs.

mini-goal #5: Get 8 hours of sleep most nights. I have learned that I am able to control my negative self-talk better when I am not exhausted. Also, I tend to have more negative thoughts about myself late at night, as I have more time to look back over the day and criticize my choices for that day. I will shoot to be in bed at 9:30PM so that I have about 1/2 of an hour to relax and read before falling asleep. Another bonus for going to bed earlier is that then I will be ready to wake up at 6AM the next morning and exercise, starting off the next day right.

mini-goal #6: Use my spare time wisely. When I have some downtime, don't waste it mindlessly watching tv or surfing the internet, or going on Facebook for no reason. I will watch the shows that I really want to watch and just read the articles that I am truly interested in. I will limit the time I spend on Facebook each day too. I know that for myself, there is a definite correlation between the amount of time I spend on Facebook and how negative I feel about myself.

mini-goal #7: Develop some hobbies. It is sad to say, but I have no hobbies anymore. Being busy as left me feeling like I don't have time for anything else, which in turn has made me feel more stressed. Carving out a little time each week to do something that I enjoy will help release stress and help create some more balance in my life.

I have already been working toward these goals for the last couple of weeks and I thought that it was time to write them down, make them more real. The last couple of weeks have been a mix of good days and bad days; but that's okay, this is a process. I won't get there overnight and I won't be perfect in the process either. The important thing is to keep my eye on my goals and keep working  toward them.