New Goals For a New Year

Happy new year!!  

So I know I’m quite a bit tardy with my new year wishes to you all, but I’ve been a busy, busy bee preparing myself for the new year and I’m excited to share with you everything that I’ve been working on!  

Beginning of the week prep with some wine to help get the work done!

Beginning of the week prep with some wine to help get the work done!

Lists, lists, and more lists!!  Okay, so it looks like I’ve just been sitting here making list after list (and drinking wine), but I haven’t...or I have, actually, BUT with good reason and even better intention!  I’m sure you’ve heard that writing down your goals is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable and stick to them, right?  Well I’m a big believer in it and that’s why I’m sitting here surrounded by all these lists.  Let’s start with the most important, shall we? My goals heading into 2015!

Be gentle with myself and practice positive self-talk: This one is particularly tough for me!  In the past year I’ve developed a bad habit of being extremely critical of myself and letting bad days or minor set backs get the best of me.  Didn’t make it to the gym?!  Well there’s a whole day wasted!  Or, you had ALL DAY to figure out what you’re going to do with the rest of your life and you still don’t know?!!  There were days when life weighed so heavily on my mind that even day-to-day tasks became impossible.  I’d spend a whole day in a quiet, irritable, angry funk and usually in tears.  Why??! Because I felt like life around me was moving so quickly and everyone I knew was moving forward in life and I was just stuck, with no idea what was supposed to happen next and everything was out of my control.  Oh I a total control freak??!!  You can see how easily I worked myself into a frenzy, no?  

I’d been holding myself to ridiculous standards in all areas of my life.  I’d never expect perfection out of anybody else, much less, look down on them with harsh judgement or criticism for not attaining it.  So why was I doing this to myself?  Enough!!  I’d had enough.  Someone once told me, “get out of your head, it’s fun out here!”  So, I’m trying! When life gets too overwhelming and everything seems out of my control I will try my best to tell myself that it’s okay and I’m doing the best I can and my best will have to be good enough.  And if I accidently sleep in and don’t make it to the gym before work I’ll just have to enjoy a cup of coffee and a leisurely breakfast instead! ;)

Plan workouts and stick to the (balanced) schedule: About those early morning workouts…. Okay, okay, so everyone has heard the ol’ “fail to plan, plan to fail” bit, right?  Exactly.  For months now I’ve been off my workout schedule and can’t seem to get back on and it’s driving me crazy! Well it’s time to get organized and get back to it!  My goal is to program my workouts for the week at the beginning of each week, write them on the calendar and stick to the scheduled program! BUT there's one more thing.  Find balance.  For a while I was waking up early every day to squeeze in a workout before work and while I LOVE an early morning strength session, I also love, love, LOVE a slow morning where I can wake up slowly, have a cup of coffee and breakfast with Evan and I really felt I was missing out.  I felt guilty if I skipped a workout to relax and enjoy my morning.  Now that I've stepped back from the gym a bit I miss it, too!  I've always known that these are two things I very much enjoy, I've just never been able to find a good balance.  So heading into 2015 my goal is to plan, and stick to, a BALANCED workout schedule!  

Be on time:  This may seem like a very small, very simple goal, but for someone who's genetically prone to tardiness (yes, it is a real thing), this is going to be a challenge!  My goal to be on time goes for all areas of my life: bills, work, workouts, social gatherings, blog posts (oops!!  Always a work in progress, right?).

Eat with the intention to get nutrition: Now that the holidays are over I am SO ready to get back to eating well!  I will say, Evan and I eat very well on a day-to-day basis, but we fell off the wagon during the holidays.  After eating anything and everything I wanted during a week vacation back home, where wine and rich meals were a daily occurence, Christmas parties, holiday baking, and New Years celebrations I was left stripped of all energy, feeling tired and lethargic, crabby and unmotivated.  I was sleeping in later than usual and it was taking me longer and longer to shake that sleepy, groggy feeling once I was actually out of bed.  I started “needing” coffee, workouts weren’t happening, I was snacking a lot more often on processed foods which left me more tired and craving more processed foods and on and on the cycle went!!! Something needed to change, and quick!  I recently did a giant “pantry purge”.  I spent a good chunk of my Monday morning sorting through our pantry and throwing out anything that was void of any real nutrition: crackers, cookies, pastas, cereal, processed/refined flours and sugars I used in holiday baking projects, canned soups, pretzels, chips….!!!  How did we even accumulate all this junk?!!  I filled two, large garbage bags and all that remained in the pantry were real, nutrient dense foods.  I’m a huge advocate of eating real, unprocessed, energy promoting, nutrient rich, whole foods and when it comes to our health, I believe this to be the single most important thing.

Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.
— Heather Morgan
Healthy decisions vs. not so healthy (but DE-LICIOUS) decisions while on vacation... Top: Lyfe Kitchen - Chicago  Bottom: Glazed and Infused - Chicago

Healthy decisions vs. not so healthy (but DE-LICIOUS) decisions while on vacation... Top: Lyfe Kitchen - Chicago  Bottom: Glazed and Infused - Chicago

And that brings me to my next list and blog post on preparation and putting yourself in a position to be successful!  Stay tuned!!



The Write Mood

It's been months since I started this blog and, until now, I haven't been able to pluck out a single post!  Not one.  I can't put my finger on why.  At first, I wanted to get the design and layout all set and then I could worry about the content, but once I got that done I'd sit to start a post and nothing would come.  Just a blinking cursor.  I had every excuse: I was uncomfortable, my chair wasn't a good writing chair, I needed  a glass of water or cup of tea, I had to go finish laundry, walk the dog, make a grocery list, call my best friend, pay some bills, plan a workout...ARGH!!  I could ALWAYS find something else to do.  Something that seemed more important.  Was this just lack of concentration?  Am I just that much of a procrastinator?!  Is there nothing I'm passionate enough to write about??!!  So I figured I'd start searching the internert in hopes of finding tips from other writers and bloggers about getting started for the first time or overcoming writer's block.  They all had to start somewhere and must have some experience from which to speak, right?  Well, about two minutes into my research I came across all sorts of "helpful" quotes like, "The scariest moment is always just before you start," and "The first draft of anything is shit."  Well it's no wonder I hadn't posted anything yet!!  ...Then I read this, "All you have to do is write one true sentence.  Write the truest sentence that you know." So here's my sentence...or two.  I'm afraid I'll completely fail at this.  I'm afraid that just because I think that what I have to say and share with people might be worth reading doesn't mean it actually is and I'm just crazy for wanting to start a blog!!!

I decided I needed to call on the help of a friend who had also recently started a blog of her own.  Her posts are always true to her voice,  honest, beautifully written and easy to read and relate to.  How does she do this?  She must just have a gift for writing.  Or maybe she knows herself better and therefore finds it easier to open up and connect with an audience. Maybe she knows a secret?!  A few days later, over coffee and a pumpkin spice muffin (so cliché) I asked for her advice.  "Does it take you days of writing and rewriting before you feel comfortable enough to publish your final post or do you just sit down, let your thoughts flow and post as is? Do you have someone else edit your writing?  Do you wonder if readers will judge you?  How do you even get started??!"  Her response was honest and she didn't have any magical answers or cures for writer's block, but what she did tell me was so simple and really resonated.  She said, "You have to hunker down.  Really get in the mood.  Create an environment that helps you relax and write.  Light candles, put on relaxing music, have some wine if you need to!..."  It made so much sense!  I know it may sound like she's telling me how to create a romantic evening with my fiancé BUT writing can be just as intimate!  And there I was, trying to write while sitting at the kitchen table in a stiff chair or at a desk in the office making this feel like actual WORK instead of the fun, creative, exciting, learning experience of an outlet that I intended for this to be.  Blogging is an invitaion to the world into parts of your life and it requires one to be vulnerable.  I don't know about most of you, but I'll need to kick back, relax and uncork a bottle of wine to do that!  ....or perhaps--because it's still not even noon--my comfiest cardigan, some coffee in one of my favorite mugs, snuggled into the most-broken-in cushion on the couch with my feet up on an ottoman and my puppy, Sebastian, sitting at my side will have to do!