Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Happy New Year!
So I ended 2012 with scrapping my goals in a rage - I've been "working on" getting more sleep and drinking more water for three years and I still can't do it (I think I was doing OK on the "be a tourist in my own city" thing but I wasn't really going out of my way to do stuff), so I think it's time to set some goals that I'm excited about.
In my last post, I talked a bit about Mike Morrison's goal of trying to be happy every day, and how I tell my clients to be self-compassionate and to move away from the negative self-talk and the all-or-nothing thinking, yet those are things that I struggle with myself! Now, I'm a huge proponent of "fake it till you make it" in many other aspects of my life (see: speaking Chinese) but I just don't see myself as one of those people who gets up in the morning, looks themselves in the mirror and says, "Today is going to be a good day! I'm going to choose to be happy!" I know it works for a lot of people, but it's not me. I'm not there yet.
I've been intrigued by Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project. (I first heard of Gretchen a couple years ago when I was doing that #reverb10 thing... I've flipped through a few in my "reflection" process - apparently I haven't really changed in two years!) Anyway, I'm totally going to buy the book once I figure out how to spend the rest of my $50 Chapters gift card (for free shipping purposes) but for now her blog is good food for thought. She posted two articles about new year's resolutions that I've taken into consideration when setting my resolutions/goals for this year, and of course, I also read the blurb I wrote two years ago.
So to bring it all together, I think there are some broad resolutions that I would like to work on, but each month I would like to put that into a SMART goal (we do a lot of SMART goal setting with our clients at work, and also talking about confidence in achieving those goals) to work on for the month. Then hopefully every month those goals will be expanded upon or changed as I work toward/achieve those goals, and focus on other aspects of the broader resolutions.
My 2013 New Year's Resolutions
To break this down, I want to be better at appreciating the small things and be more self-compassionate. I first heard the term "self-compassion" from dietitian, author and HAES practitioner/advocate Jacqui Gingras at a conference a couple years ago, and it's been a term that's stuck with me yet not something that I always knew what to do with. It came up again recently at a continuing ed session I went to and it's actually a whole philosophy that I should probably read more about. To briefly sum it up, it's being kind to yourself, especially in moments where things are not 100% as opposed to stubbornly moving on, or worse, beating yourself up (both things I do a lot of), and accepting that it's normal and human to be imperfect and sometimes unhappy.
I've been trying to work on this a little bit over the past year what with the being better at saying "No" to things. One of my favourite changes that I've made is to my to-do lists - I've caught myself many times where I would've had a busy day but if I don't finish a certain thing on my to-do list, I go to bed feeling like I've done nothing (I know, I'm totally crazy, right?) So, I've now taught myself to split my "to-do" list up into "Must Do" and "Nice to Do" and to cap the "Must Do" section at three or four things, so that even if I don't get through the entire to-do list, as long as I have the "Must Do" things done, I don't go to bed telling myself I've done nothing!
This month, I was inspired by the "Happiness Jar" that I saw on Facebook.
Realistically I'm organized enough to have little scraps of paper on hand to throw in a jar, but since I'm always on my phone I thought maybe I could do this on a note on my phone before bed. But I do like writing stuff down by hand, so to start I'm going to put my journal and a pen on the nightstand and write at least one happy moment that happened during the day every day. Apparently I attempted to do something similar (I wrote at least three things I was thankful for at least three things I accomplished) in October 2011 and I was successful... for three non-consecutive days :S So, this may either devolve into an entering-into-my-phone thing or evolve into cutting up my journal and putting it in a jar - we'll see!
To be honest this isn't really a priority for me because I am pretty happy with where I am in terms of health and fitness, but a two-year-old Men's Journal article has been making the rounds and it is making me think I should probably be lifting things.
The take-home message is that you can keep your workout to just simple, free-weight exercises that work your entire body (versus machines, which isolate parts of the body; an inefficient way to work out, really) - he mentions squats, dead lifts and bench presses, which are coincidentally the three events in powerlifting - you can work strength, power, muscle-building or endurance depending on how much weight you use and how many reps you do. It is a little "too good to be true" sounding, but the only strength exercises I'm doing are mainly whatever body-weight exercises we do in class during the warmup so for me there's nothing to lose.
For a year and a half now I've been coming to the gym about half-an-hour to an hour earlier than when class starts - it started one summer when our instructor/coach told us to go run outside before class. But in the fall/winter/spring it's cold and dar so we have to run inside on the treadmill. Last year I was fine for the most part but this year though I've really been dreading the treadmill, and for the entire month of December I only ran on the treadmill once. So I figure, instead of staying later at the office, playing on my phone in the parking lot or seeing if I could become friends with the elliptical/rowing machine, why don't I just try lifting stuff before class? My cardio's not that bad anyway, and lifting things still gets my heart rate up a little bit, so this month, I am going to do squats, dead lifts and bench presses at least once a week before kickboxing class... I should probably get my powerlifting cousin to teach me so I don't hurt myself :S
This "at least once a week" thing is going to be interesting - Gretchen talks about making your resolutions something you do every day (or in this case, at least every time I go to the gym) so it keeps it consistent. On the other hand, when we set goals with our clients, if they say they are going to do something every day we actually talk them out of it so that "if something comes up, you don't feel like you failed for not having done it every day" So it'll be interesting to see if there's a difference between this goal (at least once a week) versus the previous goal (every day).
My friend Kristi reminded me that this is something that I would like to work on.
I've already started a bit - I've been trying to get my family (all the cousins) together more often - I had them over for dinner for one of my cousins' birthday, and then again as the start of a (hopefully) monthly family dinner. The initial goal was to give the opportunity to my sister and one of my cousins to eat/cook healthier things, but everyone sort of took it and ran with it, so it's probably going to be more social with potlucks and the like. We are going to have hot pot later this month.
Towards the end of my old job, I started going downtown on my days off to have lunch with B. Now that I'm off/"working from home" two days per week I figure I should use that time to reconnect with other people as well. (Which I did once in December.) So this month, I would like to make plans with at least two friends. I figure one social thing every two weeks is a good start.
Right now I am typing this with a mountain of papers to my right. (That is February's goal.) There are also other things that I need to tend to, like cleaning up/setting up the spare room, finishing the kitchen re-org (really I need to just find a utensil caddy that doesn't cost $15), organizing the files on my computer, etc. etc.
But the thing I started during the holidays that I hope to finish this month is move this blog over to Wordpress - it is taking much longer than anticipated as the import wasn't clean and the formatting is all wonky and I've had to go back to every single post to fix things, but it's also been good because I've been able to go back and edit some posts/delete some I'm utterly embarrassed of.
Random Fun Stuff
Last night at the bar (before joining in the countdown at Olympic Plaza) B. and I made some predictions for 2013, as inspired by my friend Samantha.